Iceland. Home to some of the worlds best mountains, waterfalls, hikes and trails.
… But, what if you aren’t the outdoors explorer type? What if you are a little more Nordstrom than NorthFace, a little more Kenzo than Karrimor and prefer your cashmere to your nylon?
People… I Hear You! (I mean, I really hear you!) Sometimes you want the beauty of nature, with the luxury of an elegant hotel that has recently played home to the likes of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Fear not, I have the answer…. 101 Hotel Reykjavik.
I mean, sometimes you want to see the great outdoors but must you be surrounded by velcro and the smell of body shop Oatmeal scrub to do so? Non.
It is possible to see the very best of nature while still immersing yourself in art, culture and sleek design and this is case in point as designed by owner and designer, Ingibjörg Pálmadóttir
The hotel is literally a Gallery of modern art with classic pieces by Eero Saarinen and Philippe Starck. Whether you know your art or not, it feels pretty impressive to be surrounded by such incredible pieces… Like someone has let you stay over night at the Tate and let you touch everything… (Well, maybe not “let” technically).
The 101 hotel has 38 super sleek, monochrome rooms (which all have locally sourced furniture and sleek decor). They also have additional mohair throws which are perfect for the months when it is frankly cold enough to lose a finger or toe to frostbite.
In keeping with local/Icelandic trade, they also provide Blue Lagoon spa products to purchase as well as the complimentary Aveda products.
In some of the higher floors, you will find balconies overlooking the city.
If there is one thing I love it is a free standing bath…. If there are two things I love, it is a free standing bath and a wet room shower with enough shower jet power to practically propel you out of the room.
The bathrooms are elegant, and high design with off centre and off angle placement for the bath and sink areas.
Their restaurant “Kitchen & Wine” is casual but considered quite trendy with a combination of Modern Icelandic and International food. “What?” Think Langoustine salad, Rack of Lamb, Burgers and locally caught fish. If you are a a guest at the hotel, they do a buffet breakfast and if you are anything like me and don’t do well with a super early start, they run it through to 11am on a weekend.
In keeping with the entire hotel’s sleek design, the restaurant is adorned with white leather stools along a marble counter and overlooked by white walls covered in bumps.
Amongst locals, this is known as a seriously hip drinking spot for the stylish elite.
…Yes, yes there are a dozen bars that serve ales for rugged men with long beards and names like “Sweyn Forkbeard” (an actual Viking), but this is no craft beer bar, no sir. This is more… Great cocktails, set by modern art sculptures, an art deco fireplace and a funky house soundtrack. With me?
As a fan of an ami sour, they pride themselves on their take of an Icelandic Amaretto Sour. I’m not entirely sure what is in it and I can tell you that after about 4 sips, you won’t remember either.
Everyone loves a spa, if you dont then you are probably one of the nylon favouring people I was referring to earlier. Get a grip… and a massage, for Gods sake.
Their spa (and gym) can be found in the basement and comes complete with steam bath and Jacuzzi. Should the lift down to the basement be too much effort, in-room treatments can be arranged.
My advice? Go in the Summer months when it essentially never gets entirely dark. Nothing like an Ami sour with a 3am pink sky backdrop.
The point is, just because you want to experience nature at it’s most primal with the likes of the Gullfoss Waterfall and the Blue Lagoon, does that mean you have to sleep in a tent? No, and I mean NO. Whenever I head back, you can guarantee it will be to the 101 hotel.
101 Hotel – Hverfisgata 10, – 101 Reykjavik – Iceland | +354 580-0101