5 Iqaluit Hotel Reviews: Where to Stay on your Arctic Getaway

Houses in Iqaluit Nunavut under a blanket of snow

Iqaluit Hotel Reviews: Where to Stay on your Arctic Getaway

So you’re thinking of a trip to Iqaluit, Nunavut’s capital city. In a territory as vast and sparsely populated as Nunavut, Iqaluit is a bit of a ‘New York of the North’. You may be surprised by the many ‘city’ features – like a huge recreation center, an Instagram-worthy coffee shop and a brewery – blended so casually with traditional arctic living and an expansive tundra surrounding it.

I spent a season guiding in the arctic and have visited as a tourist myself. I absolutely loved my time living in Iqaluit and guiding guests on hiking, kayaking, ATV-ing and snowmobiling adventures. I personally didn’t stay in any Iqaluit hotels during my time in the north (since I was an employee and had friends there), though I did guide a lot of guests who did stay at these hotels.

As such, below I’ve summarized the feedback I got from the guests on the following Iqaluit hotels:

  • Accomodations by the Sea
  • Frobisher Inn
  • The Discovery Lodge Hotel
  • Capital Suites
  • Airbnbs
  • Aqsarniit Hotel

Iqaluit Hotel Reveiws

Generally speaking, there are five hotels in Iqaluit plus a handful of Airbnbs.

1. Accommodations By The Sea

  • Location – Nice area, but far from downtown
  • Kitchen – No, but breakfast is included
  • Restaurant – No
  • Fitness Facility – No
  • Free Wifi – Yes

Accommodations By The Sea isn’t exactly a hotel, but a Bed & Breakfast in a residential neighbourhood. Although far from downtown, this option has something none of the others have: Accommodations by the Sea has fantastic views of the bay.

It’s a small operation with just a few rooms and you’ll be interacting with the friendly hosts directly. There isn’t a restaurant so you’ll need to take a long walk or a quick taxi to get downtown, however being a Bed & Breakfast, your first meal of the day is provided. Generally, Accommodations By The Sea is better priced for what you get than the alternative hotels.

If you’re interested in my personal recommendation… this is the Iqaluit hotel I’ll most likely stay at during my next trip to the city. Many of my friends have since left Iqaluit and I’d still like the familiarity and inside scoop from people who live there year-round.

Read moreThe Ultimate Nunavut Travel Guide

Inside a two bed room at Accommodations by the Sea, a hotel in Iqaluit Nunavut

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2. Frobisher Inn

  • Location – Excellent, centrally located
  • Kitchen – No
  • Restaurant – Yes, and a bar and cafe
  • Fitness Facility – Yes
  • Free Wifi – Yes

Also known as ‘the Frobe’, The Frobisher Inn is a large 3-star hotel in Iqaluit’s downtown (if you can call it a downtown…).

Out of all the hotels in Iqaluit, The Frobisher Inn has the best location. It’s right in the city centre so you can easily walk to the grocery store, the visitor’s centre or the art museum (I used to live a 5-minute walk from the Frobe).

It has its own restaurant, which is good but a tad pricey (all food in the north is). Better yet, The Frobisher Inn has The Storehouse – my favourite bar / pub in the town. It’s got pool tables and cozy decor and a really good burger. Also drinks. There’s also the Caribrew Cafe, which was my favourite part of picking up guests staying in the hotel (the hazelnut latte is superb).

The rooms, or so I’m told, are perfectly comfortable but nothing to write home about. There isn’t a kitchen, but the building does have a fitness facility.

View of Iqaluit from the inside of the hotel room at the Frobisher Inn

3. The Discovery Lodge Hotel

  • Location – Good, close to downtown
  • Kitchen – No
  • Restaurant – Yes
  • Fitness Facility – No
  • Free Wifi – Yes

Out of all the hotels in Iqaluit, I consider the Discovery to be the nicest. It’s a 3-star boutique hotel and Leonardo DiCaprio stayed here when he came through Iqaluit after returning from the high arctic. If that isn’t a vote for the Disco I don’t know what is!

The hotel is located slightly outside of the downtown core, but Iqaluit is so small it barely makes a difference. The Discovery also has its own restaurant, which is delicious and similarly priced to the Frobisher Inn. Although it is a small hotel, the Discovery apparently has the nicest rooms (perhaps I’ll stay here one night on my next trip and confirm).

The only reason you might not choose the Discovery is if you want access to a kitchen or fitness center. Also, it is slightly pricier than the other options.

Read more10 Incredible Things to Do in Nunavut

Inside a suite at the Discovery, a boutique Iqaluit Hotel

4. Capital Suites

  • Location – Good, close to downtown
  • Kitchen – Yes
  • Restaurant – No, but there is a convenience market
  • Fitness Facility – Yes
  • Free Wifi – Yes

In all honestly, I haven’t heard much about Capital Suites as we didn’t often book guests at this hotel. As the name suggests, Capital Suites are not just hotel rooms, but most are full suites with kitchen appliances and living space. Considering the high cost of eating out in Iqaluit, access to a stovetop and fridge will save you some money (especially at breakfast and lunch).

The interior furnishings are a little dated, however, the convenience of having the kitchen and in-building fitness center and laundry facilities makes Capital Suites a good option.

The last time I was at the Capital Suites, I was actually at the bar adjacent to the hotel. Although I still prefer the Storehouse, this bar had a fun crowd and affordable drinks.

Inside view of a suite at the Capital Suites, a hotel in Iqaluit

5. Aqsarniit Hotel

  • Location – Not great
  • Kitchen – No
  • Restaurant – Yes
  • Fitness Facility – Yes
  • Free Wifi – Yes

I believe Aqsarniit Hotel is the newest Iqaluit hotel on the scene, as I don’t think it existed when I was living in Iqaluit. As such, I don’t know much about this hotel. It’s located very close to the airport, in an area of the city I’d consider to be quite industrial. The interior of the hotel looks really nice though – the suites are nicely decorated with modern furnishings and there’s free Wifi. Plus, the hotel has its own restaurant, bar and fitness center.

Aqsarniit Hotel in front of the northern lights in Iqaluit Nunavut

6. Airbnb

Last but not least, there are also a few Airbnb options in Iqaluit. These are limited and you definitely need to book well in advance. An Airbnb will be a bit cheaper than a hotel, but you will get access to a kitchen which will be cheaper than eating all your meals out.


Tips for Booking Hotels in Iqaluit

Generally speaking, all of the hotels in Iqaluit are pricey by most standards because… well, the arctic is really pricey.

Bring a friend and share a room: Obvious I know, but just a reminder that bringing other people and sharing a hotel room will drastically bring down the cost of hotel rooms (and activities) in Iqaluit.

Get a kitchen: As I mentioned above, eating at restaurants in Iqaluit is not cheap. Across all my time spent in Iqaluit, I think I’ve eaten out three or four times. So if you’re trying to stretch your budget as far as possible, opt for Capital Suites or an Airbnb so you can cook your own meals. Or at least bring oatmeal packages and muffins so you can do your own breakfasts.

Book a tour + flight + hotel package: Arctic Kingdom (the tour company I worked for) has packages that include tours / activities, flights and, most importantly, a booking at an Iqaluit hotel! At the time of writing, the 4-day package is $4500 per person (woah!) but it does include a lot of activities and flights, which can be very expensive. Personally, I prefer the flexibility of booking everything myself.


Additional Resources for Visiting Iqaluit, Nunavut

I’ve written a ton of articles about Iqaluit, Nunavut. I hope these will help you plan your trip to the arctic!

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