As you walk on Laugavegur, the main street of central Reykjavik, you will notice a bright pink sign in one of the side streets: it’s the unmistakeable Hotel Holt, a hotel, an art gallery and a point of reference for all foodies in town.
I kept an eye on Hotel Holt’s website and Facebook page ever since I visited Iceland for the first time, then when I recently went back I had the pleasure of staying there and loved everything about it.
First of all, there is a shuttle from the airport to Hotel Holt so it’s very easy to reach (bookings here), but even without a shuttle, the location is so central that it’s just impossible to miss. When I look for a place to stay, the location is one of the most important aspects for me – I am ready to pay a bit more if this allows me to be in the center, and avoid having to figure out transportation etc.
I have never been disappointed with accommodation in Iceland so I wasn’t worried at all, but I didn’t expect such a big room with such a lovely view! From my window I could see Hallgrimskirkja (the most famous church of the capital), the roofs of central Reykjavik and even the Yoko Ono Peace Tower light. Amazing! I didn’t see the northern lights this time around but I am sure they can be seen from there too.
I am not sure if Hotel Holt is the oldest hotel in Reykjavik – I think I read it somewhere but can’t find this information anymore – but it is surely one of the oldest. Here you will find a somehow old fashioned atmosphere – nice furniture, pieces of art, a lot of wood – but with a modern personality. By saying this I mean that the approach to hospitality is very up to date, with a focus on ecology and a very active life on social media (and a 24/7 live chat! How cool is that?), two things that count a lot to most travelers nowadays.
If this sounds obvious to you, maybe you haven’t stayed at some (most) of the hotels where I worked before…
Among these travelers, many celebrities have stayed at Hotel Holt, such as King Gustav of Sweden, Cameron Diaz, Eric Clapton, Viggo Mortensen, Susan Sarandon and recently even me!
I had the pleasure of exchanging some emails with the manager, Mr Snorri Valsson, who kindly answered my long lists of curious questions about everything at Hotel Holt. When I asked him what is the thing he’s more proud of, he gave me the best possible answer:
Our guest services team. We hire only passionately guest-oriented team members that stop at nothing to make sure our guests leave happy.
To me that sounds like a satisfaction guarantee.
Budget wise, accommodation in Iceland is never cheap if compared to many other countries. Hotel Holt is a 4 stars hotel but in the lower price range of the category. Also, its location is simply priceless.
All the guests have complimentary access to the World Class Laugar fitness center and geothermal swimming pool, located 5 km away from the hotel. The fitness center is state of the art and the largest one in Iceland. The same goes for the swimming pool. There is an Olympic sized one for exercise, both indoor and outdoor but most locals come for the hot pots (jacuzzis) where people discuss politics, the weather and everything under the sun. It is a very Icelandic experience to visit one of the geothermal swimming pools in Reykjavík.
Last but not least, Hotel Holt has the largest privately owned art collection in Iceland and Mr Snorri is happy to take guests on a private tour of the main paintings in the public areas. Hotel Holt also offers free access for 3 days to the 3 Reykjavík Art Museums as well as free access to the Hallgrímskirkja Church Tower for a stunning view of the city within 5 minutes walking distance. They do this to give their guests a better window into the art and culture scene in the fair city of Reykjavik… and I think this is just awesome (read: ‘aaawesooome’). Also, it will save you a lot of money!
If I went back to Reykjavik, I would totally stay at Hotel Holt in Reykjavik again. Just longer.
Who’s been there and what do you think about it?