Sandwiched between the North Sea and the looming Mount Esja, Reykjavík, the world's northernmost capital, is alternately illuminated by the midnight sun and the glow of the aurora. Its hotels are dotted among its colorful houses—some are wonders of cutting-edge design, while others are a study in comfort and simplicity. Kimkim's list of the best hotels in Reykjavík ranges from luxury options to more humble stays, catering to all different travelers and trips.

The Reykjavík Edition

The Penthouse Suite offers an unbeatable view (photo courtesy of The Reykjavík Edition)

If you're looking for a luxurious stay in a prime location, The Reykjavík Edition offers both and then some. This modern waterfront hotel is just next to Harpa Concert Hall, so you've got the water just in front of you and all of downtown behind. The shops of Laugavegur Street, the towering spire of Hallgrimskirkja Church, and the extensive collection of the National Gallery of Iceland are all just 10 minutes away.

There are just over 250 rooms here, featuring a modern, minimalist style of custom-made furniture, local textiles, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Amenities include Le Labo toiletries, and some options have separate bathtubs and balconies. Ian Schrager and Marriott partnered to launch these EDITION hotels, so The Reykjavík Edition combines a boutique hotel's personalized feel with Marriott's support. Head to the secret speakeasy bar, have a meal of modern Icelandic cuisine at Tides, led by a Michelin-star chef, or relax in the spa, where you'll find a juice bar, treatment rooms, and a hammam.

Read kimkim's review of The Reykjavík Edition

Apotek Hotel

Have an artisan cocktail at the Apotek bar (photo courtesy of Apotek Hotel)

A comfortable mid-range option in the center of downtown Reykjavík, Apótek Hotel is nestled inside a historic building, the Reykjavikurapótek, once the main pharmacy of the city. The building dates back to 1917 and was designed by State Architect Guðjón Samúelsson, whose work you can see on the iconic Hallgrímskirkja Church, just 15 minutes away on foot. If your interest is more in art and culture, the National Gallery of Iceland is a 5-minute walk, and you can stroll along the pleasant, duck-filled Tjörnin Lake to get there.

The interior still contains some original Art Nouveau features—like an elegant marble staircase and curved walls—but the 45 spacious, comfortable rooms are modern, all in neutral tones with clean lines and an urban Icelandic aesthetic. In keeping with the building's history, the resident "pharmacists" mix medicinal-themed artisan cocktails in the hotel bar. The on-site restaurant uses local ingredients to create its menu of Icelandic and European dishes, and it's a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. 

Read Kimkim's review of Apótek Hotel 

Eyja Guldsmeden Hotel

Relax in one of the earthy, cozy rooms (photo courtesy of Eyja Guldsmeden Hotel)

A cozy haven to retreat to after exploring Iceland's capital, rooms at the Eyja Guldsmeden Hotel are both stylish and snug, with four-poster beds and natural sheepskin and cowhides strewn throughout. The simple color scheme has an earthy vibe and an emphasis on sustainability, from local and organic produce at the restaurant to eco-friendly toiletries. Some rooms have killer views of Esja Mountain and the water, too. 

The hotel's location near the eastern end of Laugavegur shopping street is a 20-minute walk from many of the main attractions, and you can also rent a bicycle in the lobby to reach downtown more quickly. There's an excellent breakfast buffet, plus numerous restaurants within a 10-minute walk.    

Read kimkim's review of Eyja Guldsmeden

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Hotel Óðinsvé

Enjoy a meal in the bright and plant-filled restaurant (photo courtesy of Hotel Óðinsvé)

Steps away from Laugavegur, Reykjavík's nightlife and shopping hub, Hotel Óðinsvé puts many of the city's attractions right outside your doorstep. From this location, almost directly between the harbor and Tjörnin Lake, you can reach sites like the National Gallery of Iceland, Hallgrímskirkja Church, and the National Theater in less than 10 minutes.

Inside this early 19th-century building, you'll find about 50 contemporary, minimalist rooms—all slate grays, creams, and charcoals, each decorated with characterful black-and-white landscape photos of Iceland. If you're looking for a more spacious and self-sufficient stay, the hotel has a few fully equipped apartments nearby. The hotel's award-winning bistro, SNAPS, is among Reykjavík's best and offers French-inspired dishes; step inside the adjacent bar for an excellent cocktail that you can enjoy in a cozy environment.

Read kimkim's review of Hotel Óðinsvé

Hotel Holt

Enjoy Icelandic art from the comfort of the cozy lobby (photo courtesy of Hotel Holt)

Art and culture lovers will find a paradise in this historic hotel, featuring works by some of Iceland's most well-known artists like Kjarval, Jón Stefánsson, and Ásmundur Sveinsson. The family that owns and runs Hotel Holt has the largest private art collection in the country, so take one of the daily tours with the staff to see what's on display during your stay. Once you're done, step outside to visit some of Reykjavík's significant attractions, like Tjörnin Lake, Hallgrímskirkja Church, and the National Art Gallery, all within a 15-minute walk.

The hotel opened in 1965, and its ground floor is a preserved landmark, evoking the atmosphere of a cozy museum or library. Not surprisingly, there's an actual library with floor-to-ceiling bookcases and well-worn armchairs. The 40 or so rooms follow suit with vintage furniture, wood paneling, and leather furnishings, inviting you to relax and contemplate the artwork hanging on the walls. Junior Suites have the extra perk of a balcony overlooking the city. Head down to the homey bar for a refreshing drink before having a meal at the restaurant with Icelandic food and vegetarian options.

Read kimkim's review of Hotel Holt

Hotel Hilda

Discover historic details of this old building (photo courtesy of Hotel Hilda)

If you're looking for a hotel in a quiet residential location within a few minutes' walk of Reykjavík's top attractions, look no further than Hotel Hilda. A revamped traditional guesthouse, it's surrounded by numerous restaurants and cafés, while the harbor, Reykjavík Art Museum, and Saga Museum are all less than 10 minutes away on foot.

This former family home and guesthouse has retained its historic charm with vintage furniture and original building details like the main entrance door with its sun-themed window. The 15 or so rooms are spread over four floors, and each is brightened up with local artworks and photographs. If you're traveling solo, the compact single is a good bet. Breakfast is an excellent spread of local bread and cold cuts, and the service is warm and personalized. 

Read kimkim's review of Hotel Hilda

Hotel Phoenix

Vintage furniture captures a different era (photo courtesy of Hotel Phoenix)

Travel back to the 1960s in this cozy boutique hotel located toward the end of Laugavegur, about a 20-minute walk from Harpa Concert Hall, the harbor, and other downtown sites. Run by two friendly Icelandic men, Hotel Phoenix offers something different from the ubiquitous modern Scandinavian style. Flower-patterned curtains, vintage furniture, and chandeliers transport you to another time in these single, double, and triple rooms. Modern amenities like TVs and blackout curtains ensure a comfortable stay. Enjoy a continental breakfast in the traditional dining room before heading out for the day.

Read kimkim's review of Hotel Phoenix