Review: Hotel 101, A Member of Design Hotels, Reykjavik, Iceland


While airfare to travel to Iceland is often inexpensive, costs to stay in Iceland are often over the top. This makes choosing your accommodation ever more important in order to get the proper value from your stay. While the Hotel 101 isn’t a budget hotel choice, it is a terrific premium boutique hotel in Reykjavik that is well located and nicely appointed.

This post is one chapter on our trip to Iceland, the United Kingdom and Morocco. This trip was redeemed through Alaska Mileage Plan and enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Hotel 101, a Member of Design Hotels, Reykjavik, Iceland

We had a three day stay in Reykjavik. For our stay, we would stay at the Hotel 101, a Member of Design Hotels in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Getting to the Hotel 101:

We got out of the airport hall off Icelandair Saga Business Class Seattle – Reykjavik after about one hour and forty minutes. We purchased a FlyBus from the airport counter for 2,890 Icelandic króna and another hidden 950 króna fee for the hotel van transfer from the bus depot.

Our ride in was about 45 minutes, along with a few random stops for other guests at hotels along the way. The landscape between the airport and the city was very barren and resolute. After a transfer to the local van, we eventually arrived right to the hotel which is centrally located right in town.


There aren’t many franchised or points options for hotels in Reykjavik. There was a Hilton Canopy and the Hotel 101 under Marriott Bonvoy / Starwood Preferred Guest in the downtown area, in addition to a Hilton outside of the immediate downtown area. We ended up at the Hotel 101 which is under the Design Hotels brand. This was in part due to the fact that I was nearing Lifetime Gold Status under the legacy Starwood Preferred Guest program and needed to maximize stays prior to year end. The hotel was good, if not a pricy, choice.

“The Hotel 101 in Reykjavik Iceland offered chic and centrally located accommodations just one block off the Main Street. “

Checking into The Hotel 101:

After being dropped off by the FlyBus shuttle, we arrived to the Hotel 101 at about 8 AM. Our room wasn’t ready at that time and we were recommended to “wait” in the lobby. Most flight arrivals from the Americas seem to arrive into Iceland early in the morning. As a result, we had to prepare ourselves to handle the fact that we weren’t likely to get our hotel room for quite some time on our arrival day. Instead, we dropped the bags and headed out for a city tour. There is more on our sightseeing shortly. When the room became available at 2 PM, we moved right in.

The Hotel 101 by Design Hotels
The Front Desk at Hotel 101

The Room: a Double Queen

We presented a credit card and were signed in at the front desk. We were given room #205, which was a Deluxe Room with a Queen bed. The room had a minimalist look to it. I didn’t actually didn’t mind the look; it was a little different than the usual hotel room stay.

A Comfortable King Size Bed
Beautifully Crisp Linens

The room was nicely appointed. It had a mini bar, DVD player and even a Bang and Olufsen stereo. The room was a bit compact; compact enough that there wasn’t enough room to have a lounging chair or sofa.

A Well Equipped Room

There was small complimentary water available.

Iceland Spring Water

The bathroom had an offset counter, which took a little getting used to.

An Angled Counter
An Upright Shower
A Contemporary Towels and Storage

The room did have a very nice view over Arnarhöll park. The park contained a statue that celebrated Iceland’s first settler named Ingólfur Arnarhöll. The cranes represented the new construction efforts of Iceland now that investment is coming back into the country after the banking collapse ten years ago.

A Room with a Pleasant View

One of the best features of the property was it’s excellent location to the pedestrian market areas of Laugavegur and Skólavöröustigur

The Lobby and Common Areas:

The lobby of the Hotel 101 was a small but quaint space. There was a small lounge that led to the restaurant. The lounge always had a fire going, which made the place feel very comfortable and like home.

Lobby of the Hotel 101
Comfortable Seating Spaces in the Lobby
Along with a Fireside Space
A Nicely Decorated Spot
Magazine Racks

The breakfast room is seen below. We never visited this space since there are so many excellent breakfast cafés’ around Reykjavik. There is also no included breakfast for Marriott / Starwood elites at Design Hotels.

The Breakfast Room

The Health Amenities and Gym:

There was a small and basic gym and spa in the basement of the property. We never used it on the stay.

A gym space
An indoor Spa

There were no real Marriott Bonvoy / Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum Benefits here. Breakfast was conveniently not included in the Design program; breakfast was offered at 2,900 Icelandic Króna / $23 USD. We did get a nice room assignment facing the park, instead of inwards towards another room or building. In other remarks, I did have a minor issue with Starwood Preferred Guest in getting room credit and points for this stay. I had to fill a missing request for the missing stay, which was ultimately resolved in one business day.

The Bottom Line: The Hotel 101 Reykjavik

The Hotel 101 was an enjoyable stay. The room was well equipped and decorated which added an upscale feel to the stay. The only drawbacks were how pricey it was to stay and that it was a challenge to find any substantial discounts in the Reykjavik area. I would easily stay here again.

If you’ve stayed at the Hotel 101 in Reykjavik, did you enjoy the hotel ?

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