What makes a hotel in Iceland, high end or luxury? It’s not as simple a question as you might think in this remote island in the middle of the Atlantic. This page will showcase some of our favourite hotels and delve into what qualities an accommodation must have in order for us to include it in your itinerary.
The accommodation showcased below tends to be a little more luxurious than the comfort level options, but still have a unique quality to them, without feeling like a corporate chain of hotels. Our high end & luxury accommodation options tend to be more traditional hotels, though each of them will have their own unique styles. We have great examples of our preferred accommodations all around the island, so there’s no limit to where you can travel with Hidden Iceland. Iceland doesn’t utilise the star system in the same way as other countries do but each hotel below would be considered 4 or even 5 star in other countries. One thing is for sure, we know you’ll love them all.
If you’d like to see what comfort options we like to use, you can jump over to our Comfort Accommodation page.
What qualities are required of a high end & luxury accommodation?
1. Extensively tested. Every place you stay has been tried and tested by a member of the Hidden Iceland team. Many past guests will have stayed there too, with great feedback.
2. Location is everything! In winter, we aim for Northern Lights friendly locations whenever possible and in summer, somewhere to bask in the midnight sun. Rest assured, each hotel will work wonderfully for your itinerary.
3. Clean, spacious and private. The hotel could look incredible from the outside, but if the room isn’t clean, spacious, well decorated and has its own en suite (and wifi), then it doesn’t get included in this list.
4. Great restaurant. Each of the options below have their own incredible restaurants with locally sourced food on hand.
5. Communal areas or hot pools. Not every high end or luxury accommodation has a hot pool, but they all provide warm and relaxing areas to socialise each night. Always nice after a day of adventure with us.
HIGH END & LUXURY LEVEL ACCOMMODATION
The Retreat at the Blue Lagoon
Unwind the clock of modern life. Unlock the door to a wonder of the world.
The award-winning sanctuary The Retreat Lagoon & Spa transports your mind and body to new dimensions of peace and rejuvenation. Here, you get to enjoy a more exclusive and intimate way to experience the storied waters of the Blue Lagoon. Wander through the lava canyons and hidden corridors. Become one with the mineral-rich warmth and the volcanic earth. The hallmark of the spa journey is The Blue Lagoon Ritual which is an exhilarating wellbeing experience based on the Blue Lagoons trinity of natural wonders; silica, algae and its rich minerals. To make your journey even more special, make a reservation at the Michelin-recommended Moss Restaurant or one of their in-water spa treatment options. The rooms are pretty beautiful as well.
Location: Reykjanes Peninsula, only 20 minutes from the Keflavík International Airport, 45 minutes from Reykjavík and a mere 15 minutes from the trail to the dormant volcano, Fagradalsfjall. Retreat at the Blue Lagoon, Norðurljósavegur, 241 in Reykjanes Peninsula. Near the International Airport.
Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon
“Surrounded by rolling mountains and remote countryside, the location is perfect for nature lovers who want to experience an oasis of breathtaking scenery, cascading waterfalls, floating icebergs, and fantastic hiking trails.”
This remote hotel features in many of our tours and is one of our favourites. Its location, at the edge of the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Vatnajökull National Park, and near the famed Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Beach is hard to beat. In summer, we make this hotel our base when hiking on the nearby glaciers in the Skaftafell area. In winter, we use it as a base before exploring the blue ice caves on the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier. It’s also isolated enough to make Northern Lights hunting possible from right outside the hotel.
There are a wide range of room types at this hotel allowing this hotel to enter onto our comfort and high end list of accomodations. The Ocean View rooms cater to most budgets, whereas the standard Suites and Executive Suites will keep our luxury travel guests pleased too.
Our Iceland Must See 6 Day tour and our winter version, often includes 2 nights here to really give you a chance to explore the Vatnajökull National Park in all its glory.
Location: South East Iceland, only 20 minutes from the famed Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Beach. This hotel gives us the chance to explore the lesser visited Skaftafell and Vatnajökull National Park. It is around 5 hours from Reykjavík.
Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon, Hnappavellir, 785 Öræfi, Iceland.
“The inspiration for materials and the color pallet of the hotel is drawn from the surrounding nature, the beautiful colors of the Icelandic autumn and shapes and textures from the Icelandic nature.”
Despite its close proximity to Route 1 (ring road) and the most popular south coast sights, this hotel feels more isolated than most. The open and unspoiled grasslands in every direction would remind our guests of the Great Plains of the US, if it weren’t for the towering Eyjafjallajökull volcano, punctuating Iceland’s diverse landscape, just north of the hotel.
This luxury hotel has one of the best restaurants (and cocktail lists) in south Iceland. Grab a drink and sit on the patio on a clear evening, taking in the barely setting Midnight Sun, or use the unencumbered views to search for the Northern Lights on a cool autumn night.
Our Iceland Must See 6 Day summer tour will often make this hotel our base for 2 or 3 nights due to its great location.
Location: South Iceland near the town of Hvolsvöllur, only 15 minutes from the popular Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls. It is around 1.5 hours from Reykjavík.
Hotel UMI, Leirnavegur road nr. 243, 861 Hvolsvöllur, Iceland
Silica Hotel at the Blue Lagoon
“Conceived for wellness and designed for wellbeing, each room is the foundation of an enchanting experience.”
If the Retreat is considered 5 stars, then this would be its 4 star counter-part. But don’t be fooled by the star rating, this is one of the best hotels in the country. As part of your stay, you get access to the popular Blue Lagoon but also exclusive access to the hotel’s own Silica Lagoon. The luxurious hotel is just a short walk from the main Lava and Moss Restaurants too. Pop in and out of the hotels natural hot pool while enjoying the other-worldy view from your hotel. Despite it’s ideal proximity to the airport and Reykjavík, your view will be met with lava fields, hot springs and steam. Not a bad place to wait for the Northern Lights too on a clear night in winter.
Location: Reykjanes Peninsula, only 20 minutes from the Keflavík International Airport, 45 minutes from Reykjavík and a mere 15 minutes from the trail to the dormant volcano, Fagradalsfjall.
Silica Hotel at the Blue Lagoon, Norðurljósavegur, 241 in Reykjanes Peninsula. Near the International Airport.
Skálakot Luxury Manor
“Surrounded by stunning nature in the tranquility of the countryside. Just under the wide expanses of the Icelandic highlands and in the vicinity of glaciers and volcanoes, overlooking the North Atlantic Ocean.”
Skálakot Luxury Manor wears many hats, but wears them well. They offer a unique and authentically decorated luxury manor hotel with a newly built spa and hot pool, hence being added to this list. But the hotel is also situated alongside a working stable where you can explore the local area on horseback. In summer you can even take part in a fishing or canoeing trip in a nearby river.
This hotel is admittedly quite small, with only 14 rooms in total, so it’s not always possible for us to include this in your itinerary, sadly. But when it’s available we believe it really adds a new dimension to your trip by showcasing the south of Iceland, in the shadow of the historic Eyjafjallajökull volcano (the one that stopped all the planes back in 2010).
Location: South Iceland, near the oft-visited Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls. Around 2 hours from Reykjavík and an ideal location if you are continuing your journey along the south coast, or into the Golden Circle.
Skálakot Luxury Manor, Skálakot, 861 Hvolsvöllur, Iceland.
From the cozy window seat you can watch life go by in this quiet little haven in north Iceland.
To call this hotel remote would be an understatement. Hidden in the often passed but rarely visited Siglufjörður peninsula in North Iceland, this is one of the most northern hotels we send our guests to on our Extended Self Drive ring road tour or our guided Grand Circle tour. You’ll think the winding roads, steep mountains, and breathtaking coastal views are the reason we include this in many of our longer tours. That is, until you see the view of the oft-tranquil waters of the fjord, as you dine in this gem of a hotel’s restaurant or from the window seat in your room. Trust us, it’s well worth the detour from the ring road.
Location: North Iceland in the Siglufjörður peninsula. A 1 hour detour off the main ring road with breathtaking views in one of the quietest parts of the country. Often chosen in favour of a night in Akureyri, the capital of the North.
Sigló Hótel, Snorragata 3, 580 Siglufjörður, Iceland
Torfhús Turf Retreat
Set in the heart of Iceland‘s magnificent Golden Circle, Torfhús Retreat is an inspiring blend of authentic Icelandic style and relaxed eco-luxury.
These isolated and traditional stand-alone turf houses may look basic from a distance but the spacious interior, incredible restaurant, personal hot pool and secluded location turns what looks like a night of roughing it in nature, into a luxury experience. This is true authentic Iceland to a tee.
We use this accommodation less than some of the others, but when our guests want to take their trip at a slow pace and explore the Golden Circle in more detail this is as ideal a location as you can get.
Location: Golden Circle, 1.5 hours from Reykjavík and ideally located to visit the popular Golden Circle sights, while basking in the midnight sun, or Northern Lights in seclusion at night.
Torfhús Retreat, Dalsholt, 801 Selfoss, Iceland
Please note; Hidden Iceland does not own any of the accommodation that we are showcasing. They are our preferred options only.