Whether you’re heading for Oslo or Reykjavik, Alice Tate explains that there is no lack of stylish hotels waiting for you
Well-designed furnishings, minimalist aesthetics, and monochomatic palettes: this is what Scandinavia does best, and its hotels do a fine job of uniting the lot. We’re not talking Ikea furnishings, either. Whether you’re looking for a sleek city dwelling in Sweden, a rugged country escape in Iceland, or an urban oasis in Denmark, Scandinavia has it all.
ION Luxury Adventure Hotel, Selfoss
Set on stilts against Iceland’s rugged, other-worldly landscape, ION Luxury Adventure Hotel is simply striking. Located near to Thingvellir National Park, just off the Golden Circle route, guests are constantly treated to breathtaking views, in the contemporary Northern Lights Bar, in the pool and Lava Spa, and in guestrooms that have floor-to-ceiling windows. Aesthetics are raw but beautiful—a reflection of Iceland’s landscape—with naturalistic details and bold, contemporary artworks.
KEX is proof that you can do Scandinavia in style—and on a budget. Hostels have changed, and this is hard proof. The perfect home base for seeing the harbor and the city, KEX’s downtown location is preferable to many of Reykjavik’s top hotels, and at a snip of the price. The lobby feels urban and fresh; dorms and private rooms have stylish Scandinavian furnishings, and guests can revel in free luggage storage, wifi, bike rental, and a heated outdoor terrace.
Hotel Kong Arthur, Copenhagen
Located on the edge of the city’s coolest neighbourhood, Nørrebro, Kong Arthur is a contemporary hotel housed in a striking building that dates back to 1882. Guestrooms are sleek, minimalist affairs in monochromatic palettes—quintessentially Scandinavian—and downstairs is Copenhagen’s oldest spa, Ni’mat. This marble-floored city oasis features an aromatic spa bath, steam room, and hot tub. It’s the ideal hideaway during cold, Copenhagen winters.
Hotel Pigalle, Gothenburg
Inspired by the sins of 1900s Paris, Moulin Rouge-esque artworks line the walls of the dimly-lit central staircase at Hotel Pigalle, and are a bold contrast the light and airy guestrooms, which have elegant, Chinoiserie-style wallpaper and giant “Princess and the Pea” style beds. Whether you’re a guest or just a visitor passing through, don’t miss Bar Amuse. The rooftop lounge and sun terrace are the perfect place to escape with a top-notch Negroni in hand.
As one of Copenhagen’s newest openings, SP34 is a slick, 4 star hotel that’s already scooping up design awards and attracting a trendy crowd to match. Situated in the bohemian Latin Quarter, the lobby and bar is all exposed brick, wooden floors, and tan leather. The 118 guestrooms reflect the hotel’s relaxed luxury approach, with muted grey color palettes, curvilinear Scandinavian furnishings, and Ren toiletries in the bathrooms. Because they know you’ll be coveting the furnishings, much of the rooms’ decor—filament bulbs, ceramics, and the like—is available to purchase in the shop downstairs.
The Thief, Oslo
Overlooking two of Oslo’s beautiful canals, The Thief is a 119-room boutique hotel located in one of the city’s best up-and-coming areas, which offers striking views, comfort, and style. The hotel’s style is bold, with an earthy and sensual color palette. Striking artwork lines the walls, and it embraces new Nordic design for its linen and home comforts. For the most exclusive experience, stay in the Oslo Suite and admire 360-degree views of Norway from your private rooftop terrace.
101 Hotel, Reykjavik
Another metropolitan, monochromatic hotel, 101 Hotel is easily Reykjavik’s most enviable downtown stay. Roomy apartments overlook the fishing boats in the harbor, the restaurant on the top floor offers modern Icelandic cuisine with a view, and there’s even mini spa in the basement.
Alice Tate covers Europe for Travel +Leisure