Whether you're looking for a traditional stay, a modern one, or a mix of both, you can find what you need in these hotels on Iceland's South Coast. This region—known for geometric basalt formations, "diamond" beaches, and Europe's largest glacier—primarily offers guesthouses with limited services but an abundance of hospitality. These hotels all have that warm, personalized feeling, as well as amenities like hot tubs, tasty restaurants, and views of the landscape that have made Iceland a must-visit destination.

Skálakot Manor Hotel

Intricate details and vintage pieces make rooms extra cozy (photo courtesy of Skálakot Manor Hotel)

Standing under the imposing Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, the family-run Skálakot Manor Hotel is a stylish property and farm, offering a convenient base to explore the South Coast. The hotel style is rustic chic, employing a mix of customized furnishings, vintage pieces, and patterned textiles to create comfortable and eye-catching spaces. Rooms are all doubles, although extra beds can be added to the Master Suite, which also includes a bathtub, fireplace, and view of the Vestmannaeyjar islands.

Animal lovers can spend time with the Icelandic horses raised on the farm attached to the hotel. There's also an on-site restaurant open all day, a boon for this remote location, and a spa with a sauna and hot tub, which can be accessed by paying an entrance fee. Massage treatments are available, too. Located almost directly between Hella and Vík, this hotel is just a 15-minute drive from Seljalandsfoss waterfall and 40 from the black sand beach of Víkurfjara

Read kimkim's review of Skálakot Manor Hotel

Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon

Photo courtesy of Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon
Soak in the hillside views (photo courtesy of Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon)

Relax in this modern retreat between two of Iceland's most visited natural attractions: Skaftafell Nature Reserve and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, which are 25 minutes away. There are no shops or restaurants in the immediate vicinity, making Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon an ideal choice for those who want to immerse themselves entirely in the epic nature of Iceland's South Coast. Breiðamerkursandur (Diamond Beach) is a 20-minute drive, as is Svartifoss waterfall with its alien-looking geometric basalt formations. And if you want to see something even closer, a waterfall is on the hotel premises.

The modern and bright rooms are designed with an inviting mix of wood, soft lighting, and large windows. Some have ocean views, and others look out over the hilly landscape, so pick based on your preference for land or water. For extra relaxation, book a suite with a freestanding bathtub, and if you're visiting in the winter, request a northern lights wake-up call to ensure you don't miss Iceland's most famous light show.

While the hotel's remote location means you won't be able to choose from different services and restaurants, Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon has its on-site restaurant with a Nordic menu and splendid views that you can enjoy from the cozy interior or terrace. A dry sauna and hot tub are on hand to give your body a rest after a day of exploration.

Read kimkim's review of Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon

Hrífunes Guesthouse

Photo courtesy of Hrifunes Guesthouse
Enjoy the view of the landscape (photo courtesy of Hrifunes Guesthouse)

Hrífunes Guesthouse offers a pleasant mix of cozy, rustic rooms, the hospitality of a family-run property, and a convenient location to experience the sites of the South Coast. Located equidistant from Vík and Kirkjubæjarklaustur, both about 30 minutes away, this guesthouse has the benefit of a location that's both remote and accessible. The hexagon-shaped basalt pieces of Kirkjugólf are just 30 minutes away, and you can stroll the world-famous black sand beach of Reynisfjara in the same amount of time.

The style of the hotel is rustic and charming, with traditional rooms that include woven textiles, animal furs, and vintage pieces. Some options have shared bathrooms, but there are rooms with en suite bathrooms for extra privacy. Larger parties or those looking to settle in comfortably will appreciate the Deluxe Apartment with two bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, and a living room.

What sets this guesthouse apart is the warm and inviting atmosphere, seen in the lounge area with a fireplace and leather chairs. You can experience it firsthand by having a meal at the communal dining table, where you can meet other guests over a two-course feast made from fresh local ingredients and get local tips from friendly owners Hadda and Haukur.

Read kimkim's review of Hrífunes Guesthouse

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Magma Hotel

Photo courtesy of Magma Hotel
Relax on your patio with a view (photo courtesy of Magma Hotel)

Stay in traditional cabins with modern aesthetics in the historic village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur, 50 minutes east of Vík. The village was Christian during the Middle Ages, yet its surrounding area is filled with folklore that you can explore. Ask the owners about the stories of Systrastapi Rock or Systrafoss waterfall, both five minutes away. The moss-lined Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon is less than 10 minutes away, as is the basalt "church floor" of Kirkjugólfið. A few services are available in Kirkjubæjarklaustur, and Magma Hotel has a bistro with tasty food, so you can enjoy a mix of seclusion and convenience here.

The rooms are more like cabins than traditional hotel rooms, and while the grass-lined rooftops harken back to the early days of the country's early Norwegian settlers, the interiors are all modern. The rooms are done in a Scandinavian style of clean lines and neutral tones, highlighting their primary focus: the view. Whether it's the lava fields, black sand river, lake Systravatn, or even Vatnajäkull glacier, rest assured that you'll have something spectacular to look at from your patio or through the floor-to-ceiling glass doors. If you're lucky, you may even catch the northern lights from the comfort of your room.

Read kimkim's review of Magma Hotel

Black Beach Suites

Photo courtesy of Black Beach Suites
Comfortable beds and big windows make up these modern rooms (photo courtesy of Black Beach Suites)

Framed by the mountains and the sea, Black Beach Suites are contemporary and stylish self-service apartments close to some of the South Coast's most famed sites. Discover the otherworldly black sand beaches of Reynisfjara and Víkurfjara within a 10-minute drive, or stroll along the mossy cliffs of Seljalandsfoss in 45 minutes. Vík is also just 10 minutes away so you can enjoy a mix of seclusion and convenience from this picturesque location.

The apartments are spread out over two buildings, so book one in the front building if you want a clear sea view. Regardless of your unit, you can enjoy views of the surrounding Dyrhólaey Cliffs and the sea below. The modern and sleek style of black and gray tones and contemporary furniture both highlight the landscape and evoke the volcanic landscape that gives the suites their name. All options include equipped kitchenettes, although if you don't feel like cooking or staying in, you can always head to Vík, which has a mix of restaurants and bars.

Read kimkim's review of Black Beach Suites

Glacier View Guesthouse - Hrífunes

Photo courtesy of Glacier View Guesthouse - Hrífunes
Spread out in the large rooms (photo courtesy of Glacier View Guesthouse - Hrífunes)

Glacier View Guesthouse takes its name from its location between Mýrdalsjökull and Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe. While it may be between two chilly ice caps, this family-run hotel is anything but, thanks to its warm hospitality and offerings like delicious homemade dinner over a communal table. The atmosphere is one of a welcoming family home, and it helps that the rooms are comfortable, too.

This small guesthouse has about 10 rooms, including family options with bunkbeds for larger parties. The style is simple and contemporary, with neutral tones and occasional pops of color to brighten the space. Though the various windows do a great job of that, allowing you to enjoy the view from the comfort of your room or your private patio. Don't worry about the natural light if you visit in the summer: all rooms have effective blackout curtains to ensure a good night's sleep under the midnight sun. 

Read kimkim's review of Glacier View Guesthouse - Hrífunes

Vík Apartments

Photo courtesy of Vik Apartments
Cozy up in your spacious apartment (photo courtesy of Vík Apartments)

If you're looking for a spacious, self-service stay on the South Coast, you may find what you need at Vík Apartments, located within a 15-minute walk of Vík's center. These two-bedroom units are perfect for larger parties or those who want to settle in and feel like they're living in a chic apartment close to some of the major sites of the South Coast. The modern Scandinavian style of neutral tones and organic materials creates bright spaces, enhanced by large windows and balconies overlooking the sea or the mountains. 

Make a home-cooked meal in your unit's kitchenette since you can grab supplies from the grocery store just across the street. Alternatively, head to Vík, where you'll find a mix of restaurants, bars, and cultural attractions. If you want to get right into the region's nature, you can walk to the black sand beach of Víkurfjara in just five minutes. Or, drive to the geometric basalt formations of Reynisfjara—local legend has it that they're hiding the bodies of trolls inside—in 10.

Read kimkim's review of Vík Apartments