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20 Best Hotels in Iceland for Northern Lights

20 Best Hotels in Iceland for Northern Lights

Finding the best hotels in Iceland for the northern lights is a top priority for most travelers visiting the Nordic country.

The aurora borealis, or northern lights, consist of multi-colored streaks twirling through the skies, almost hypnotizing you with their dance.

They are best seen on crisp, clear Icelandic nights in winter–September through April.

The island is famous for magical displays of nature and rugged beauty. Meaning a visit anytime would be an incredible experience.

But to get an opportunity to see the northern lights checked into an amazing hotel with excellent service and accommodations as a base?

Life-changing.

That’s why we’ve researched the best hotels in Iceland for northern lights by compiling verified guest ratings.

Northern Lights in Iceland

Our favorites are listed based on location, amenities, service, and, of course, food and drinks.

Now let’s get mesmerized…uh, started.

Best Hotels for a Classic Iceland Experience

Oftentimes the best hotels in Iceland for northern lights will offer you a typical experience in one all-around excellent property.

You can always do an Icelandic deep dive on your next visit!

1. Hotel Ranga

A countryside resort, Hotel Ranga ranks as one of the best hotels in Iceland for northern lights due to its modern appointments and location.

The log-cabin-themed hotel sits about an hour from Reykjavik in south Iceland.

It features excellent dining and service and Icelanders love it for their own getaways, weddings and other special events.

Hrammur, their taxidermied 10-foot polar bear greets guests in the cozy lobby. He’s just begging to be in your Instagram feed.

But guests love watching the northern lights from one of three geothermal water hot tubs. The hotel also has its own observatory.

They charge a premium, but it’s a premium experience. It’s rated a 4.5 out of a possible 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high speed internet
  • Hot tubs
  • Free breakfast
Hotel Ranga, Iceland

2. Hotel Husafell

Hotel Husafell is consistently recognized as one of the best hotels in Iceland for northern lights for delivering modern conveniences in natural surroundings.

It’s on the smaller side offering 48 well-appointed rooms with heated floors and organic toiletries.

It’s only 90-minutes from Reykjavik but has easy access to Langjokull glacier for hiking.

Such proximity to the glacier’s snowy peaks ensures winter nights are typically clear for perfect northern lights viewing.

The on-site restaurant serves international cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients for a one-of-a-kind dining experience.

They have a geothermal water swimming pool open year-round and midnight golf during the summer.

National Geographic recognizes Hotel Husafell as one of their “Unique Lodges of the World.”

Guests rate it a 4.5 out of a possible 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high speed internet
  • Pool
  • Free breakfast
Hotel Husafell is one of the best hotels in Iceland for nothern lights.

3. Northern Light Inn

This boutique property is often thought of as the best hotel in Iceland to view the Northern Lights due to its location.

The Northern Light Inn is situated in the center of UNESCO listed Global Geopark in Reykjanes and close to the Blue Lagoon.

Only minutes from Keflavik International Airport, it’s also within easy reach of Reykjavik.

And all you have to do to see the northern lights is walk outside on one of the clear, dark nights of winter.

The property features a Wellness Center with fitness and float equipment, saunas and massage.

Max’s Restaurant specializes in Scandinavian cuisine with vegetarian options. Guests love the feeling of warm hospitality from staff.

The main attractions here are the northern lights and proximity to the Blue Lagoon. Rated a 4.5 out of possible 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high speed internet
  • Sauna
  • Free breakfast
Restaurant at Northern Light Inn with Floor to Ceiling Windows

4. Hotel Laxnes

The Hotel Laxnes is one of the best hotels in Iceland to see northern lights because it’s close to nature but still conveniently located.

Explore rivers, waterfalls and the sea. Or venture into the village of Mosfellsbaer for shopping and dining.

Most guest rooms offer Esja mountain views as well as direct views of the northern lights.

They offer a breakfast buffet as well as light fare and cocktails in their on-site bar. Knowledgeable staff are available to help with activities and tours.

Nearby, there are hiking and biking trails. Families love the access to horseback riding, swimming and petting zoo.

Guests love how close it is to Reykjavik while also giving them a mountain retreat feel. They rate it a 4.5 out of possible 5.

  • Free parking and airport transfers
  • Free high speed internet
  • Hot tub and game room
  • Free breakfast
Hotel Laxnes under the northern lights.

5. Hotel Budir

One of the most charming hotels to see the northern lights in Iceland is in the remote countryside outside of Reykjavik. It’s a great option if you plan on renting a car in Iceland.

Far from light pollution, the northern lights are easily viewed from the grounds of Hotel Budir. Guests can request wake-up calls so they won’t miss a moment.

All guest rooms have glacier, sea, mountain or lava field views and are comfortably appointed.

An on-site restaurant offers West Icelandic cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients and fresh caught fish.

Enjoy a cocktail and views from the on-site lounge after a day of exploring, hiking or horseback riding.

The beautiful surrounding countryside makes this property shine. Guests rate it a 4.5 out of possible 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high speed internet
  • Free breakfast
  • Beach
After a hike, relax in the stylish Hotel Budir lounge.

6. Hotel Laki

When considering the best hotel in Iceland to view the northern lights, many want a property that’s sustainable.

They’ll find that quality in the family-run Hotel Laki which uses natural materials as much as possible throughout the property.

The hotel prides itself on offering guests modern conveniences, privacy and access to the beautiful environment surrounding it.

On-site dining offers local specialities made with fresh ingredients.

Its countryside location makes it an ideal place to view the northern lights. Families, in particular, feel welcome and there are plenty of activities for all ages.

Guests noted the hotel had a rustic feel in a scenic area. They rate it a 3.5 out of possible 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high speed internet
  • Free breakfast
  • Hiking and fishing
Interior of superior guest room of Hotel Laki.

7. The Old Harbour Apartments

Typically, visitors want hotels to see the northern lights in Iceland, but an exceptional experience is to have your own apartment.

The Old Harbour Apartments are located in the Old Harbour area of Reykjavik. Two apartments are inside a 90-year old, three-story building.

The street is residential, so it’s quiet while still providing access to museums, shops, bakeries and activities like whale watching and northern lights tours.

One apartment is three bedrooms and the other one is two bedrooms. Both provide luxurious beds with down comforters.

Each apartment has a kitchen, bathroom and a spacious living room.

Visitors find the apartment experience absolutely charming and rate the Old Harbour Apartments a 5 out of possible 5.

  • Washer/Dryers
  • Kitchens with coffee makers and dishwashers
  • Hair dryers
  • Free high speed internet
Boats in Reykjavik's Old Harbour

Best Hotels for a Luxury Experience

Iceland offers a selection of luxury hotels in Iceland for northern lights and these are the best.

8. The Retreat at Blue Lagoon

Luxury hotels in Iceland don’t always make you feel like you’re in another world, but The Retreat at Blue Lagoon certainly does.

When not floating in the therapeutic waters of the Blue Lagoon, relax with a rejuvenating spa treatment.

Or enjoy world-class dining at Moss. The entire hotel is centered on your wellness.

Enormous windows invite you to contemplate the ethereal waters of the geothermal lagoon or the volcanos visible in the distance.

As for northern lights, staff monitor the skies and will dim the lights so they are as visible as possible.

Guests can even request a wake up call so they won’t miss them even after retiring for the night.

If you’re looking for a wellness-centered retreat, you’ll love this one at Blue Lagoon.

Guests love the spa and lagoon and rate it a 4.5 out of possible 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high speed internet
  • Pool and fitness center
  • Free breakfast
  • Airport transfers
The Retreat at Blue Lagoon is one of the best luxury hotels for northern lights in Iceland.

9. ION Adventure Hotel

ION Adventure Hotels is one of the most luxurious hotels to see the northern lights in Iceland due to their award-winning sustainable guest rooms.

They are next to the UNESCO recognized Thingvellir National Park so the hotel is a natural choice for those who want to explore Iceland’s raw beauty.

Back on property, guests can enjoy the spa, cocktails while enjoying the view at the Northern Lights Bar and Nordic cuisine at Silfra Restaurant.

The northern lights are then best viewed while soaking in the geothermal warmed swimming pool.

Some guests noted that the property is close to the geothermal power station that provides power to Reykjavik.

So a slight smell of sulphur might be detectable.

ION Adventure Hotel is rated a 3.5 out of possible 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high speed internet
  • Hot tub and sauna
  • Bar/lounge
Guests can hike glaciers and a dormant volcano at ION Adventure Hotel.

10. Hotel Grimsborgir

This five star rated property ranks highly in our list of best hotels in Iceland for northern lights due to the level of luxury it consistently delivers.

Located in the Golden Circle on the Sogid River, Hotel Grimsborgir offers breathtaking views and access to some of Iceland’s famous geography.

It also offers easy access to Thingvellir National Park.

All rooms have private balconies and there are 29 geothermal water tubs on-site–some of them private.

As it’s far from any source of light pollution, the northern lights are clearly visible from the grounds.

The on-site restaurant serves Icelandic and international dishes and, in the summer, offers terrace dining.

Every weekend, guests enjoy live entertainment. It’s rated a 4.5 out of possible 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high speed internet
  • Free breakfast
  • Activities desk
A stylish bedroom in Hotel Grimsborgir.

11. Reykjavik Konsulat Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton

One of the best luxury hotels in Iceland for northern lights is the beloved Reykjavik Konsulat Hotel–a former 1900s department store.

The old town Reykjavik property features a scratch kitchen serving up an eclectic menu.

Guest rooms are stylish and welcoming with nods to its storied history. Framed photography and vintage touches decorate the interiors.

It’s central location means the property is accessible to northern light excursions without giving up the city’s shopping, dining and entertainment.

  • Free high speed internet
  • Hot tub and fitness center
  • Free breakfast
  • Activities desk
The Reykjavik Konsulate Hotel by Hilton's city location makes it one of the best hotels to see the northern lights in Iceland

12. Hotel Borg

If you want luxury hotels in Iceland for Northern Lights with tons of style, take a look at the Art Deco-themed Hotel Borg.

Centrally located in Reykjavik, guests have easy access to Austurvollur Square, Parliament House, Reykjavik Cathedral and all sorts of shopping and dining.

Glamorous rooms and suites are thoughtfully appointed and carry the same Art Deco style of the public interiors.

A world-class spa offers a hot tub, steam baths and saunas. There’s also a fitness room. All registered guests have access to this restorative space.

Northern lights tours, whale watching excursions and other sightseeing expeditions can be booked by the knowledgeable staff at the on-site tour desk.

Guests rate it a 4.5 out of possible 5.

  • Free high speed internet
  • Fitness center/spa
  • Bar/lounge and nightclub
  • Room service
Art Deco Hotel Borg double room

Best Hotels for a Cozy Nordic Experience

This selection of best hotels in Iceland for northern lights are warm and cozy.

Settle in for some snuggling under the enchanted skies.

13. Magma Hotel

The Magma Hotel is one of best hotels in Iceland to see Northern Lights because of its small size and great viewing location.

It sits in south Iceland on a lake with abundant wildlife and dramatic lava fields.

In the distance a glacier and volcanoes add to the otherworldly landscape.

The Bistro offers complimentary coffee and tea throughout the day. Sumptuous breakfasts are served here, as well as fresh, healthy Icelandic cuisine.

The guest rooms are modern and luxurious. It’s a natural, comfortable place to see the northern lights.

Guests think this is an excellent accommodation and rate it a 5 out of 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high speed internet
  • Free breakfast
  • Hiking and children’s activities
The Magma Hotel offers a cozy Nordic stay to make it one of the best hotels for nothern lights in Iceland.

14. Hotel Kria

Described as the homey yet sophisticated best hotel in Iceland to view the northern lights is on Iceland’s dramatic southern coast.

Hotel Kria is a medium-sized property offering 72 comfortably appointed guest rooms and one suite.

The property’s Drangar Restaurant serves traditional Icelandic cuisine and breakfast is included in the room rate.

There is also a cocktail lounge for relaxing after a day of hiking and sightseeing.

Guests love watching the northern lights dancing over the Atlantic Ocean and can request wake up calls so as not to miss a single moment.

The hotel also prides itself on its sustainability efforts with a focus on customer service without environmental stress.

This is an excellent location for those wanting to explore Iceland’s wild natural side. It’s rated a 4.5 out of possible 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high speed internet
  • Breakfast included
  • Family activities
The double guest room at Hotel Kria.

Best Hotels for a Guesthouse Experience

These are the best hotels for northern lights in Iceland if you’re looking for intimate guest houses rather than big, modern hotels.

15. Hotel Reykjanes

A great alternative to hotels to see the northern lights in Iceland are inns and guesthouses

Heydalur is a charming little guesthouse and restaurant in the Westfjords.

The nine guest rooms are in an old farmhouse. Each room has an exterior entrance, private bathrooms and heated floors.

The Hotel Reykjanes farm’s barn has been renovated into a restaurant where meals are prepared with locally-sourced ingredients.

There are many things to do as well: horse-back riding, kayaking, soaking in the hot springs, hiking and fishing.

And, of course, watching the northern lights.

Guests have noted the area is quite remote and a little rustic. It’s highly rated though at a 4.5 out of possible 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high speed internet
  • Pool
  • Sauna
  • Bar/lounge

16. Freyja Guesthouse

Not only is one of the best hotels in Iceland to see northern lights right in Reykjavik’s city center, it’s an adorable guesthouse too.

The Freyja Guesthouse is next to the picturesque Hallgrimskirkja Church, the highest point in Reykjavik.

The guesthouse has a fully stocked kitchen for guest use and lounge space. It’s also close to shopping on Skolavoroustigur.

And is within walking distance to the pick-up point for northern lights tours.

The oldest swimming pool in Iceland is close by for swimming and soaking in the hot tubs.

Guestrooms are plushly appointed and are supplied with L’Occitane toiletries, Nespresso coffee and high speed internet.

The guesthouse is a favorite among visitors to Reykjavik who give it an excellent rating of 5 out of possible 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high speed internet
  • Kitchen and lounge
  • Bicycle rentals
The charming interior of a bedroom in the Freyja Guesthouse.

Best Hotel for Adventure Tourism

Adventure travelers also want the best hotels in Iceland for northern lights that will get them as close to thrilling activity as possible.

17. Deplar Farm

Remote and rugged, Deplar Farm is one of the best hotels in Iceland to see northern lights for skiers who like a challenge.

Once a sheep station, Deplar Farm sits in the Fljot Valley on the Troll Peninsula in the mountains of northern Iceland.

This area gets some fairly serious snowfall to the delight of skiers. There’s even two helipads for thrill-seekers to drop right into powder.

After a day–or summer evening–on the downhill runs, guests can soak in the geothermal water swimming pool or book a session with a massage therapist.

And the geothermal heated pool is the ideal place to float and catch the northern lights.

The lodge is small at 13 bedrooms and dining may be a bit “go with the flow,” but guests think Deplar Farm is excellent and rate it a 4.5 out of possible 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high speed internet
  • Pool and fitness center
  • Free breakfast
Adventurerers will think Deplar Farm is the best hotel to view northern lights in Iceland.

18. Dalshofdi Guesthouse

Along Iceland’s southern coast, many charming guesthouses and hotels to see the northern lights in Iceland are available.

The Dalshofdi Guesthouse is on a remote farm sitting alongside the picturesque Hverfisfljot River.

Waterfalls and rapids running with glacier water dot the surrounding countryside. In this pastoral setting, guests can explore the beauty all around them.

The accommodations include five twin bedrooms in a separate cottage. Be aware there are two bathrooms that are shared.

Another apartment that sleeps four has a private bathroom. There’s also a fully stocked kitchen all guests can use.

Because of the lack of light pollution, the chances of seeing the northern lights are excellent.

Guests rate it a 4 out of possible 5.

  • Breakfast included
  • Hiking
  • Free high speed internet
  • Use of grill
Glacier lagoons and other wild attractions surround Dalshofdi Guesthouse.

Best Hotels for Staying in Reykjavik 

These are the best hotels in Iceland for northern lights if you prefer staying, shopping and dining in Iceland’s dynamic capital city of Reykjavik.

19. Hilton Reykjavik 

One of the best hotels in Iceland to see northern lights is conveniently located in the heart of Reykjavik.

At the Hilton Reykjavik, you’ll be in the thick of the action and close to Reykjavik Botanical Gardens and major shopping centers.

In fact, all the attractions, world-class dining and entertainment of Reykjavik will be at your feet at this fabulous Hilton.

The airport is close too at only a ten minute drive away. The property also features a spa with sauna and whirlpool.

Fantastic local and Scandinavian dishes are available at the on-site restaurant VOX or enjoy a cocktail in the hotel’s lobby bar.

There’s also an extremely helpful tour desk with knowledgeable staff to help you book northern lights tours, whale watching tours, guided horseback riding—whatever you want!

Guests who prefer more of a city experience loved the energy and excitement of the area and rated it a 4.5 out of possible 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high speed internet
  • Fitness center and hot tub
  • Bar/lounge
The public spaces of the Hilton Reykjavik are decorated in a cozy Nordic style.

20. Kvosin Hotel

The Kvosin Hotel is on our list of best hotels in Iceland for northern lights for offering an intimate resident feel in Reykjavik’s city center.

Rooms and apartments are designed with comfort and personal touches in mind. The building was originally constructed in 1900.

But modern Scandinavian style and conveniences abound. It’s also located near city attractions, shopping and dining.

Northern lights excursions and other activities can be arranged by a knowledgeable travel concierge.

Guest rooms are equipped with refrigerators that can be stocked with your favorites drinks and snacks prior to arrival.

Or enjoy drinks and light fare in the on-site lounge.

  • Free high speed internet
  • Bar/lounge
  • Concierge
  • Kitchenette

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