The Icelandic countryside may be rustic, secluded, and serene, but it’s a very different picture in the capital Reykjavik. The city has a fairly social scene, known for its club blocks featuring performers in the bustling musical landscape, a range of cutting-edge restaurants, and a growing list of cutting-edge contemporary hotels. The latest addition to this list opened in November: The Reykjavik EDITION, the new EDITION hotel outpost from hotelier Ian Schrager in partnership with Marriott International.
“Reykjavik is a young and really cool city, perfect for our brand,” says Schrager. “We think it’s Reykjavik time and we are right here at the heart and at the perfect time.”
The 253-room hotel is definitely in the city center, located in the historic section of the Old Port next to the Harpa concert hall, but only a five-minute walk from the club scene and Laugavegur, the main shopping street. Even within city limits, however, guests are still connected to the natural sites for which Iceland is famous: Mount Esja and the spectacular Snæfellsjökull Glacier are visible from the hotel’s rooms and suites.
Designed by local architectural firm T.ark in conjunction with New York-based design firm Roman and Williams, the style of the hotel was designed with a local spirit but in line with the overall ethos of modern sophistication. ‘EDITING. The exterior of the ebony shou sugi ban charred using an ancient Japanese technique combined with blackened steel frames is a nod to the Icelandic lava landscape. Just inside the entrance, a stacked basaltic slate totem sculpture 13 feet high is meant to represent the cairns scattered across the countryside. All around is a basalt bench lit by candles and electric lamps and covered with black sheepskins and black damask and silk pillows intended to be a gathering place from which guests can view the work. digital art displaying video of the green and purple waves of the Northern Lights. Over volcanic rock basalt stone flooring etched with an intricate pattern inspired by Icelandic geometry leads to a sculptural reception desk.
The ground floor is also the location of Tides, the signature restaurant and café, known for its overflowing display of home-baked goods, run by local Michelin-starred chef Gunnar Karl Gíslason, the chef behind New Nordic restaurant at internationally renowned, Michelin starred, Dill. Modern interpretations of the chef’s Icelandic cuisine include dishes such as whole arctic char stuffed with lemon, dill and garlic butter and braised and slowly grilled shoulder of lamb with marinated onions, mint and apples. Across the restaurant is Tölt, a bar designed as a cozy hideaway designed with custom and colorful rugs, teak drum walls and burnt orange banquettes as well as floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the striking glass architecture. from Harpa. Upstairs at 7e Upstairs, The Roof offers panoramic views of the ocean, city, mountains and the nights they appear, the true Northern Lights.
Upstairs, the bedrooms also have floor-to-ceiling windows to enjoy the view and a calming design: a discreet palette of ash wood and pale gray oak, bespoke contemporary Italian furniture, bright copper sconces, faux fur rugs and artwork and accessories from local artisans such as the colorful bed throw from the local woolen company Ístex, ceramics by artist Guðbjörg Káradóttir and artwork from famous Icelandic artists Pall Stefansson and Ragnar Axelsson presenting Icelandic landscapes commissioned by EDITION.
Two other areas of the hotel are designed to be very popular gathering places, but may or may not be open at some point due to changing COVID-19 restrictions. Sunset, the lower-level club, is intended to be a vibrant addition to the city’s nightlife while the spa has a geothermal pool in addition to treatment rooms, a steam room, and plunge pool. hydrotherapy. And since it’s Iceland where even the Blue Lagoon has a poolside bar, the EDITION has a geothermal pool bar specializing in vodka infusions.