Reykjavik, Iceland

Sandhotel

Rates from (ex tax)$147.93

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (ISK17,025.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

All things nice

Setting

Reykjavik’s main drag

The team behind Reykjavik's Sandhotel pretty much perfected the cinnamon bun, so they whipped up the city’s cosiest stay. The understated rooms and sweets – sorry, suites – echo Iceland’s natural palette, with hot-spring blues and Atlantic grays, the breakfasts are pastry-laden and staff can arrange private helicopter rides to volcano peaks, ice-cave expeditions, and even a spot of Pokémon-hunting. The stay sits on Laugavegur, a strip of rock-and-roll bars, and shops plying eccentric wares, in a house that once belonged to a Nobel laureate. Yes, this stay doesn’t go up to 10, it goes up to a baker’s dozen…

Smith Extra

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A selection of handmade chocolates from the in-house chocolatier

Facilities

Photos Sandhotel facilities

Need to know

Rooms

53, including eight suites.

Check–Out

Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $147.93 (ISK15,338), excluding tax at 11 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (ISK17,025.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates don’t include breakfast, an à la carte menu of eggs-any-way, home-made jams and juices, and a selection of fresh-from-the-oven breads and sticky-sweet pastries from Sandholt Bakery.

Also

Brush up on your Icelandic history here: flick through a novel by Icelandic writer and Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness who lived in one of the houses that now make up the hotel.

At the hotel

Lounging area with a selection of coffee-table books; free WiFi throughout; laundry service. In rooms: flatscreen TV, Marshall Bluetooth speaker, Nespresso machine, minibar, Soley Organics bath products. A kettle can be added to rooms on request.

Our favourite rooms

Reykjavik’s hotel rooms often favour a monochrome, concrete-lined, volcanic-stone-accented look to reflect the country’s more lunar-looking wilds. Not so at Sandhotel, whose rooms use art deco elegance and a touch of masculine tailoring to create the cosiest of city spaces. The Junior Suites with their huge button-back headboards in minke-whale grey, cushions made of offcuts from Iceland’s oldest tailor; and local artwork, such as Birgir Andrésson’s textual canvasses and Sigurdur Gudmundsson’s playful photographs feel snug and stylish. Street-facing windows let you spy on hip Reykjavikers, too.

Packing tips

Bring some footwear suitable for exploring; for winter stays, a North Face parka and fleecy jim-jams are de rigeur.

Also

The hotel is wheelchair-accessible with four specially-adapted rooms and a lift to all floors.

Children

Children are welcome. The hotel has a limited supply of baby kit (a couple of buggies, highchairs, beakers, children’s cutlery, child-friendly books and art supplies). Baby cots (free) can be added to any room.

Food and Drink

Photos Sandhotel food and drink

Top Table

Propped up against your cushioned headboard after ordering breakfast in bed – just don’t get cinnamon-y crumbs on the luxurious bedlinen.

Dress Code

Sleek knits and classic Lopapeysa jumpers.

Hotel restaurant

Take breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner at hotel restaurant Lauf on the ground floor. Dishes are hearty and rustic (warm soups and grain-filled breads to keep any chills at bay; harbour-sourced fish; granola; home-made sodas and rich coffee). 

Hotel bar

A lounge bar is attached to Lauf, for glasses of imported wine with cheese platters and a range of local and international beers.

Last orders

Breakfast and brunch are served from 7am to 2pm. Dinner service runs from 5.30pm to 11.30pm. In Lauf, drinks run dry at around midnight.

Room service

A Continental spread can be brought to your door during breakfast hours.

Location

Photos Sandhotel location
Address
Sandhotel
Laugavegur 36
Reykjavík
101
Reykjavík
Iceland

Planes

KeflavÍk Airport is Iceland’s main hub; from here, the hotel is an hour’s drive. There are direct flights to here from most major cities in Europe and services from New York arrive direct in around six hours. For hassle-free trip planning, get our Smith24 Team to book flights and hotel transfers for you; prices for the latter vary depending on what time you arrive.

Automobiles

Reykjavik is the jumping-off point for adventures in Iceland’s wondrous wilds; if you’re not a fan of coach tours, a car will come in handy. Smith24 can arrange car hire on request, and there’s a multi-storey car park a six-minute walk from Sandhotel.

Worth getting out of bed for

The list of trips the hotel’s friendly staff can arrange for you is as long as the number of vowels in an Icelandic volcano’s name. Ride horses through lupin fields and volcanic landscapes; trek through ice tunnels to the heart of a glacier; go caving, snorkelling and surfing; uncover Viking settlements; or hop in a helicopter for a private tour around the tip of a volcano. First-timers should hit the unpronounceable beauty spots of the Golden Circle (Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall and Geysir), or book a soak in the Blue Lagoon’s geothermal springs. Reykjavik itself is quirky and cosmopolitan, with sights as diverse as the Hallgrímskirkja church and Olafur Eliasson-designed Harpa opera house, and the blush-inducing Phallological Museum. Shop for lopapeysur (Iceland’s signature yolk sweaters) from the Handknitting Association of Iceland; niche vinyl from the Bónus Plötur label at vegan eatery Kaffi Vínyl (only 30 pressings are made of each release); and on the weekend hit downtown thrift market Kolaportið where you can buy a vintage sweater, handcrafted dreamcatcher, retro dinnerware and fermented shark meat in one fell swoop. Along Laugavegur, take pit stops at clothing store Kiosk (for Murder She Wrote-themed leather jackets and sculptural jewellery), Spúútnik (for Seventies leisurewear and sequinned things), and Myconceptstore (for tin toy robots, scented candles and turntables). Fatigued but in need of formal wear? Gentleman’s gear from Guðsteinn Eyjólfsson can be delivered to your room.

Local restaurants

Lined in colour-coded books and working its kitsch-Americana interiors with style, the Laundromat Café is a hip hangout that also happens to be one of Reykjavik’s more reasonable dining spots; the duck-confit burger and blueberry pancakes are stand-out menu items. Book in advance for fine pescetarian fare at Fiskfélagið whose two tasting-menu choices include a culinary tour of Iceland (cumin-marinated salmon, tender local lamb and a liquorice-chocolate dessert) or ‘a’ trip round the world’: a pan-global feast for the whole table.

Local cafés

Sandholt, Iceland’s most beloved bakery, is part of the hotel’s community; and it’s just next door, so you needn’t wander far for lunch. Order sandwiches of pomegranate-flecked chicken salad and gouda with roasted vegetables encased in warm, freshly baked sourdough, followed by stylish sweet treats. Alternatively, the spiced rolls at Brauð & Co elicit more gasps of delight than the friskiest of auroras do – seek out the bakery’s graffitied façade on Frakkastígur.

Local bars

Along Laugavegur, Dillon is a lively rock bar with an international whisky menu – including one distilled in Iceland. Live music is often hosted in the gastropub within super-cool hostel – and former biscuit factory – Kex, and Kaffibarinn (look for its idiosyncratic London Underground-roundel-style sign) is one of Iceland’s cosiest gathering spots.

Reviews

Photos Sandhotel reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this cosy city hotel in central Reykjavik and unpacked their liquorice and matching yoke sweaters, a full account of their town and country break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Sandhotel in Iceland…
 
Have you heard the one about the tailor, baker and hotel-maker? Two wanted to loaf-er-round, but the third had reservations. Ba-dum-tish… Ok. What we lack in comedic genius, we make up for in taste. We appreciate the snug-fit of the dress jackets from Iceland’s oldest tailor Guðsteinn Eyjólfsson, the moreish tahini-swirl pastries from revered Reykjavik bakery Sandholt, and the subtle elegance of city-centre boutique stay Sandhotel. The trio sit shoulder to shoulder along Laugavegur, the main artery of Iceland’s compact capital, which is shot through with edgy bars and Scandi-cool shops. 
 
Like a tray of the bakery’s signature cinnamon buns popped into a piping-hot oven, Sandhotel is rising in popularity for adventurers who want to punctuate the stay’s lavish choice of tours – ice-caving, helicopter rides to volcano peaks, Pokémon-hunting (yes, really) – with a soft, snuggly bed and sugary bunfight of a breakfast. One of the unassuming white houses the hotel occupies was also once home to Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness, but we don’t have an-author joke for him. Sorry.  

 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Sandhotel’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The room was very well fitted out and comfortable. All of the staff were very friendly and helpful in recommending trips, restaurants and bars. Very central and ideally situated. The Bakery next door for breakfast (Sand Holt) is genuinely excellent. The Dill cocktail in Apotek was wonderful as was the 7 course tasting menu (and they will swap the whale off the menu for tuna which we did).

Don’t expect

We didn't receive our Mr & Mrs Smith extras, we were told that they would have something sent to the room as it was our anniversary and they didn't. When we went to confirm what time our rental car would be arriving for us in the morning we found that it hadn't been booked (despite us providing card details etc). Interestingly each of these interactions were with the same one member of staff. The other staff members on other shifts sorted out the rental car really well and bailed them out. These things took a bit of a shine off an otherwise excellent stay.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Oct 2017

We loved

The bakery and breakfast. 

Don’t expect

Good rooms, but not luxurious for the price; one of the two best hotels in Reykjavik/Iceland – but none are really the equivalent of a 4- or 5-star European hotel for the price. 

Rating

Stayed on 28 Jul 2017

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