In a city where rooms are small & expensive, we point you to the 10 best options for families.
Iceland. Whether it’s because of the free stopover offered by Icelandair, the desire to ride an Icelandic horse or the need to see with your own eyes where Game of Thrones White Walkers plodded across the countryside “north of the Wall,” Iceland continues to draw families to its awe-inspiring shores. And while there are certainly more hotel options on this island nation than a decade ago, you’ll soon discover two things: 1) like the rest of Europe, finding a single room that will accommodate a family of four or more is a challenge, and 2) lodging in Iceland - even in family-friendly youth hostels - isn’t cheap!
KidTripster Tip: Rooms - especially those that fit a family - book very quickly. You’ll want to reserve at least six months in advance.
After an extensive amount of research and visiting myself, I’ll go on the record as saying that I believe a family’s most cost effective option is to rent an apartment or house via a website like Airbnb - or do something more unique like a farm stay outside of Reykjavík. However, if for some reason that isn’t possible, I’ve compiled a list of hotels in Reykjavík that offer the best accommodations for families. The sample prices that I’m listing are for the start of high season (summer).
Why Reykjavík? While I strongly suggest you spend the bulk of your time in Iceland outside of the capital city, you’ll likely be here for a day or two at the beginning or end of your journey.
Photo courtesy: Visit Reykjavík
1/Reykjavík Loft HI Hostel
Well-located just a 10-minute walk from iconic Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavík Loft Hostel is part of the Hostelling International network. This hostel draws a young, lively, backpacker crowd, but families still are welcome. It offers a private room for four with two bunkbeds and en suite bathroom. I’d say that it’s most ideal for families with older teens. The hostel is home to a cafe, game room, and bar which often hosts live music. Yes, noise can be an issue, but for the price, you may be willing to put up with it.
The high season rate starts around $264/night. If you expected a hostel to be considerable cheaper, welcome to Reykjavík!
Photo courtesy: Reykjavík Loft HI Hostel
2/Icelandair Hotel Reykjavík Natura
Icelandair Hotel Reykjavík Natura is a clean, modern hotel that offers simple and spacious rooms for families. The King Deluxe Room has a double bed plus a sofa banquette that can sleep two small children. The biggest downside is its location which is a bit outside of central Reykjavík; however it’s still only a 20-minute walk to Hallgrimskirkja. It’s just a 5-minute walk to Perlan - Wonders of Iceland, a museum which makes for a good first stop in Reykjavík.
The high season rate starts around $267/night.
KidTripster Tip: If you look at this hotel on Google Maps, don’t be confused. It sits near Reykjavík Airport, but this is not the airport that you’ll be flying in and out of - that’s Keflavík International Airport, which is a very inconvenient 45-minute drive from downtown.
Photo courtesy: Icelandair Hotel Reykjavík Natura
Sleek and stylish, the 16-story Fosshotel Reykjavík is just a 10-minute walk from Hallgrimskirkja. Here you can book the designated Family Room that accommodates four people with a double bed and sofa bed. The hotel has excellent customer service, and if you ask nicely, they’ll put you in a north-facing room with a superb sea view.
Icelandair Hotel Reykjavík Marina embodies modern Icelandic design. Fun, funky, and colorful, you’ll find this hotel incredibly welcoming to families. While it’s a good 20-minute walk to Hallgrimskirkja, I like the vibe of the wharf area of town. The waterfront hotel is an especially good choice for larger families. Brilliantly designed, Studio 6 accommodates four adults and two children with a king-sized bunkbed plus a sofa bed. Or you can opt for the lovely Adalbjorg Suite which is a two-floor townhouse with two double beds.
The high season rate for Studio 6 starts around $346/night. The high season rate for Adalbjorg Suite starts around $816/night.
Photo courtesy: Icelandair Hotel Reykjavík Marina
If you’re looking for a basic, clean hotel without the frills, consider to Hotel Klettur. A 15-minute walk from Hallgrimskirkja, it offers large Family Rooms equipped with a double bed or two twins along with a sleeper sofa. An extra bed can be added to accommodate a family of five. The stay includes a breakfast buffet.
The high season rate starts around $376/night.
Photo courtesy: Hotel Klettur
6/Kvosin Downtown Hotel
Built in 1900 and refurbished in 2013, Kvosin Downtown Hotel boasts that classic, Icelandic design aesthetic with cheery pops of color. The Social Suite includes a queen-sized bed with a sofa bed and full kitchen. Best of all, you can expect a high level of customer service as this boutique gem.
The high season rate starts around $461/night.
Photo courtesy: Kvosin Downtown Hotel
Sandhotel is a boutique hotel in the heart of Reykjavík. Rather than an Icelandic vibe, rooms here lean toward a more Art Deco look. The Family Room includes two queen-sized beds. Breakfast is included in your stay.
The high season rate starts around $527/night.
Photo courtesy: Sandhotel Reykjavík
8/Reykjavík Residence Hotel
Bright and airy, Reykjavík Residence Hotel offers apartment-style living in downtown Reykjavík. The Family Studios are perfect for young families with a full-sized bed and double sofa bed. Larger two- and three-bedroom units also are available. Each has its own fully-equipped kitchen. The property is about a 10-minute walk from Hallgrimskirkja.
The high season rate for the studio starts around $550/night. The high season rate for the multi-room apartment starts around $683/night.
Photo courtesy: Reykjavík Residence Hotel
Centrally-located within view of Hallgrimskirkja, Hotel Odinsvé is chic yet comfortable. Decorated in muted grays, the hotel offers a Family Suite with two bedrooms, a large living room, and a spacious bathroom. The hotel also rents multi-room, luxury apartments.
The high season rate for the suite starts around $683/night.
KidTripster Tip: Ask for a room away from the street to cut down on noise.
Photo courtesy: Hotel Odinsvé
10/41 - A Townhouse Hotel
One of Reykjavík’s newer hotels, 41 - A Townhouse Hotel has various room configurations for families. The least expensive is the Duplex Studio which includes a bedroom with two double beds, a stylish living room, and a kitchenette. The color palette here is monochromatic with bursts of bright yellow.
The high season rate for the duplex starts around $427/night.
For our suggested itinerary for Iceland from one to seven nights in length, check here.
For suggestions on good cheap eats in Reykjavík, click here.
Editor Shellie Bailey-Shah is a sucker for Icelandic design. A trip here made her want to redecorate her entire house.