We stayed at the studio apartments located at Hverfisgata 21 (not the Hverfisgata 45 - more on that later) on two separate occasions, and enjoyed it immensely. We paid a bit extra to have an early check-in and nap after our long red-eye flight from the States, and it was worth every penny/króna. Check-in was a breeze, and reception was friendly - once we actually made it to the correct building, that is. (Flybus dropped us off at Hverfisgata 45 and we trundled our bags the short distance to 21.) The room itself was incredibly spacious, with a full kitchen - the fridge came in handy for storing our skyr and lunch items - dinette, office desk, full livingroom set, enormous bathroom, and spacious bedroom with full closets and drawers for storage. It was immaculate, as well, and we felt like royalty, marveling at how nice it all was. After a nap, we headed to the Old Town, which is, quite literally, a 5-minute walk (be sure to get the pylsur from the famous stand on the left on your way to the harbor). We couldn't believe how close everything was to this hotel, it was in the perfect location!
The girl at reception very kindly printed maps for us to find a breakfast that would be available before 8am, and everyone was very kind and courteous. Check-out was a breeze, and we'd be back in a few days to spend one final night in the city.
The second stay was not as nice, as we had secured a room (pre-paid), specifying that we needed two beds, which was confirmed by the hotel. We were "upgraded" to a second-floor room that had a king bed that could not be separated. The gentleman at reception (who was manning reception at both buildings and needed to be summoned) was baffled and apologetic, but the building was fully booked, and we had to make do in the same bed. It was a very nice room, complete with a bar, wine refrigerator, and spa tub, but I actually liked our first room much better. As it was a Friday, the noise from the revelers at the bar across the street kept us up a bit, but that's not the hotel's fault at all - just expect to hear some noise on the weekends until very late, since the sun practically never sets.
The main problem we had was that we confirmed the Flybus arrival with the gentleman from reception when we checked in, and when it still wasn't there 10 minutes after it should have been, we decided to call since it seemed like the hotel was a bit disorganized on that second stay. He called Flybus and it seems that they didn't "recognize" the Hverfisgata 21 location and would not pick us up there to take us to the airport; it would've been nice to know that the night before when we confirmed. In fact, they picked us up at a location across the street and between the two Residence hotel addresses. We had an issue with this throughout our stay, with Flybus and tour buses and either their confusion about the fact that there were two locations, or outright refusal to believe there was another location. It was very strange, and I'd advise anyone staying here at the 21 location to confirm and re-confirm with every transportation company, otherwise you may be left behind. (The gentleman at reception said he would see what he could do about getting maybe a discount for being inconvenienced, but we never heard back from them, presumably because it was a prepaid room. Unsurprising, but lesson learned.)
That said, it was an absolutely wonderful stay, despite the small glitches we experienced; we just chalked those up to the country dealing with the newly booming tourist trade, and I suspect they'll iron everything out in the next few years.
A few restaurant pointers:
1. There is a GREAT breakfast place across the street called Grái Kötturinn (it has a grey cat on the front door) where we not only had amazing breakfasts, but decided to get some packed lunches to take on the road with us. Amazing, amazing, amazing.
2. Jómfrúin is a great place about 5-minutes' walk from the hotel, and it has excellent Danish smørrebrød. Yum!
3. Run, do not walk, to the world-famous hot dog stand - again, about 5 minutes away on foot - that's called Bæjarins beztu; it'll be on the left-hand side of the street. We went there 3x in total for the standard (everything!) and as someone who is not overly fond of hot dogs, I couldn't get enough! Best hot dogs I've ever had in my entire life. Sometimes the crowd gets a little dodgy, but if you keep to yourself, you can avoid the guys like the man who walked up to some tourists from either Spain or Portugal trying to sell them drugs. Happens everywhere, just keep your head up and your eyes on your valuables...and your lips around those delicious, magical lamb hot dogs.
4. Avoid Café Paris like the PLAGUE. Complete waste of time and money, as the food was bland and the service abominable. Terrible, terrible, terrible, don't waste a valuable meal in Iceland with this dreck.
5. Go to the shopping street running parallel to the hotel and hit Eldur and Is for the best crepes and wonderful service. Oh, and you can get ice cream, too! Or maybe gelato, not sure - but, oh, those crepes! Skip the frozen ones, though, as they are premade and aren't thawed enough to eat properly.
6. Sandholt is a bakery on the shopping street and they have excellent sandwiches and pastries for you to either eat in or take with you; we did the latter and it was phenomenal. Beautiful food, and very fresh.
7. Icelandic Fish and Chips was our absolute favorite place to go, and we went back 3 or 4 times. It's across from the harbor and is a 10-minute walk from the hotel. The fish is all mild white fish, so no "fishy" taste; the chips are incredible, with so many dipping sauces from which to choose. Their skyr desserts are delicious, and the chocolates are nice, too. The chocolate flourless cake was to die for, and while I didn't care for the biscotti with seaweed in them (slightly fishy taste), my friend really enjoyed it. We loved the coffees, as well, and the atmosphere is wonderful. It does fill up quickly, and they start selling out of dishes, so it might be good to get there earlier than a regular dinner hour. We were seated quickly each time we went, and had a fabulous experience - it became our "local" in the city where we could sit, eat, chat, and relax. Lovely and perfect.
I'd recommend this hotel to anyone visiting Reykjavík, but make sure to confirm and re-confirm the details with the hotel and your transport service(s). I would stay here again in a heartbeat!
Room 1 right across reception is amazing and convenient!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.