Just a short stroll from the grand and spacious Hljómskálagarður park and Tjornin lake is the Hotel Holt. Off the heavily traveled tourist track, this hotel is protected from the noise of random foot traffic and rowdy nightlife. Though should you desire some excitement, Hotel Holt is not so far removed from the party scene that a short walk in the other direction will land you right in the middle of Reykjavik’s shopping and nightclub district. Pastoral elegance on the face within easy reach of all Reykjavik offers.
Tucked away amid the cinema and embassies, the unassuming exterior of this hotel conceals the opulent and luxurious interiors Hotel Holt has to offer. Clean and regal, this finely decorated hotel has hosted dignitaries and royalty. Maintaining its lofty presence, the interior design welcomes visitors and makes them feel at home within its walls. In 2012, the entire first floor of the hotel received “protected status” ensuring preservation of the impressive interior design of Gunnar Magnusson for viewing by future guests.
Luxury in every style of room seems to be the norm at Hotel Holt. Sharp lines, in contrast to soft curves, a rich palette of reds and deep wood browns serving as accents against the sandy browns and soft greys. Every turn and every room reflecting the high class design of the entire hotel. Single rooms, doubles and twins, all the way up to the junior suites and full suites, every aspect is bathed in comfort and class.
Hotel Holt was opened in 1965 and is a true Icelandic success story. Family run since its inception, the Gudmundsson family initially started with a farm, expanded to what is commonly regarded at the first hot dog stand, then to restaurants, and eventually to hotels. The Gudmundsson’s grew their experience in customer service and took lessons from their travels, and combined them into the warm and courteous service that is presented at the Hotel Holt.
Chief among the Hotel Holt’s unique offerings is their art gallery. The collection is the largest private art collection in all of Iceland and more than a third of it is on display at any given time. A guided tour is available at the reception. Much of the art is rooted in Icelandic homeland pride. The hallways are adorned with lithographs from the 1830’s. Each floor has specific reliefs and murals, especially commissioned for the hotel’s opening. Sculptures inhabit the lobby and stairwell landings, paintings and drawings are tastefully hung about the rooms to add to the artful ambiance.
Previous guests report the decor to be dated and slightly old-fashioned while others observe this to be a welcomed change from the bright and flashy options available from other hotels. Most guests were enamored with the hotel’s charm and warmth in an atmosphere that presented a stately appearance. Another common praise from reviewers is the complimentary passes that grant you access to three of Reykjavik’s art museums and use of the Laugardalur pool and spa. Attached to the pool and spa is a garden and zoo. Staying at Hotel Holt will encourage a deeper exposure to Icelandic art and culture.