You may know Iceland best for its volcanoes, glaciers, and geysers, but this year the country is cultivating a more cosmopolitan side. No longer a mere pit stop en route to the sky-dancing Northern Lights or brooding ice caves, Reykjavík is becoming an attraction in its own right.
Visitors to the Icelandic capital can choose from sleek new properties including the Sandhotel—a 52-room boutique with an eclectic style that fits somewhere between Scandinavian cool, Danish hygge, and Art Deco chic—and the exclusive Tower Suites, a collection of eight high-design accommodations decorated with furnishings by Tom Dixon, Fritz Hansen, and Moooi. Later this year, the Reykjavik Edition will debut, claiming a coveted location next to the sparkling glass Harpa Concert Hall.
Of course, Iceland remains first and foremost the Land of Ice and Fire, and new offerings among the country’s many natural wonders are elevating the great outdoors as well. Set to open in April, the Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland will bring an upscale experience to the well-known geothermal hot springs of Grindavík, with 62 modern suites and a subterranean spa. Most intriguing of all is the exclusive-use Eldar Lodge, a hidden-away gem nestled among the geysers of south Iceland, featuring six suites, a private chef, a wine cellar, a helipad, and two geothermal baths.