Hotel Búðir is one of the world’s best hotels – Condé Nast Traveler has said so, as have a few other magazines. And they’re all right. What is more, if Búðir were a four-dollar tent with a sleeping mat, it would still be one of the world’s greatest hotels. Located on a natural inlet along the country’s best beach on the southern coast of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, Búðir boasts both the best coastline, and the best view of Iceland’s most famous glacier, Snaefellsjökull. To complete the view, Búðir also overlooks one of the few traditional countryside black chapels, a modest but surprisingly evocative structure.
As it happens, one of the magazines that thinks Hotel Búðir is one of the world’s greats is the design magazine Wallpaper. Attractive as the surroundings are, and as handsome as the outside of Búðir is, and it is unusually tasteful, the interior gets featured in design magazines. When we arrived, we headed straight for the hotel lounge, a timeless, a dream hunting-lodge style bar. The walls are decked with tasteful mountings, Audubon-style paintings, and old National Geographics, the bar outfitted with the country’s best Scotch and Port selection. Truthfully, we chose Búðir solely for the lounge, as we had headed out to the bar last year for a retreat.
To complete the Búðir experience, the hotel also houses an outstanding restaurant, featuring the modern, French-inspired take on Icelandic cuisine that you’d expect at a four-star hotel.
The hotel is the dream getaway for couples, and they made up the bulk of the residents when we visited this year. A hotel this good and this relaxing can serve multiple purposes, though. With the views and the many public spaces, and with the hiking and overall solitude – the hotel is two hour’s drive from Reykjavík, but it feels like a different world – we found Búðir perfect for our purposes, a quick work retreat.
Ours will only be one small article in the arsenal of Búðir praise you’ll see if you’re a fan of Iceland. As you come across the write-ups, it may feel like this is the most over-hyped institution in the country. All we can say is that we’ve checked it out. If there were anything negative to say, we, of all people, would say it. This hotel is as good as it gets, and a little better than that.
Hotel Búðir, 365 Snæfellsbær,
Tel.: 435-6700, www.budir.is.
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