SD › Reykjavik › Hotels › Canopy by Hilton Review
Updated: April 20, 2021
• Location: Smiðjustígur, off Hverfisgata.
• Hotel website: hilton.com
• Hotel phone: +354 528 7000
• Check prices on Booking.com
Canopy by Hilton – Historic buildings meet chic, contemporary creature comforts in an excellent central location.
Spread across six buildings of a former furniture factory a few minutes from Laugavegur street, downtown Reykjavik’s main shopping and dining thoroughfare, this self-proclaimed ‘lifestyle hotel’ is sleek and modern. The rooms here are a nod to Icelandic landscapes, with blues and volcanic greys livened up with contemporary pieces by local artists. The Geiri Smart restaurant pairs Icelandic fish and dry-aged meat from local farms with an impressive list of cold climate wines and the Canopy Central Bistro & Bar holds nightly tastings of local beers, spirits, and snacks. There’s also a library on-site specializing in Icelandic literature, and the multilingual service is friendly and efficient.
Canopy by Hilton – Location
- Address: Smiðjustígur 4.
- Area: Half a block off Reykjavik’s main pedestrianized shopping street, Laugavegur (50m), Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre Hotel is in a super-central location. It’s a 6-minute walk (0.3 mile) to the waterfront, ideally placed for shopping, and just a few minutes’ walk from dozens of restaurants and bars. Old Reykjavik, with its museums, bars, and restaurants, is a 4-minute stroll (0.2 mile) away, while the Old Harbour with its whale and puffin boat tours is about 11 minutes’ walk (0.5 mile).
- How to Get There: Flybus offers convenient bus/shuttle transfers from Reykjavik’s Keflavik Airport to your hotel (30 miles), with shuttle drop-off at most downtown locations. It costs 3,299kr (around US$26) one way. Alternatively, 4-seater taxis from the airport cost a set fee of 15,000kr (around US$126).
- Handy to: Culture House, Hallgrímskirkja, National Gallery of Iceland.
Canopy by Hilton – The Basics
- Ages: The hotel welcomes guests of all ages. While many tend to be honeymooners or travelers on a city break, families with children are made to feel very welcome and there are some child-friendly amenities.
- View: Rooms look out either over the Árnarhóll green space and the statue of Iceland’s first settler, Viking Ingólfur Arnarson, plus the harbor beyond, or else the short stretch of street and the corner of Laugavegur shopping street, or the inner courtyard (which gets pretty busy during the warmer months.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools or jacuzzis.
- Laundry: In-room laundry service available at extra charge.
- Parking: A public parking garage is right opposite the hotel.
- Extras: Turn-down service, a library full of Icelandic literature, LP library with over 1,000 vinyl records that guests can play on 10 record players across the hotel, free bicycles for guest use, knowledgeable and multilingual concierges who can book your tours and make recommendations and reservations.
- When to Book: Reserve around 8 months in advance for the summer high season (mid-June to late August) as well Christmas/New Year. The rest of the year, it’s still a good idea to book several months in advance since Iceland is a year-round destination.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +354 528 7000
- Email: RECSA_RES@hilton.com
- Website: hilton.com
Canopy by Hilton – Amenities
- Pool: No pool.
- Spa: No spa.
- Fitness Center: 24-hour fitness center with cardio machines, weights, and yoga mats.
- For Disabled Guests: The king and twin accessible rooms are reachable via elevator and come with thoughtful extras such as audio and strobe alerts and specially-designed bathrooms.
- For Families: Cots and highchairs on request, babysitting service at extra cost, children’s menu at the restaurant, child-friendly breakfast buffet.
Canopy by Hilton – Food and Drink
- Restaurants: Geiri Smart is a stylish restaurant with award-winning chefs serving Icelandic dishes using fresh seasonal ingredients, along with a thoughtful menu of cold-climate wines and excellent cocktails. Book ahead for dinner. Open 11.30 am to 9.30 pm. $$-$$$. • Canopy Central Cafe Smart in the lobby is a good spot for a coffee, cookies, cakes, sandwiches, and muesli with yogurt. Open 7 am to 10 pm. $.
- Lounges/Bars: Canopy Central Bistro & Bar serves small bites alongside wine, craft beer, and signature cocktails, and has a relaxed lounge ambience. Complimentary tastings of local drinks and bites are held here for guests each evening. Open 3-9 pm. • The hotel bar is open all day and offers classic and original cocktails with a view of the central courtyard.
- Breakfast: Complimentary buffet breakfast with an emphasis on Icelandic produce (skyr yogurt, smoked salmon, etc.), with plenty of cold cuts, breads, juices, fresh fruits, and hot dishes cooked to order. Served at the Geiri Smart restaurant from 6.30-10 am daily. Breakfast bags can be delivered to your room, and if you’re going on an early tour, you can take a Grab-and-Go packed breakfast bag with you.
- Room Service: Apart from breakfast served in the rooms on request, there is no room service.
Canopy by Hilton – Rooms
- Room Types: Twin Room • Queen Room • King Room • Twin Premium Room • King Premium Room • King Junior Suite • King One Bedroom Suite • Loft Suite • List of all Rooms
- Smoking Rooms: Canopy by Hilton is 100% smoke-free.
- Best Room: The open-plan Loft Suite is the most spacious and atmospheric of the suites, with a generous living area, skylights, huge flat-screen TV, and parquet floor. Besides the rain shower, the spacious bathroom comes with a free-standing bathtub and there are views of the harbor from the private terrace.
- For Families: No family rooms per se but interconnecting rooms are available.
Canopy by Hilton – Local Transport
- Walking: Most of Reykjavik’s attractions are within a 20-minute walking radius from the hotel, as are most restaurants and bars.
- Taxis, Uber: Taxis to the airport cost US$126. Taxi prices around town are high (around US$8.50 per km) and most visitors won’t use them much as the city is very walkable. Tipping is not required. It’s worth downloading the handy Hreyfill bæjarleiðir app if you’re going to use taxis. There’s no Uber in Iceland.
- Public Bus: A network of Stræto buses runs from the centrally located Hlemmur bus station (0.6 mile) to Reykjavik’s suburbs. Single fare is 480kr (around US$3.70) and you can buy tickets on the bus or online using the handy app (which also helps you plan your journey). If you buy the Reykjavik City Card online or from the tourist office, it includes unlimited bus travel in the Reykjavik area as well as free entry to various museums. While most of Reykjavik’s attractions are in the city center, you may use buses to get out to Reykjavik Zoo, Botanic Gardens, or the Ásmundarsaft branch of the Reykjavik Art Museum.
Canopy by Hilton – What’s Nearby?
Recommended Nearby Tours
- Northern Lights – During the winter months, most outdoor adventure companies in town offer evening jaunts into the countryside to try and spot the eerie ribbons of the aurora borealis unfurling across the sky. Trips last around 4 hours and depart at 9 or 10 pm. Start location: Hotel pickup.
- Horseback Riding – Ride sturdy little Icelandic horses through lava fields. Several stables near Reykjavik offer horseback riding jaunts for all levels of experience, ranging from 90-minute outings to multi-day trips through the countryside. Recommended operators include Laxnes, Islenski Hesturinn, and Reykjavik Riding Center. Start location: Hotel pickup available.
- Glacier Walking and Ice Climbing – Year-round adventures on the Sólheimajökull glacier. Icelandic Mountain Guides and Arctic Adventures run popular day trips to the most accessible part of the immense Mýrdalsjökull glacier. You can choose between walking on the glacier, exploring the ice cave under the Katla Volcano, or combining the two. Ice-climbing jaunts run from September to April and you need to be fit. Start location: Hotel pickup.
- Inside the Volcano – This adventure tour outfitter runs day trips inside the dormant Þríhnúkagígur volcano, a 3-hour ride from the city. Groups hike for an hour to the crater and then take the elevator 120m down into a 4,000-year-old magma chamber that once bubbled with lava. Over-12s only. Start location: Hotel pickup.
- Citywalk – Runs free history and culture walking tours that take in the city’s main sights, as well as pub crawls. Start location: Depends on the tour.
- Haunted Walk – Super-popular walking tours that delve into Icelandic folklore and take visitors ghost-spotting. Start location: Restaurant Reykjavik, on the corner of Aðalstræti and Vesturgata (0.4 mile).
- Reykjavik City Library – Runs the fun 90-minute Dark Deeds tour that focuses on crime fiction set in Reykjavik. Start location: 0.4 mile.
- Whale-watching and Puffin-spotting – Departing from the old harbor, numerous boat companies run whale and puffin-watching tours year-round. There are more departures during the summer months when whale sightings are more common. Recommended companies include Reykjavik Sailors and Whale Safari. Alternatively, sail in the reconstructed Viking longboat, Gaukstad, with Reykjavik Viking Adventure. Start location: 0.6 mile.
- Omnom Chocolate – Reykjavik’s gourmet chocolate factory. Come and find out how Iceland’s bean to bar chocolate is made and taste numerous unusual flavors, from sea salt to licorice, black and burnt barley, drunk raisins, and coffee. Tours take place at 2 pm on weekdays and last around an hour; book online at least 1 day in advance. Start location: 1.5 miles.
- Blue Lagoon – Iceland’s most famous thermal springs. Incredibly popular, the steaming teal waters of Blue Lagoon fill up with visitors who paint themselves with the mineral-rich white mud. The hot springs are an easy day trip from Reykjavik, and you can even go for a soak just before catching your flight home since it’s right near the airport. Book your slot online well ahead; evenings and early mornings are least crowded. Several pickup locations around town. (30 miles).
Best Nearby Restaurants
- Sumac – Icelandic seasonal ingredients meet Lebanese and Moroccan spices and cooking techniques here. Perch at the counter of the open kitchen and watch the chefs at work, or get assorted meze – harissa chicken wings, grilled eggplant with pomegranate, deep-fried cod cheeks with sumac aioli – for the whole table. (0.1 mile).
- Krua Thai – Informal, busy Thai restaurant with upstairs dining area, serving up some authentic Thai heat in the form of curries, soups, and stir-fries. Popular with families and good value. (0.2 mile).
- Snaps Bistro – Unpretentious French bistro, hugely popular with locals for its steak béarnaise with French fries and seafood bouillabaisse. Lunch specials are a bargain and the glassed-in porch is a top spot for brunch. (0.2 mile).
- Grillmarkaðurinn – All volcanic rock, dark wood, and glass, the Grill Market particularly excels at meat and seafood dishes cooked over the coals of their custom-made grill. Most ingredients are sourced from local farmers and there are stellar cocktails to boot. (0.2 mile).
- Icelandic Street Food – Tiny, casual eatery serving pancakes, fish stew, and lamb and shellfish soup in a bread bowl. You can take the food into Icelandic Craft Bar, the sister establishment next door. (0.3 mile).
- Kol – Icelandic comfort food with an international twist, Kol does wonderful things with largely local ingredients. Standout dishes include lamb sirloin with honey-pickled rutabaga, Icelandic scallops with dill mayo, and beef tenderloin with black garlic. Splurge on the tasting menu and don’t miss the terrific cocktails. (0.3 mile).
- Dill – Iceland’s sole Michelin-starred restaurant, Dill embraces ‘New Nordic’ cuisine and takes Icelandic ingredients to new heights. Dine on a 5 and 7-course tasting menu at the bar overlooking the open kitchen or at a candlelit table. Reservations essential. (0.3 mile).
- ROK – Right near the Hallgrímskirkja, this small timber house with a popular outdoor terrace specializes in high-concept small plates and sharing dishes (cured reindeer, Icelandic char, wild mushroom risotto, slow-cooked beef tacos), paired with local craft beer and a carefully chosen wine list. The tasting menus are worth the splurge and it has champagne happy hours from 4-7 pm daily. Buzzy and popular with groups, so book ahead. (0.3 mile).
- Fiskmarkaðurinn – At ‘Fish Market’, the menu is succinct and well-executed, from lumpfish roe with fermented potatoes and bitter-lemon-glazed Arctic char to elaborate sushi rolls and tempura. The creative desserts hit the spot, the setting is stylish yet understated, and the cocktails are terrific. (0.4 mile).
Best Nearby Cafes
- Kaffitár – This Icelandic coffee roaster has 5 branches around the city and is known for its ecological practices as well as specialty coffees from around the world. Freshly made cakes and pastries also. Great place to sit with a laptop. (0.1 mile).
- The Laundromat Café – Hipster café with a “save the world” vibe and a crowd-pleasing menu that includes blueberry pancakes, acai bowls, pulled duck burgers, and club sandwiches. Wash it down with coffee, cocktails, or homemade lemonade. (0.3 mile).
- Reykjavik Roasters – This minimalist coffee shop near the Hallgrímskirkja imports its Fair Trade beans directly from Nicaragua and Colombia and roasts them on-site. Great pastries, too. (0.3 mile).
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- Kaffibarinn – Pass through the door decorated with a London Underground sign to enter one of the city’s hippest bars, part-owned by Damon from Blur. The candlelit interior, some of the longest happy hours in Reykjavik (3-8 pm), on-point DJs, and a great selection of beers, shots, and more makes this a good place for a drink anytime. (50m).
- Ölstofa – Friendly neighborhood pub and local fixture since 2002, with over 25 local and international beers to choose from, decent selection of whiskies, and a mellow atmosphere. You may even spot the odd Icelandic celeb here. No photography. (150m).
- Bar Ananas – This colorful, Hawaiian-themed beach bar in the heart of Reykjavik is all about tropical cocktails. There’s a tiny dance floor as well for those who want to shake it to reggae and dub beats. (0.1 mile).
- Dillon Whiskey Bar – Atmospheric watering hole with over 170 whiskeys to choose from around the globe. There’s live music 3-4 nights a week (no cover charge) and a beloved local DJ on Saturdays. (0.1 mile).
- Icelandic Craft Bar – This super-central bar focuses exclusively on Icelandic brews, with 6 on tap and 14 bottled beers from Börg, Einstök, Víking, and the rarer Austri from east Iceland. If you’re hungry, you can bring food here from Icelandic Street Food, its sister restaurant next door. Occasional live music in the basement. (0.3 mile).
- Aldamót – Inside Kvosin Downtown Hotel, this classy establishment takes the study of hops, wines, and spirits seriously. Particularly renowned for its craft martinis with fresh fruit and herbs, though there are also rotating Icelandic craft brews on tap as well as carefully selected wines. (0.3 mile).
- Kolabrautin – Apart from the stellar location overlooking the harbor from the top of the Harpa Concert Hall, multi-level Kolabrautin is particularly good for exotic cocktails. The attached restaurant is terrific as well, with a short but sweet menu of Icelandic-Italian fusion dishes. (0.4 mile).
- Skúli Craft Bar – Arguably Iceland’s classiest and best craft beer bar, with up to 14 local brews on tap, mostly from the award-winning Borg brewery. Come during the happy hour (2-7pm) to take advantage of the cheaper prices. Brews to try include the experimental Leifur, Úlfur IPA, and Garún (imperial stout). (0.4 mile).
Nearby Shopping and Cool Shops
- Gullkúnst Helgu – Original jewelry by a local designer, incorporating lava into earrings, pendants, rings, and more. (25m).
- Mál og Menning – Terrific independent bookshop. 3-story Icelandic institution, with an excellent selection of English-language books on Iceland’s history, nature, and culture. Also, international titles covering all major genres. (100m).
- Ófeigur – Bespoke gold and silverwork. Master craftsman Björnsson designs unique silver and gold jewelry inset with lava and other natural materials. His wife is a dressmaker and you can find her creations and accessories here as well. (150m).
- Icewear – Locally designed outdoor gear and wool apparel, from handmade woolen sweaters to insulated waterproof jackets and Gore-tex hiking boots. (150m).
- Rammagerdin – One of the city’s best souvenir shops. Plenty of woolen goods, T-shirts with unique designs made from recycled materials, Iceland-inspired lava jewelry, lava salt, and more. Several branches around the city. (0.1 mile).
- Orrifinn – Unique, Icelandic-themed jewelry. Inspired by Iceland’s landscape and history, this jeweler specializes in delicate pendants and rings involving axes, keys, serpents, anchors, and more. (0.1 mile).
- Smekkleysa – Legendary record store and infamous record label. “Bad Taste” is all about punk rock and other alternative music, and singer Björk is one of the label’s founders. Music aside, Smekkleysa sells poetry, novels, and offbeat greeting cards. (0.1 mile).
- 12 Tónar – Independent record store. Come to this 2-story shop and independent record label for a complimentary espresso, a chat with local musicians, and a browse through stacks of Icelandic and international vinyl. (0.1 mile).
- Geysir – Icelandic woolen goodies and more. Come here for traditional Icelandic sweaters and blankets as well as more contemporary designs. Also sells men’s and women’s shoes and accessories. (0.1 mile).
- Aftur – Eco-aware local designer. Sleek, urban designer apparel for men and women, with an emphasis on recycling and upcycling. Current owner also handpicks clothing and accessories by labels that share her aesthetics. (0.2 mile).
- Tulipop – Characters from an Icelandic fantasy world appear here in the form of toys, collectibles, and other quirky and unique gift ideas. (0.3 mile).
- Epal Icelandic Design – Quirky Icelandic gifts. Apart from the obligatory collection of woolen sweaters, lava salt shakers, and mint candy that promises to “make you sing like Björk”, Epal stocks Icelandic black humor by local cartoonist Dagsson and various other unusual gifts. (0.4 mile).
- Culture House – This 1908 building hosts a terrific exhibition on Iceland’s cultural and artistic heritage, from early settlement to the present day. Look out for priceless 14th-century manuscripts and the skeleton of the now-extinct great auk. Changing contemporary art exhibitions, too. (150m).
- Hallgrímskirkja – Reykjavik’s iconic church. Built between 1945 and 1986, this striking white-concrete church dominates the hilltop in central Reykjavik. Inside, this Lutheran church is rather austere but worth a peek for its impressive 5,275-pipe organ. Take the elevator up the 74.5m-high tower for fantastic panoramic views of the city. (0.4 mile).
- Harpa Concert Hall – Award-winning music venue. With its many facets glistening on the waterfront, Harpa combines striking modern architecture with terrific acoustics. It is home to the Icelandic Opera and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, and hosts numerous music festivals such as Dark Music Days, Reykjavik Jazz Festival, and Reykjavik Midsummer Music. Even if you don’t attend a concert, it’s well worth taking one of the daily guided tours of the building. (0.4 mile).
- Reykjavik Art Museum – Contemporary Icelandic art. Spread over 3 locations, this terrific museum presents the best of contemporary Icelandic talent, from installations and abstract sculptures to paintings, photos, and videos. The Hafnarhús – a soaring steel and concrete exhibition space – is the most central of the three. (0.4 mile).
- National Gallery of Iceland – The most comprehensive collection of Icelandic art. The bright marble galleries display some of the museum’s 10,000 pieces on rotation and there are frequent special exhibitions by the likes of Sigurjón Ólafsson, Jóhannes Kjarval, and other prominent Icelandic artists. (0.4 mile).
- Sun Voyager – Head for the waterfront to check out the Sun Voyager, Reykjavik’s iconic sculpture, an almost ethereal Viking longboat by artist Jón Gunnar Árnason. The artist’s intention was to convey the promise of undiscovered territory, freedom, and hope. It’s also a favorite spot for sunset-watching, with snow-capped mountains in the distance. (0.5 mile).
- Saga Museum – Icelandic history comes to life here. Walk your way through centuries of Iceland’s turbulent history since its first settlement by Norsemen in the 9th century AD. Key moments, including the devastation wreaked by the Black Death, are brought to life by the realistic-looking tableaux of mannequins, and visitors can play dress-up too. (0.8 mile).
- National Museum of Iceland – The history of Iceland from the earliest Nordic settlement to the present day. This excellent museum is the perfect starting point for getting a handle on the country’s history and culture, from the Making of a Nation exhibition to a wealth of historical artifacts such as elaborately carved drinking horns, weapons, and household objects through the ages. (0.8 mile).
- Reykjavik Maritime Museum – Iceland’s seafaring heritage. This former fish-freezing factory celebrates Iceland’s centuries-old relationship with the sea, from Viking voyages to the country’s lifeblood – it’s fishing industry. Learn about piracy and daring coastguard rescues, and check out the dried cod. Occasional guided tours aboard the coastguard ship Óðinn. (1 mile).
- Reykjavik City Museum – Beautifully presented archaeological museum centered on a 10th-century Viking longhouse. Digital technology is used to bring the past to life and interactive multimedia tables put artifacts such as fish-oil lamps and iron axes into context. (1 mile).
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
- Bónus – Handy small supermarket along Laugavegur street. (0.3 mile).
- Kolaportid Flea Market – Enormous flea and food market. Held on weekends in a massive industrial building by the waterfront, this market has numerous stalls selling vintage clothing, old toys, and assorted bric-à-brac. The food stalls are a good place to sample such traditional delicacies as rúgbrauð (geothermally-baked rye bread) and hákarl (fermented shark). (0.4 mile).
Get All New Content• My Travel Newsletter