Whether it’s sleeping between the finest linen sheets in a four-star hotel or watching the northern lights from an outdoor “hot pot” by your summerhouse or campsite, Iceland has accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. While you can find places to stay year-round, it is a good idea to book ahead during the busy summer months. If you’re traveling as a family, don’t forget to ask about children’s discounts, which are often available.

 

Hotels


Icelandic hotels are representative of typical Scandinavian charm. In Reykjavík and other urban centers, they are well-situated for accessing restaurants, shops and attractions. Several travel agencies and airlines have special accommodation offers that can only be purchased outside Iceland. Hotels in Iceland vary in size, location, and personality. Many well-known international chains have hotels in Reykjavik. There are also numerous family-owned and operated hotels, especially in the countryside, each with their own special character. You can find trendy boutique hotels, rooms in stately listed buildings, and hotels which cater to large groups or for conferences. Nearly all hotels should have wireless internet access and the larger ones will have equipped business centers.

Hotels in the Reykjavik area are generally open year-round, but there are some in the countryside which operate only during the summer months. These hotels are often boarding schools or training centers during the rest of the year. Best of all, many hotels have rooms “with a view”: of the sea, the cliffs, or rivers and mountains.

Double rooms in Iceland sometimes come as one room with two single beds. If you want a room with a double bed, please specify this when you are booking (it shouldn’t cost any extra). Some hotels include a buffet breakfast with their room price; others don’t. Most will have parking facilities and will be able to assist you with booking tours and excursions.

Guesthouses and apartments


New guesthouses open in Iceland every year.

They are smaller and have fewer facilities than the hotels, but are often in quiet neighborhoods. Some guesthouses are only open at certain times of year. They often offer breakfast and some facilities for preparing meals. For families or groups, apartment rentals are sometimes a good accommodation option. One or two bedroom apartments are available which come equipped with a small kitchen and facilities so people can prepare their own meals.


Farmhouses and Summerhouses



Icelandic Farm Holidays (www.farmholidays.is) is the central booking office for farms and country hotels in Iceland. IFH gives you the choice of about 150 farms all around the country offering accommodation in 4,000 beds, meals and all kinds of recreation.

 

The accommodation is as diverse as the scenery you will encounter. You might be staying in the same farmhouse as the owners, in a separate area of the house, or in one of a series of summerhouses built on the property.

Some farms with IFH also have summerhouses on their property. Despite their name, summerhouses can sometimes also be used in winter. They come in various sizes, some sleeping up to 12 people, and often have an attached outdoor hot tub.

For independent travelers, IFH also offers self-drive packages with rental cars and accommodation. Many farms also offer local activities such as horse riding, fishing, hunting, sailing, swimming, glacier tours, and golf.

To request a brochure or to make a reservation, contact a travel agent or Icelandic Farm Holidays: ifh@farmholidays.is

Youth and Family Hostels

There are 26 Hostelling International Hostels around Iceland, open to people of all ages. They offer clean and comfortable budget accommodation with the opportunity for self-service catering. All the hostels have a well-equipped guest kitchen and family rooms. The Travel Section of HI Iceland’s website arranges travels in Iceland and can provide different tours. The Travel Section also offers packages which consist of rental car or bus tickets and hostel overnight vouchers.

Hostelling International Iceland: info@hostel.is, www.hostel.is.


Camping



There are 125 registered campsites in Iceland. Camping grounds are normally open from the beginning of June until the end of August or middle of September, depending on their location. The price for camping in the National Parks supervised by the Nature Conservation Council, is US$ 6 for adults, half-price for senior citizens and free of charge for children under 16. Other campsites range in price from US $5-7 depending on the facilities available (e.g. some campsites have shower facilities and others do not).For a special brochure contact your tour operators or Icelandic Tourist Board offices. Please note that camping outside designated campsites is not allowed.

 


Classification


All lodging facilities in Iceland have the opportunity to be classified. The classification is voluntary and is divided into five categories, between 1 and 5 stars. The classification is solely based on quantifiable factors. The Icelandic Tourist Board is in charge of the classification. A blue and red sign placed near the entrance lists indicates the present classification of the facility. The different number of stars indicates the following:

One star: All rooms are equipped with a washbasin and there is at least one bathroom for every 10 rooms. There is access to a public telephone, breakfast is available and guests can come and go any time of the day or night.

Two stars: In addition to the one-star facilities, there is a telephone booth or a public telephone where the quests can speak in privacy. There is a bar or service counter where it is possible to buy light refreshments, as well as a dining room where breakfast is served, and other meals depending on circumstances. The rooms may be equipped with a private bathroom, but this is not obligatory.

Three stars: In addition to the class above, all rooms are equipped with private bathroom, telephone, television, radio, and desk. There is a service counter open during the day and it is possible to buy small items like reading material. Goods and services can be paid for by credit card. There is an elevator in the building if guest rooms are on three or more levels above the reception.

Four stars: In addition, there are easy chairs in all rooms, TV with remote control, satellite channels and a movie or video channel. There is room service day and night, or a minibar, and "a la carte" restaurant, and breakfast can be ordered in the guest’s room. There is also a laundry service. There is an elevator in the building if the guest rooms are two or more levels above the reception.

Five stars: In addition, the interior decor is luxurious. There are safe compartments in the rooms. There is an elevator if the building has more than one floor. Meals can be ordered in rooms until at least 11pm. Secretarial services can be provided. There is an indoor swimming pool or an exercise facility with professional staff. There is a shop on location where gifts and souvenirs may be purchased and guests' luggage can be taken to their rooms.

For a complete list of Hotels and other accommodations and more info on the Classifications System click here.