On my recent trip to Iceland, I spent a couple of nights at the 101 Hotel, a design hotel in Reykjavik.

101 Hotel is a member of the Design Hotels™ scheme – a Mr and Mrs Smith style curation of small, luxury hotels. And 101 certainly brings a bit of style swag to the table.

Here’s what I thought of my stay there…


Reykjavik feels like a tiny city, particularly if you’re coming from a sprawl like London. Only a couple of hundred thousand people live in the whole of Iceland, with about a third of the population residing in the capital.

101 Hotel sits right in the thick of this compact city centre. It’s a corner property, with one side overlooking the beautiful Harpa Concert and Conference Hall and the surrounding harbour.

The other side faces one of the main streets in Reykjavik, filled with bars, pubs, restaurants and souvenir shops.

Which means everything is within incredibly easy walking distance. Brauð & Co., Seabaron, Sushi Social, ROK, Krost and Kaffitar are just a few of my newly found favourites.

And you can easily make your way from the hotel and around non-foodie city sights within an hour or two.

Getting there

Hop in a hire car and it takes about 50 minutes to drive into Reykjavik. There’s also a bus, which probs takes a little longer.

As for parking, the hotel has five, first-come-first-served spaces in a kind of internal courtyard behind the hotel.

But if you’re not lucky enough to snag a space, I found that there were plenty of on-street places to park nearby. Just watch out for any restrictions or fees.

First Impressions

101 Hotel Reykjavik is set in a former office block from the 1930s. And the hotel’s façade is as glamorous as that last sentence would suggest.

Outside the place looks grey and austere. With maybe (just maybe) a hint of retro charm. Let’s be honest, I’m being generous there.

But the reason this place is a proud and perky member of the Design Hotels™ scheme becomes crystal clear when you walk through the door.

You’re greeted by minimalist Scandi design, clean lines and a cool monochrome palette. 101 is understated and super-chic. But manages to be warm and welcoming at the same time.

That’s partly down to the guys at reception who, give them their dues, don’t play up to the high-end design. They’re friendly and helpful and happy to divulge their city tips.

And partly down to the cosy lobby lounge area with its contemporary fireplace and natural wood furnishings.

The Room

I stayed in the Deluxe Room. You can get cheaper rooms that are smaller. And more expensive rooms that are bigger and balconied. So the Deluxe fell somewhere in the middle.

As far as my Reykjavik room went, it was spacious. There was free Wi-Fi. Win. And Bluetooth Bang & Olufsen speakers for all my musical needs.

Underfloor heating warmed my tootsies on a cold Icelandic day. And there were blackout blinds that I imagine come in handy if you’re visiting during the long daylight hours of summer.

The bathroom came with fluffy bathrobes and slippers and a spacious walk-in shower. And everything was beautifully and luxuriously designed in the hotel’s signature black and white tones.

One thing to note, however. Being right in the heart of Reykjavik city centre has its pros. But also its cons.

If you’re a light sleeper and you think noise from the street might keep you from your kip, request one of the hotel’s quieter rooms on the Harpa Concert Hall side of the building. Or bring your earplugs to guarantee some quality ZZZs.

So what’s for breakfast…?

The hotel’s bar-cum-dining-room-cum-breakfast-room can be found on the ground floor.

Breakfast is a reassuringly familiar affair. Coffee, juices, cold cuts, eggs and steaming bowls of porridge to warm your insides before heading outside.

During the day, the place serves up modern Icelandic and international cuisine. As well as special happy hour and brunch menus.

Work outs and artworks…

101 Hotel has a few other perks up its sleeve.

Down in the basement of the hotel, there’s a fully-fledged gym and a mini spa, fitted with steam room and Jacuzzi. In-room massages are available too.

You can also while away some time wandering the 101 Gallery, the hotel’s curated collection of Icelandic artworks.

This isn’t the usual – let’s be honest, bland – art offering you tend to get in hotels. The collection has been carefully put together. And there are some really interesting pieces to take a peek at.

The Globetrotter Verdict

Minimal, trendy but comfortable. 101 Hotel is the perfect base for a stay in Reykjavik.

Leave a Comment:

Bela Molnar
Kaffitár, Reykjavik | Mr Globetrotter says 23/10/2019

[…] is right around the corner from 101 Hotel. (read my review here.) It was my first port of call on my first morning in Reykjavik. A man needs his coffee […]

Bela Molnar
Sushi Social, Reykjavik | Mr Globetrotter says 23/10/2019

[…] can be found in the heart of Reykjavik. It’s a short hop away from 101 Hotel. (read my review here.) And just off one of the main high streets in the city […]

Bela Molnar
ROK, Reykjavik | Mr Globetrotter says 23/10/2019

[…] of Reykjavik’s main city streets. It’s about 10 minutes’ walk from 101 Hotel (read my review here.) and just a few buildings up from Brauð & Co., a little bakery that I fell in love with. If […]

Bela Molnar
Kröst, Reykjavik | Mr Globetrotter says 01/11/2019

[…] from the city’s famous church and around 20 minutes from the centre and the 101 Hotel (read my 101 Hotel review here). ROK is another great restaurant within easy stomping distance. And there’s an amazing […]

Bela Molnar
HOTEL REVIEW: HOTEL KRIA, VIK - ICELAND | Mr Globetrotter says 08/11/2019

[…] the Icelandic capital, I’d stayed at the amazing 101 Hotel. I’d eaten at great restaurants like Kröst and Út í […]

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