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Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport in Iceland [In-depth Review]

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Christine Krzyszton

Christine Krzyszton

Senior Finance Contributor

Countries Visited: 98U.S. States Visited: 45

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, deta...
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Iceland is a hot destination. Airlines have added lots of flights to the country, its hotels are filling up quickly, and crowds are starting to flow into the streets of Reykjavik, the capital city. I recently hopped on Delta Air Lines’ first nonstop flight of the season out of Minneapolis (MSP), hoping to spend a few days there before the hoards of tourists arrive in the “Land of Fire and Ice.”

Summer hotel prices in Iceland soar during peak season, so I always look for opportunities to use hotel points to secure lodging. Fortunately, there are plenty of hotels from the major chains, including Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, and Radisson, from which to select.

It’s best to book early for summer trips. I began planning early in the year, booking the Mr. and Mrs. Smith Kvosin Downtown Hotel in Reykjavik, the Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre, and the Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport near the airport, all with points or free night certificates.

Today, I’m going to share my experience at the Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport. The property is an airport hotel that’s just a few years old, has 150 rooms, and hosts one of the best restaurants in the area.

If you’re looking for a hotel near Iceland’s primary airport, here’s why you’d want to consider the Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport.


The Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport is conveniently located just over 1.5 miles from the Keflavik International Airport (KEF) terminal. The airport is the nation’s largest and the main international gateway for visitors from abroad.

If you’re arriving late in the day, need to rest after an early arrival, or have an early morning flight departure, you’ll want to consider the Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport for its easy access to the airport.

Additionally, the hotel could make a good base for exploring the south side of the island by car for the day or when you have a layover at KEF and want to visit the Blue Lagoon, which is just 20 minutes away.

The hotel is also situated right in the middle of the Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark and is “surrounded by geographical wonders and attractions,” as noted in the hotel’s brochure.

The Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport is located conveniently close to KEF airport. Image Credit: Mapcarta

Here’s a map showing a broader perspective of the hotel’s location in relationship to Reykjavik and the south shore.

The Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport’s location in relation to Reykjavik and the surrounding area. Image Credit: Mapcarta


An advantage of staying at the Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport is the opportunity to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points for your stay or use your annual free night certificate that comes with several Marriott-branded credit cards. Hotel rooms are pricey in Iceland, so any time you can use points or free night certificates and receive good value, it can be a money-saving situation.

Award nights at the hotel typically range from 32,000 to 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night throughout the summer. We value Marriott Bonvoy points at approximately 0.7 cents each, which translates to using approximately $224 to $280 worth of points per night for a summer stay.

Award booking options. Image Credit: Marriott

For the night I needed, the hotel cost 33,000 points. Fortunately, at that level, I was able to use one of my 35,000-point certificates to book the stay. A cash stay during the summer can exceed $300 per night with taxes and fees factored in. For the night I wanted to book, the cash rate would have been ~$252 (33,000 ISK).

I also had the option to pay with cash and points at a rate of ~$97 (12,514 ISK) plus $116 worth of points (16,500 x 0.007) for a total equivalent of ~$213. That’s a decent price compared to the cash rate. I would have selected that option had I not had an expiring free hotel night certificate.

I received my free night certificate as a perk of holding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card. I also used the card for my hotel incidentals to earn up to 17x points for each dollar I spent at the property. I also have Marriott Bonvoy Titanium elite status which offers perks like complimentary breakfast (at participating properties), room upgrades (subject to availability), and more.

Transportation and Arrival

While the hotel is close to KEF airport, it does not currently have an airport shuttle service, but it is working on it. For now, the best way to reach the hotel is by taxi. It will take less than 5 minutes and cost approximately $20 to $28 (2,500 to 3,500 ISK).

You can walk to the hotel if you have little luggage and are up to it, but it can take about 35 minutes. I tried it just to experience it, but it was not pleasant due to a strong headwind. Plus, you have to traverse some rocky lava terrain covered in moss and then walk along a very busy highway. It’s doable, however.

There is another slightly indirect route you could take. Hop on the Line 55 bus from the airport and take it to the first or second stop. This will cut the walking time down to 15 to 18 minutes. You can also tell the driver where you’re trying to go and they can advise you when to get off the bus. The cost of the bus is about $3.70 (470 ISK). The hotel’s location is depicted by the red star on the map, the airport is point A, and the arrows indicate the bus stops closest to the hotel.

I have done all of these options and each has its obvious pros and cons.

It’s possible to reach the hotel via the Line 55 bus and then walk 15 to 18 minutes.

Finally, if you’re renting a car at the airport, you can reach the hotel by turning right on Highway 41 when exiting and keep right at the roundabout staying on 41. At the second roundabout, you’ll see the hotel on your left. There is no charge for onsite parking at the hotel.

There are no other large structures around the hotel, so it’s easy to find.

The hotel sits prominently in a lava field and stands out from its surroundings. This makes it easy to spot, even from the airport.

Hotel signage is great. The building has 2 identifying labels you can see from a distance on the sides of the building, and the entrance is clearly marked.


Since I was coming from my hotel in Reykjavik, I first took a bus from the city to the airport, then a taxi to the Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport. I was happy to finally arrive at about 2 p.m., before the official 3 p.m. check-in time, and waited just a few minutes for my room to be ready.

Check-in was quick and easy, and I was given a nice overview of the available hotel amenities.

I was greeted as a return guest and my Marriott Bonvoy Titanium status was acknowledged. I was offered a choice between complimentary breakfast, 500 Marriott Bonvoy points, or a welcome gift. I chose the breakfast as my flight the next day wasn’t until 9:30 a.m., the hotel is less than 5 minutes from the airport, and I wanted to make sure to snap some images of the breakfast buffet to share with you all.

One notable observation regarding Iceland is that bottled water is not always offered as a welcome gift at hotels, regardless of status. I received just 1 bottled water during my stays at 3 different hotels. This is because the tap water in Iceland is some of the best in the world. And it’s ice cold. I carried a refillable water bottle, as did most tourists.

Should you need to wait for your room to be ready, you’ll have several comfortable areas from which to select.

For a short wait, the modular seating near the front desk will work well.

Whether waiting for your airport transport, a fellow traveler, or your room to be ready, you’ll have plenty of comfortable places to sit.

You can double-check your flight schedule on the monitor located in this seating area near the front desk.


The Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport does not have a huge footprint, but it packs a lot into its compact floor plan. Here are some of the amenities you can expect onsite.

Fitness Center

Behind this unassuming door located next to the room elevators, you’ll find the fitness center. The door is marked with a sign that has the word GYM on it. Use your room key to access the area.

The fitness room door is discreet but easy to find between the lobby and the floor elevators.

The fitness room is not large but it was clean and adequate for anyone wanting to have a morning workout.

The fitness room has free weights, exercise balls, and a few workout machines.

When you’re finished with your workout, you can freshen up at the vanity area near the exit door.

Vanity area near the fitness room exit.

Meeting Rooms

The hotel has 2 meeting rooms located directly off the lobby. Although occupied, I was able to snap this peek of one with an open door. Meeting Room 1 can hold up to 20 participants, while Meeting Room 2 can hold up to 80. The meeting rooms can also be combined to hold up to 100 attendees.

The hotel also offers a complete stock of audio/visual equipment and supporting business services.

The hotel has 2 meeting rooms, and they can be combined for a larger group.

Business Center

Occasionally, you’ll need to print a document. Having access to a desktop computer and a printer in these situations can be very helpful. Fortunately, there are 2 computers, a printer, and high-speed internet available for tasks like these. You’ll find the business center nook located in the lobby area.

In those rare instances when you need to print a document, it’s nice to have a desktop and a printer handy.

The Room

You won’t spend much time in your hotel room during your time in Iceland, but when you do, it’s nice to have a clean, comfortable room that functions well. That’s exactly what you’ll find at the Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport.

Here’s an overview of my room and the associated amenities.

Bedroom Area

I found my room to be well-designed, bright, functional, and very comfortable.

Don’t expect luxury but do expect comfort and cleanliness.

There were 2 nightstands, one on each side of the bed. The right nightstand offered USB ports, a telephone, an electrical outlet, and lighting controls.

This nightstand was an extension of the work area.

The left nightstand offered a digital clock, electrical outlet, and lighting controls.

The left nightstand.

Work Area

The work desk and right nightstand are extensions of each other (a clever design feature actually), and the combo worked just fine. The chair also served the dual purpose of being a desk chair and a chair with a footstool for relaxing.

The room chair functioned as a desk chair and as a lounge chair.

The comfortable chair and ottoman were nice for a mid-work break.

The dual-purpose chair.

Internet speeds in the room were consistent and sufficient for working online.

Internet speeds were strong throughout the hotel. Image Credit: Speedtest


The bathroom was designed to use space efficiently. Since the sink, toilet, and vanity were all combined, there was plenty of floor space to move around.

The bathroom is compact but well-designed with a large shower and plenty of floor space.

The shower was sizable and had a handheld wand.

The rain shower also had safety grab bars.

Love them or hate them, more and more hotels are utilizing full-size shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel containers mounted in the shower. This was the case at the Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport. The scents were quite nice, however.

Nirvae Botanicals’ full-size shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel containers were mounted in the shower.

In addition to the shower-mounted amenities, there was a small bar of soap, body lotion, and an offer to replace any toiletries you may have forgotten.

If you forgot any toiletries, the hotel will be happy to assist you.

The Rest of the Room

The room’s smart TV offered 25+ channels and allowed you to connect your own device for streaming personal content to the TV.

Having a smart TV that allows you to connect your own device means you’ll never run out of viewing options.

A compact cabinet in the corner of the room enclosed a closet, the room’s safe, the coffee station, a minifridge, and a storage area. You’ll also find an iron, ironing board, plenty of hangers, and a pair of slippers.

The all-in-one closet cabinet offered a lot of storage in a compact space.

The coffee station was stocked with an ice bucket, kettle, decaf and regular coffee, condiments, and assorted teas. There was no espresso/coffee maker in the room, but coffee is also available at the breakfast buffet between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. or for purchase at any time.

While the coffee station did not have a coffee maker, the in-room instant coffee was not bad.

The small refrigerator can come in handy to keep your road trip groceries cool and fresh. There was no minibar.

Having a small fridge comes in handy to chill your beverages and perishables.


I stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport twice in 3 weeks. Here is the view from room 416. While the view may seem boring, it’s important to note the gas station pumps in the parking lot and the airport off in the distance.

The views from the hotel aren’t spectacular but you are in the middle of nature and that counts for something.

And here is the view from room 415 for comparison.

The town of Keflavik, located on the sea, is off in the distance.

Food and Beverage

The Bridge Restaurant and Bar is a shining addition to the Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport.

Yes, the guest rooms at the hotel are sparkling clean, tastefully decorated with modern décor, and comfortable. However, you’re more likely to leave with a warm feeling due to your initial front desk experience, your interaction with the staff in the bar/restaurant, and the food.

The restaurant is separated into 3 distinct areas in an effort to provide a more intimate dining experience. However, any of the areas can be used throughout the day or evening.

The area closest to the lobby and bar is used more during breakfast, lunch, and for enjoying an evening drink.


Titanium and Platinum Marriott Bonvoy elite members will be offered the option to select complimentary breakfast, 500 Marriott Bonvoy points, or a local gift. The breakfast buffet would cost approximately $22 (2,800 ISK) if you were to purchase it, so it is by far the best option if you can fit it into your schedule.

Let’s look at the selections you can expect at breakfast time, starting at the self-serve coffee station.

Walk right up and grab your morning coffee, tea, or hot cocoa without a wait as there are 2 hot beverage machines. You can also grab a cup to go.

No waiting to get your morning coffee as there are 2 coffee machines ready for use.

You’ll find a selection of naturally-flavored water, unflavored still water, apple juice, and orange juice.

Help yourself to a selection of juices and waters.

Quality fresh fruit in a remote northern destination is a real treat and this assortment was very tasty.

There was a nice variety of fruit and it tasted especially good.

The bread selection was good with 5 different bread choices and a toaster.

There were 5 fresh types of bread from which to select.

Once you’ve toasted your bread, you can opt for a spread of jam, butter, chocolate/hazelnut spread, or peanut butter.

A selection of spreads was provided, including 2 types of jams.

I really could have used an assistant to lift each lid while I snapped some shots of the hot breakfast offerings. However, all are standard hot breakfast foods you’ve seen before, including roasted potatoes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and baked beans. The roasted potatoes were especially flavorful.

The cast-iron containers positioned over the heat source kept the hot dishes deliciously warm.

There was a fine selection of thinly sliced meats and cheeses.

It was nice that the coverings served a hygienic purpose but also kept the meats and cheeses from drying out.

If you prefer alternative milk to dairy versions, you’ll find additional choices common in Iceland. The cereal section had several options from which to select, including hot oatmeal.

If you enjoy cereal in the morning, you’ll have several options.

In addition to the cereal selection, you’ll find 3 yogurt options. My favorite is Icelandic skyr, a smoother, richer, thicker, yogurt-type product. The morning I was there, the choices were vanilla or blueberry skyr, and a yogurt option. I chose the vanilla skyr and it had tiny pieces of shaved vanilla bean in it — delicious! You can also add toppings to your yogurt or cereal such as chia seeds, granola, coconut, and more.

You’ll have your choice between yogurt or skyr and some additional cereal options.

I was impressed with the quality of the fresh tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers for being on a remote island so early in the year. I am sure the greenhouses on the island have contributed to the fine quality of fruits and vegetables here.

Build your own breakfast salad with fresh ingredients and grab a hard-boiled egg in this section of the buffet.

The Bridge Bar

Alcohol in Iceland is quite expensive. However, there are 2 easy options to avoid paying top dollar for your evening cocktail. First, you can grab a bottle (or 3) of your favorite beverage at the airport duty-free store as soon as you arrive in the country. Second, you can plan to participate in a happy hour —- they’re everywhere.

The Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport has a great happy hour. From 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and from 10 p.m. until closing, you’ll enjoy discounted select alcoholic beverages. A house-branded “The Bridge” beer, for example, can be enjoyed for around $5.50 (700 ISK) or a glass of wine for around $7 (900 ISK).

I was offered a taste of the house beer and I actually received a small glass. It was a flavorful citrus lager and quite delightful.

The Bridge Bar has its own branded beer.

Strike up a conversation with the incredible team of bartenders and servers as they’ll share a lot of information about the surrounding area and the hotel.

The hotel has a nice happy hour and the bartenders have great stories.

Hot Tip: If you’re planning on spending time in Reykjavik, you’ll find all the best happy hours throughout the city by downloading the Appy Hour app (iOS, Android) to your smartphone. 

Happy hours are one of the best ways to minimize the high cost of drinking alcohol in Iceland. Image Credit: Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport

The Bridge Restaurant

I’ve stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport several times and never had a bad meal. Having said that, I always order the fish. It’s difficult to beat fresh fish pulled from the cold North Atlantic waters just hours earlier. I welcome the chance to eat the local fish whenever I can.

It’s worth noting that I had a conversation with 2 locals who frequent the restaurant and said it is the best restaurant in the area. My server confirmed that a lot of locals eat there.

Here’s the current dinner menu offered at the hotel, but note that options can, and do, change. You can also access a current menu online.

The dinner menu offers several local dishes, including light options and more substantial main courses.

Here’s the fish dinner I had at the hotel during a previous visit. It was a well-prepared, generously portioned, and very delicious halibut. Meals are served with an appetizer, plenty of fresh bread, and butter served on a lava rock, for approximately $23 (3,000 ISK).

My halibut dinner was delicious and very good value.

The local arctic char (fish) I ordered during my current trip was so phenomenal that I believe it is the best meal I have ever had in Iceland. So many flavors in just 1 dish and approximately $28 (3,690 ISK). There are 2 substantial arctic char filets hidden in there. The meal also came with a small salmon and apple compote appetizer that spread nicely on the fresh bread.

The restaurant also serves a prix fixe menu that offers your choice of an appetizer, main course, and dessert. Prices and themes vary. When I visited it was an Italian-themed selection.

Fresh root vegetables, olive tapenade, white asparagus, crisp seasoned polenta patty, plus 2 generous fish filets.

The dining room offers private booths that feature a personal smart TV, convenient for connecting your own device or enjoying a virtual bonfire during your meal.

Enjoy your meal in a private booth with your own smart TV.

On Saturdays and Sundays, The Bridge restaurant serves brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The price is around $24 (2,990 ISK), and you can select a savory main dish, a sweet main dish, a side dish, and a smoothie. All 4 selections are included in the price. Check out the brunch menu available online.

Enjoy your meal in a colorful artsy setting.


If you need a light snack or a beverage, including beer or wine, the onsite market is a handy option. The market is located adjacent to reception, so you can just grab what you need and pay at the front desk.

A convenient market is located next to the reception desk.

Surrounding Area

Just to clarify, once again, the Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport is not located near the capital city of Reykjavik. The hotel, however, is less than 5 minutes from the airport, making it a convenient option to stay before, after, or during your exploration of the island.

Here is some additional information regarding the immediate area surrounding the hotel.

Blue Lagoon

The popular Blue Lagoon is located just 20 minutes from the hotel. If you have a rental car, it’s an easy drive, or you can book transportation leaving from KEF airport. Round-trip bus service is available via a set schedule or you can continue to Reykjavik after your visit instead of returning to the airport. Reykjavik Excursions is one possible transportation/tour option but there are others such as Airport Direct. Or, you could take a taxi for about $65 to $80.

The Blue Lagoon is just 20 minutes from the hotel. Image Credit: Reykjavik Excursions

Gas Station

If you have a rental car, you’ll be happy to know there’s a gas station located in the parking lot of the hotel, perfect for topping off the gas tank before returning your rental car.

COVID-19 Testing Center

While a negative test is no longer required to enter the U.S., it’s still good to know there’s a COVID-19 testing center next door to the hotel. For approximately $54 (6,980 ISK), you can schedule a test and have the results in 15 to 25 minutes. The center is open each day from 8 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. and from 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can make an appointment and pay online. Be sure to select the Keflavik location.

There is a COVID testing center conveniently located behind the hotel.

The Town of Keflavik

I’ve stayed in the town of Keflavik twice and it is a quiet place. You can, however, enjoy walking along the seaside and book boat tours that leave out of Keflavik harbor. Tours include whale watching, fishing, Northern Lights tours, and more.

Keflavik is also home to the Viking World Museum if you’d enjoy seeing a full-size Viking ship and the Icelandic Museum of Rock and Roll if you’re a Björk or Icelandic band fan. And, rated second among all things to do in Keflavik, don’t miss walking up to see the beloved Giantess in the Mountain, especially if you have children. I’ll just leave it there.


There is a Nettó supermarket located about an 8-minute walk from the hotel. Turn left out of the hotel driveway and walk straight down the hill. You’ll see it on your right. There is also a larger Bonus supermarket further down the same hill, which is about a 20-minute walk. It’s worth noting that grocery stores do not sell alcohol in Iceland, only licensed outlets do.


The Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport is well-staffed with friendly people who seem to care about each traveler having a pleasant stay.

I have stayed at the hotel several times and always experienced good service at the front desk, from the cleaning staff, and from the bar/restaurant staff.

Final Thoughts

You’ve probably noticed I feel quite comfortable at the Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport. I can always count on a nice, clean place to stay, pleasant and helpful staff, and a good meal, usually before catching my flight back to the U.S. I can also count on good value, even during a summer visit.

I’m not the only traveler who appreciates the hotel, however. For 2021 the World Travel Awards voted the hotel as the top business hotel in Iceland and it was nominated for the award of the best overall hotel in Iceland. I would say that it’s not the best hotel in Iceland — but I am a fan nevertheless.

The hotel is also where I normally say goodbye to Iceland, so I’ll admit there’s a piece of sentimental value at work here.

I’ll continue to stay at the hotel on future trips and recommend it to my friends for all the reasons I’ve mentioned earlier. I’ll also root for their success in securing an airport shuttle sometime in the near future.

The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport have a hotel shuttle?

No. The hotel does not offer a hotel shuttle at this time. However, management at the hotel said they were working on it and hope to have arrangements completed in the future. The easiest way to reach the hotel is via taxi.

Does the Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport accept pets?

No. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed at the hotel.

Is there parking available at the Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport?

Yes. There is plenty of free parking on-site.

How far is the Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport from the airport?

The hotel can be reached by a 5-minute drive or taxi ride from Keflavik Airport, Iceland’s primary airport.

Is the Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport located near Reykjavik?

No. The hotel is nearly a 45-minute to 1-hour drive from the capital city of Reykjavik.

What time is check-in and checkout at the Courtyard by Marriott Reykjavik Keflavik Airport?

Check-in time at the property is 3 p.m. and checkout time is noon.

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.


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