What it is
An Art Deco-inspired respite tucked within conjoined historic buildings on trendy Laugavegur street.
What it isn't
Loud. Downtown Reykjavik clubs tend to audibly bleed into surrounding hotels; this one is just removed enough for hushed solace come nightfall.
What we think
Before it became Sandhotel, this trifecta of buildings lived other fascinating lives: one as a gentleman’s shop that went on to house British army troops in World War II, another that was a dress shop from the 50s to the 80s, and one that housed a family-owned bakery—and still does. Now, that undercurrent of history adds a sense of storied antiquity you can feel to one of Reykjavik’s newest hotels. We love that despite being fitted with ineffably cool touches (Marshall speakers, hardwood floors) each room was also tailor-made for extreme comfort, from the button-tufted velvet headboards to the Duxiana down comforters wrapped in Egyptian cotton linen.
You're here because
They make booking tours around Iceland—often a hair-raising task in this tourist-trodden land—as easy as it gets. We highly recommend the tour of lava fields atop fuzzy Icelandic horses, plus the secret lagoon tour for a more insidery antidote to the Blue Lagoon (which, coincidentally, was formed by runoff from a geothermal power plant).
You adore a good gratis breakfast spread, which are all but required in European hotels. And while this one has all the usual deliciousness—freshly baked bread from the on-site Sandholt Bakery, plus oodles of meats and cheeses—you can’t help but try a shot of cod liver oil. As they say, “When in R..eykjavik.”
Restaurants & Bars
Sandbar & Bistro - Local produce and bold flavors, prepared with a rustic style.
In central Reykjavik on bustling Laugavegur street, just three short blocks from architectural wonder Hallgrimskirkja, a Deco cathedral with a 240-foot-high tower.