The contemporary Icelandair hotel overlooks the striking black beach of Vik and the impressive basalt sea stacks of Reynisdrangar in the south of Iceland. If you are a fan of gold plating, shiny marble and grandiose ‘Trump’ style hotels then the simplicity and minimalism of Scandinavian design is probably not for you.
Completed in 2014, the hotel has a functional low rise design. Reflective surfaces mirror the cliffs behind while the grey concrete sections give the hotel a semi-industrial, understated and uniquely Icelandic style.
As you enter the hotel, you pass from the rugged grey exterior into an elegant foyer and lounge designed to reflect the natural surroundings. Black crow sculptures hang over the piano, warm fire burns in the lounge and the muted colours complement the views of the cliffs and volcanic beach opposite the hotel.
The design of the standard bedrooms continue with the Scandinavian theme. Facilities are what you would expect of a four-star hotel including a flat screen TV, free wireless internet, coffee and tea facilities and all modern amenities. The bathroom contained a shower and the L’Occitane toiletries were a quality touch.
The rooms at the front of the hotel look out towards the volcanic beach and the rock stacks. The rooms at the back look out onto the cliff face. Although these rooms do not have the views of the front, the cliffs are covered with nesting seabirds which liven up its harsh grey rocky surface.
What we did notice during our visit (March 2017) was building work opposite the car park. We are not sure what is going there and whether it will restrict any of the views from the hotel in the future.
During the evening a storm blew in bringing rain and 70mph winds, so unsurprisingly we decided to stay in the hotel for dinner. There is something satisfying about relaxing with a drink in a warm comfortable bar, watching the full force of the storm whipping up the sea and the black sand drifting across the road. (Although the next morning, the scratching and scraping sound of the sand covered car windows winding down didn’t sound too healthy!)
We ate in the hotel’s Berg restaurant. It has an Icelandic, à la carte menu which uses local produce. The food and service were excellent, and although the portion sizes were not large after 3 courses we felt satisfied. It was expensive but considering the quality of the meal and comparing it to general Icelandic food prices it was quite reasonable.
Luckily, the next morning the storm had cleared, there was some actual blue sky and sun!
Breakfast was simple and typically Icelandic, it was served in the Berg restaurant which had a clear view of the beach in the morning sun.
We didn’t have the courage to down the breakfast shot of fish oil.
It was photographers central during breakfast with specialist photographic tour groups getting ready to go out for the day. There was a lot of ‘lens envy‘ going on, who had the biggest?
We had an excellent stay at the Icelandair hotel in Vik and would definitely stay there again. However, Iceland is currently suffering from too many tourists but not enough rooms, when we tried to reserve for August it was already fully booked. Also if you are lucky enough to find availability the hotel price will be high. If you are thinking of visiting destinations outside Reykjavik on your trip to Icelans, you need to book as far in advance as possible to get the best room and rates.
Hopefully, in the near future, there will be more hotels like the Icelandair hotel Vik.
Have you stayed in Iceland outside Reykjavik. What hotel was your favourite?
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