Architect's Cottage

Reykjavik & West, Iceland Book from Book from £328 per night

A delightful two-storey 1900s house with a stylish makeover (sleeps 4-6) in the old heart of Reykjavik – great for families and friends
Right in the charming heart of Reykjavik, with a balcony, a garden and a city view, is a warm, woody house built in 1905 and designed by Iceland’s first qualified architect. Its friendly interior has been recently revamped; its pine walls, cornices and beautiful banistered staircase remain. New are the Poggenpohl kitchen, the bathroom and – a godsend! – the laundry, their minimalist fittings in sleek white. The house sleeps 4 in 2 comfortable double bedrooms, and there’s a sofabed so you can bring kids or friends, too. Dishwasher, coffee-maker, swanky kitchen range – all yours, along with a TV, WiFi, fluffy towels and crisp linen. The owners live nearby, happy to help and advise.

Reykjavik is becoming a humdinger of a cultural hub (and a culinary hub, too), drawing travellers from all over the world. From this quiet elevated street behind the Danish Embassy, yards from the National Theatre, you can walk to shops, museums, bars, parks, festivals and the regenerated harbour, including the spectacular waterfront Harpa concert hall, in minutes. There’s a grocers a step away for easy self-catering, or indulge in Reykjavik's burgeoning restaurant scene. A home away from home.

Highs

  • A charming old house with modern comforts – and space
  • A lovely, leafy garden with a furnished terrace
  • A great location in the peaceful old part of town, a heartbeat from the harbour, restaurants and culture
  • We found it a good base for exploring outside the city, too – there's a parking space if you're hiring a car
  • The very helpful owner is a qualified tourist guide and offers private guided tours on request

Lows

  • No twin-bedded rooms
  • The kitchen flows into the living room, so sofabed users lack privacy
  • There’s no bath, but there is a large shower
  • Credit cards aren’t accepted, so you’ll have to use bank transfers, PayPal or cash
  • Not much hanging space but there are chests of drawers

Best time to go

Any time, though be prepared for the climate. From mid-April to the end of July there is almost 24 hours of daylight, but even then, the weather changes every 15 minutes, from partial storms to sunshine. April, May, September and October are chilly. From November to March it’s often freezing and there's a fair bit of rain. However, winter is becoming increasingly popular with those in search of the Northern Lights, and the New Year's Eve fireworks in Reykjavik. Note that there’s just a couple of hours’ daylight in December.

Our top tips

  • Pick up a Reykjavik Welcome Card (valid for 24, 48 or 72 hours) from the Visit Reykjavik office for free admission to the city’s 7 thermal pools, plus the National Museum, National Art Gallery and Reykjavik Art Museum. You also get unlimited travel on the buses, and discounts at various shops and restaurants
  • The owner is an accredited tour guide and offers private tours for up to 4 people around the city and island in his Range Rover
  • Boots or comfortable shoes, a rucksack and a waterproof jacket are essential. And a camera - you’ll be snapping from the first day to the last: Reykjavik is picturesque and photogenic

Great for...

Family
  • Boutique Cottage
  • 2 double bedrooms
  • Self-catering (restaurants nearby)
  • 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
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

The cottage has a warm, welcoming feel; original features such as antique pine walls sit well with the vernacular woollen throws, stripey rugs and attractive wicker tub chairs. The beds are super-comfortable with good mattresses and crisp linen.

The hub of the house is the open-plan living space on the top floor, where a white kitchen flows into a dining area and then a lounge. Here you'll find a double sofabed with space for 2 additional guests, plus a couple of chairs and a TV. There's also a balcony looking out over the city, plus a garden with a deck and chairs beneath the trees.

The 2 bedrooms on the ground floor interlink if you want them to, and there's a bathroom with laundry facilities (washer and dryer) off the small downstairs sitting room. There’s no bath but you do get an excellent shower and gleaming heated towel rails.

Features include:

  • Central heating
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dishwasher
  • Extra beds
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob stove
  • Oven
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • Tumble dryer
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

The new open kitchen upstairs has everything – oven, hob, fridge-freezer, dishwasher, pots and pans, coffee maker and kettle, toaster – and you get a welcome hamper packed with cheese, bread, coffee and tea (plus a free bottle of wine!) as a thank-you for booking through i-escape. There's a grocers nearby, too. Eat around the wooden table, seated on 8 pretty antique chairs, or under trees in the decked garden at a green-painted wrought-iron table.

It may not be cheap to dine out in Reykjavik, but it’s a treat. Fish Market serves creative fish dishes, and puffin burgers. Tuck into fresh, locally caught fish and chunky chips at harbourfront Icelandic Fish and Chips. For stunning harbour views dine in fashionable Kalabrautin on the top floor of the striking Harpa concert hall. There are more views (plus wild goose and reindeer) at Perlan built atop the city’s water tanks with ‘fine dining’ in a rotating glass dome. Glamorous Hotel Borg is an Art Deco hotel with a celebrity Icelandic chef and good-looking food.

Features include:

  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob stove
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Toaster
  • Welcome hamper
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Stroll down to the waterfront for ships, a flea market in a warehouse, and the super-interactive Viking Maritime Museum; en route pass the Harpa concert hall (whose honeycomb façade was designed by Olafur Egilsson) and the Reykjavik Art Museum, which houses modern Icelandic works, international collections and a permanent exhibition of Erró (Iceland’s Roy Lichtenstein)
  • 3 hour whale-watching tours run from April to September
  • Tjornin is a city-centre lake popular with tourists and birds, and a pretty picnic spot. Lovely streets bring you to the striking Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral, built in 1986. The view from the top is breathtaking
  • Browse and buy Icelandic crafts and clothing on Laugavegur and Skolavordustigur, the main shopping streets
  • Tour the volcanic ‘Golden Circle’ for geysers, glaciers and waterfalls, ride small sturdy Icelandic ponies, go snowmobiling on glaciers and snorkelling in Thingvellir National Park (under an hour’s drive), or swim in the Blue Lagoon, a big thermal pool on the road to the airport, which is open until midnight

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Museums / galleries
  • Music
  • Nightlife
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Skiing
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Whalewatching
  • Wildlife

Kids

This is a very child-friendly house, with accommodation for 4-6. The laundry room is handy for families, and there’s a cot and stairgate. Reykjavik is a great place for a break with the kids – small, easy to navigate and packed with interesting sights; you may even get to gasp at the Northern Lights.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

Both bedrooms have queensize beds, there's also a large sofabed in the living room. There is no charge for extra beds or a baby cot. Note there's no bathtub only a shower

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cot
  • Highchair
  • Pushchair on request

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

Kids Activities on site:

  • Board games

Kids Activities nearby:

  • The interactive Viking Maritime Museum
  • Playgrounds within a few minutes' walk
  • Whale-watching trips
  • Horse riding
  • Thermal pools
  • Geysers, glaciers, waterfalls and volcanoes

Families Should Know:

There’s a steepish wooden staircase between the 2 floors, but there's a stairgate at the top

Distances:

  • Airport: 45 minutes
  • Hospital: 5 minutes
  • Shop: 2 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 11 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Rooms
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

We loved this house and its location in the city was brilliant. We found it very convenient to start out for our self driving tours and I think it's a very cost effective holiday for a family of 6 in Reykjavik!

10/10, , February 2017

this is the best location in Reykjavik and the house is full of character - near cafes, bakeries, cultural locations and lovely walks along the harbour. David Pitt was unfailingly responsive - (and as it happens, two of us ran the annual Reykjavik 10K and the house was an easy walk to the start and finish).

10/10, , August 2016

Loved it. It was charming and very central. And was just what we needed. Thank you so much. Nigel

9/10, , May 2016

A beautiful house. In a very central location, yet quiet and cosy, all attributes which the official description can't quite capture. Time and again we blessed it as we returned to it, or saw fellow visitors dropped off at less convenient or inspiring locations. <br> Breakfast just round the corner at the Grey Cat, and lobster soup down in the Old Harbour were the culinary highlights. We also ate expensively at Laekjarbrekka, and not brilliantly at Svarta Kaffid. Best meat soup for us was found at Kantina at Gulfoss. <br>Tours of Golden Circle by Geoiceland, and Glacier Walking by Icelandic Mountain Guides are highly recommended. <br>

10/10, , March 2016

Architect's Cottage is a fantastic option for a stay in Reykjavik. The location is superb, with many of the key attractions within easy walking distance. Add to that a comfortable, really well designed and appointed interior (we couldn't get over the amount of space given that the property was right in the middle of the city), and even a balcony if you're lucky with the weather, and you can't go wrong. The two (downstairs) bedrooms were very comfortable and the upstairs sofa-bed was by no means a second-class option. The stairs are a little steep but our 4 year-old didn't have any trouble, although you would have to be careful with younger children (there is a stair gate at the top). The other big plus with this property is the owner. He was very patient in answering various emailed questions and provided lots of information. In summary, the best accommodation during our 2.5 week tour around Iceland. Should we return we wouldn't look for anywhere else to stay in Reykjavik.

9/10, , August 2015

This is a lovely stylish house in central Reykjavik with two comfortable large double rooms downstairs and a spacious and light sitting/dining room and kitchen on the first floor. The kitchen is well equipped and there is plenty of crockery and cutlery etc. Good bathroom too with washing machine etc which was useful.

10/10, , August 2015

Excellent location and really good facilities. All the arrangements were straightforward and everything went really well. Highly recommended.

10/10, , June 2015

Fantastic cottage with a perfect location close to the city center, but very private and quiet. The cottage is older but newly remodled and kept very clean with a wonderful new kitchen. It is kept stocked so nicely to make cooking simple meals easy. The owners really know what customer service is. I would go back again. Perfect for families

9/10, , June 2015

This place is a total gem. Located in a groovy part of downtown Reyjavik, the house is simply gorgeous and the owner was a lovely man who was on hand to help us with any information/queries. <br>He's thought of everything here - the house is brilliantly equipped with all the mod cons - great kitchen for cooking - with all the utensils right down to the coffee machine. Downstairs there's a washing machine and dryer - and a generous pile of towels. A lovely welcome basket awaited us when we arrived which was appreciated until we got ourselves stocked up. Comfy beds with lots of soft pillows and crisp white linen. <br>There's a parking space just outside the house and a little outside patio space around the gated property. <br>Iceland was glorious and magical. We were a family of 6 - including 4 young kids (one still in nappies) and we had an absolute ball touring the golden circle and hanging out in the thermal baths. Found the Icelanders extremely friendly and keen for tourists to have a good time. But the experience was really enhanced by coming home after a day's touring to this beautiful place. Wifi excellent by the way and there's a DVD-TV which was great for the children. <br>Cannot wait to get back again!

10/10, , April 2015

The Cottage is a cosy place right in the Center of Reykjavik where we spent a great time. We loved the "architect's flavour". Thanks to David, the owner, a very kind person who supported us a lot when we faced some issues with our flight back to Switzerland.

10/10, , March 2015

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