While in Reykjavik, Iceland at the end of January and beginning of February, I toured a few hotels in the area. I was able to view a variety of rooms and talk with the representatives from the hotels and I thought I would share that information here. To start the hotel tour, we will begin with one of my favorites, Center Hotel Þingholt. Before we proceed, let’s address the spelling of the name of the hotel. Known as Þingholt or Thingholt, with the Thorn or þorn (Þ, þ), is a letter in the Old English, Old Norse, and Icelandic alphabets, as well as some dialects of Middle English. It has the sound of either a voiceless dental fricative [θ], like th as in the English word thick, or a voiced dental fricative [ð], like th as in the English word the. Modern Icelandic usage excludes the latter, which is instead represented with the letter eth (Ð, ð), though it has a voiceless allophone [θ], which occurs in certain positions within a phrase. I hope you’re paying attention because there will absolutely be a test on all of this later.
The CenterHotel Þingholt is a beautiful boutique hotel right in the heart of Reykjavik next to the main shopping street, Laugavegur. The building that now houses the hotel was originally the Ísafold Printing Factory and was converted into the hotel, which is a a great example of Icelandic contemporary design. When you first see the hotel from the exterior, you might think nothing of it or you might even think you made a mistake by booking this hotel. But don’t give up so easily. The outside looks less than striking and I was at first reluctant to believe that this was in fact a boutique hotel. But the second I stepped inside the front door of the hotel, I was sold. Although the grey exterior walls might appear drab to some, the minimalist look carries through in a contemporary and extremely stylish way throughout the entire hotel. The picture above is of the front entrance, which requires you to walk down a set of steps to the front desk. The long black lava textured wall and glass railing immediately set the modern tone of the hotel while the glass masks on the wall are playful and intriguing. The masks represent the hidden people of Iceland. Designed by Icelandic architect Gulla Jonsdottir, Gulla owns G+ Gulla Jonsdottir Design in Los Angeles and she has taken part in designing hotels in the US like Crescent Hotel in Beverly Hills and Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
Adjacent to the front desk is the elevator and stairs that take you up to your room. Also in this area is a comfortable seating area with plush leather couches and one of the most intriguing lighting fixtures I have ever seen. It looked as though the chandelier had been consumed by some gigantic spider web and that is something you don’t see everywhere. There is also a bar area to grab a drink and sit and relax after a day in Reykjavik. Although I am sure that families can and probably have stayed here in the past, I see this hotel as more of a young, modern person’s hotel of choice. Perhaps you’re in Reykjavik on business — you could easily stay here. Or maybe you and your better half decide to sneak away for a long weekend in Iceland. CenterHotel Þingholt would definitely appeal to a couple looking for fun while relaxing in modern style.
From the CenterHotel Þingholt website: “CenterHotel Thingholt offers 52 air-conditioned guestrooms, all of which are decorated in a sleek, contemporary style inspired by Icelandic nature. Comfortable yet stylish the rooms provide the prefect atmosphere for your trip to the center of Reykjavik.” There are four different room types available from Standard to Deluxe to Junior Suites to Loft Suites. Don’t for a second imagine that the Standard room is sub-par because it absolutely isn’t. Here you can see the bed adjacent to the bathroom, which is divided by frosted glass. Although minimalist in nature, the rooms still feel warm and inviting. I made numerous mental notes as I would absolutely kill to have a bathroom that looked like the ones in this hotel. Stunning to say the least!
If you want to try something different, then the Deluxe room might be for you. These rooms set themselves apart from the Standard room because they are outfitted with either a white leather sofa or a romantic bathtub next to the bed. What screams romantic more than a giant bathtub? For a true treat, the suites are a definite option that shouldn’t be overlooked. The Junior Suites offer both a sofa and a bath tub and the spacious Loft Suites consist of two floors where the bedroom and living room are separated by a set of stairs. Whether you choose the Standard room or the Loft Suite, you cannot possibly go wrong with the CenterHotel Þingholt hotel. In fact, I will be back in Reykjavik hopefully within the next several months and this is now my hotel of choice. This is an affordable hotel and of course, if you visit the hotel’s web site you might be able to snag an advanced purchase rate to save yourself a little more money to spend on more important things like say… Brennivin.
There are many more hotels to visit in Reykjavik so come back to see more pictures, reviews, and of course my big adventure in Iceland: The Glacier Walk!