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Best Places to Stay on Iceland's Golden Circle

|May 4, 2023
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Planning a trip around the Golden Circle? If you are looking for accommodation, we’ve compiled a list of interesting and convenient stays.

If you're planning a trip to Iceland, the Golden Circle is an absolute must-see. This popular tourist route covers around 185 miles and takes you to some of the country's most iconic landmarks, including geysers, waterfalls, and the famous Thingvellir National Park.

Pool underneath the ION hotel in Iceland

When planning your trip, one of the most important things to consider is where to stay along the route. It all comes down to several factors, such as which way around the circle you're going, how long you plan on stopping, and whether you're doing a self-drive tour or a multi-day guided tour.

No matter what your preferences are, we've got you covered. Our guide will provide you with a range of options, from affordable guesthouses to luxury hotels and everything in between.

1. Tower Suites, Reykjavik

View from a Suite in Reykjavik Tower Suites

Starting your Golden Circle journey in Reykjavik doesn't have to feel like a stopover, especially if you stay at Tower Suites Reykjavik. Located in the heart of downtown Reykjavik, this luxurious hotel offers unparalleled comfort and convenience.

The suites at Tower Suites Reykjavik are spacious and beautifully designed, with modern amenities and breathtaking views of the city and surrounding mountains. You can choose from a range of suites, from one to three bedrooms. The hotel's friendly staff is always on hand to help with any needs or questions, and the on-site restaurant serves delicious Icelandic cuisine using locally sourced ingredients.

The average nightly cost is around $450 (£360).

2. Ion Hotel, Nesjavellir

Image of the Ion Hotel Iceland with mountains in the background

Once you've left the capital and hit the open road, one of the first notable hotels is the ION Adventure Hotel. Located just an hour's drive from Reykjavik, this eco-friendly hotel offers a unique and adventurous experience.

The ION Adventure Hotel is in the heart of the Golden Circle, surrounded by mountains, hot springs, and glaciers. The hotel's design is inspired by its surroundings, with sleek and minimalist interiors that blend seamlessly into the rugged landscape. One of the highlights of the ION Adventure Hotel is its outdoor hot tubs, which offer breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and night sky.

The rooms can cost an average of $350 (£280) to $750 (£600), depending on the season and room type.

3. Hotel Grimsborgir, Asborgir

Hotel Grimsborgir is a real luxurious getaway. This countryside resort is just off the Golden Circle route, about a 10-minute drive from Selfoss. This elegant accommodation offers guests a range of stays, from cozy guest rooms to spacious villas with private hot tubs. Each room and villa is beautifully decorated, with warm wood finishes, plush bedding, and stylish accents throughout.

Hotel Grimsborgir also has a relaxing bar and lounge area, where guests can enjoy a drink or snack by the fireplace, and an outdoor hot tub for soaking under the stars. The restaurant's floor-to-ceiling windows offer breathtaking views of the nearby river and mountains, making it the perfect spot for a romantic dinner or special occasion.

The average nightly cost is around $450 (£360) up to $1890 (£1500) for a 5-bedroom villa.

4. Blue Hotel, Fagrilundur

If you're looking for something more homely than lavish, then The Blue Hotel is a perfect choice. Located just a few miles away from top Golden Circle attractions, this hotel is an idyllic retreat after a busy day of exploring. To fuel up for the next day, start the day with a complimentary continental breakfast included.

Comfort and practicality are at the core of the hotel's values, and this is reflected in the simple yet stylish design of its amenities. Several hot tubs are available for relaxing after a day of sightseeing and watching the stars.

The hotel offers standard twin or double bedrooms, each equipped with a private bathroom, small fridge, and freezer. However, if you're looking for something more remote, the hotel also offers cabins at the top of a hill, giving you tranquillity and breathtaking views.

The average price per night is around $170 (£123).

5. Frost and Fire Hotel, Hveragerði

It's not only the name, The Frost and Fire Hotel, that this hotel stands out for. Iceland's hidden gem is one of the best places to stay on the Golden Circle. Located on the banks of the River Varmá in Hveragerði, this accommodation is known for its geothermal hot springs and stunning natural landscapes.

The rooms are designed with comfort in mind, and most offer a spectacular view of the river and the surrounding mountains. A perfect place to rest your head or admire the midnight sun. One of the main highlights of this hotel is its geothermal hot tubs, which are fed by the nearby hot springs. Guests can relax and soak in the warm waters while enjoying the breathtaking views of the river and mountains.

The average price per night is around $220 ( £160 ).

6. Hotel Geysir, Haukadalur

An aerial view of Geysir in Iceland

Hotel Geysir is a family-run hotel located right next to the geothermal area of Geysir and Strokkur in the historic Haukadalur Valley. The hotel is designed to blend seamlessly into its natural surroundings, with materials carefully chosen to reflect the beauty of the nearby nature.

The rooms are comfortable and snug, creating a perfect place to relax. However, the restaurant is not to be missed. With a Master Chef heading the kitchen, the hotel offers its guests meals made with passion.

The area surrounding Hotel Geysir is truly unique, with the geothermal field just a short walk away. These natural wonders offer an unforgettable experience, with the Geysir and Strokkur erupting every few minutes, shooting water and steam up to 30 meters in the air. Additionally, the area is home to hot springs, including the stunning turquoise-colored Belsi.

The average nightly cost is $150 (£120).

7. Hotel Gullfoss, Brattholt

Gullfoss Waterfall Iceland in the summer

Named after the iconic two-tiered waterfall, Hotel Gullfoss is a prime location for those wanting to explore the famous Golden Circle. With a mere 3-minute drive to the magnificent Gullfoss waterfall, the hotel offers guests unparalleled access to one of Iceland's most stunning natural wonders.

Hotel Gullfoss emphasizes comfort and style, ensuring guests have a pleasant and relaxing stay. The hotel provides a complimentary breakfast to fuel up for a day of exploring, and the staff is always on hand to help with any queries or to provide recommendations on what to do in the area.

There are a variety of scenic and beautiful hiking trails starting on the hotel's doorstep. The location is perfect for those who love hiking and exploring the great outdoors. It serves as an excellent base to discover the beauty of Iceland's countryside.

The average nightly cost is $160 (£130).

8. The Greenhouse Hotel, Hveragerdi

The Green House Hotel is a boutique lifestyle hotel that offers a unique and sustainable experience. Located in the southern part of the Golden Circle, just an hour away from Reykjavik, this hotel is not only convenient but a destination in itself.

From the exterior to the interior, the Green House Hotel is a beautiful fusion of natural elements and modern design. The hotel's commitment to eco-consciousness is evident in every corner of the building. Recycled furniture, energy-efficient lighting, and locally sourced materials are just a few of the ways which have minimized its environmental impact.

One of the highlights of the hotel is its food hall, which has become a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. Located on the ground floor, the food hall is a vibrant and social space that offers a variety of food and drink options. Whether you're looking for a quick bite to eat or a leisurely meal with friends, the food hall has something for everyone.

The average nightly cost is $190 (£150).

9. Hotel Laxness, Mosfellsbaer

Northern lights above a snowy Iceland mountainscape

If you are looking for somewhere to enjoy the northern lights, then Hotel Laxnes may be the perfect option. Located just 10 minutes from Reykjavik, it is convenient for those returning from or starting their Golden Circle journey.

The hotel offers 26 rooms, including family rooms and deluxe stays. Most of which boast views of the nearby mountain, Esja. The surrounding area is worth exploring with the close hikes and trail routes.

Iceland frequently sees the Northern lights, and this hotel's location allows guests to see them while staying close to the capital. The hotel offers rooms with balconies to enhance the views, as it's easy to step out and enjoy this natural wonder.

The average price per night is $170 (£140).

10. Exeter Hotel, Reykjavik

Stylish Double Room at Exeter Hotel in Reykjavik

Finishing off your trip in the capital city? The Exeter Hotel is a perfect combination of relaxing and vibrant. Located in the old harbor, you'll find yourself in the heart of Reykjavik, with incredible locations just a short walk away.

The hotel itself has a modern design and is furnished comfortably. Edgy in design, the restaurant offers a unique menu with a relaxed street food style, which gives guests here something different. Combine it with a cider or cocktail, and you can see why the Exeter Hotel’s vibe and charm are being raved about.

Like many Icelandic hotels, Exeter Hotel has a sauna and fitness suite, so whether you are looking to relax or exercise you'll find it here.

The average nightly stay can vary from $330 (£265) in peak and $109 (£88) in the low season.

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