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Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina ICELAND


BY CHRIS PEACOCK


A RATHER UNASSUMING exterior belies the lively atmosphere of this quirky seafront boutique hotel in Reykjavik’s popular 101 harbor district. Checking in well after midnight on a Thursday,


I was expecting a quiet introduction, but the lobby, bar and restaurant were buzzing. So despite the long journey and late hour, I headed straight to the bar to join the party for a nightcap (or few). But with an early start ahead, I was soon


cocooned in my deluxe double room, which continues the hotel’s playful marine theme with fisherman knot wallpaper, net storage bags and direct views over the city’s dry docks and harbor. At breakfast next morning, the restaurant was


once again a hive of activity, with a mix of suited professionals, trendy Icelanders and Gore-Tex clad couples ready to brave the great outdoors. It might have been early, but there was a shared eagerness to be out exploring Iceland, from shopping in Reykjavik to hiking up to glaciers. The noteworthy breakfast buffet ran the gamut,


from healthy cereals and fruits to fortifying plates of eggs and bacon, which certainly set me up for the long day of touring in a cold Icelandic spring. Quirky, fun and genuinely welcoming — much like my whole experience of Iceland.


128 | ASTAnetwork | summer 2014 ESSENTIALS


n ADDRESS: Myrargata 2, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland. T: +354 444 4000. icelandairhotels.com/ en/hotels/marina n PRICE: Double rooms from $145 per person a night, including breakfast.


VERDICT:


The Westin Seattle USA


BY STEPHANIE CAVAGNARO


SPREAD ACROSS TWIN cylindrical towers, the Westin Seattle is the city’s tallest hotel, providing 47 stories of four-star respite. Having completed a $35 million renovation in 2012, the 891-room hotel’s interior is just as impressive as its iconic place in the city’s skyline. Check-in was through a plush, minimalist lobby,


and with key in hand I sailed up the South Tower to my 35th-floor Executive Suite — an expansive 650sq ft space spread across two bedrooms. From my perch, views stretched across the downtown cityscape and glistening Puget Sound. My suite, decorated in warm beige hues,


included a mammoth Westin Heavenly bed, a particularly large work desk, a sofa bed, minibars and two bathrooms with Heavenly Spa white tea aloe products. Disappointingly, wi-fi wasn’t included in the


room price, but the lobby provided this service free, along with a bar selling tasty microbrews, signature cocktails and local wine. Other facilities included a 24-hour fitness


studio with heated indoor pool, as well as Relish Burger Bistro, which dished up a fantastic, albeit slightly pricey, breakfast of fresh fruits, oatmeal, applewood smoked bacon, eggs and bagels.


ESSENTIALS


n ADDRESS: 1900 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101, USA. T: 206 728 1000. westinseattle.com n PRICE: Rooms from $249 on room only basis.


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