Where to stay in Iceland
This hotel has long been a favourite with anyone hoping to spot the Northern Lights. But now there is another reason everyone is checking in. It's the closest hotel to Eyjafjallajökull – or 'that bloody volcano' as its known in English. So book a room and enjoy the fireworks.
How they rate it
The hotel is a 75-minute drive east of Reykjavik and set in an "extraordinary landscape", says Daniel Lawrence in Condé Nast Traveller, "thundering waterfalls, black-sand beaches, dramatic cliffs, glaciers and endless plains populated by Icelandic ponies". There are 44 rooms and seven themed suites. The 'North America' suite is "fabulous", with a bear pelt, copper bathtub and early 20th-century photos by Edward S. Curtis.
This hotel "delivers a surprisingly high standard of five-star polish in a very remote location". The "creamy fish soup was among the richest I've ever tasted and the mellow, oak-smoked puffin served with blueberry compote sensational".
Double rooms cost from €187 per night. For more information visit www.hotelranga.is or call 00 354 487 5700.
The Hotel Borg is an art-deco gem in the centre of Reykjavik. It underwent a multi-million-kroner renovation two years ago and is now an elegant, luxurious four-star hotel with all the mod-cons you would expect. These include flat-screen televisions, heated marble floors in the bathroom and Bang & Olufsen CD players. If you can afford it check in to the three-bedroom, two-floor Tower Suite which has 360-degree views of Reykjavik.
How they rate it
This is a "supremely elegant" hotel, says Claire Gervat in The Daily Telegraph. It opened in 1930 and previous guests include Marlene Dietrich. It has been "immaculately restored" to make the most of the art deco original features. Hotel Borg offers a "traditional" hotel experience, says Sveinn Birkir Bjornsson in The Observer, and is close to the shops and restaurants of Austurvollur Square.
The hotel restaurant, Silfur, is considered one of the best restaurants in Iceland and serves traditional Icelandic food with a twist. Dishes include lightly seared minke whale and slow cooked salted horse served with root vegetables.
A double room costs from €310. See www.hotelborg.is or call 00 354 55 11 420.
What the travel writers are saying
If you can face drinking amongst supermodels, visit Diana Majestic in Milan. "Any supermodel worth the salt on her margarita has spent a few happy hours at the H Club Diana Garden," says The Sunday Times. This is "the house bar of the fashion elite but mere mortals are also welcome". In summer you can drink in the beautiful gardens with classical statues and a tinkling fountain. "Dress as though your life depended on it and drink an Aperol spritz."
Meanwhile, situated at the top of the beautiful Eme Cathedral Hotel in Seville, the Santo Terraza has the best view in the city. "You're a canapé's throw from the cathedral and the Giralda." The bar is reached via a high walkway and the clientele are "youngish and stylish". Watch the sunset while sipping a mojito.
Finally, try Le Meruice in Paris. It serves brilliant Bloody Marys in an interior that resembles a gentlemen's club complete with "leather armchairs, tobacco walls and big oils". It is the "smartest bar in town", but you pay for it – the drinks will break the bank.