Silence, in a city is unheard of. Normally your eardrums are fighting with a cacophony of discordant sounds all vying for your attention. Here however, there are no raucous crowds or screeching brakes as cars run to an emergency stop – here I can hear the wind whistling through the gaps in buildings, catch the shrill of flying birds and make out the faint tinkle of a coffee cup when someone emerges onto the streets, from one of the countless coffee shops, after topping up on caffeine-infused winter warmers.
Iceland, a country full of mystery and surprise, continues to daze in its capital, Reykjavik. Unlike other cities, when you arrive here there is a feeling of inviting warmth that is uncommon in others around the world. Here, concrete eyesores are replaced with quaint, brightly coloured homes, unique, beautiful structures and an array of side streets home to local shops rather than modern-day consumer giants.
Nestled into a courtyard-type setting, close to the Harpa concert hall and Café Paris, the Kvosin Downtown Hotel, with its pale blue clapper-board exterior, which would not look out of place on the shores of Cape Cod, is ablaze with tasteful lighting on this cold wintry evening.
In the past, Icelandic poets and the Templar community have walked the floorboards here, holding meetings in this beautiful understated building. Today – it is a boutique, luxurious Apartment Hotel.
Wandering in through the glass doorway and you will immediately feel like you have travelled through time. Outside, you could easily believe that you are about to enter a historical gem; inside however, you fast-forward into modern times with smiling faces starring back at you. To the left, is a small reception area complete with an array of snacks to sustain late night hunger pains and to the right is a fashionable, stylish bar ready to welcome you with open arms after a long day of sightseeing.
The contemporary apartments vary in size from the ‘Tiny’ to one labelled ‘Larger than Life’ meaning that everyone, from solo travellers to larger parties, can be catered for. All are finished to exceptional high standards – nothing has been overlooked. Even the tiny space, decorated in cornflower blue, comes complete with a compact, yet functional kitchen area, dining table and a comfortable charcoal sofa.
Rooms are tranquil, even when you open the windows or explore the attached patio. So quiet in fact that you could probably hear a pin drop, making it the perfect place to rejuvenate and relax with a chilled glass of wine straight from your own full-sized fridge. Alternatively, if you are after something warmer to help you defrost after wandering around the sometimes icy streets – then take full advantage of the fabulous Nespresso Machine complete with an assortment of different coffees to try.
The bed, with its bright white linen, is large and sumptuous leading to a brilliant night’s sleep, whilst the oversized rain shower is powerful and well-heated with the ability to give you the wake-up call you may need after your deep slumber.
Head down to breakfast, provided by the well-respected BERGSSON Mathus Café, and choose from the vast delights that are on offer – yoghurt compote, croissants and pain-au-chocolats are mixed in with eggs, salad and hummus – a great, albeit potentially unusual combination for many travellers. Add to this as much coffee as you like and it’s a great way to start the day. If you are not a lover of coffee – not to worry – the café offers a tantalising mix of different smoothies you just need to find one that suits you. A firm favourite, for those after a detox, is a mushy mix distinctively green in colour.
Combining the assortment of choices makes for an exceptional breakfast – well worth making time for, setting you up for the day.
Other reasons to choose the Kvosin Downtown Hotel
- Staff are attentive, knowledgeable and willing to share their experiences of Reykjavik with you.
- The location is perfect – close to the harbour, the shopping streets and a multitude of restaurants and cafes.
- Parking, should you need it, is available right in front of the building.
- Price-wise, rooms (including breakfast) start at 160 euros, depending on the time of year, making it an excellent choice on your wallet (Trust me – start looking at other hotels in this area, with the same level of comfort and you will be surprised how much it will cost you).
Ultimately, if you enjoy indulging in hotel comforts but like the freedom of space then the Kvosin Downtown Hotel is the perfect choice for you.