Þorvaldur Guðmundsson and Ingibjörg Guðmundsdóttir founded Hotel Holt in 1965. This harmonious couple took part in building and running a number of businesses in Iceland, in the food industry as well as the restaurant and hotel business. They loved travelling and used the opportunity when abroad to learn about the latest trends in hotels and restaurants to bring home to Iceland. Hotel Holt has from the very start been known in Iceland for the owners’ and staff’s cordiality and hospitality, as well as the unique collection of Icelandic art that adorns the building.
From the moment you enter the Hotel Holt
lobby, until you depart, relaxed and refreshed,
you will experience a spirit of friendly and
personalized service that pervades the entire
staff and personifies the Hotel Holt
– Þorvaldur Guðmundsson
How did it begin? Þorvaldur, being involved in overseeing of construction of a new Restaurant & Hotel for The Farmers Association subsequently became hotel manager of Hotel Saga for two years after it opened in 1962. However, the name of the new Hotel, which was named Saga, came from his wife Ingibjörg. It was the first time Þorvaldur tried his hand at running a hotel and there was no going back after that.
Hotel Holt opened on February 12th, 1965, after only 9 months of construction. In the beginning there were only 30 rooms in the building, designed by architect Gunnlaugur Pálsson and State Architect Hörður Bjarnason. Þorvaldur hired interior designer Gunnar Magnússon to design the hotel’s style, interiors, and furniture.
In an article in Morgunblaðið newspaper a journalist describes his visit to Hotel Holt and is obviously very impressed. “Icelandic art adorns the hotel walls at every turn and the place is equipped with first-class amenities.” Hotel Holt combined Þorvaldur’ s two passions: collecting art and running hotels.
Before Hotel Holt opened its doors to Guests Þorvaldur Guðmundsson launched a modern and stylish store called Síld og Fiskur (e. Herring & Fish) in the building that now houses Hotel Holt.
In 1973 a new wing was added to the hotel and opened in April 1973. The new addition increased the number of rooms to 53. Thingholt was opened on the ground floor of the new wing, a private function room with classical English style interiors designed by furniture and interior designer Gunnar Magnússon.
2004 - present
Hotel Holt belongs to the same family from the very beginning. Geirlaug Þorvaldsdóttir, Ingibjörg and Þorvaldur’s oldest daughter, bought her siblings’ shares in 2004 and has run the hotel since 2011, continuing the family’s legacy.