Staying at Hotel Höfn put a smile on my face. Even writing a review of Hotel Höfn put a smile on a face.
This sweet hotel was totally charming. It was the fourth stop on my anti-clockwise tour of Iceland and one that will stick in my memory. Here’s why…
Höfn is a small fishing town on the eastern coast of Iceland. It’s renowned for its langoustine, which I consider an excellent claim to fame.
It’s about six hours’ drive from Reykjavik but well worth the schlep. (Especially if you make a stop at Vik and Hótel Kría on the way).
The scenery in the vicinity of Höfn is astounding. Glacier lagoons, iceberg strewn beaches and nature reserves full of wildlife. I stayed at Hotel Höfn for two nights and used it as a base to explore these southeasterly Icelandic wonders.
The town of Höfn itself has a few restaurants and shops and plenty of places to stay. It’s a popular stop on a tour of the island. And Hotel Höfn sits right on the waterfront, so it’s very easy to spot.
There’s a huge car park outside and a view of Vatnajökull glacier (the largest glacier in Europe) just across the water.
One of the reasons I chose to stay at this hotel was its retro design. And I wasn’t disappointed.
A bit of backstory. Hotel Höfn was launched by two sisters and their respective husbands back in 1966. These guys were clearly trendsetters of the time and created a cutting-edge development with some of the newest, coolest interior design around.
Fast forward to 2019 and the hotel has been given a contemporary update. But current owners have been careful to retain that inimitable 1960s retro charm.
So now you have a really comfortable hotel that makes a tasteful nod to the 1960s and its own history. Stepping through the door of Hotel Höfn felt like stepping back into the past. If the past had efficient Wi-Fi and plasma screen TVs…
Anyone who hankers after super high-tech, new and glitzy hotels won’t find what they’re looking for here. It’s a bit of a marmite sitch, I suppose. You either love the design of this place or you hate it.
I fall into the former camp, no doubt. Hotel Höfn was unique and interesting. And I’d take this over a slick, identikit hotel any day of the week.
One teeny tiny negative I have to mention is the lack of a lift. Which might not be a negative if you relish the extra exercise you get lugging your bags up two flights of stairs.
However, if you don’t fancy a workout, the reception team are happy to lend you a helping hand. My luggage was quickly wrestled from my grip and transported upstairs to my room. No probs.
Bicycles are available to borrow. So you can hop on and ride off to explore all that Höfn has to offer.
The Hotel Höfn 24 hour reception are on it when it comes to arranging activities or tours in the local area. Early check in and late check out are available. And they’ll also give you a wake-up call if the northern lights pass overhead.
The hotel has 68 rooms (Standard and Superior Doubles) spread over three neighbouring buildings. I stayed in the main building, which also houses the reception area and the hotel restaurant.
My room was incredibly comfortable. It was basic and simple but had everything I needed. Free Wi-Fi. A great bathroom. Heated to the perfect temp.
The big selling point? That view. A phenomenal vista of water, mountains and ice. Not something you come across every day, especially if you’re a city boy like myself.
Another big plus was just how quiet the room was. It seems most Hotel Höfn guests are seeking a quiet night’s rest before early morning excursions and road trips. So there’s no danger of late night revelry or even any noise from the street.
Hotel Höfn has two dining areas, one of which is used for breakfast and special events.
Breakfast is a pick ‘n’ mix, buffet affair with the usual array of juices, cold cuts, eggs, coffee, home-baked goodies… Everything is super fresh and provided in both excellent quality and quantity.
It was the perfect fuel for a day of Icelandic exploration. And it came with the added bonus of another great view. Up on the first floor and surrounded by windows, you get to admire the waterfront and the glaciers whilst munching away on your brekkie.
I was lucky enough to get two clear mornings, which meant a view so outstanding I almost didn’t want to leave the dining room.
Hotel Höfn’s ground floor restaurant, Ósinn, is also well worth a visit. I sampled their lobster pizza and felt that all was right with the world.
The team at Hotel Höfn was the kindest bunch I came across during my time in Iceland. Service with a genuine smile at every turn.
They were really kind-hearted, friendly people who were clearly very proud of their hotel and their town. And they were always up for a chat, either about their hometown or yours.
These guys gave Hotel Höfn a really homely, where everyone knows your name, kinda vibe. So throughout the whole of my stay here, I felt thoroughly looked after.
Minimal. Trendy (in the 1960s sense). And in the perfect location. I’d highly recommend a night or two at Hotel Höfn for anyone touring Iceland.