Of all the major capitals I’ve visited in the world, Islamabad feels the least like a crazy bustling metropolis. The lack of chaos in the big cities means that finding the best hotel in Islamabad shouldn’t be too difficult, right? Click here to see hotels in gulberg Lahore.
Set against the backdrop of the verdant Margalla Hills, Islamabad will definitely be on your itinerary when traveling through Pakistan. The city provides the perfect base from which to rest between adventures, with very comfortable accommodation, an abundance of dining options and the holy grail for travelers in Pakistan… FAST WiFi!
One special thing about Islamabad is that there isn’t really a real city center. The city is divided into sectors and a car or Uber is needed to get around pretty much anywhere unless you’re located within walking distance of a major market area. From that perspective, the exact whereabouts in Islamabad are less important. What is important is that you choose the best hotel in Islamabad for your budget, needs and travel style.
Let’s jump right in…
Grand Islamabad Hotel
Travelers looking for a balance between comfort and price in a hotel in Islamabad will be happy to find a place like the Grand Islamabad Hotel. Located in the E-11 sector, it’s a little further from the main downtown attractions, but also a lot more budget-friendly.
The rooms also have air conditioning, something I would definitely recommend in accommodation in Islamabad as summers can get very hot. Pretty much a must! A nice addition is the roof terrace, where you can sit outside when the weather is nice and have a nice view over the city.
The continental or breakfast buffet included in the room rate is all you can eat, a little too spicy for my taste, but good fuel to get you started for the day, and the on-site restaurant is a handy place to have a a bite to eat after a day of exploring the city.
Islamabad Serena Hotel
Sure, it’s a bit more expensive than other hotels in Islamabad, but the Serena definitely wins the prize for comfort and luxury. If you’re the type of traveler hoping to spend time at a spa or swim around a great outdoor pool, I’d definitely recommend the Serena Hotel.
Of course, amenities like air conditioning and Wi-Fi are a given, and the Serena throws in some extras, too, like plush bathrobes and a free airport shuttle.
The Serena Hotel is not far from the downtown Blue Area of Islamabad, so there are plenty of restaurants nearby, but there are also 4 on-site restaurants that serve truly fantastic food. The several times I’ve had the breakfast buffet – it was great. My favorite restaurant there is the Lebanese place at the main entrance!
The only downside is the price, but that’s to be expected from one of the best luxury hotels in Islamabad.
Please note that if you are traveling with a drone, the staff will have you check with the security team.
Backpackers Hostel Islamabad
Costs can add up quickly when traveling, but sometimes it can be difficult to find a budget hotel. You don’t want to be stuck in a place where you might want to cough up the extra cash for the more expensive option.
To avoid getting into this situation, I’m here to recommend the Backpackers Hostel & Guesthouse. It’s a bit further from the center but it has everything you need under one roof. Backpackers Hostel is where almost all independent travellers/backpackers type people stay in Islamabad. The owner Haris is also a leading figure in Pakistani tourism and has a wealth of knowledge about where to go and what to do in Pakistan.
Being both a hostel and guest house, there are dorms and private rooms, making it a good hotel in Islamabad for solo travelers, couples or even groups looking for a nice place to stay that is within their budget. You can also rent motorbikes from Haris if you fancy the ultimate Pakistani road trip to the north.
Centaurus Hotel Apartments
If you’re looking for something romantic and with more privacy, these stylish serviced apartments near the center of Islamabad are a good choice. The units have a tasteful combination of modern style and comfort, plus there are great on-site services such includes a complimentary breakfast buffet and a fitness facility with a hot tub and sauna.
Unlike many hotels in Islamabad, the Centaurus Apartments offer you more autonomy thanks to its homelike amenities, such as an equipped kitchen and a cozy living space with a fireplace. It is a comfortable place for travelers who want to do some sightseeing but also plan to spend more time in their accommodation in Islamabad rather than just staying overnight.
Location wise it is hard to find a more central place as the Centaurus Apartments are right next to the Blue Zone. This makes it easy to visit some of the city’s most famous landmarks, such as the Shah Faisal Mosque and the Pakistan Monument, during your stay.
Islamabad Regalia Hotel
One of the best three-star hotels in Islamabad, the Regalia Hotel has a nice combination of comfort, affordability and a touch of romance. The location is also excellent, not far from the central Blue Area and right next to some of Islamabad’s most popular hiking areas.
Some of the larger rooms at the Regalia Hotel have living areas with sofas and refrigerators, and even the smaller rooms have desks. There is a paid airport shuttle service, car hire is available on site and reception has a currency exchange service. Dining is also taken care of thanks to the included breakfast and onsite restaurant.
Blue Moon Residence
Taking children on a trip adds a degree of complexity, but also provides the opportunity for unforgettable family memories. Blue Moon Residency is one of the best hotels in Islamabad for those looking for home comforts combined with good vacation service.
The breakfast buffet included in the room rate makes it easy for everyone in the family to find something they enjoy to fuel their day, and room service is also available for other meals.
While there is certainly still a ‘hotel’ vibe, Blue Moon feels a little less formal than other establishments, which can be nice if you’re traveling with kids. The rooms all have a sitting area and TV to entertain the kids while you finalize your travel plans for the day.
In terms of location, Blue Moon Residency is close to the downtown attractions and only a five minute drive from the Blue Area, but the neighborhood is a bit quieter and the onsite terrace and garden help create a more relaxed atmosphere, allowing you to away from city traffic.
Travellers Executive Suites Islamabad
A journey from Islamabad International Airport to the city center can take up to an hour, depending on traffic and conditions. If you have an early flight or are arriving late, it’s not a bad idea to look for a hotel in Islamabad that is a little closer.
The downside is that it is also further away from the main things to do in Islamabad, so it may not be the best choice for travelers staying for an extended period of time or hoping to explore.
Sometimes when I’m in a position to catch an early flight, I book just one night at a hotel closer to the airport and find accommodation that is better located to explore the rest of my trip.
Viridi Hotel Islamabad
It is always a plus to be able to view the sights from your hotel room. Viridi is located in the middle of the Blue Area and close to top attractions such as the Safa Gold Mall and Saidpur Village. It is one of the best hotels in Islamabad in terms of location and vantage point.
Each room has large windows and some rooms also have a balcony with city or mountain views. Plus, it’s not exorbitantly expensive, so even travelers on a tighter budget can enjoy the luxury and class that comes with staying at the Viridi Hotel.
Rounding out a great location, Viridi also covers the basics for travel needs by providing a complimentary airport shuttle and a buffet or continental breakfast included in the room rate. See also best hotels in Lahore.