Two days were surely not enough to fully discover Iceland, but the two hotels we experienced were a taste of this amazing country's service, food and hotels.
Located in downtown, a few meters from the main shopping street and church, 101 is a boutique hotel I surely recommend you try if you plan on visiting Iceland.
We arrived late in the afternoon and everything was ready for us. A first for me, the keys look like the old ones we have at home but work digitally. A red light turns to green as the key slips into place. Open up the door and prepare to be amazed.
A large room, well lit in white, three windows with a view of the street, a bed fills the right side and the bathroom occupies half the room with a sink, a shower, a closed toilet and the main attraction: A large white bathtub like you see in old castles in France. A large white tub positioned in the middle of the room ready to relax your every muscle.
Facing the large bed is a console with electricity plugs and a Bose music system. The closet part is also interesting; wooden boxes along the wall can fit any of your accessories and a closed box contains the mini bar and safe.
Now that I'd discovered my private quarters, I went back to the lobby for a drink. A beautifully designed space covered with wooden tiles, tree trunks, a chimney, wooden tables and lots of books. Cozy and calm with relaxing jazz music playing in the background. Up two stairs is a bar and restaurant, with a high ceiling and a perfect setup of two long rows of tables.
It was already late, drinks and dinner followed. As an aperitif we had fried cheese balls followed by little tartines of cheese. Two thin slices of bread stuffed with melted cheese were exactly like the ones I recently enjoyed at Burgundy.
On the menu:
- Lightly salted poached cod, topped with lemon sabayon served with tomato and avocado concasse, saffron pickled shallots and langoustine sauce.
- Poached bready of chicken with a garlic, herb and lemon rub, served with potato terrine, baked celeriac, mixed mushrooms, kale and a rosemary juice.
- Skyr pannacotta with mint lime marinated pineapple, passion fruit syrup and an oat and hazelnut crumble.
- Wines: Franck Millet Saucerne, France and Crozes Hermitages Les Jalets Rhone, France
A good first impression. Cutlery from Christofle France, bread served on wooden boards, thin wine glasses, small designer glasses for the water, candle light and a professional service hosted by smoky waiters.
Unfortunately, the food was not as good as I expected it to be. The fish was cold, the chicken was dry and the pannacotta was fine, but not extraordinary. The last 24 hours were way better culinary-wise. On another hand, I liked the presentation and the colorful plates they used, as well as the waitresses and their beautiful smiles.
I had a great night, a big bed, relaxing pillows and the morning was even better inside this large space that felt like home. It was a bit cold though.
I loved the hotel and will recommend it to my friends.