“Tranquil hotel and restaurant, set above a rugged fjord with to-die-for views from its geothermal hot tubs”
The 22 unassuming split-level rooms have simple Nordic décor - wooden furniture and floors, crisp white walls - offset by splashes of colour (reds, golds and terracottas in ours) in cushions and wall art.
Below, each has a living space with wardrobe, leather sofa and desk with an Iley coffee machine. The small bathroom has a drench shower and towelling bathrobes - required for the hot tubs! Ascend the wooden staircase for the unadorned attic-feel platform bedroom, whose beds have warm duvets. Best of all, picture windows offer ever-changing panoramas from dawn till dusk (a long time in midsummer!) of wild mountains or the snow-capped fjord opposite.
For more space, upgrade to the 2-bedroom suites, or the six colour-themed self-catering cottages, a short walk away, also with stunning fjord views. Large cottages sleep four, the Small two (plus extra beds/baby cots if required); all have ensuite bedrooms, an open plan living/dining/kitchen area, plus patio with private hot tub - for families, honeymooners, or groups of friends.
The homely wood-clad dining room, with its award-winning Icelandic food, kitsch ceramics, and library, is great for relaxing. There are complimentary beverages and biscuits throughout the day, and a well-stocked honesty bar.
At dinner, the restaurant is candlelit. In winter there's an excellent set menu with 2-3 choices for each course; summer's menu is a la carte. Starters included Iceland’s famous langoustine, accompanied by home-baked breads; mains were freshly smoked trout, lamb, or salt cod with strawberry and mint, rounded off with chocolate cake and ice cream. Everything was cooked to perfection, and the wine list was good if pricey.
Breakfast was impressive: a vast cold European-cum-Icelandic buffet of meats, cheeses, boiled eggs, pastries, several smoked fish and locally cured meats. The perfect kick-start for our active day!
The cottages are well equipped for self-catering (oven, hob, fridge-freezer, microwave, and barbecue on the deck), but guests can of course eat at the hotel, or a private chef can come in and whip up a feast.
While Iceland is great for older children in terms of summer outdoor activities, this location is not ideal for younger children, especially during the cold winter months, as there are no indoor ‘child’ facilities. However, the self-catering cottages are great for outdoorsy families, although note that they are up to 5 minutes' walk downhill from the hotel.
Teens (over 12)
The three Large Cottages have two bedrooms so are ideal and can also take a couple of extra beds and baby cots. The three Small Cottages have one bedroom, but can also take extra beds and cots. There are a couple of two-bedroom Suites in the main hotel which can take an additional child on a bed or cot.
Baby cots available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The cottages are well-equipped for self-catering, and you also have the option of eating at the hotel restaurant if you prefer not to. For evening meals, half-portions can be ordered from the menu on request, and there are pasta and chicken dishes available. The extensive breakfast buffet will have plenty of interest for most children.
The hotel is on a hillside, the surrounding slopes are of loose stones and tightly packed heather