17 Best Northern Lights Hotels in Iceland to See the Aurora

Iceland in winter is a stunning land of icy waterfalls, glacier lagoons, ice caves, and colorful auroras dancing overhead.

One of the more popular ways to see the Northern lights while in Iceland is to take a Northern lights tour.

But personally, I’m of the opinion that staying in a Northern lights hotel in Iceland is an even more unique and comfortable way to experience the beauty of the aurora borealis!

the northern lights in iceland with bands of bright neon green light over a frozen snowy landscape
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Luckily, there are many places to stay in Iceland for the Northern lights!

Just about anywhere outside of Reykjavik in Iceland will have good views of the aurora with the right combination of conditions — you just have to be far enough away from any city light pollution.

If seeing the Northern lights in Iceland is on your bucket list, keep reading for the best Northern lights hotels in Iceland.

This post contains all sorts of accommodation options ranging from luxury hotels to boutique hotels to log cabins to glass igloos (though you’ll find more options for those in Finland and to a lesser extend, Norway).

Let’s go!

My Top 3 Northern Lights Hotels in Iceland

I’ll go into 17 different choices for these Northern lights hotels all over Iceland — but I know that can be a little too much choice for some!

I’ve narrowed it down to my top 3 and kept it in the general outer Reykjavik and Southern Iceland circuit that is most popular amongst travelers.


Hotel Rangá
✔️ Aurora spotters work overnight, giving wake-up calls & turning off lights for better views
✔️ Observatory on-site with two high-caliber telescopes


ION Adventure Hotel
✔️ Unique architecture with modern look and floor-to-ceiling windows
✔️ ear-round pool heated to 104F to watch the aurora from


Northern Light Inn
✔️ Low-light pollution area with free shuttle to Blue Lagoon
✔️ Aurora alerts on request & large windows everywhere

Best Northern Lights Hotels in Western Iceland

Hotel Húsafell – Book Here

The charming Hotel Húsafell is one of the best hotels for seeing the Northern lights in Iceland.

This luxury hotel features outdoor hot tubs and its very own golf course in the unique landscape of Húsafell!

Best of all, it’s close to geothermal pools (especially the epic Húsafell Canyon Baths, a unique semi-private geothermal hot spring experience) and hiking trails.

But the main draw for Hotel Húsafell for hopeful aurora-spotters is both the frequency of its aurora sightings (about three times weekly during the aurora season).

It also has the unique offering of being the very first Icelandic hotel to provide automated wake-up calls when the Northern lights appear!

Plus, Húsafell and the Borgarnes region in general is one of the best places to see the Northern lights in Iceland.

The northern lights in iceland making a spiral up to the sky in bright green and pale blue colors against a midnight-black sky with some stars

It’s located close to the glacier Langjökull, which means that the area experiences more cloudless skies and high winds, two things that dramatically increase aurora visability.

At Hotel Húsafell, all rooms are spacious and comfortable, not over-the-top but complete with all you’d need for a pleasant stay.

Bathrooms are modern and luxurious, with either a bathtub or shower depending on the room.

There’s a 24-hour front desk to answer any questions and provide assistance, as well as an on-site restaurant with Nordic-inspired dishes as well as international cuisine.

The restaurant has floor-to-ceiling windows so if the lights appear while you’re dining, you can see them!

Check rates, availability, photos, and reviews here!

The Retreat at the Blue Lagoon – Book Here

The stunning luxury hotel The Retreat at the Blue Lagoon offers 62 luxury suites right on the Blue Lagoon, the most famous hot spring in Iceland.

Where else can you relax in geothermal waters while seeing the Northern lights dancing overhead?

You have access to both the general Blue Lagoon as well as the private Retreat Lagoon where you can be in a more private setting.

This epic Iceland hotel features a subterranean spa — yes, you read that right! — offering spa treatments utilizing the unique mineral-rich waters and volcanic mud of the region, as well as a sauna room.

bridge over the blue lagoon at sunrise or sunset with a few people in the waters in the winter with beautiful sky and snow on the ground

There is also a fantastic restaurant on-site, which is one of the most admired restaurants in the region when it comes to new Nordic cuisine, plated beautifully using stunning ingredients.

Rooms are spacious and luxurious, with a muted gray and brown color palette so you can appreciate the lagoon views and moss-covered lava fields right outside your floor-to-ceiling windows.

Plus, you can enjoy amenities like a nightly turndown service and 24/7 room service.

This is a great place to see the Northern lights since you can enjoy the view either from your room with its large windows or from the warm lagoon.

Spending a night or two at the Retreat at the Blue Lagoon is a fantastic way to end an Iceland trip!

It’s conveniently located just a 20-minute drive from Keflavik Airport, where nearly all flights into Iceland arrive.

Check rates, availability, photos, and reviews here!

Northern Light Inn – Book Here

The lovely Northern Light Inn in Grindavík near the Blue Lagoon is another popular (and more affordable) option for a Northern lights hotel near Reykjavik.

It even comes complete with aurora wake-up calls upon request!

This Iceland Northern lights hotel is more understated than the fancy Retreat at the Blue Lagoon, but with similar convenience of location and ease of seeing the lights.

Plus, they run a free shuttle bus to the Blue Lagoon, which is awfully convenient — especially since it’s far cheaper than the hotel there!

Northern lights over the blue lagoon with beautiful green lights undulating in the sky

This guesthouse is small and family-owned but it has some amenities such as a spa, a small fitness center, and a lounge with a fireplace.

This is where you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding moss-covered lava field for which the Reykjanes peninsula is so well-known — and the lights dancing overhead, if you’re lucky!

The rooms are modest but well-appointed with what you’d need, such as down comforters, a smart TV, an electric kettle, a small seating area, and an en-suite bathroom.

The on-site restaurant, Max’s Restaurant, is well-loved for its Icelandic cuisine with a focus on fresh local seafood, lamb, and other local specialties.

This restaurant also has floor-to-ceiling windows so you can keep an eye out for the Northern lights while you dine!

Check rates, availability, photos, and reviews here!

Hotel Budir – Book Here

The well-loved Hotel Budir near the famous black church of Iceland is another one of the more popular Northern lights hotels in Iceland.

It’s close to several important sightseeing locations, such as Snæfellsjökull Volcano and Arnarstapi, and you can do a lot of fun activities here ranging from glacier hiking to whale watching!

Plus, the black church makes a great photo spot when the Northern lights appear!

the black church of budir with red and purple and green northern lights visible above

At Hotel Budir, the rooms are more cozy than modern, but the overall feel is a really charming guesthouse with comfortable shared areas.

Rooms enjoy either mountain views, ocean views, or lava field views!

There’s an on-site restaurant serving Icelandic food including seafood and lamb dishes.

Everything pairs beautifully with wines picked by the in-house sommelier, with views of the Budir estuary — and hopefully some Northern lights.

Budir is in a great location with little light pollution making it a great option for Northern lights viewing.

And yes, they also offer aurora wake-up calls so you’ll never miss the show!

Check rates, availability, photos, and reviews here!

Best Northern Lights Hotels in Southern Iceland

Hotel Rangá – Book Here

Located in the charming town of Hella (a name which warms my Northern Californian heart), Hotel Rangá is widely considered to be one of the top Northern lights hotels in Iceland.

For one, its remote location near the Rangá River provides epically dark skies free of light pollution, perfect for observing the aurora borealis.

Hotel Rangá has aurora spotters working through the night and they offer you wake-up calls for when the Northern lights begin dancing overhead.

They’ll turn off all the lights in the hotel then to maximize the viewing experience!

And what better way to enjoy the Northern lights than by sitting in an outdoor hot tub and watching them dance above you?

view of the northern lights in the sky with lots of stars and a snowybackdrop at a northern lights hotel in iceland

There’s nothing quite like enjoying the contrast of cold air on your face and hot water bubbling on your body.

Besides its aurora watching potential, Hotel Rangá also has its very own stargazing observatory — literally!

Hotel Rangá’s observatory features a retractible roof with two high-caliber telescopes for watching the night sky.

Even if the aurora doesn’t do its thing, as long as you have clear skies, you’ll be amazed by the beautiful stars you can see from this remote observatory.

Lastly, Hotel Rangá is just an all-around solid luxury hotel.

Rooms feature amenities such as spa baths, balconies with views of nearby Mount Hekla or the Rangá River, or the Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

There’s also an on-site restaurant that serves stunning gourmet Nordic food, inspired by local ingredients but given a modern update, with an all-organic menu.

Check rates, availability, reviews, and photos here!

ION Adventure Hotel – Book Here

This hotel is one of the most well-known Northern lights hotels in Iceland due to its beautiful architecture!

The stunning ION Adventure Hotel is located atop a mountain, Mount Hengill, with views of Lake Thingvallavatn below.

The hotel has a very unique modern design that emerges from the natural landscape in a beautiful way, and the rooms enjoy a similar modern design.

a green spiral of the northern lights in the winter scenery of iceland

The most unique perk of the hotel is the stunning outdoor plunge pool which is kept at 40 degrees C (104 degrees F) year-round.

Yes, you can watch the aurora borealis from the geothermal pool!

The shared lounge also features floor-to-ceiling windows all around with a completely unobstructed view from the mountain top.

This way, you can enjoy epic aurora views from the lounge even if you don’t want to be outside.

Check rates, availability, photos, and reviews here!

Frost and Fire Hotel – Book Here

Another great Northern lights hotel in Iceland is Frost and Fire Hotel, located in Hveragerði and its beautiful geothermal springs.

It’s just a 30-minute drive from Reykjavik yet it feels a world away, with its peaceful riverside location.

This hotel has an outdoor pool, two different hot tubs, and a sauna for guests to enjoy in the stunning natural scenery.

person wearing a hat and jacket and putting their arms up in the sky as the aurora dances overhead

The rooms are bright and airy, utilizing modern décor elements and artwork from local Icelandic artists.

Many rooms have large windows facing the river which offers the potential for some great Northern lights views.

Check rates, availability, photos, and reviews here!

Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon – Book Here

The stunning Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon is a great choice when you’re visiting South Iceland and the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon area. It’s a can’t-miss along the typical Ring Road route.

Fosshotel is an Icelandic chain of hotels of excellent quality (I’ve stayed in two!), but the Glacier Lagoon location may be one of the best.

Not only is it close to the stunning glacier lagoon where icebergs float in pretty turquoise waters, but the hotel itself offers a deluxe Northern lights watching experience.

northern lights in red and green colors flashing over the glacier lagoon in iceland

The rooms feature large and well-placed windows, so you can watch the Northern lights dance from bed or even the bathtub!

Amenities include 24/7 reception, a Northern lights wake-up call upon request, hot tubs, sauna, and a delicious on-site restaurant.

Check rates, availability, photos, and reviews here!

360 Hotel and Thermal Baths – Book Here

Located in Selfoss, 360 Hotel and Thermal Baths is a sustainable property in a fantastic location close to many of Southern Iceland’s best attractions.

The hotel features its own private spa area with a pool heated by geothermal springs, as well as a sauna area and relaxation lounge with a roaring fire.

It’s a great place to warm up in between aurora spotting attempts!

view of the streaky green northern lights over the mountains and landscape

The bedrooms feature large windows that face the bed, so you can sometimes see the Northern lights right from your hotel room!

Guests raved about the kind staff, delicious food, and adorable dogs who live on the site.

So if you, like me, are the kind of person who book a hotel purely based on the pets who ‘help’ run the show… this is a must-stay when you visit Iceland.

Check rates, availability, photos, and reviews here!

Hotel Kría – Book Here

One of the best Northern lights hotels in Vik, a popular base for South Iceland and Ring Road road trips, Hotel Kría offers stunning views great for when the Northern lights make their appearance.

Located a mere 5-minute walk away from Vik’s famous black sand beach, Hotel Kría is a wonderful modern hotel with all the amenities you’d want for a comfortable stay.

It even has a game room with ping pong and darts and an on-site bar!

northern lights as seen from vik's famous black sand beach with its rock formations

Rooms feature a modern design and come equipped with WiFi, LCD TVs with satellite cable, electric kettles, desk areas, and en-suite bathrooms.

The rooms also have large windows that go from the floor to the ceiling so you can enjoy the views of the mountains nearby as well as the aurora if it makes an appearance during your stay!

The dining area also includes extremely high ceilings and large windows, so it’s also a good place to watch the lights from indoors!

There’s a daily breakfast buffet that is included in your stay, with local products featured and vegetarian options available.

Check rates, availability, photos, and reviews here!

Magma Hotel – Book Here

The small but luxurious Magma Hotel is located in the middle of a beautiful lava field.

This stunning hotel has but 25 rooms, allowing for a personalized experience.

The rooms utilize Nordic design elements and all have their own private patio, where you can admire the lake and the lava field.

Both of these landscapes make an excellent backdrop if the Northern lights make their appearance!

brilliantly colorful landscape with northern lights in bright colors over a mountain

The rooms are also unique in that each room is its own little turf roof cottage.

In a sense, it’s like the hotel blends seamlessly into the natural landscape if you are looking from afar.

Because Magma Hotel is so far from light pollution, if there is solar activity and the Northern lights make an appearance, you will get a great view!

There’s also a delicious on-site restaurant, Bistro 1783, which serves breakfast and dinner daily.

Check rates, availability, photos, and reviews here!

Best Northern Lights Hotels in Eastern Iceland

Aurora Cabins – Book Here

Located close to Höfn near to the Eastfjords region, Aurora Cabins are a great place to see the Northern lights in the East Iceland area.

This property has four private wooden cabins that have been recently renovated so that they are very cozy.

Still, they are still removed enough away from Höfn and the main roads so that you won’t experience any light pollution while you’re here.

bright aurora in green and purple-red colors over the stokknes land formation in iceland

The cabins have amenities like a kitchen as well as an outdoor grill, comfortable beds, seating areas, and well-equipped modern bathrooms.

You’ll love the view of the mountains and glaciers behind you.

They make an especially stunning photo backdrop if the aurora appears during your stay at this Northern lights hotel in Iceland’s eastern region!

Check rates, availability, photos, and reviews here!

Fosshotel Eastfjords – Book Here

Many travelers in Iceland don’t go further east than Vik, which is a real shame because the Eastfjords region is so beautiful!

However, hotels do get fewer and further between in this region, and they tend to be a little more spartan and not as focused on interesting luxury amenities or boutique offerings.

That said, Fosshotel Eastfjords stands out as one of the better options for hotels in Eastern Iceland.

aurora over a peaceful water in a fjord in iceland

Located on the Fáskrúðs fjord, this can be a stunning backdrop for the aurora if it graces the sky during your stay.

There is an on-site restaurant located on a floating pier with a great view of the harbor and the fjord, which is an especially scenic setting in the winter!

Check rates, availability, photos, and reviews here!

Best Glass Hotels, Arctic Domes & Unique Northern Lights Hotels in Iceland

Panorama Glass Lodge – Book Here

While there are several ‘glass hotel’-style Northern lights hotels in Norway and Finland, these types of hotels are still few and far between in Iceland… though there are a few!

One such hotel is the stunning Panorama Glass Lodge, which has individual cabins that are half wooden (for the bathroom and kitchen area) with the bedroom area having 270-degree glass ceiling windows.

This way, you can enjoy the Northern Lights for the most stunning panoramic views you can enjoy without ever needing to leave your toasty bed!

The interior of these cabins are delightfully modern, with Nordic design influences throughout. The bathrooms are especially modern and stylish, with a rain shower, heated towel rack, heated floors, and beautiful modern chandelier lighting to create a cozy ambiance.

Best of all? Each little cabin has its own hot tub attached to the deck of the cabin, so you can enjoy the Northern lights from your own personal hot tub. There are also private saunas available for use!

One thing to note, though — you must have a 4×4 in order to access the Panorama Glass Lodge, as it is rather remote and deep in the Icelandic countryside.

Currently, they only have one location, near Hella, but another glass lodge is being constructed in Akranes, between Reykjavik and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

Check rates, availability, reviews, and photos here!

Bubble Hotel – Book Here

The only true Iceland igloo hotel, the Bubble Hotel (which also calls itself the “5 Million Star Hotel”) offers a unique opportunity to sleep under the stars — or aurora, if you’re lucky! — with a 360-degree panoramic view of the forest and night sky above you.

These glass igloos are quite minimalistic — we’re talking a bed, heating, and that’s about it — but there are amenities on-site to make up for it.

There is a service house for all guests to use, with a kitchen, two toilets, and two showers.

If visiting in the summer, you can book accommodation only, but if you book it in winter, the hotel is only available via a guided tour.

There are two tour options: either the Golden Circle (Thingvellir National Park, Geysir, Gulfoss, and the Secret Lagoon) or the South Coast (Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach).

There are two different Bubble Hotels: the Golden Circle location has nine bubbles whereas the South Coast one has just six.

Either way, it’s very private and a very unique experience, though because you have to book it as a tour it can be rather expensive!

Check rates, availability, reviews, and photos here!

Sky Sightseeing Iglúhús – Book Here

This unique igloo house is located 20 miles from Akureyri in Northern Iceland, making it a great option to be close to one of the larger Icelandic cities but also far enough away that you won’t experience light pollution from the city.

Sky Sightseeing Iglúhús is special in that it is a wooden igloo with glass panel skylights (10 in hotel) that allow you to see the Northern lights dancing above you!

It’s not a full-on glass igloo like the two options above or like what you’ve seen in Norway or Finland, but it does have a bit of the igloo experience and is also just a unique, cozy property.

If you’re worried about comfort — don’t! Everyone raved about how warm the wooden igloo was and also about the delicious hot breakfast that the host delivered to them the next morning!

Check rates, availability, reviews, and photos here!

Reykjavik Domes – Book Here

If you want to stay near Reykjavik but have a bit of the glamping experience, Reykjavik Domes is a fantastic choice.

These glamping tents are perfect for seeing the Northern lights because despite their proximity to Reykjavik, they are far enough out in the countryside to still have enough darkness to see the aurora properly.

No hotel in the city center can really grant you that, unless it’s an extremely strong aurora.

The Reykjavik Domes have a shared kitchen and WiFi, so you’re not totally on your own like you would be if you were camping!

In the winter, the glamping tents can be heated by a wood-fired stove, and some domes even have a private bathroom complete with their very own hot tub — the perfect place to watch the lights dance in the cool winter air!

Check rates, availability, reviews, and photos here!

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