In the trendy, stylish city of Reykjavik, there is no shortage of trendy, stylish places to stay, but few options mix that sophisticated style with such warm hospitality as the Kvosin Downtown Hotel. The hotel, which opened in June of 2013 after a renovation of the historic building, offers 24 inviting apartment rooms perfectly situated in the heart of downtown.
Rooms come in four sizes but each has a spacious living area and cooking facilities, comfortable bedding, hardwood floors, and blackout shades (handy during the summer’s midnight sun). Suites sleep four people, with a master bedroom, smaller bedroom with bunk beds, and two large balconies that overlook the city. “Biggest” rooms sleep six on two double beds and a sofa sleeper; “Bigger” rooms sleep four on a double bed and one sofa sleeper.
I was in a “Big” room, which is the smallest size offered, and I found it to be quite spacious for my husband and I. Our room had a double bed, a tiled bathroom with walk-in shower and AVEDA toiletries, a sofa and coffee table in the small living area, and an island kitchenette with sink, electric burners, a Nespresso machine, and a small fridge.
We had everything we could need for a short stay: a Samsung Smart TV, Tivoli Audio System, laptop-sized safe, hair-dryer, dishes, cookware, and glasses, books and magazines, and even an iron and ironing board. All rooms are non-smoking and wifi is free throughout the hotel.
There’s no pool, gym, or restaurant onsite at the hotel, but there is a small bar which offers a great selection of beer, wine, and spirits, and offers happy hour daily from 4-7pm. There’s also a small commissary at the front desk, and breakfast from the Bergsson cafe next door is included.
During my visit, breakfast included coffee, fresh-baked bread with butter and jam, prosciutto and cheese, skyr (similar to yogurt) with berries and granola, fresh fruit, and a five-minute egg.
Kvosin offers a 24-hour concierge as well as concierge services to help you plan your trip before you arrive. Since this was my fourth trip to Iceland, I didn’t use the concierge services, but I had a hint at their quality when I learned that they inform guests not to book a Northern Lights tour in advance as bad weather can cancel the tours as late as 6pm; they recommend you let them know what dates you are available and they will confirm you on a tour once they know the tours are running that night. I appreciated that the staff weren’t just trying to sell tours, they were trying to ensure guests have the best experience and make the most of their time.
Staff are helpful and attentive, with a great sense of humor that come through in small details – from the Do Not Disturb signs to the Icelandic names for each room (yes, there is a Bjork room).
The hotel is located in one of the best areas in Reykjavik. Surrounded by landmarks like the Parliament building, Tjörnin (the pond) and City Hall, it’s close to all the action of downtown Reykjavik. The harbor is less than five minutes’ walk and Laugavegur (the main shopping street) less than ten. Just outside the door are countless bars and restaurants; however, since the hotel is one block removed from the main drag, it’s quiet at night.
Rooms start at around $160 per night if you book direct at the Kvosin Downtown Hotel website (Big room, off-season). In summer rates begin at $260 per night. Compare rates and book through Travelocity, Expedia or Hotels.com.