We’re back and super excited to kick off our newest Iceland Wedding Planner blog post series! Over the next several weeks you can look forward to exploring some unique and outstanding hotels in Iceland that made our favorite list this year. So whether you’re going to Iceland to celebrate your wedding day, honeymoon, anniversary or just planning a romantic adventure trip, we will be sharing with you some of their most beautiful places to stay.
Did you know there is a hidden gem in Hella, Iceland? Hótel Lækur (Pronounced in English: Hotel Lie-kere) is a super sweet Southern Iceland country hotel 10km off of the infamous Route 1. Just built at the end of 2012, Hótel Lækur is one of Iceland’s newest hotels that offer an epic countryside view of the Northern Lights (most often seen between November-March). We had the pleasure of staying there for one evening and are already carving out time to return!
The owner Gunnar and his family spent 2012 remodeling a country barn into this now a delightful 13 room hotel. The handcrafted details throughout the hotel create an overall warm bucolic appeal. The hotel is a family run horse farm, and offers 1-8 hour adventure trips around the area. There is also a fabulous restaurant onsite that offers a delicious traditional Icelandic breakfast and supper. The starting price for a room at the Hótel Lækur begins at approximately $125 USD depending on the season (breakfast included).
Iceland Wedding Planner’s Visit to Hótel Lækur:
We started our journey in downtown Reykjavík, about 100km from Hótel Lækur. This was our first time visiting Iceland in November / December. During this time of year you have about 5 hours of actual daylight (Sunrise ~10:45am and Sunset ~3:45pm). You do have a prolonged dawn from 9:30-10:30am and dusk from about 3:45-4:15pm. Even in the pouring rain and at times a snowy mix through the mountains, the scenery was still awe-inspiring. It was tough for me to contain my urge to want to make stops every 15 minutes to take in the stunning scenery!
Coming from either way on Route 1 you will clearly see the large “Hótel Lækur” sign from the road pointing you 10km down the road, Gunnersholt to Hróarslækur. The road is paved until the last few kilometers but is extremely well kept. Our excitement grew each time we saw another teaser Hótel Lækur sign, we were so excited! Once we approached the final sign leading us to the left turn down the hotels private road, we saw Hótel Lækur’s stunning horses. Regardless of the pouring rain and wind, we pulled over, got out, and made friends. The horses had beautiful colors, were well kept, incredibly friendly, and allowed us to pet and photograph them. So sweet! Next time we return, we are for sure going to book a riding adventure with these spectacular horses!
We continued down the stone driveway that dead ends to the hotel. It was just as beautiful as all of the photos online depicted. Hótel Lækur backs up to a river and offers a perfect view of Mount Hekla (on a clear day). We were immediately greeted by the owner, Gunnar’s welcoming smile. He proceeded to take us on a tour of their hotel. During our visit they were in the midst of completing the installation of their new outdoor hot tubs. How soothing will it be to soak in the warm water with the view of the river and mountains!
We were in Room #5 located above the dining room. There was an outside entrance with a cute little patio set and our room boasted both a view of the river and a sight in the direction of Mount Hekla. Upon entering, the room was bright, clean, warm and cozy. With all the basic amenities of home we were quickly settled into our Icelandic country escape.
That afternoon we went down to the reception dining area and happily found our host brewing fresh coffee! Yum! After tirelessly traveling, having been awake for more than 36 hours straight, and battling sideways rain, a late afternoon cup and connecting to their WiFi was heaven sent! We then spent some time chatting with the owner for a while about weddings and how popular having a destination wedding in Iceland has now become. So much attention has been brought to Iceland over the last 2 years because of movies and TV shows filming around the country. The film crew of the upcoming blockbuster Noah even stayed at Hotel Lækur!
The dining room feels warm and inviting, like when you visit family on the holidays. The walls are decorated with local artist’s work adding an excellent touch to the feel of the room. The theme of being family run comes out in passion put into the home cooking. Dinner was served at 7pm. While dining at Hótel Lækur, each of the 3 courses were formally introduced by the chef (Gunnar’s son). We delightfully dined in the following courses:
A traditional Icelandic appetizer plate was served featuring the following fresh foods:
- Smoked Trout (Caught in the river behind the hotel and smoked in a nearby town).
- Rúgbrauð (Icelandic bread which is traditionally cooked in the ground from the geothermal heat (ours was cooked in the oven). It was some of the most amazing sweet bread we have ever had!).
- Caramelized onions, and dill pickle savory cream sauce.
The combination was exquisite to the palette. Each bite you could taste the sweet, savory, and the smokiness of the fish.
Our mouths were watering as soon as the beautiful main course was set down in front of us. It was a beautifully plated dish consisting of the following items:
- Fresh Salad: Topped with an assortment of roasted pine nuts and Icelandic spiced feta cheese.
- Beef Tenderloin.
- Roasted Potatoes.
- Sautéed Garlic Mushrooms in a Cream Sauce.
Our main course was fragrant and fresh and left us eagerly awaiting the final surprise course.
Chris and I are both big fans of dessert and were thrilled when the Hótel Lækur team brought us something we had never had before!
- Date cake with vanilla and chocolate ice cream.
- Refreshing Kiwi in a chocolate sauce.
- Homemade date chocolate.
Combining all of these flavors and the fact that every bite we had was homemade really made our dining experience exceptional. Bravo Hótel Lækur on a job well done, we were left impressed!
Hótel Lækur can handle up to 40 people in their dining area. Above the dining area there is also lounge where you can relax and enjoy an Icelandic beer or a cocktail before or after dinner. They are also happy to accommodate anyone in their restaurant who is vegetarian or needs gluten free option, just ask ahead of time. On an extra note, they offer coffee and tea 24/7 for their guests in the dining area.
After dinner we retired to our room. Since it had been raining and cloudy all day, we were not really expecting to be graced with an appearance of the Northern Lights. But, knowing the chances would be slim we still found ourselves getting up every hour or so to go out and check “just in case.” The good news is that Hótel Lækur keeps an eye out for you and offers a wake up knock too to ensure you do not miss the fabulous showing of the Aurora if they come out. Luckily the clouds parted for a short time between 1:30-2am and we were marveled by their presence! Hótel Lækur is a beautiful spot to photograph the Northern Lights. They have this great little hillside you can setup your tripod on and capture the hotel in the foreground and Mount Hekla in the background.
Morning at Hótel Lækur brought hot Icelandic coffee and a traditional European breakfast spread. You can expect items like oatmeal, warm Icelandic Rúgbrauð, cereals, meats, cheeses, date cakes, and various juices to be a part of their banquet.
Hótel Lækur held their first destination wedding this past summer and have several booked for the upcoming year in 2014. In our opinion, this hotel would be a charming location to hold a destination wedding in Iceland because of the exclusivity of the location, country feel, and opportunity to view the Northern Lights (no light pollution). If you also book early enough you have the option of renting the entire hotel for your group. Hótel Lækur also has enough acreage on the property to host your Iceland wedding ceremony along the river behind the hotel or with Mount Hekla as a backdrop. Not to mention they are also minutes away from the historic Keldur and Oddi Church, Thórsmörk Mountain Ridge, Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss and Gullfoss waterfalls. This location can also easily be your gateway to all of the epic natural wonders Southern Iceland has to offer and we encourage you to check them out!
Hótel Lækur’s Information:
- Website: http://hotellaekur.is
- Hróarslækur Horse Rental
- Hotel Laekur GPS Coordinates: 63.8469134 N’’ -20.17052 W’’
- Address: 851 Hróarslæk; Hella, Iceland
- Phone: +354-466-3930
We hope you have enjoyed our first installment of our newest series! Are you contemplating having an Iceland destination wedding or an Iceland elopement? Iceland Wedding Planner offers the best of both worlds… Wedding planning and photography in one package! Feel free to contact us to get the conversation started about your dream wedding in Iceland!
With a smile,
2002-2013, Photos by Miss Ann, All Rights Reserved.