Iceland is listed as one of the top 10 places on the planet to spend your Christmas holiday – and for good reason. In Iceland you will find chic Santas, grannies downing vodka, the absolute best Christmas markets, and so much more. The capital, Reykjavík, has been described as a young, daring city that feels like a cosmopolitan European center as well as a tiny seaside village – all wrapped-up in one. Reykjavík offers the best of all worlds; the qualities of a modern, sophisticated, forward-looking community that is complemented by a close connection to Iceland’s beautiful and unspoilt natural wonders, and old world traditions.
Once you’ve selected Reykjavik as your holiday destination, I highly recommend that you consider the 4-star 101 Hotel, Reykjavik for your accommodation. It is, without question, one of the best places to stay in Reykjavik. While the outside facade is an ordinary grey cement block, the chic interior is an an oasis of Nordic style. Part of the Design Hotels chain, this hotel’s location is perfect; it is set in the centre of the city, a block away from the “shopping street” and within easy walking distance to the port, other tourist sites, and great restaurants. The city’s art and history museums are also nearby, as is the National Opera – just across the street. The designer of the hotel, Ingibjorg S. Palmadottir, is the Ian Schraeger of contemporary classic hotels in Iceland.
This fashionable hotel is frequented by Hollywood stars and the entire neighborhood is very trendy and hip, which means that the “in” bars and hot spots are right at the hotel’s door. On weekends you may hear late-night outside noise from your room as locals and visitors party into the evening. The hotel does provide earplugs and sleep masks for the more sedate guests. And, if you are a light sleeper, you may want to specifically request a room that does not face the park or harbor. This seemed to be a problem only on Friday and Saturday nights.
The rooms feature a wide range of amenities to include: Bose ipod docs, DVD and CD players, wireless internet access, Italian linens from Quagliotti, Aveda toiletries, books, hats, warm socks, and much, much more. Be aware that the rooms feature an open floor plan, which means rooms seem big but there is not much privacy from the bathroom to the bedroom. The casual, friendly bar and restaurant is very popular with the bar featuring clean, slick lines and a narrow bar with high walls and a glass ceiling. Keeping you warm are heated oak floors, a lounge fireplace, and a jacuzzi and sauna. This is a great spot for a party or just lounging around having an afternoon coffee.
Though the hotel is clearly trying to exude “coolness”, that effort is not accompanied by a lot of attitude. The staff is very helpful and is always willing to go the extra mile to accommodate any special request. This stylish boutique hotel is well worth the big price tag and it is a great place from which to experience the “cool”, ever changing city of Reykjavik.
Written By Carla Scott for EuropeUpClose.com