Housed in one of the most historically important buildings in the country, Apotek has protected most elements of its significant past while seamlessly incorporating modern design touches that lend a timeless appeal. Built in 1907 by the state architect of Iceland Guðjón Samúelsson—who also designed the National Theatre building and Hallgrímskirkja church—it was the largest building ever constructed on the island country, influenced by the popular art nouveau style of the day; from 1930 to 1999, it was the city’s primary pharmacy, which the hotel paid homage to with its name when it opened in 2014. Its 45 rooms incorporate quiet, neutral colors and simple-but-refined furnishings to create a sense of calm; the en suite bathrooms with walk-in showers make generous use of gleaming-white subway tile for a bright, clean look. If you want the best views over the city (and you don’t mind climbing stairs), stay in the three-story Tower Suite. And you don’t have to wander far to enjoy one of the busiest bars in town: Apotek Kitchen + Bar is a hot spot for artisan beverages, where cocktail “pharmacists” craft potions “to suit every mood: painkillers, stimulants, tranquillisers and even placebos.” Bonus: Not only does it overlook the Austurvöllur park, it’s just around the corner from the Icelandic Punk Museum.
By Deb Hopewell, AFAR Contributor
Austurstræti 16, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
+354 512 9000