Unique Places to Stay in Iceland: 12 Trendy Hotels in Iceland

by Flora Backup
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Are you looking for unique hotels in Iceland? Our guide is here to help. We’ve handpicked 12 of the coolest places to stay in Iceland, each with quirky and distinct offerings.

Welcome to Iceland, a destination where unique stays are part of the adventure. Planning a trip here? You’re in for an exceptional experience. I’ve explored Iceland to bring you unique accommodations that transform a simple visit into an extraordinary journey. From the enchanting Bubble Hotel under the stars to the tranquil luxury of the Blue Lagoon Retreat, each place on this list is a standout.

Why choose this guide? It’s based on real experiences and insider insights. I’m sharing not just hotels, but hidden gems and one-of-a-kind spots that will elevate your Icelandic adventure. Looking for luxury, charm, or something uniquely Icelandic? This guide has it all. Let me lead you to places that will make your Iceland visit unforgettable.

Ready to explore the best places to stay in Iceland for an unforgettable trip? Let’s discover these exceptional accommodations, each with its unique appeal.

The unique places to stay in Iceland right now

Unique Places to Stay in Iceland

Are you ready to explore the most unique accommodations in Iceland? This land of fire and ice is renowned for its diverse and enchanting places to stay. From cozy cabins under the Northern Lights to modern luxury in the heart of the city, Iceland offers a range of options that cater to every traveler’s dream. Excited to find your perfect Icelandic getaway? Here are the best unique stays in Iceland that are sure to make your journey truly extraordinary!

1. 5 Million Star Hotel (The Bubble Hotel)

Ever thought about sleeping under a blanket of stars in Iceland’s enchanting wilderness? The Bubble Hotel turns this fantasy into a cozy reality. Here, you’re not just booking a room. You’re signing up for a night in a transparent bubble, with the spectacular Northern Lights or the midnight sun as your ceiling. It’s one of the coolest places to stay in Iceland, hands down!

What’s fantastic about The Bubble Hotel is the blend of outdoor adventure and snug comfort. Whether you’re part of a scheduled group tour or on a private excursion, each bubble is a warm, inviting space. Imagine drifting off to sleep while stargazing – it’s an experience that’s as magical as it sounds.

Experience a night under the Northern Lights Bubble Hotel's transparent bubble accommodations.
Experience a night under the Northern Lights Bubble Hotel’s transparent bubble accommodations. | Image Credit: Bubble Hotel website

A key thing to note: during the winter months, staying in these bubbles is exclusively available through a tour. It’s an incredible way to explore Iceland’s landscapes, with the added thrill of a unique overnight stay. In the summer, from April 15 to September 1, you have the option to book a bubble without a tour, offering a different kind of freedom and adventure.

I recommend checking The Bubble Hotel’s website for detailed information and to make the most of your visit. Booking during the quieter seasons can give you a more personal and intimate experience with Iceland’s natural beauty. Perfect for couples, families, or solo explorers, a night at The Bubble Hotel is a highlight of any Icelandic adventure.

2. Panorama Glass Lodge

Panorama Glass Lodge in Selfoss is a gem for those seeking a unique and romantic place to stay in Iceland. Here, you can watch the Northern Lights or the midnight sun without leaving the comfort of your bed or private hot tub. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that combines luxury with Iceland’s natural wonders.

Located about an hour’s drive from Reykjavik, these lodges are close enough for convenience but far enough to feel like a true escape. They offer a perfect balance of seclusion and accessibility, which makes them ideal for a romantic retreat or a peaceful solo adventure.

Discover romance and uniqueness at Panorama Glass Lodge for a unique stay in Iceland
Discover romance and uniqueness at Panorama Glass Lodge for a unique stay in Iceland. | Image Credit: Panorama Glass Lodge website

Nearby, you can explore the wonders of the Golden Circle, including the famous Geysir, Gullfoss waterfall, and Thingvellir National Park. These lodges are also a great starting point for a drive along the scenic South Coast, known for its black sand beaches and impressive waterfalls.

Each lodge at Panorama Glass Lodge is a haven of modern design and comfort, set against the backdrop of Iceland’s stunning landscapes. Whether you’re soaking in your hot tub under the stars or cozying up in your stylish room, this place offers an unforgettable way to experience Iceland’s unique beauty. Believe me, you’ll remember your stay here for years to come!

3. Original North

Welcome to Original North, where glamping in Iceland becomes an unforgettable adventure. Right on the banks of the Skjálfandafljót river, these tents offer a peaceful retreat with all the comforts of a cozy bedroom. It’s glamping at its best, blending the thrill of the outdoors with the comforts of a warm, well-furnished space.

Each tent at Original North is a haven of comfort. Imagine waking up to the gentle sounds of the river, wrapped in a heated blanket, ready to start a day of exploration. The tents are equipped with heating systems, ensuring you stay warm and comfortable, no matter the weather.

At Original North, enjoy tranquility on the banks of Skjálfandafljót river and cozy bedroom comforts.
At Original North, enjoy tranquility on the banks of Skjálfandafljót river and cozy bedroom comforts. | Image Credit: Expedia

Located in the heart of Iceland’s stunning landscapes, Original North is perfect for nature lovers. You’re close to some of the best sights in North Iceland, like the powerful Dettifoss waterfall and the charming town of Húsavík, known for its excellent whale watching tours.

Staying at Original North is more than just finding a place to sleep. It’s about experiencing the magic of Iceland’s nature in comfort. It’s an ideal spot for those looking for unusual places to stay in Iceland – a perfect mix of adventure and relaxation.

4. The Little House by the Sea

Ever wondered what it’s like to stay in a classic Icelandic fisherman’s house? The Little House by the Sea in Bolungarvík offers just that – a charming and unique Airbnb in Iceland. This cozy, restored cottage, over 100 years old, is a delightful blend of history and comfort, with stunning views of both the ocean and the mountains.

On the ground floor, you’ll find an open kitchen and living room. The heart of this quaint house is its sleeping loft, boasting a comfortable double bed where you can wake up to views of the Hornstrandir nature reserve. Equipped with a stove, oven, fridge, microwave, and coffee machine, the kitchen has everything you need.

Experience history and comfort at The Little House by the Sea, a 100-year-old cottage with mountain views.
Experience history and comfort at The Little House by the Sea, a 100-year-old cottage with mountain views. | Image Credit: Airbnb

What makes this cottage so special is its location. Located in a spacious garden near the sea and harbor, it’s surrounded by mountains on three sides, offering breathtaking scenery. The sun deck is a perfect spot to relax and soak in the views of the surrounding village and nature.

I highly recommend The Little House by the Sea for its tranquil location in Bolungarvík, away from Reykjavik’s bustle. Don’t miss the Ósvör Maritime Museum for a glimpse into Iceland’s fishing history. For nature lovers, the drive up Bolafjall mountain offers stunning fjord views. It’s a perfect Iceland lodging for those who love serene landscapes and rich local culture.

5. Ormurinn Cottages

Welcome to Ormurinn Cottages, the epitome of unique accommodation in Iceland. These spectacular log cabins, perched on the edge of the mystical Lake Lagarfljot, offer a rustic escape with breathtaking nature views. It’s the perfect spot for anyone craving a serene getaway in the heart of Iceland’s stunning landscapes.

The charm of Lake Lagarfljot goes beyond its beauty. It’s steeped in fascinating folklore, adding an enchanting layer to your stay. And if you’re looking to sprinkle some urban exploration into your rustic retreat, Egilsstadir, the lively capital of East Iceland, is just a short drive away.

Discover a unique stay in Iceland at Ormurinn Cottages—the epitome of charm in the breathtaking landscapes.
Discover a unique stay in Iceland at Ormurinn Cottages—the epitome of charm in the breathtaking landscapes. | Image Credit: Booking.com

A 40-minute walk from your cabin door leads you to the Vok Baths, a tranquil geothermal spa that’s a must-visit. For the explorers, the Eastfjords, with their unmatched views and abundant wildlife, are a short drive away, offering endless adventures.

I personally recommend a trip to the nearby fjords like Seydisfjordur and Borgarfjordur Eystri. Each fjord has its own charm and offers a unique experience. Staying at these cottages means you’re perfectly placed to explore some of Iceland’s most beautiful and less-traveled areas. Without a doubt, the log cabins at Ormurinn Cottages are a must-visit for anyone searching for cool places to stay in Iceland.

6. The Reykjavijk Domes

Imagine a luxurious escape where the wonders of nature meet the comfort of modern living. That’s what The Reykjavik Domes offer, one the best hotels in Iceland for a truly unique experience. Picture yourself in a cozy dome, snuggled in a king-size bed with sheepskins, a warm fireplace crackling nearby, and the majestic, often snowcapped, Mt. Esja in the background.

These domes offer a unique vantage point for the Northern Lights and starry skies through their expansive windows. It’s an unparalleled experience, blending the comfort of a top-notch hotel with the raw beauty of Icelandic nature.

Experience cozy luxury at Reykjavik Domes—snuggle in a king-size bed with sheepskins and majestic Mt. Esja.
Experience cozy luxury at Reykjavik Domes—snuggle in a king-size bed with sheepskins and majestic Mt. Esja. | Image Credit: Expedia

Located just a short drive from Reykjavik’s city center, these domes offer the perfect balance of seclusion and convenience. You’re close enough to explore the city’s vibrant culture and dining scene, yet far enough to enjoy peaceful nights under the stars.

For the best Northern Lights viewing, I recommend to plan your stay between September and April. Don’t forget to explore the nearby hiking trails for a closer look at Mt. Esja and the surrounding landscapes.

Staying at The Reykjavik Domes is more than just a night’s stay. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in a unique blend of Icelandic nature and luxury, making your trip unforgettable.

7. Ion Adventure Hotel

Looking for a mix of adventure and relaxation near Reykjavik? ION Adventure Hotel is your answer. Set against the dramatic backdrop of mountainous lava fields, this boutique hotel in Iceland is less than an hour’s drive from the city’s energy but feels worlds apart. It’s the perfect spot for those who want to experience Iceland’s natural wonders and then unwind in style.

ION is a gateway to Iceland’s extreme adventures. Located near the famous Golden Circle route, it offers easy access to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’re into glacier treks, fly-fishing, or just soaking under the Northern Lights, ION puts all these experiences within your reach.

ION Adventure Hotel is the ideal choice for those seeking Iceland's natural wonders and stylish relaxation.
ION Adventure Hotel is the ideal choice for those seeking Iceland’s natural wonders and stylish relaxation. | Image Credit: Expedia

After a day full of adventures, ION takes care of your every need. It’s not only one of the best spa hotels in Iceland but also a place where comfort and service are paramount. Relax in their award-winning Northern Lights bar, indulge in the Lava Spa, or savor a meal at the Silfra Restaurant. Each space is designed to help you recharge and reflect amidst stunning landscapes.

Awarded for its sustainability, ION Adventure Hotel offers a unique blend of eco-conscious luxury and Icelandic adventure. It’s a hipster hotel in Iceland that embodies the spirit of the country.

8. Blue Lagoon Retreat

Escape to the Blue Lagoon Retreat Hotel, where luxury and Iceland’s natural beauty blend seamlessly. This hotel is a unique sanctuary set amidst a stunning volcanic landscape. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best spa retreats in Iceland.

The Retreat’s private lagoon, sourced from the same healing waters as the Blue Lagoon, offers a serene and intimate setting. Imagine soaking in warm, mineral-rich waters with a view of lava fields – it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The subterranean spa takes relaxation to a new level, transporting you to a world of tranquility and rejuvenation.

Nestled in a volcanic landscape, Blue Lagoon Retreat Hotel is a unique spa retreat stay in Iceland.
Nestled in a volcanic landscape, Blue Lagoon Retreat Hotel is a unique spa retreat stay in Iceland. | Image Credit: Expedia

Each of the 60 suites offer a warm, minimalist space that complements the raw beauty outside. The views from each suite are breathtaking, offering a constant connection to Iceland’s unique landscapes.

Dining at the Retreat is an adventure in itself. The Moss Restaurant, perched at the highest point of the Blue Lagoon, offers not only Michelin-starred Icelandic cuisine but also panoramic views of the volcanic horizon.

As one of the best luxury hotels in Iceland, the Retreat Hotel is more than a place to stay. It’s a gateway to exploring Iceland’s rich heritage and natural wonders. Located in Grindavík, close to the famous Golden Circle route and Thingvellir National Park, it’s the perfect base for discovering the land of fire and ice.

If you’re seeking a peaceful soak under the Northern Lights or an adventurous day exploring the rugged terrain, the Blue Lagoon Retreat Hotel offers an unparalleled experience in Iceland.

9. Kvosin Downtown Hotel

Kvosin Downtown Hotel in Reykjavik is a cozy boutique hotel that combines the charm of its 1900 origins with today’s luxury. Situated in the historic Kirkjuhvoll building, it’s right where Reykjavik’s heart beats. Imagine stepping out of your hotel and finding yourself among the city’s most iconic landmarks like the Icelandic Parliament and the old cathedral.

Refurbished in 2013, Kvosin offers a stylish, comfortable stay. It’s ideal for those who appreciate a blend of history and modernity. Each room is a little slice of comfort, perfect for relaxing after a day of exploring the city.

Located in the historic Kirkjuhvoll building, Kvosin Downtown Hotel is at the heart of Reykjavik's vibrant pulse.
Located in the historic Kirkjuhvoll building, Kvosin Downtown Hotel is at the heart of Reykjavik’s vibrant pulse. | Image Credit: Expedia

Located in the city center, Kvosin is a great base for your Reykjavik adventures. You’re close to everything – great food, culture, and the buzz of city life. It’s a top pick for travelers looking to soak up the city’s atmosphere.

Kvosin stands out as one of Iceland’s best hotels, especially for those who love to be in the middle of it all. It’s a charming spot in Reykjavik that offers a warm welcome and a memorable stay.

10. Hotel Rangá

If you’re looking for a luxury resort in Iceland that’s all about fun and adventure, Hotel Rangá is the place to be. Located in South Iceland, it’s a haven for thrill-seekers and nature lovers. I personally recommend trying horseback riding here – galloping on Icelandic horses across a black sand beach is an experience you’ll never forget.

Hotel Rangá isn’t just about adrenaline-pumping activities like snowmobiling on a volcano-glacier or helicopter rides over mighty rivers. It’s also a place where you can unwind and connect with nature. Far from city lights, it offers stunning views of the stars and the Northern Lights. Their observatory, complete with powerful telescopes and expert-led tours, makes stargazing here absolutely phenomenal.

Hotel Rangá stands out as a unique stay in Iceland, combining luxury and adventure seamlessly.
Hotel Rangá stands out as a unique stay in Iceland, combining luxury and adventure seamlessly. | Image Credit: Expedia

The hotel’s location is perfect for exploring South Iceland’s wonders. You’re a short drive from breathtaking waterfalls like Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, and the iconic black sand beach at Reynisfjara. Plus, the famous Golden Circle and Þórsmörk nature reserve are easily accessible.

Hotel Rangá stands out as one of the fun places to stay in Iceland, offering a mix of luxury, adventure, and natural beauty. It’s an ideal spot for those who want to explore Iceland’s rugged landscapes and then relax in style.

11. Hotel Húsafell

Hotel Húsafell is a treasure in West Iceland, especially if you’re chasing the Northern Lights. It’s one of the best places to see the Northern Lights in Iceland, thanks to its ideal location. The snowy domes of the nearby Langjökull glacier create perfect conditions for clear, cloudless nights – a dream for Aurora Borealis enthusiasts.

What makes Húsafell Resort so special is its consistent Aurora sightings, with an average of three per week during winter. Nestled in the remote wilderness, away from any light pollution, it sits right in the heart of Iceland’s Aurora Zone. Plus, the Northern Lights Institute is just a stone’s throw away, adding to the area’s aurora credentials.

Hotel Húsafell is among the prime spots for witnessing the Northern Lights in Iceland
Hotel Húsafell is among the prime spots for witnessing the Northern Lights in Iceland | Image Credit: Expedia

A personal tip: the Northern Lights season runs from mid-August to mid-April, so plan your visit during these months to maximize your chances of witnessing this spectacular natural phenomenon. And don’t worry about missing the show – Hotel Húsafell offers free Northern Lights wake-up calls to ensure guests don’t miss out.

Staying at Hotel Húsafell isn’t just about the Northern Light. It’s about immersing yourself in the serene beauty of Iceland’s wilderness, with all the comforts of a top-notch resort.

12. Klettar Farm

Staying at the Klettar Tower on Klettar Farm is like stepping into a storybook. This unique Airbnb, a renovated tower in the South of Iceland, is perfect for up to 2 guests. With a private kitchenette and bathroom, it offers a cozy and intimate experience, which makes it a standout in the realm of unique Iceland accommodation.

The tower’s location is ideal for exploring Iceland’s famed Golden Circle and the beautiful South Coast. Just a short drive away, you’ll find the enchanting Flúðir, and the iconic Gullfoss and Geysir are about 40 minutes away. A must-visit nearby is Friðheimar, an environmentally friendly greenhouse known for its delicious tomato soup.

Embark on a storybook experience at Klettar Tower on Klettar Farm—a truly unique Airbnb getaway awaits.
Embark on a storybook experience at Klettar Tower on Klettar Farm—a truly unique Airbnb getaway awaits. | Image Credit: Airbnb

After a day of exploring, unwind at the Secret Lagoon in Flúðir or the Fontana Geothermal Bath in Laugarvatn, about an hour’s drive from the tower. For a glimpse into Iceland’s past, the Laugarvatns-caves, home of “The Cave People,” is an extraordinary site to visit.

From your window at Klettar Tower, on a clear day, you can see the magnificent Hekla Volcano, Tindfjöll mountains, and even the Eyjafjallajökull Glacier. Nearby Árnes – Thjorsardalur is a treasure trove of scenic beauty, featuring locations like Háifoss, Hjálparfoss, and Gjáin, known for its appearance in Game of Thrones.

For those staying longer, the South Coast awaits with its many wonders like the Lava Center in Hella and Hvölsvöllur, the walk-behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall, the black sand beach in Vík, and the majestic Skógafoss. Overall, Klettar Tower is your gateway to some of the most breathtaking sights in Iceland.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Unique Places to Stay in Iceland

Are you looking for more content about where to stay in Iceland? Here are some common questions (and answers) I get asked a lot about Iceland’s most unique hotels.

Which area is best to stay in Iceland?

The best area to stay in Iceland depends on what you’re looking for. For first-time visitors, Reykjavik is a great starting point because it offers a mix of culture, history, and access to famous sites like the Golden Circle. If you’re into nature and want to escape the crowds, the South Coast or West Iceland are fantastic for their breathtaking landscapes and quieter atmosphere.

Where do most people stay when visiting Iceland?

Renowned as one of the best places to live in winter, most visitors tend to stay in Reykjavik because it’s the capital and has a variety of accommodations to suit different budgets. It also serves as a convenient base for popular day trips. For a more unique experience, visitors often choose places like the Golden Circle area, Akureyri in the North for a less touristy vibe, or even remote locations like the Westfjords.

Iceland, a realm of breathtaking contrasts, promises indelible and extraordinary experiences for every visitor.
Iceland, a realm of breathtaking contrasts, promises indelible and extraordinary experiences for every visitor.

How many days should I spend in Iceland?

Ideally, spend at least 7 to 10 days in Iceland. This gives you enough time to explore the Golden Circle, the South Coast, and parts of the West or North. If you can only spare a few days, focus on Reykjavik and nearby attractions. For a more in-depth exploration, especially if you want to circle the entire island on the Ring Road, consider extending your trip to 2 weeks.

Is Iceland expensive?

Yes, Iceland is known to be quite expensive. Dining out, accommodations, and activities can add up. To save money, consider self-catering accommodations, use public transportation or rent a smaller car, and look for free natural attractions like waterfalls and hiking trails. Planning and booking in advance can also help manage costs.

Can you see the northern lights in Reykjavik?

Yes, but it’s not guaranteed. The Northern Lights are visible in Reykjavik, especially on clear, dark nights. However, light pollution in the city can make them less vivid. For the best experience, I recommend heading out to less populated areas, where the skies are darker. The period from September to April is your best bet for catching this natural wonder.

What is the best time of year to go to Iceland?

The best time to visit Iceland really depends on what you want to do. For warmer weather and to experience the midnight sun, visit in the summer months (June to August). For Northern Lights, winter (September to April) is ideal. Keep in mind, though, that winter also means shorter days and potentially challenging weather. Spring and autumn can be great for fewer tourists and lower prices, but the weather can be unpredictable.

Final Thoughts on Iceland’s Unique Places to Stay

Wrapping up, Iceland is a land of stunning contrasts and unforgettable experiences. From my travels, Hotel Rangá stands out as my personal favorite. It strikes the perfect balance between luxury and adventure, which makes it an ideal base for exploring the South Coast’s natural wonders. The hotel’s cozy atmosphere and exceptional views of the Northern Lights are truly unmatched.

Remember, when planning your trip, consider what you want to see and do. Reykjavik is great for culture and convenience, while the countryside offers tranquility and natural beauty. Budget wisely, as Iceland can be pricey, but the experiences are worth every penny. And no matter when you visit, Iceland’s landscapes and warm hospitality will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime. Whether you’re chasing the Northern Lights, exploring volcanic landscapes, or soaking in geothermal spas, there are unique hotels in Iceland that promise an adventure like no other.

The best places to stay in Iceland for all types of travelers
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