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Iceland has a wide range of different accommodation options to suit a wide spectrum of needs and budgets. You can find cheap camping grounds and hostels, budget bed & breakfasts, a variety of apartments, luxurious apartment hotels and 4 or 5-star hotels. There has also been a recent growth in the occurrence of igloo hotels. From these igloos, people can watch the northern lights while still staying cosy and warm.
Many hotels are small, boutique hotels and five-star hotels are rare. This is especially true in the countryside where the local population may only be a few hundred people.
The country and its population are small but tourism is booming and a number of hotels are rising. Nonetheless, medium-priced hotels fill up quickly and if you have a large group of people coming to Iceland, you should be booking your hotels about a year in advance - especially if you are coming in summertime. The closer it gets to summer or holiday season the harder it is to find affordable accommodation, so make sure to reserve in advance.
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Types of Accommodation
Hotels in Iceland
Hotels in Iceland are generally considered a more premium option for travellers. They tend to offer more privacy than guesthouses and hostels. They also offer a higher standard of accommodation than you would receive in a hostel.
Hotels will often have a small restaurant. It’s crucial to plan ahead in regard to meals, especially if you’re staying in a country hotel as restaurants are rarer in remote areas.
Rooms will often have a flat-screen TV and room safes are commonplace. Many hotels will also have a private hot tub for guests to relax and unwind in after a long day of adventure.
Hotels are ideal for: Large groups travelling together, people who like privacy and enjoy their own space and those who prefer a more luxurious accommodation option.
Hostels in Iceland
Hostels are great for budget travellers. They tend to be highly social places, where travellers can mix and mingle together. Some hostels will have a small bar or restaurant within them which is great for relaxing after a long day of adventure. Sleeping areas tend to be more basic than one would receive in a hotel or guesthouse, but they are perfect for those travelling to Iceland on a budget.
Hostels are ideal for: People travelling on a budget, young people and solo travellers who are looking to socialise.
Guesthouses in Iceland
Guesthouses are common in Iceland. Indeed, Icelanders love to invite travellers into their home and tell them all about their favourite places in the local area.
Generally speaking, breakfast will be offered as an optional extra. Hot water and heating are included as standard. Many guesthouses in Iceland will have shared bathrooms but on some occasions, it may be possible to reserve a room with a private bathroom.
Guesthouses tend to be very warm and comfortable places which have common areas to socialise in and cosy bedrooms to relax in.
Guesthouses are ideal for: Families, couples and solo travellers who are happy to socialise, those who want a local’s tips and advice and people who enjoy the feeling of being in a home-away-from-home.
Cottages in Iceland
Self-catering cottages are often the most comfortable accommodation options in rural Iceland. Cottages tend to be placed in remote areas and so allow travellers to soak up the landscapes and nature on offer in Iceland.
The cottages are self-contained units which include a kitchen, bathroom, living room and private bedrooms. Those looking for sleeping bag accommodations (where you can bring your sleeping bag and pay a reduced rate) should opt for a cottage, as owners often offer this deal, though linens are available as standard.
Cottages are ideal for: Those looking for self-catered accommodation, families who want to stay in the same place as one another and those seeking a retreat to nature in Iceland.
Apartments in Iceland
Apartments offer guests the chance to spread out and make themselves at home. They can be basic or luxurious and there is a range of options available for every budget. The apartment tends to comprise a small kitchenette, sitting area (with a TV), private bathroom and bed. Some apartments are studio flats and are open-plan, whereas others offer more privacy with enclosed bedrooms.
They are a comfortable accommodation option, especially for those staying in Reykjavik and looking to save money by eating in the apartment on some nights.
Apartments are ideal for: Families with young children, people who want the option to eat at home and those who like lots of space to spread out.
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