Icelandair Hotel Akureyri
Why We Love This Hotel
- The building was once the city’s university and is on a hill with views of the fjord & mountains
- It’s a 15-minute walk from the city centre & harbour, plus there’s a geothermal waterpark next door
- The restaurant serves local cuisine & there’s a happy hour every afternoon in the bar
- Akureyri is a buzzing city where "Game of Thrones" was filmed
“This easy-going place has more buzz than anywhere outside Reykjavik”, says Lonely Planet about Akureyri, which it put it top of its Best Places in Europe 2015 list. It’s Iceland’s second-largest city but it’s the landscape that really attracts visitors. That and the "Game of Thrones" tour -- all winter scenes from the five series were filmed here.
The Icelandair Hotel Akureyri is a 15-minute walk from the main town centre, restaurants and harbour, perched on a hill overlooking Iceland’s longest fjord. The building was once the city’s university but today is an eco-friendly property with clean, Icelandic décor. Check-in is in the reception/bar area, where high tea is served each afternoon and there’s a happy hour from 4-6pm (with 50% off drinks and snacks). The patio garden is a pleasant spot with a fire pit and blankets to keep guests warm while stargazing or waiting for the Northern Lights (visible on clear nights from September-April).
The roomy bedrooms have wooden floors, local artwork and city, mountain or fjord views. There are work tables over the bed, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and Wi-Fi is free throughout. Some rooms only have a frosted glass screen to separate the toilet from the rest of the room, which may not suit some guests, but more traditional bathroom set ups are available.
In the morning, a plentiful breakfast buffet is served in Aurora restaurant, including porridge with toppings, cheese, meat, eggs, bread, pastries and more. Later on, the lunch and dinner menu revolves around local fare – expect dishes such as pulled pork on focaccia bread and with pickled vegetables, or grilled Arctic char (a cold-water fish) with potatoes and cauliflower mousse.
There is no swimming pool on site but Sundlaug Akureyrar, a year-round geothermal waterpark, is a 2-minute walk away. Further afield, visit the world’s most northerly botanical garden at Lystigarõurinn, Myvatn Nature Baths overlooking the lake, and Hverir, a geothermal field with hot pools, bubbling mud pits and steam eruptions. The very adventurous should take a plane ride over the active Bardarbunga volcano.