The 101 Hotel is named after the postcode attributed to the centre of Reykjavik. Occupying a former 1930s office building once used by the Icelandic Social Democratic Party, the hotel opened in 2003.
The four-star hotel is owned by local businesswoman Ingibjorg S Palmadottir – she was also responsible for its interior design. It has since joined the Design Hotels collection of boutique properties (a good hallmark of its high standard).
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
The 101 is low-key, quiet and stylish. Reception is to the right on the ground floor as you come in, with a lounge and restaurant to the left. There is a variety of modern art and sculpture by local artists displayed throughout, which livens up the otherwise minimalist black and white interiors. Furnishings are Scandi in style, with pieces by designers such as Eero Saarinen and Philippe Starck.
WHERE IS IT?
On the corner of Hverfisgata and Ingolfsstraeti, in the city centre, 40 minutes drive from the airport. There is free street parking as well as a multi-storey car park nearby.
Standard rooms (24 sqm) come with queen-size beds made up with white Italian linen, minibars, safes, satellite TV, robes and slippers, phones and Bose sound docks. Marble bathrooms come with walk-in showers, under-floor heating, hairdryers and Aveda bathing products.
There is turndown service in the evening and in-room dining. Higher category rooms have the same amenities and décor (wood floors, monochrome furnishings) but more space (from 28 sqm to 60 sqm). Some also have balconies.
I was impressed with the added extras in the wardrobe that included socks and a universal adaptor – these came at a fee but were very handy as my luggage was misplaced by the airline.
My stylish corner Junior suite also had a long workdesk facing out towards the sea, a small outdoor roof terrace terrace with a table and chairs, and a spacious bathroom with a free-standing tub, as well as a rainshower.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
The hotel’s on-site bar-restaurant is called Kitchen and Wine – I didn’t eat here in the evening but I did sample the breakfast buffet in the morning. It was very peaceful at 9am on a Saturday, with just one other guest sipping coffee.
I liked the space, which had high ceilings and was filled with light. There was a decent selection of food laid out along the bar – pastries, fruit, bread, cheese, cold cuts and the like.
Small plates, bar snacks, lunch and dinner are also served from a European menu (club sandwiches, steak, burgers, flat breads and so on).
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES
The dramatic Red Room (with a crimson carpet, and black and white furniture) can seat up to 40 delegates, and has a bar, sound system, Apple TV and projector. There is also a boardroom for up to 12 people.
You can catch up on emails or meet clients for coffee in the lobby lounge, which also has a huge selection of international magazines and papers (in English), a cosy fireplace and tree trunk tables. Wifi is free throughout the property.
There is a modest basement gym, steam room and spa bath. Massages can be performed in-room. DVDs are available from an in-house library.
VERDICT A stylish city centre hotel, great for business travellers. It has a nice Nordic feel about it as well, so you will know you are in Iceland.
- HOW MANY ROOMS? 38 rooms and suites (Standard, Double, Double Deluxe, Double Balcony, Junior Suite, Junior Suite Balcony, Suite Balcony, Apartment Suite).
- HIGHLIGHTS City centre location, smart interior design, free wifi and expansive Junior suites with views of the city and mountains.
- PRICE Internet rates for a Standard room started from £307 in July.
- CONTACT 101 Hotel, Hverfisgata 10, Reyjavik; tel +354 580 0101; designhotels.com