Hlemmur Square

Laugavegur 105, 105 Reykjavik, Iceland

Nicer than your average hostel, cooler than the typical chain hotel—this buzzy hybrid offers hostel-style dorms and more traditional accommodations in a 1930s Art Deco building on Reykjavik’s main drag. Designed by hotelier-owner Klaus Ortlieb (of New York’s Gotham Hotel and London’s Claridge’s), the hostel rooms are simple but smart, featuring metal-frame bunk beds, designer armchairs and sofas, and wood tables. The 18 hotel rooms are much more impressive, with elegant coffee-and-cream color schemes, king-size beds draped in Lissadell linens, and en suite bathrooms with C.O. Bigelow products. Most also come with private balconies that look out over colorful rooftops and mountain landscapes. The old-fashioned lobby and bar area—which is strewn with antique furnishings, exotic wall hangings, and leather sofas and armchairs—is a popular hangout for the city’s bright young things, but if you’re looking for something more low-key there’s an on-site movie theater with a carefully chosen selection of Icelandic films.

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