Smack bang in the centre of downtown Reykjavik, Kvosin Hotel is charmingly historic on the outside, but inside you’ll find swish, Scandi-style interiors and a bar that'll please the pickiest connoisseur. Another winning feature of this former townhouse is the size of its rooms: all but the smallest have a lounge area and marble-topped kitchenette – worth its weight in gold if you’re looking to keep costs down. If you don’t mind splashing a little, brace yourself against the elements with an Icelandic G&T at Klaustur bar, then head out to take on the city’s burgeoning resturant scene. Thankfully, with a location as central as this, pretty much every place worth its salt is just a few minutes’ walk away.
As central as it gets
Spacious and stylish rooms
Chocolates from local chocolatiers Omnom; crowberry and rhubarb schnapps miniatures from Reykjavik Distillery; two Kvosin Hotel schnapps glasses
In the know
Also need to know:
The lobby and common areas are wheelchair accessible, and one of the Social Suites is specially adapted.This hotel has a big heart. Each room has an individual and inspiring name (often invoking Norse gods), but none quite so much as Pippa’s Wish, the disabled access room. Former guest Pippa has Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, but she wouldn’t let it stop her from travelling to Iceland to see her favourite band, Sigur Rós. The hotel were so honoured to be able to put her up that they renamed the room after her.
Pack an eye mask in summer, as it hardly gets dark at night. In winter, layers, layers and more layers. Remember your swimming gear if you’re going to the Blue Lagoon.
Mr and Mrs Smith reviews
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in Reykjavik and unpacked their Icelandic sweater, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Kvosin Hotel in Reykjavik…
Location is important at the best of times, but when the country you’re staying in has the word ‘ice’ in its name, the stakes are a bit higher (in the winter, anyway). Thankfully, Kvosin Hotel is so central that you could say it had pipped two pillars of society for the most central spot in the city: it’s got the Althing (parliament) on one side and the cathedral on the other. Cultural politics aside, this means that you’ve got all the best museums, coffee shops and even Michelin-starred restaurants within easy strolling distance – a real bonus when the mercury sinks to sporting levels. That said, you won’t be rushing off in a hurry when you see the rooms, which merge traditional Icelandic style with Scandinavian design to create an atmosphere that radiates cosiness. Then there’s the staff, who go above and beyond to make you feel at home and ensure you get the most out of their city; incidentally, one of the reasons the hotel doesn’t have its own restaurant is to encourage guests to get out and explore everything Reykjavik has to offer.
Kirkjutorg 6, Reykjavik, 101
0.1 mi / 0.2 km from city centre
- Internet services
- Onsite laundry
The hotel doesn’t have its own restaurant, encouraging guests to explore the city’s burgeoning restaurant scene. Bergsson Mathus is right downstairs, however, and Klaustur serves sandwiches and delectable Icelandic-style tapas.
Breakfast is served from 7am to 10am. The barmen in Klaustur shake, strain and stir from 2pm to 1am Monday to Thursday, 2pm to 3am Friday and Saturday, and 6pm to 11pm on Sundays.
None, but there's plenty to sustain you just over the threshold.
They take the art of imbibing seriously at Klaustur, a laid-back space clad in wood and finished with copper-piping, dangling Edison bulbs and dark hexagonal tiles. They’ve amassed the largest (and most international) selection of wines and spirits anywhere in the city, with 50 whiskeys, 60 gins and 150 wines to choose from. The breadth of the collection is largely down to the knowledge and studious dedication of the staff – klaustur means cloister, after all. And it’s not just those behind the bar: Joe Compton, the CEO of the company that owns Klaustur, is a Certified Specialist of Spirits, a qualification that involves a rigorous and comprehensive test on all things swillable. If you’re stuck for choice on what to order, kick the evening off with one of their wildly popular Icelandic G&T’s, in which craft gins are muddled with traditional fruits and herbs.
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