The 253-room hotel currently under construction next to Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavík is set to open next year, RÚV reports. Richard L. Friedman, one of the project’s main investors, says he is not concerned by tourist numbers dropping in Iceland. The hotel’s construction is expected to cost ISK 20 billion ($160m/€145m).
The Reykjavik Edition, as the hotel is to be named, will offer five-star accomodations under the Marriott trademark. The Edition was scheduled to be completed and opened this year, but construction has been delayed. Friedman is not surprised by the development. “I’ve done almost 30 hotels and I’ve never had one on time either,” he told a reporter. “It’s very common in this business.”
While the hotel was originally projected to cost ISK 16 billion ($128m/€116m) to build, the final cost will be closer to ISK 20 billion ($160m/€145m). “We’re not trying to save every penny because we want to build something that has incredible difference from existing hotels,” Friedman stated.
Not concerned about decline in tourists
As for the recent drop in tourist numbers, Friedman says the hotel’s investors are not concerned. “I don’t think it worries us at all. The previous boom, if you will, was likely based on Airbnb and WOW and those things, but we’ve never counted on that anyway. Everywhere I go, across America where I’m building lots of hotels actually, we find people say ‘I want to go to Iceland but I haven’t had the right place to go or stay’ and so I think we’re just fine, we’re not concerned about it at all.”
The project’s investors include several individuals as well as Icelandic pension funds. It is expected have 300-400 staff.
More rooms in Reykjavík
The Reykjavík Edition is not the only hotel currently under construction in the heart of Reykjavík. Construciton of a 120-room hotel has begun just down the street from the Edition on Lækjargata, and a 160-room Icelandair Parliament hotel by Austurvöllur square a stone’s throw away. The number of hotel rooms in Reykjavík is expected to increase by 50% over the next couple of years.