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The Swan House Iceland – Cosy Boutique Apartment Hotel in the heart of Reykjavík

(Last Updated On: 07/08/2020)

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 four-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.

review swan house apartments reykjavik Iceland

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 YLMA group; the concept of the apartments is to give independent travellers a touch of luxury whilst they experience 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.

Chic Scandinavian design hotel Reykjavik Iceland

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.  The location is ideal if you are looking to book tours in Iceland as many will pick you up from The Swan house. A two-minute walk, left as you reach the end of the street takes you directly to the Sun Voyager statue.

Sun Voyager Statue Reykjavik Iceland

Read More: Iceland Travel Tips: 11 Things To Know Before Visiting Iceland For The First Time

Iceland Things to Know Before you go graphic

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.

Exploring and sightseeing in Reykjavik Iceland

We walked through the tree-lined streets of Reykjavík observing the brightly coloured houses, street art and the many unique Scandinavian stores.

Amor Kari Cute kitty Bengal cat street art in Reykjavik

Tree-lined cobbled streets of Reykjavik Iceland

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.

Iceland Hallsgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik city

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.

Hotel view of Hallsgrimskirkja Church Reykjavik Iceland

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.

Cute kitchenette at Swan House Apartment Hotel Reykjavik Iceland

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!

Saving money in Iceland by cooking using kitchen facilities at Swan house Apartment Hotel

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,

Unique cups at Swan House Hotel Reykjavik

saucepans and cutlery meant that it really is a home-away-from-home. The Swan House Hotel even provide a selection of assorted tea bags, olive oil and condiments. All nice touches that made our time in Iceland that much easier.

little luxuries at The Swan House Apartment Hotel Reykjavik Iceland

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.

Hotel made food in Iceland - moneysaving

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 (check out my Driving in Iceland post for more information about parking, car hire, insurance and road tripping Southern Iceland. ) 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.

Read More: Top Tips For Budgeting & Saving Money Visiting Iceland

Iceland Tips for budgeting and saving money graphic

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!

The cosiest bed in Iceland at Swan House Apartment Hotel Reykjavik

Save money in Iceland eat breakfast at the hotel

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!

Toiletries at The Swan House Apartment Hotel Reykjavik Iceland

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 Reykjavik Hotel reception area

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. 


Cosy Boutique Apartment Hotel in Reykjavik iceland

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 book a stay at The Swan House boutique hotel apartments? Here are the details you need!

The Swan House – Reykjavik Apartments

Lindargata 34-36,
101 Reykjavík,

If you have any questions about The Swan House or Iceland in general feel free to comment below or send me an email.



Check out my Iceland Archives or Read more about Iceland below:

11 Things to Know Before Visiting Iceland for the First Time

Driving Southern Iceland – Essential Parking, Car Hire & Fun Road Trip Tips

Chasing Beautiful Waterfalls & Rainbows in Southern Iceland

Blue Lagoon Vs The Secret Lagoon – Iceland Hot Springs Tips 

13 Reasons Why Visiting Iceland in September is Best for First-Timers

How to save money in Iceland – Iceland Budget Tips!

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  1. 17/11/2018 / 8:47 pm

    Wow, I’ve never heard of the Hallgrimskirkja church tower. Usually it’s mountains that are visible from almost anywhere. It must have been an incredible view to see it all the time from your apartment. Great photos.

    • thelifeofasocialbutterfly
      18/11/2018 / 9:26 pm

      I couldn’t believe it when I opened the curtains and had the beautiful Hallgrimskirkja Church looking back at me. It looks amazing inside too, kinda reminds me of Basilica Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. 17/11/2018 / 10:38 pm

    This looks like a fantastic place to stay! Iceland is on our bucket list and we always try to find places to stay with little kitchenettes. For us it’s because of food allergies- but I’ve heard that food in Iceland is crazy expensive so this is a great way to save money!

    • thelifeofasocialbutterfly
      18/11/2018 / 9:29 pm

      I hadn’t thought of food allergies! Yes, an apartment-hotel with a kitchenette is ideal and there is a BONUS supermarket around the corner too for groceries. I understand they have family rooms and bigger apartments for families, so would highly recommend if you go to Iceland 🙂

  3. 17/11/2018 / 10:52 pm

    I just love staying in unique boutique hotels, and the Swan House seems exactly like somewhere I’ll be checking out on my next trip to Iceland. Having somewhere to cook your own meals makes a huge difference to me when travelling.

    • thelifeofasocialbutterfly
      18/11/2018 / 9:38 pm

      It certainly brings a lot more flexibility having your own kitchen to cook and prepare meals. I normally enjoy dining out on my travels but with Iceland I’d much rather be out exploring and save my pennies. Glad the post has helped with your next trip 🙂

  4. Sydney | A World in Reach
    18/11/2018 / 4:10 am

    I love boutique hotels and this one looks so cute! I bet that kitchenette came in handy too.

    • thelifeofasocialbutterfly
      18/11/2018 / 9:42 pm

      Boutique hotels offer such a unique and cosy environment; a real home-away-from-home. The whole experience makes such a difference 🙂

  5. 18/11/2018 / 8:48 am

    What a beautiful hotel, complete with a gorgeous kitchen and all the things you need to cook! I would love to stay here, Iceland is such an amazing place!

    • thelifeofasocialbutterfly
      18/11/2018 / 9:47 pm

      It really is a fabulous hotel and made our first experience of Iceland a wonderful one – I only wish we had stayed longer! 🙂

  6. Simone
    18/11/2018 / 11:41 am

    My wife and Inwill heading to Iceland in February and this looks like a top pick.
    Thanks for sharing this suggestion!

    • thelifeofasocialbutterfly
      18/11/2018 / 9:56 pm

      Aww, glad the post has helped you 🙂 I’m so jealous, I really want to return to Iceland as I was blown away by its beauty! Have the best time & please let me know if you stay here!

  7. pinkcaddytraveloguegmailcom
    18/11/2018 / 1:33 pm

    This looks like a lovely place to stay! Having a kitchenette in your room is such a money saver. My family always tries to make sure we have one so that we can spend more money on fun excursions rather than food. We eat out too, but being able to make your own food some of the time is very helpful!

    • thelifeofasocialbutterfly
      18/11/2018 / 10:04 pm

      It saved us so much money during our time in Iceland and it gave us the freedom to spend long days out exploring and cook something up when we returned. I honestly can’t recommend this hotel enough, it’s so ideal. Thanks for reading 🙂

  8. 18/11/2018 / 3:45 pm

    The Sun Voyager statue looks quite interesting. Since I travel with children I like properties with well-equipped kitchenette. The Swan House looks very cosy. Thanks for sharing the details of the property 🙂

    • thelifeofasocialbutterfly
      18/11/2018 / 10:13 pm

      It was perfect for us 🙂 They have family apartments available too. I love the concept of the Sun Voyager statue, such a meaningful message.

  9. 18/11/2018 / 7:43 pm

    This hotel is situated right in the heart of Reykavik, with everything you need in walking distance. Bus stop 7 one of the main pick ups for tours and airport transfers is a 2 minute walk away. We stayed in a family room with our 2 kids which was a great size. The small kitchenette was really useful given how expensive Reykavik is and the bed was huge. Staff were very friendly and let us check in early when we arrived at 1.30pm. Rooms are very clean and we found the hotel quiet and comfortable.

    • thelifeofasocialbutterfly
      18/11/2018 / 10:20 pm

      Ah, I’m so glad you had as wonderful an experience with your family as I did with my partner. It just goes to show how well-suited The Swan House is to both couples and families. The accommodation and location couldn’t be more perfect could it! Thanks so much for sharing your views about your stay at The Swan House – we both clearly have great taste in hotels! 🙂

  10. 18/11/2018 / 7:43 pm

    Boutique hotels are always my first choice. I love the classic elegance and simplicity of Scandinavian decor. It always feels light, airy and uncluttered. The Sun Voyager statues is fascinating. I would love to see it. I am planning a trip in the first half of next year so I have bookmarked the post.

  11. thelifeofasocialbutterfly
    18/11/2018 / 10:25 pm

    Ah, I’m so pleased the post has helped you for your upcoming trip! You will love Iceland and I’m so jealous, I want to go back! I completely agree about Scandinavian decor. The hotel room is really homely but at the same time felt so spacious – definitely a concept I want to try at home that’s for sure! Have a fab time in Iceland and please let me know if you stay at The Swan House 🙂

  12. Inna
    19/11/2018 / 8:15 am

    Wow, everything in this hotel from bedding to cups match one style and looks amazing!

    • thelifeofasocialbutterfly
      20/11/2018 / 9:31 pm

      The cups in the kitchenette are so cute! Every little detail in the apartment looks so carefully chosen to give well-thought of home-away-away-from-home chic feel 🙂

  13. 19/11/2018 / 9:19 am

    This looks fantastic, I have always wanted to visit iceland.

  14. thelifeofasocialbutterfly
    20/11/2018 / 9:32 pm

    The apartment-hotel was perfect for us, ideal location for visiting Iceland for the first time too 🙂

  15. 22/11/2018 / 8:26 pm

    That’s super lovely Jaz! I’m loving all your photos and your review of the place. I wish I had more time to explore the city itself, nothing beats a cosy apartment and having the city on your doorstep. xx

    • thelifeofasocialbutterfly
      03/12/2018 / 7:56 pm

      The apartment was so cosy I think I could have quite happily enjoyed my time in Iceland without leaving the room! 🙂 It was nice to have a welcoming apartment to come back to, I really loved my stay at The Swan House. Thanks for reading x

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