We put our key card up to the door, turned the handle to be greeted by bright rays of sunshine streaking through the room. A warm and bright welcome to what was the start of a three-night stay in Reykjavík. We both looked at each other with excited smiles, it was our first time visiting Iceland and we knew as soon as we laid eyes on our apartment that we had a cosy haven for us to return to after days exploring.
A Cosy Boutique Apartment Hotel in Iceland
The Swan House is a boutique apartment hotel located in the heart of the vibrant city centre. Part of the Raetur group, an Icelandic word for roots; the concept of the apartments is to give independent travellers a touch of luxury whilst they experience authentic Icelandic culture.
The apartments embrace Scandinavian design with an essence of simplistic rustic living, giving a cosy yet comfortable place to relax. From the stripey stool, parquet wooden flooring and beautifully tiled kitchenette, we couldn’t take our eyes off the chic design of our apartment.
In fact, we could have easily and quite happily spent the afternoon of our arrival basking in the sunshine streaming through the room, taking in the Scandi interiors of our apartment. But, it was just as well we mustered up some strength to go and explore as we discovered later, the bed in the room is not one you leave easily (*spoiler alert – it’s soooo cosy!)
Boutique Apartment Hotel in the Heart of Reykjavík
What Adam and I hadn’t quite envisaged was just how close the main attractions in Reykjavík are to The Swan House. In less than five minutes you can walk to the Harpa Concert Hall, which has a mirage of bright colours flickering from the outside come nightfall. A two-minute walk, left as you reach the end of the street takes you directly to the Sun Voyager statue.
We pretty much had this beautiful landmark to ourselves during our early afternoon visit. The statue, an ode to the sun, glistened in the bright sunlight. Created by Jón Gunnar Árnason, the intention of the statue is to convey the promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress and freedom. A beautiful concept and one we could truly appreciate on this glorious day as we began our own journey in Iceland.
We walked through the tree-lined streets of Reykjavík observing the brightly coloured houses, street art and the many unique Scandinavian stores.
One of Reykjavík’s most iconic landmarks, Hallgrimskirkja Church (Adam referred to as the Lego church – must be a boy thing) is also less than a two-minute walk from The Swan House Apartments.
The striking Hallgrimskirkja church tower is visible from almost anywhere in Reykjavík and as we soon discovered, it is also visible from our apartment at The Swan House.
Is it Expensive to Eat out in Iceland?
After browsing the streets surrounding the hotel, we picked up some groceries for our stay. One of the things we had heard before visiting Iceland is that it is expensive to eat out. After buying two cones of chips for £15, I can verify it is! Needless to say, we couldn’t have been more thankful for our kitchenette in our apartment.
Whilst foodie adventures form the majority of our travels when we’re away, this time around we were keen to spend as much of our time exploring Iceland’s vast landscape. We choose waterfalls over being waited on (plus, we were heading to Italy a couple of days later so happily enjoyed the scenery in Iceland and consumed all the pasta and pizza in Lake Maggiore!
In fact, nothing felt better after our long days exploring and driving than to plonk ourselves down in the apartment and rustle up some food from the comfort of our own room. The cute kitchenette is very well-equipped. Plenty of mugs, glasses,
saucepans and cutlery meant that it really is a home-away-from-home. The Swan House even provide a selection of assorted tea bags, olive oil and condiments. All nice touches that made our time in Iceland that much easier.
Some evenings after long-days exploring Southern Iceland’s famous Golden Circle Route, we cooked up some pasta before heading back out to see the Northern Lights.
Whilst The Swan House does not benefit from its own car park, we never had a problem parking near the hotel (and I’m rubbish at parallel parking!) Unlike dining in Iceland, parking is extremely reasonable (more details to come on an upcoming post.) Therefore, do not let the parking be a deterring factor, we found ample spaces whether we were returning in the day or after chasing the Northern Lights later into the evening.
A Cosy and Convenient Boutique Stay in Iceland
In fact, the biggest bug-bear we found about staying at The Swan House in Reykjavík was being able to get out of bed in the morning! Given the location is right in the heart of Reykjavík city centre, we didn’t hear a peep at night!
As I may have indicated earlier, the mattress and pillows are divinely comfortable and it was near on impossible to get an early start. I have found a new rival for our stay at The Hoxton Paris, which if you can remember I could not stop harping on about the pillows and comfortable bed! I feel like I need to stay at both The Swan House and return to Paris to stay at The Hoxton again for blogging comparison reasons of course!
Not only are the pillows and bed at The Swan House super comfy; I really love the quilt too. This double bed has two single quilts instead of one shared quilt and I love this idea! The single quilts meant I could put the duvet over my head as I like to sleep and Adam could stick his feet out of his without making my feet cold. A win-win situation!
The rainforest shower, toiletries and hair-dryer were welcome additions in our room and in particular, saved so much space in our hand luggage!
The Swan House in Reykjavík is everything I love about a boutique hotel stay and if you’ve been reading this blog a while you will know I love boutique hotels! These beautifully designed apartments are designed to make your stay in Iceland comfy (I loved putting the heating on in the evenings), whilst allowing you the opportunity to experience all that Iceland has to offer. Not only that, it’s the convenient little features we all take for granted, such as plug sockets above the bed on the headboard, where there is also space to place a drink. We were also blown away by the size of the flat screen tv. Though, we were too busy exploring on this trip to give it a watch.
Another thing I noticed is that the staff at The Swan House had a team hiking day the week we stayed, which only goes to show they are just as passionate about exploring their homeland as us tourists. Not to mention, the reception staff are extremely helpful if you have any questions or need recommendations during your stay.
The Swan House in Reykjavík is without a doubt one of the nicest (if not the nicest) apartment hotel we have ever stayed in and not only did we find the room arrangement and location ideal for our needs, it was most convenient to keep our costs down during our stay in Iceland. For first time visitors to Iceland, the location of The Swan House in the heart of Reykjavík city centre with close proximity to South Iceland’s main sightseeing spots makes the hotel the perfect choice for visiting Iceland for the first time.
A true home-away-from-home and a haven for us after a day exploring. Somewhere we could kick off the walking boots and sink into the warm and cosy bed.
Why not see for yourself in my video below:
Want to stay at the cosy Swan House boutique hotel apartments? Here are the details you need!
The Swan House – Reykjavik Apartments
Stay tuned on The Life of a Social Butterfly as I have lots of Iceland content to come! If you have any questions about The Swan House or Iceland in general feel free to comment below or send me an email.
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*Two of the three nights stay at The Swan House were complimentary in return for my honest review. We stayed and paid for an extra night as I wanted to be in Iceland for my birthday (it was worth every penny). All thoughts and photos are my own.*