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Top seven eco-friendly hotels in Iceland for sustainable travelers

Iceland offers a unique opportunity for travelers to immerse themselves in nature without leaving a heavy footprint. Picture Shutterstock
Iceland offers a unique opportunity for travelers to immerse themselves in nature without leaving a heavy footprint. Picture Shutterstock

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In the land of fire and ice, where the natural world reigns supreme, sustainability is more than a buzzword-it's a way of life.

Iceland, with its breathtaking landscapes and commitment to environmental preservation, offers a unique opportunity for travelers to immerse themselves in nature without leaving a heavy footprint.

This guide to the 'top seven eco-friendly hotels in Iceland for sustainable travelers' showcases accommodations that blend comfort with eco-consciousness.

From luxury hotels utilising geothermal energy to family-run inns with a focus on local materials, each of these hotels provides a sustainable way to experience the natural wonders of Iceland.

For travelers looking to explore this magnificent country responsibly, these hotels serve as beacons of environmental stewardship, ensuring that your stay contributes to preserving Iceland's pristine beauty.

1. Holt Hotel, Reykjavk

Holt Hotel, located in Iceland's capital, is a prime example of sustainable luxury. As a four-star hotel, it offers top-notch comfort while upholding high ethical and sustainable standards, evidenced by its ETIC Gold Certification. This certification highlights the hotel's commitment to eco-friendly practices, with an impressively low average carbon emission of just 23.7 kg.

The Holt Hotel's central location allows easy access to popular attractions such as Hallgrimskirkja, making it a convenient base for exploring the city. The hotel's dedication to sustainability, combined with its prime location and luxurious amenities, makes it an ideal choice for environmentally conscious travelers seeking both comfort and a reduced carbon footprint.

2. Hotel Ranga, Hella

Nestled in Hella, Hotel Ranga is a luxurious four-star establishment that marries opulence with eco-consciousness. The hotel stands out as one of the top Iceland hotels for its use of renewable energy and recycling programs, showcasing a commitment to sustainability that has earned it an ETIC Gold Certification.

With an average carbon emission of 35.4 kg, it sets a standard for ethical and sustainable hospitality. Hotel Ranga caters to a diverse range of needs with facilities such as wheelchair accessibility, conference spaces, and airport shuttles. Its focus on luxury and sustainability makes it a top choice for travelers who seek comfort without compromising their environmental values.

3. Radisson Blu Hotel, Reykjavk

Radisson Blu Hotel, situated in the vibrant heart of Reykjavk, combines historical charm with modern sustainability. Known for its delicious cuisine made from fresh local ingredients since 1919, the hotel offers a unique culinary experience. It boasts an ETIC Gold Certification for its ethical and sustainable practices, with carbon emissions reported at 29.4 kg.

The central location provides easy access to the city's best sights, making it an ideal choice for travelers who want to explore Reykjavk's rich culture and history while staying in an eco-friendly environment.

4. The Hilton Reykjavk Nordica, Reykjavk

Combining Prestige with Sustainability: The Hilton Reykjavk Nordica stands out as a beacon of sustainable luxury in the heart of the capital. Located just a five-minute walk from the bustling Laugavegur Street, the hotel is perfectly situated for shopping and exploring.

The Hilton is renowned for its use of the LightStay corporate responsibility management system, which focuses on reducing the environmental impact of its hotels globally. With an ETIC Gold Certification, it boasts an impressive carbon emission of only 26.4 kg, emphasising its commitment to sustainability. The hotel provides a blend of Hilton's renowned comfort and a strong focus on ethical and environmental standards, making it an excellent choice for eco-conscious travelers seeking luxury in Reykjavk.

5. Hotel Berg, Keflavik

A Family-Run Haven of Sustainability: Hotel Berg in Keflavik beautifully combines the luxury of a four-star hotel with the warm, personal touch of a family-run establishment. Its proximity to Keflavik Airport makes it a convenient stop for those arriving late or departing early from Iceland.

With an ETIC Bronze Certification, the hotel demonstrates its commitment to ethical and sustainable hospitality, marked by carbon emissions of 41.7 kg. Hotel Berg is an epitome of comfort and eco-friendliness, providing a unique, intimate experience for travelers who value both luxury and a smaller ecological footprint.

6. Icelandair Hotel, Reykjavk

Nestled between the serene Oskjuhlid beach at Nautholsvik and a picturesque hill, the Icelandair Hotel in Reykjavk marries modern luxury with a deep commitment to environmental sustainability. This hotel, having undergone a recent renovation, seamlessly incorporates its green principles into every aspect of its design and service. The highlight of the hotel is its unique Natura Hotel rooms, each thoughtfully themed to reflect various elements of Icelandic nature such as Ice, Moss, Plant, and the mesmerising Aurora Borealis. These rooms offer guests a truly immersive experience, blending comfort with the raw beauty of Iceland's natural landscapes.

The Icelandair Hotel's dedication to sustainability is evident in its everyday operations. It focuses on using environmentally friendly practices to conserve natural resources and minimise its ecological footprint. Beyond its green initiatives, the hotel doesn't skimp on comfort or aesthetics. It offers a cozy, yet chic ambiance that resonates with travelers who appreciate both luxury and ecological mindfulness. Guests can enjoy modern amenities, excellent service, and the satisfaction of knowing their stay supports sustainable practices. The Icelandair Hotel in Reykjavk is more than just a place to stay; it's a destination for those who seek to harmonise their love for travel with their respect for the planet, making it an ideal choice for environmentally conscious travelers seeking a sustainable yet comfortable experience in Iceland's capital.

7. ION Adventure Hotel, The Golden Circle

A Sustainable Escape Amidst Iceland's Natural Wonders: The ION Adventure Hotel, situated in the scenic vistas of the Golden Circle, offers an eco-friendly retreat for those seeking an adventure in the heart of Iceland's natural beauty. This designer hotel, transformed from worker housing near the Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Plant, stands as a testament to sustainable tourism. Constructed using sustainable materials and powered by a nearby geothermal plant, the hotel's architecture, featuring salvaged wood and volcanic rock, harmonises with the surrounding landscape. Guests can enjoy stunning views of glaciers, volcanoes, and lakes, along with seasonal glimpses of the Northern Lights. The ION Adventure Hotel is secluded, located amidst mountainous lava fields, making it ideal for travelers seeking tranquility and a connection with nature. Nearby attractions include Thingvellir National Park and the Hengill volcano. The hotel's amenities include a spa with treatments incorporating Icelandic herbs, a restaurant serving New Nordic cuisine, and an array of outdoor excursions like horseback riding and glacier hiking. Its commitment to eco-friendly practices and its unique location make it a premier destination for sustainable travelers in Iceland.

Exploring Iceland's dramatic landscapes and vibrant culture can be done without compromising on environmental values, thanks to the country's diverse range of eco-friendly accommodations.

The seven hotels featured in this guide represent the best in sustainable hospitality, offering experiences that are both luxurious and environmentally conscious.

Whether you're soaking in the Northern Lights from a geothermal-powered hotel or enjoying locally sourced cuisine in a chic, sustainable setting, these eco-friendly hotels ensure that your Icelandic adventure is as kind to the planet as it is memorable.

By choosing to stay in these establishments, travelers not only enjoy exceptional comfort and service but also contribute to the preservation of Iceland's natural environment for future generations to explore and cherish.