It took almost a decade after it became a hip, clubbing capital for Reyjkavik to get the hostelry it was crying out for. The 101 Hotel, named for the central postal district where it stands, remains the height of cool. Where else could you bump into Bjork in the bar or find yourself sharing the hot tub with visiting rock stars?
The 101 enjoys stunning views of harbour and city landmarks like the National Theatre, and every spacious room is flooded with northern light. But the branding which has carried the hotel’s fame far and wide is ubiquitous — there are hats, gloves and other items emblazoned with the 101 logo, and many guests go home with one of the covetable Icelandic wool bedcovers. There isn’t an element of the decor, it seems, that isn’t for sale.
Huge and well-equipped bathrooms leave the sleeping space uncluttered and serene. Some rooms have clawfoot tubs; all have large rainfall showers, and the Aveda freebies can be supplemented with Blue Lagoon body beautifiers from the mini-bar selection under the stylish sink.
There is a gym, sauna, hot tub and a bar and restaurant which serves a buffet breakfast and hosts a happening local scene on weekends. The lounge is stocked with art books and comfortable chairs which, with their cracked leather and ponyskin, look to have come from some frontier farmhouse. The only disappointment is that, unlike the fabulous native art, the chairs are from Portobello Road!
RATES: from about £120
TEL: 00 354 5800 101