Short stay: Hotel Kriunes, near Reykjavik, Iceland

Family Hotel Kriunes is a unique luxury hotel that is often overlooked by visitors heading straight to Reykjavik, but it offers a nice alternative on the outskirts of the capital. Nestled on the shores of Lake Elliðavatn, popular with migrating birds as well as anglers looking to catch arctic char, trout, and salmon, the hotel offers a more rural alternative to suburban Reykjavik.


An unexpected hacienda-style entrance greeted us upon arrival – the owners, we later discovered, have a love for Mexico. Once inside, the Mexican decor continued and we were warmly greeted by a front desk gentleman from Lithuania, who gave us the keys to our rooms which were downstairs.


We stayed in Room 28, a superior king suite on the corner of the building, 37 square meters in size and with a door to a private lakeside patio. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide guests with exceptional panoramic views of the lake and mountains beyond.

The bedroom was ultra-comfortable with separate single duvets on the large double bed, something that seems quite commonplace in Iceland and surprisingly practical!

The suite has a separate sitting area, a few nesting tables and a SmartTV with Netflix, a Nespresso coffee machine and a teapot.

There’s even a soaking tub in the bedroom (as well as a separate bathroom) with Ebony London toiletries – honey mango shampoo, shower gel and conditioner.

…and something I don’t think I’ve ever encountered in a hotel room before, recycling facilities – a nod to Iceland’s eco-friendliness and respect for sustainability.

Our sons were in room 26, a similarly styled double room, also with a view of the lake.

All rooms are equipped with air conditioning, plenty of bedside sockets, SmartTV, free Wi-Fi, mini-bar, Nespresso machine, safe and hairdryer. a suitcase rack.

The bathroom

While we took a bath in our room, we also had a separate bathroom with shower, sink and toilet. A feature wall depicted one of Iceland’s many iconic waterfalls – Svartifoss in Vatnajökull National Park, I think it was – cascading over basalt columns.

Robes, slippers, fluffy towels, washcloths and a hairdryer are provided, as are Tranquility™ hand soap and lotion, The Comfort Zone shampoo, body wash and conditioner, chosen because all their production is sustainable and in harmony with the environment.

Our sons bathroom was similar representing another of Iceland’s stunning waterfalls.

The installations

Although we didn’t have time to use it during our brief stay, our accommodation came with free access to the hotel’s sauna and outdoor hot tub.

The hotel also has a restaurant on the ground floor which enjoys a slightly elevated view of the lake.

The same room is used for a buffet breakfast each morning.


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Hotel Kriunes is only 40 minutes drive from Keflavik International Airport and 15-20 minutes drive from downtown Reykjavik which is to the northwest. Located on the western shore of Lake Elliðavatn, the hotel is on the edge of the Heiðmörk Conservation Area which covers 3,200 hectares and is home to many hiking, biking and horse riding trails, small forests and lava formations .

Other little touches

We had arrived too late for dinner service on the first night, and the chef had already timed it, but the receptionist very kindly went into the kitchens and prepared a lovely smoked salmon salad for us. This was much appreciated as, having just climbed the Fagradalsfjall volcano site shortly after landing in Keflavik, we weren’t really in the mood to head to Reykjavik to try and find something to eat.


Rooms at Hotel Kriunes start from ISK 26,000.
The Superior King Suite we stayed in starts from 56,000 ISK.

The best piece

The best for me was the element of surprise when we arrived. The approach to the hotel takes you into a not too inspiring residential area and we wondered if we had taken the wrong turn. Upon arrival we walked down from reception into what looked like a basement, walked down a hallway, again wondering where we were going, before opening the bedroom to our suite and being pleasantly surprised by its breathtaking view of the lake a few meters from our accommodation.

The final verdict

Hotel Kriunes is an upscale hotel conveniently located on the outskirts of Reykjavik. Being on the outskirts, just a 6 minute drive from the country’s Route 1 ring road, it’s ideal if you’ve just arrived in Iceland (as we did) or are about to leave, but also if you want to get to places like the Golden Circle a little faster than you would if you were located in the city center.

Are you planning a trip to Iceland yourself? You can watch a video of our trip to Iceland here:

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hotel Kriunes. Our trip to Iceland was also sponsored by Helly Hansen.

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