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20 Best Hotels in Iceland for Northern Lights

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Finding the best hotels in Iceland for the northern lights is a top priority for most Nordic travelers. 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. This means a visit anytime would be an incredible experience.

But to get an opportunity to see the northern lights while staying in 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. Our favorites are listed based on location, amenities, service, and food and drinks. Now let’s get mesmerized…uh, started.

Our Top Picks

1. Northern Light Inn Top Recommendation

The Northern Light Inn offers travelers a unique experience in Reykjavik, Iceland. This family-owned hotel features luxurious amenities including a wellness spa, fitness center and a cozy fireplace lounge with stunning panoramic views of the Reykjanes Penisula’s mossy landscape. In addition, free shuttle busses are available to and from the nearby Blue Lagoon, making this convenient destination perfect for indulging in pure relaxation.

2. Hotel Rangá

Are you looking for a luxurious escape that offers you breathtaking views and an amazing experience of stargazing? Look no further than Hotel Rangá! This luxury hotel is located in a remote beautiful location next to the Rangá Salmon River in Hella, where guests can be mesmerized by views of Mount Hekla or the riverside from individually decorated rooms. It's the perfect destination for travelers seeking enchantment and new experiences of a lifetime!

3. Hotel Grimsborgir

Visit the wondrous Hotel Grimsborgir in beautiful Ásborgir and immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery of South Iceland. A mere 15 minutes away from Selfoss, and only 13 mi from Thingvellir National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this hotel offers delights for adventurers and explorers alike. Enjoy an unparalleled view of the sky and mountains from your room, or lounge in one of our outdoor hot tubs – look out for the Northern Lights!

Best Hotels for a Classic Iceland Experience

1. Hotel Ranga

Hotel Ranga, Iceland

A countryside resort, Hotel Ranga ranks as one of the best 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 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 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

2. Hotel Husafell

Hotel Husafell is one of the best hotels in Iceland for nothern lights.

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 smaller, 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

3. Northern Light Inn

Restaurant at Northern Light Inn with Floor to Ceiling Windows

Due to its location, this boutique property is often considered the best hotel in Iceland to view the Northern Lights. The Northern Light Inn is situated in the center of the 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. All you have to do to see the northern lights is walk outside on one of the clear 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 the staff. The main attractions here are the northern lights and the proximity to the Blue Lagoon. Rated a 4.5 out of possible 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high-speed internet
  • Sauna
  • Free breakfast

4. Hotel Laxnes

Hotel Laxnes under the northern lights.

The Hotel Laxnes is one of the best hotels in Iceland to see the 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 is available to help with activities and tours.

Nearby, there are hiking and biking trails. Families love the access to horseback riding, swimming, and a petting zoo. Guests love the proximity to Reykjavik, giving them a mountain retreat feel. They rate it a 4.5 out of a possible 5.

  • Free parking and airport transfers
  • Free high-speed internet
  • Hot tub and game room
  • Free breakfast

5. Hotel Budir

After a hike, relax in the stylish Hotel Budir lounge.

One of the most charming hotels in Iceland to see the northern lights is in the remote countryside outside of Reykjavik. It’s a great option if you rent 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 are comfortably appointed with glacier, sea, mountain, or lava field views. An on-site restaurant offers West Icelandic cuisine with locally sourced ingredients and freshly caught fish.

Enjoy a cocktail and views from the on-site lounge after exploring, hiking, or horseback riding. The beautiful surrounding countryside makes this property shine. Guests rate it a 4.5 out of a possible 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high-speed internet
  • Free breakfast
  • Beach

6. Hotel Laki

Interior of superior guest room of Hotel Laki.

Many want a sustainable property when considering the best hotel in Iceland to view the northern lights. 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 specialties 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 a possible 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high-speed internet
  • Free breakfast
  • Hiking and fishing

7. The Old Harbour Apartments

Boats in Reykjavik's Old Harbour

Typically, visitors want hotels to see the northern lights in Iceland, but an exceptional experience is to have your 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 providing access to museums, shops, bakeries, and activities like whale watching and northern lights tours. One apartment has three bedrooms, and the other one has 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 charming and rate the Old Harbour Apartments a 5 out of a possible 5.

  • Washer/Dryers
  • Kitchens with coffee makers and dishwashers
  • Hair dryers
  • Free high-speed internet

Best Hotels for a Luxury Experience

8. The Retreat at Blue Lagoon

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon is one of the best luxury hotels for northern lights in Iceland.

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 them to be as visible as possible. Guests can even request a wake-up call so they won’t miss them even after retiring for the night. You’ll love this one at Blue Lagoon if you’re looking for a wellness-centered retreat.

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

  • Free parking
  • Free high-speed internet
  • Pool and fitness center
  • Free breakfast
  • Airport transfers

9. ION Adventure Hotel

Guests can hike glaciers and a dormant volcano at ION Adventure Hotel.

ION Adventure Hotels is one of the most luxurious hotels to see the northern lights due to its 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 the property, guests can enjoy the spa and cocktails while enjoying the view at the Northern Lights Bar and Nordic cuisine at Silfra Restaurant.

The northern lights are 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 sulfur might be detectable. ION Adventure Hotel is rated 3.5 out of a possible 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high speed internet
  • Hot tub and sauna
  • Bar/lounge

10. Hotel Grimsborgir

A stylish bedroom in Hotel Grimsborgir.

This five-star rated property ranks highly due to the 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 29 geothermal water tubs on-site–some of them private.

As it’s far from any source of light pollution, the northern lights are 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 a possible 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high-speed internet
  • Free breakfast
  • Activities desk

11. Reykjavik Konsulat Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton

The Reykjavik Konsulate Hotel by Hilton's city location makes it one of the best hotels to see the northern lights in Iceland

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 an eclectic menu.

Guest rooms are stylish and welcoming, with nods to its storied history. Framed photography and vintage touches decorate the interiors. Its central location makes the property 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

12. Hotel Borg

Art Deco Hotel Borg double room

If you want luxury hotels in Iceland for Northern Lights with tons of style, 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 as 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 therapeutic space.

The knowledgeable staff can book Northern Lights tours, whale-watching excursions, and other sightseeing expeditions at the on-site tour desk.

Guests rate it a 4.5 out of a possible 5.

  • Free high-speed internet
  • Fitness center/spa
  • Bar/lounge and nightclub
  • Room service

Best Hotels for a Cozy Nordic Experience

13. Magma Hotel

The Magma Hotel offers a cozy Nordic stay to make it one of the best hotels for nothern lights in Iceland.

The Magma Hotel is one of the best hotels in Iceland to see the 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 and fresh, healthy Icelandic cuisine are served here.

The guest rooms are modern and luxurious. It’s a natural, comfortable place to see the northern lights. Guests think this is excellent accommodation and rate it a 5 out of 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high-speed internet
  • Free breakfast
  • Hiking and children’s activities

14. Hotel Kria

The double guest room at 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 hiking and sightseeing.

Guests love watching the northern lights dancing over the Atlantic Ocean and can request wake-up calls to avoid missing a moment. The hotel also prides itself on its sustainability efforts, focusing on customer service without environmental stress. This location is excellent for those exploring Iceland’s wild natural side. It’s rated a 4.5 out of a possible 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high-speed internet
  • Breakfast included
  • Family activities

Best Hotels for a Guesthouse Experience

15. Hotel Reykjanes

Hotel Reykjanes building
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: horseback 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 a possible 5.

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

16. Freyja Guesthouse

The charming interior of a bedroom in the Freyja Guesthouse.

Located right in Reykjavik’s city center and with an adorable guesthouse, the Freyja Guesthouse is next to the picturesque Hallgrimskirkja Church, the highest point in Reykjavik.

The guesthouse has a fully stocked kitchen and lounge space for guest use. It’s also close to shopping on Skolavoroustigur. It is within walking distance to the pick-up point for Northern Lights tours.

The oldest swimming pool in Iceland is close by, and it is good 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

Best Hotel for Adventure Tourism

17. Deplar Farm

Adventurerers will think Deplar Farm is the best hotel to view northern lights in Iceland.

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 are even two helipads for thrill-seekers to drop right into a 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 geothermally heated pool is the ideal place to float and catch the northern lights. The lodge is small with 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 a possible 5.

  • Free parking
  • Free high-speed internet
  • Pool and fitness center
  • Free breakfast

18. Dalshofdi Guesthouse

Glacier lagoons and other wild attractions surround 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 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 two bathrooms 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 a possible 5.

  • Breakfast included
  • Hiking
  • Free high-speed internet
  • Use of grill

Best Hotels for Staying in Reykjavik 

19. Hilton Reykjavik 

The public spaces of the Hilton Reykjavik are decorated in a cozy Nordic style.

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.

At this fabulous Hilton, all of Reykjavik’s attractions, world-class dining, and entertainment will be at your feet. 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. Read our full guide to where to stay in Reykjavik.

  • Free parking
  • Free high-speed internet
  • Fitness center and hot tub
  • Bar/lounge

20. Kvosin Hotel

Aerial view of Kvosin Hotel building
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. A knowledgeable travel concierge can arrange Northern Lights excursions and other activities.

Guest rooms have refrigerators that can be stocked with your favorite drinks and snacks before arrival. Or enjoy drinks and light fare in the on-site lounge.

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

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