The All New Hotel Klaustur
For years it was known as Icelandair Hotel Klaustur, but as of January 2019, the newly rebranded Hotel Klaustur has struck out on its own, bringing change and excitement to the little town of Kirkubæjarklaustur in South Iceland.
Off the beaten path
You may be tempted to whizz right on by this quiet village of only 500 souls, but this quintessential Icelandic community is the perfect place for those who are wanting to get a feel for the real Iceland. Lying just off Road No.1, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, or simply Klaustur, as the locals call it, is ideally situated as a base from which to explore the panoply of Icelandic natural phenomena that surround the village in every direction. Of special interest is the breathtaking Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon located just 15 minutes’ drive from the hotel.
A modern look for a new brand
Many of the rooms have undergone recent refurbishments and with a total of 57 modern rooms to choose from, you’ll be spoiled for choice. The superior rooms, including a suite dedicated to the contemporary Icelandic artist, Erró, all come with free access to the local sports centre. Located just metres from the hotel, the sports centre boasts an outdoor pool, hot tub and gym. Extra touches such as l’Occitane bath products in every room, wifi throughout, as well as a copious breakfast buffet to greet you in the morning, are some of the well thought out details that will make your stay memorable.
A relaxing color scheme of soft greens and greys and modern geometric patterns grace the ground floor café/bar, echoing the moss and lava of the surrounding countryside.
Our insiders’ suggested itinerary
After a good night’s sleep, it’s time to explore. Pack in a day of activities and sightseeing at unparalleled locations such as the beautiful Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, Skaftafell National Park and Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, all less than 2 hours drive from the hotel. In the evening, Klaustur Restaurant awaits your return with a hearty dinner before you retire for the night.
Spend day 2 closer to home with a visit to the village of Klaustur – full of interesting history, geology, and hair-raising folk tales. Just a few minutes walk from the hotel lies a small but beautiful pine forest at the foot of a double waterfall known as Systrafoss (Waterfall of the Sisters). Here you can picnic, hike to the top of the falls or just do a bit of ‘forest bathing’ in this genuinely peaceful location, amidst some of the tallest trees in Iceland.
The village was the site of a convent of Benedictine nuns from 1186 to 1550 and both Kirkjubæjar Abbey, the waterfall and the lake (Systravatn) above the village refer to this abbey. Magnificent hikes and day trips to places such as Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon and the Laki Craters are all close by.
The next day, take your time returning to Reykjavík and be sure to visit the black sand beach at Reynisfjara, the Dýrhólaey promontory, as well as Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls.
Klaustur Restaurant and bar, located on the ground floor of the hotel, is well known for its Arctic char specialties. They are raised in the village in a free-flowing stream of oxygen-enriched glacial waters that have been naturally filtered through layers of lava in the nearby Vatnajökull. The fish, which figures prominently on the restaurant’s menu, is favored by many chefs at top restaurants around Iceland. Also worth mentioning is the Icelandic langoustine and baked Icelandic skyr, both local specialties that are brilliantly served at Klaustur Restaurant.
Every summer, Klaustur Restaurant’s talented chefs create an inspiring seasonal menu whose primary ingredients come from small-scale farmers and producers in the area. Flavourful and local are keywords here, as some of the ingredients travel no more than perhaps 5km at most and arrive at the hotel at their peak of freshness.
When the weather is fine you can enjoy your morning coffee out on the terrace or in the evening, try one of the Icelandic craft beers or one of the fruity mocktails from the new summer menu as the midnight sun dips beyond the mountains.
Hotel manager Sveinn Heiðar Jensson and his team look forward to welcoming you this summer at Hotel Klaustur. See you soon!