101 Hotel

Downtown Reykjavik, Reykjavik & West, Iceland Book from

Reviewed by Nikki Tinto
Hip design hotel with minimalist style in the heart of Reykjavik
Reykjavik’s only boutique hotel, named after the city’s 101 nightlife district, will provide you with a slick infusion of style of the minimalist variety. Cut throughout in volcanic black, white and ash grey, with American oak floors, there's little fussy about this five storey 38-room hotel. Its creator, Ingibjorg Palmadottir, one of Iceland's movers and shakers, has delivered faultless contemporary design and comfort.

Don’t be fooled by its austere eastern-block style exterior. Inside, expect an art gallery with every design and detail carefully worked to relax you: corridors are lit especially dimly to create a sense of calm and deter noisy guests; by contrast all the bedrooms are light, airy and open plan, flowing straight through to bathrooms. Just beyond the ground floor reading lounge, the restaurant-bar with its vast length of polished granite and white leather stools looks up through a glass ceiling to an extraordinary white baubled wall. The place to be seen.

Highs

  • Central location, close to the best restaurants, bars and shops, and harbour
  • Stylish minimalist décor with intriguing art works
  • Large guestrooms with luxurious beds, great bathrooms and well-stocked maxi-bars
  • Down to earth helpful staff
  • Basement Jacuzzi and steam room fuelled by geothermic heat

Lows

  • Its grim exterior belies what lies within
  • At weekends, the area can be noisy in the evenings; you might also find yourself vying for space in the buzzing restaurant-bar – it's a favourite with locals
  • Watch out for the extras
  • Some rooms have open plan bathrooms, perhaps good for lovers, but not always for friends
  • Book ahead for busy times of year

Best time to go

Although most will come in the summer (when daylight is almost 24 hours) or spring/autumn (when prices are generally cheaper), the cold and rainy winters have their thrills especially if you see the Northern Lights, and New Year's Eve is a big deal in Reykjavik.

Our top tips

If you're keen to party, come on Friday/Saturday when Reykjavik's bars and clubs stay open until 6am. Weekdays are quiet and on Sundays the city centre is like a ghost town. Note that you can probably see the sights of the city in a day, so you will want to book day excursions, or stay elsewhere on the island to explore more.

Great for...

City Style
Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Design Hotel
  • 38
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

The 38 light and airy rooms have matt black locally-made furniture, American oak floors and big beds covered with cosy mohair throws and the finest Italian linen. Palmadottir's open-plan minimalist style creates space. Bedrooms flow into sleek glass bathrooms, featuring mirror walls, walk-in showers with huge showerheads, and toilets in opaque cubicles. All have bathrobes and Aveda freebies; Deluxe rooms and Suites also have gleaming free-standing bathtubs with plentiful piping-hot geothermal water.

Storage comes as quirky open shelves and hanging racks. In a diversion from the overall monochrome scheme, the entertainment cabinet has a turquoise interior. Within are a DVD/CD player, satellite TV, a well-stocked maxi-bar and host of extras (you'll have to pay for the T-shirt, the intimacy kit or Blue Lagoon spa products). The higher you go, the better the views: Junior Suite 501 has a balcony and view of Mount Esja across the bay, while Apartment Suite 101 has a cool sitting room overlooking the main square.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Ipod dock
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • Umbrella
  • Wifi internet

Eating

Central to 101 is its glam bar-restaurant where you can either enjoy classy cocktails and snacks perched on white leather stools at a sleek long counter gazing up at a white wall covered in bumps (an installation created by the owner's sister when pregnant), or be tabled for something more substantial. Friday and Saturday nights see it packed out with a trendy Reykjavik crowd, on our mid-week visit all was calm.

Try the signature fish skin and beetroot crisps while you wait for the small plates (we had flat bread and gravadlax, and asparagus with soft-boiled eggs). Next from the Icelandic bistro-style menu we devoured langoustine soup and Arctic char, with pannacotta and soft almond cake to finish.

For breakfast (not included in the room rate) there's a marvellous help-yourself-buffet with the full gamut of the usual suspects plus Icelandic smoked salmon and Skyr yoghurt.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • In Reykjavik: 101 Hotel is within easy walking distance of everything: the National Museum, the National Gallery, Reykjavik's modernist Hallgrimskirkja cathedral (take the lift to the top of the bell tower for a great view of the city), interesting craft and designer clothes shops

  • Out of Town Excursions: Day trips could include The Blue Lagoon where you can soak outdoors in Iceland's famous geothermal spa (best done on the way to or from the airport), or The Golden Circle which takes in Gullfoss waterfall, the hot springs of Geysir, and important geological and historical Thingvellir National Park

  • Local thrills: try snowmobiling or hiking on the southeastern glaciers, or ride across lava fields on a stocky Icelandic pony

  • Fly Fishing: Iceland's lakes and rivers are well-stocked with wild brown trout, arctic char and salmon; permits are expensive mind and the season runs from April - October for trout, June to September for salmon

  • Boat trips: whale-watching and birding tours leave from Reykjavik's harbour April - September in pursuit of minke, orcas, humpbacks, dolphins and puffins

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Horse-riding
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets
  • Skiing
  • Whalewatching

Kids

Iceland is a cool (pardon the pun) playground for kids of all ages. Although a swish boutique hotel geared to adults, children are welcome with cots and extra beds are available on request, and the top suite can fit a family of 5.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

All rooms can fit a baby cot, extra beds can be added to double, double deluxe and junior suite categories too. The Apartment Suite on the top floor can sleep up to 5 on a sofa bed and cot or extra bed. For larger families or extended family parties, a door can close across the corridor thereby creating a Family Suite consisting of a Standard room and Apartment Suite

Babysitting:

Available with advance notice

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • High chair

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Mini-burgers, fries, sandwiches and small plates are all available

Kids Activities on site:

  • Colouring books and crayons

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Nautholsvik - a family friendly geothermal beach with golden sands, slides, ice-cream kiosk, and small pool for kids & adults to bask in warm water
  • Boat tours in the harbour
  • Maritime museum
  • Playground opposite and downtown near the Maritime museum

Distances:

  • Airport: 45 minutes
  • Hospital: 5 minutes
  • Shops: 1 minute
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
9/
Food
9/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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