Best for mid-priced traveler couples and families.
We stayed five nights booked direct on their website several weeks before arrival.
What’s good: The location is superb and central. Right next to the city pond and city centre, you won’t need to catch taxis or buses anywhere for general ‘tourist’ activities. It’s literally a 10 second walk to the front door of the Iceland National Gallery. The more expensive ‘name brand’ hotels all seem to be located well out of walking distance of the main city area - an easy (small) five block walk way. Wireless wifi internet access was free and strong – we were able to make skype phone calls on our computer.
The unit and bathroom were spotlessly clean. Heating worked well and there’s plenty of strong, hot water in the shower (although there is a bit of a sulphur smell). Staff were very polite, helpful and friendly.
Our room (#10? - located separte from the central block of units) had a queen size bed, small couch, colour tv with moderate selection of channels and self-contained kitchenette with microwave, mini-fridge and hob (hotplates). Crockery and cutlery, pans, utensils all provided. Heating was great. Our room was next to the laundry so there was a little noise later in the mornings but otherwise a very quiet stay.
It’s not a ‘traditional’ hotel in the sense there’s no foyer, so you’ll need to be a bit self-sufficient and check yourself in (keys are left for collection in the main building entrance).
Minor annoyances (not many): There’s no in-room safe however Iceland feels very safe. Of course you should still exercise common sense and some caution, but you’ll likely feel safer here than many other countries.
We had a queen size bed (whilst bedding is a personal thing, we didn’t find it particularly comfortable) and fitting all this and a kitchenette into the room made it a little cozy. European hotels don’t come with a top sheet on the bed but a doona/duvet/comforter instead. Our bed had two single duvets which we found unusual, but still did the job and at least you don’t lose your coverings to your bed partner.
Transport: If you’re catching an airport transfer shuttle, they’ll drop you in front of the Church and it can be a bit disorientating finding the facility at first. You’ll find the ‘main entrance’ door in a small unit behind, not attached to, the Church. There’s a telephone in the entry room, with a direct line to get assistance if you need it. Most likely your room will not be in the main building, so possibly you’ll need to search around a little to find it.
For something unusual/different: do not leave Iceland without a swim in one of the many geothermal pools (e.g Blue Lagoon is the most popular and commercial one). There’s nothing like sitting in a 38 degree C (or 100 F) heated outdoor pool, while it hails and snows around you. It’s something you’ll never forget and the silica minerals do amazing things for your skin. You must also try the amazing hotdogs at Baejarins Beztu Pylsur.
The Iceland Express main office on Laekjargata (approx. 6 blocks walk) have free easy-to-read city maps. If you’re taking tours with this company, best to walk to their office rather than wait out in the open for a pickup (we stood in gale-force sub-zero temperatures for a pick-up from the apartment).
Watch out for: in supermarkets and corner stores you’ll find cartons shaped like milk cartons, located in the dairy section, labeled with the word “Mjolk” . This is not milk. If you make our mistake, you’ll end up with Skyr – a fermented yoghurt product. Still nice to try with fruit however but don’t put it in your coffee.
Additional info: ATM machines dispensing IKR (Icelandic Kroner) were available at the Reykjavic airport, with exchange rates better than what was on offer in the USA. Don’t forget to ask for the tax refund forms on souvenir purchases (clothing, etc), and get a refund of purchase tax at the airport tax office on leaving the country.
Nearby: Next door is the Iceland National Gallery and diagonally opposite the pond is the small Iceland Museum. A small corner store open until around 11pm is four blocks walk up Skalholtsstigur, with a larger supermarket (called ‘Bonus’ – look for the pink pig on a yellow sign) along Hallveigarstigur (5 small blocks easy walk); a small bakery is on Pinghossraeti. The amazing Hallgrimskirkja (Lutheran Church) is up through the central shopping area ‘mall’ (around 9 blocks walk). Try Café Loki opposite the church for a sample of some authentic and traditional Iceland food
Would definitely stay again.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC