This post contains affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you book or purchase through these links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.As with any destination, there is always a plethora of accommodation options. That’s always one of my biggest decisions when I’m planning a trip. I have certain required amenities and, like everyone, I want the most for my money. It’s a balancing act. When I went to Iceland, our hotels were pre-chosen for us by our tour company, but I really enjoyed them. Every accommodation has its pros and cons but I feel, in these cases, the pros outweighed any cons. To help with your planning, I compiled my list of where to stay in Iceland that features accommodations all around the famous Ring Road!
Where to Stay in Iceland
I am organizing these hotels by general geographic location (counter-clockwise from Reykjavík) to make it somewhat easier to plan. In addition, I have included a map at the end of this post for easy reference including photos.
Also, I considered labeling each hotel with a budget indicator but decided against it in this case because Iceland is more expensive than most destinations. For this reason, I believe the indicator might be skewed. Everyone has their own thoughts about what’s most important to them when it comes to accommodations and how much they are willing to spend. Having said that, I would definitely categorize most of these as mid-range options to give you a ballpark idea.
Each property included wifi, breakfast, heat, assortments of toiletries, and safes. Unless there is an extra point to be made for these, I will skip mentioning them at each one.
Okay, on to the important stuff!
Most international flights from the United States land early morning in Iceland. Ours was supposed to be no exception. However, sometimes there is interference and to make a long story short, we got in after midnight, a delay of 18 hours. Our first night (ahem, few hours) was spent at the CenterHotel Arnarhvoll.
I liked the friendly staff, room decor, spacious bathroom, and buffet breakfast. The hotel has a decent location near the water and across the street from the Harpa Concert Hall. While this isn’t right in the heart of the city, Reykjavík isn’t large and you can still walk to most places from here. We didn’t get to test this out immediately (as we checked out early the next morning to start our tour) but upon our return to Reykjavík the following week, I did walk easily from Harpa all the way to the other side of the city center.
We stayed at CenterHotel Midgardur when we returned to Reykjavík after our tour ended. I chose to stay here because it has a fabulous location in the city center as well as a fantastic restaurant (featured in this post for its dinner) and buffet breakfast.
Other pros are that Bus Stop 10 was maybe a two-minute walk away and Bus Stop 13 is right at the hotel. I also liked that the vanity and sink were located outside the bathroom which made it easy for two girls getting ready.
Hótel Dyrhólaey is a no-frills property and probably on the lower end of what most people think of as mid-range. However, once you leave Reykjavík, there aren’t many properties with frills. They have private rooms with ensuite bathrooms, comfortable beds, and a gigantic restaurant great for dinner and a buffet breakfast.
Höfn Inn Guesthouse
Höfn Inn Guesthouse is the only guesthouse on this list. We arrived later at night and the lighting wasn’t the best so I was unable to get decent photos of it. A true guesthouse, it isn’t staffed 24/7. The rooms have tiled floors and therefore are a bit cold. However, I was impressed with how large the room and bathroom both were. Breakfast was across the street in a separate building and was a cozy experience almost like staying with a local.
One thing that will always stick out in my mind, though, was the unique decor. Each room (that I saw) had two chairs shaped like open hands. So where you would sit would be the palm of the hand and the fingers would be the chair back. The thumb was sort of like an armrest although really a bit too low for that. It brought new meaning to “on my hands” or “in his/her hands”.
Hótel Valaskjálf Egilsstaðir
I absolutely loved the lobby of Hótel Valaskjálf, isn’t it cute? Okay, really I loved my entire stay here. There are several things I loved about this hotel and it seems to be a fairly popular place to stay.
The room was spacious for Iceland (and Europe in general), there were outlets, light switches, and little shelves located conveniently at the bedside, the water pressure was great and they had some of the best food I had in all of Iceland!
Hótel Dalvík has many things going for it including its location in the cozy little fishing town of Dalvík in Northern Iceland. A 3-minute walk to the seaside of Eyjafjörður Fjord, the property features views of the mountains and the village.
As with most hotels and guesthouses around Iceland, Hótel Dalvík offers an array of room types with basic, modest furnishings. The rooms were neither large nor small, just an average Iceland size.
However, the bathroom had a large shelf storage area which is perfect when sharing a room. It’s great if you have your own room too. I thoroughly enjoyed having room for all of my toiletries and pajamas and being able to leave them in there (it’s the little things, right?). The water pressure in the shower was also pretty strong.
Speaking of landscapes, this is also a great place to watch the Northern Lights in the wintertime from the comfort of the property’s hot tub!
Humpback Whale in Iceland
The next morning, breakfast was served in a large, open room with huge windows perfect for gazing at the landscapes. And, remember that 3-minute walk to the water? The hotel is the perfect location for the most amazing whale watching trips!
All things considered, Hótel Laugarbakki was probably my favorite hotel on the tour. The combination of an upscale dinner, large rooms and my first spotting of the Northern Lights probably had a bit to do with it, wouldn’t you say?
A new hotel, the rooms were very modern and mine was quite large by most standards and not just European ones. It had a large sitting area complete with a separate table/chairs. The hardwood floors, robes, and kettles were also nice touches.
The shower had a cavelike feel with charcoal gray features and a rainfall shower with a floor that sloped ever-so-slightly towards the drain. This made it sort of like a zero-entry (or walk-in) shower. No need for a door but don’t worry, there was a curtain!
Watching the Aurora Borealis outside of Hótel Laugarbakki
Located in Laugarbakki Village, the hotel is located near a large field that ends with a salmon river, Miðfjarðará, just on the other side. It is a fabulous place to set up chairs from the deck for a front-row seat to a Northern Lights show. This was my first of two Northern Lights sightings in Iceland!
If you are looking for an organized adventure out of Reykjavik, this Northern Lights tour is similar to the one I took on my second sighting.
Left: Clear horizon | Right: Hello, mountains!
Hótel Borgarnes was the last hotel we stayed in on the tour. Located in the town of Borgarnes, it has comfortable rooms and I was impressed with the size of the bathroom. I enjoyed the rooftop deck we could walk out onto for gorgeous mountain and waters.
The rooms were average size and the bed was comfortable. I was most impressed with the size of the bathroom as mine was on the larger side. Not sure if they were all like that, but I’ll take it!
This was another hotel with fabulous, traditional Icelandic food. We had dinner at Perspectives Restaurant in addition to the buffet breakfast the next morning. After breakfast and checkout, it was on to explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula!
If you aren’t renting a car or your multi-day tour doesn’t have this option, check out this Snæfellsnes Peninsula day trip from Reykjavík.
As you can tell, none of these are five-star hotels but they are all nice, affordable and perfect for sharing or solo travel. Choosing where to stay in Iceland doesn’t have to be stressful or difficult. But definitely book in advance especially in the summer months of the peak season!
Have you been to Iceland? Where did you stay? Is there an accommodation I should know about? Tell me below including what aspect of your stay you enjoyed most!
‘Til next time…