The Quiet Elegance of Hotel Holt
A hotel of distinction
It’s like stepping back into another era and another time. Touches of old world charm, elements of classical interior design and nearly 500 works of art by renowned Icelandic artists are what set this mid-century, boutique hotel apart from the rest.
Steeped in history
The elegant Hotel Holt is located in what can be perhaps called the most quintessential neighbourhood of Reykjavik with its quiet streets and quaint 19th century timber and corrugated iron clad houses. Over the years, the 4-star hotel has attracted many of Reykjavik’s artistic, social and political vanguard, and continues its tradition of quality and excellence.
A permanent art collection
The hotel is home to part of the country’s largest privately owned art collection and features numerous works by several of Iceland’s most cherished late 19th century and early 20th century artists such as Johannes Kjarval, Jón Stefánsson, and Ásmundur Sveinsson, among others. Many of the works on the hotel’s ground floor are by Kjarval, while the upper floors are lined with old maps and 134 lithographs by the artist M. August Mayer who accompanied French naturalist Joseph Paul Gaimard on his voyage to Iceland between 1835 and 1836. The 460 works of art scattered throughout the hotel are numbered and catalogued and a guided tour of the hotel museum is available upon request.
The geode effect
As with many Icelandic buildings, Hotel Holt’s façade belies its rich interiors; marble floors, persian carpets and gilded antiques grace the hotel lobby while the breakfast area is laid with ornate Italian ceramic tiles. Some forty-two rooms spanning four floors are furnished with the clean lines of contemporary Icelandic decor and include all modern amenities, ensuite bathrooms and of course it goes without saying─ comfortable beds!
The classy Gallery Bar
The sofas and chairs are leather; the drawings on the walls are pure Kjarval─delightful and playful. On one wall, a large glass cabinet is stocked with an impressive collection of Cognac, Scotch, and whiskey from around the world. Another wall of shelves stocks an equally impressive collection of spirits, craft beers, wines and liqueurs that help liven things up every evening from 4 to 9PM. Tempting snacks and amuse-bouches are also available at the bar.
Setting the standard for fine dining in Reykjavík
I would be amiss if I didn’t mention Hotel Holt’s restaurant which has been one of Reykjavik’s finest dining establishments since it opened in 1965. The restaurant is known for its classical cuisine with a vibrant Icelandic twist. It comes as no surprise that the restaurant has earned top marks in international rankings and has had the honour of hosting dinners and events for visiting ambassadors, dignitaries and royalty down through the years. Among the 17 paintings that adorn the walls, The Picnic (1939) by Jón Stefánsson has become something of an icon and is one of the first paintings that captures your attention as you enter the room.
The Old Library
Take your time to take in the atmosphere of the hotel’s exceptional library with its beautifully preserved collection of leather bound volumes on a variety of subjects, including poetry, the Icelandic Sagas, and even a Bible from 1728.
Hotel Holt is located in central Reykjavík, on Bergstaðastræti 37 in the 101 neighbourhood of Reykjavik, five minutes’ walk from the main streets of Laugavegur and Skólavörðustígur and within easy walking distance to Hallgrímskirkja Church and the Old Harbour area.
Tel +354 552 5700