On the south side of Iceland, in a little enclave at the base of a mountain, Hotel Anna provides guests with a country cottage experience. The hotel is the original home of Iceland’s first female travel writer, Sigríður Anna Jónsdóttir, and has a museum on-site to honor her and the work she did. Her books are on sale at the front desk. The few houses, church, and cemetery scattered nearby are what’s left of the original fishing village in that location; part of the museum explores the town’s history.
The restaurant offers traditional Icelandic food in a dining room full of antique displays and the former owner’s belongings. The staff is exceptional. We arrived right when dinner service was ending, but they let us stay and eat, alerted us when the Northern Lights were out, and then served us our dessert outside so we could keep watching.
Hotel Anna is a small house with few rooms, but all are equipped with antique furniture, comfortable beds, and some have private patios. The lobby area doubles as a sitting room and has books and games available for guest use. Maps of Iceland are on the front desk and the staff is happy to assist with any directions or suggestions needed. A short drive away is Seljalandsfoss, a waterfall with a path to walk behind it and one of the many popular sights for tourists.
After a spot of lunch in the busy city of Reykjavik, we hit the open road to find Hotel Glymur. A short 45 minute drive away and we were met with snow capped mountains and a view that could only be described as indescribable. Hotel Glymur was perched at the top of a hill with nothing other than nature to accompany us. This is what we had come to Iceland for. Close enough to civilisation and the infamous Golden Circle route, but far enough to feel like the view was only for us.
As soon as we checked in we glanced over to another couple having dinner and the food looked of the freshest and most well presented we had ever laid eyes on. The manager offered to book us a table and we jumped at the chance. We were not disappointed. The quality of the dinner was absolutely delicious. Fresh fish and fresh meat that melted in your mouth. We even joked that the sheep we saw earlier were probably now on our plate. A mention of the food is only the tip of the iceberg because the view overlooking the water was something out of a fairy tale. It was a romantic and intimate experience.
Our room was bright and airy with a killer view. It’s hard not to mention the view continuously because it really is the unique characteristic and feature of Hotel Glymur that is hard to ignore. We loved the fact that our room was two storeys high and we had to walk up a beautiful staircase to access our bed. Something different from your usual hotel stay.
The atmosphere was quiet and chilled. Guests sought glaciers and waterfalls by day and retreated to their personal hot tubs and admired the view by night. We had no complaints about this relaxed way of life.
We chose this hotel for its pure closeness to nature. If you’re looking to feel at one with your surroundings then this is the place for you. We explored natural hot springs, small villages and sensational waterfalls all within 1-2 hours drive.
There is access to 2 hot tubs for hotel guests, but book one of the cabins close by for your own private one.
Don’t forget to say hello to the horses on your way to the hotel.