My wife and I have just returned from a fantastic holiday in Iceland where we stayed at the newly built Icelandair Marina hotel. This is a hotel of contrasts with some fantastic benefits but also with some significant failings.
First off is the location, this is a perfectly located hotel. It is opposite the dry dock where they work on the boats down by the old marina. Everything is within walking distance of this hotel, including the city centre, pick up points for tours and the departure point for all the whale watching boats. The area is quiet and beautiful in a uniquely Reykjavik kind of way and an early morning walk around the harbour is a great way to start the day. Some reviewers have commented on noise from the bar that is associated with the hotel. We found no issues with this and found it to be no busier than any bar in any hotel. The bar was frequented mainly by couples or small families, and was a mix of hotel residents and locals. The staff at the hotel were all very friendly and were only too willing to help with any request. The rooms were clean and well maintained, and the overall appearance of the hotel is quite pleasing.
Now for the negatives I’m afraid. This hotel has a major issue that had we known about before we would not have booked with them. For some bizarre reason the designers of the hotel have decided to use frosted glass doors on their bathrooms that do not fully close. This proves to be an issue from both a privacy point of view, but also from the point of view that every time you turn the light on in the bathroom it illuminates the entire hotel room. Not a particularly nice experience for the person you are sharing your room with when you need to use the bathroom at 3:00 in the morning.
The rooms are also very small, or at least the standard rooms at the back of the hotel are. There is no wardrobe, just two hanging rails and there is also no safe. Instead you have to leave any valuables at the front desk, not a practice I would expect in a hotel of this type in today’s day and age.
The blinds in the room are not black out blinds and light leaks down the edges. This was a problem for my wife who is a very light sleeper, and with Iceland’s midnight sun meant the room was very light for much of the night.
My final gripe was the lack of towels. One small towel and a face towel, not enough I’m afraid.
Overall this is a hotel of style over substance. They have opted for a sheik appearance but seem to have neglected the most important aspect of any hotel, the customer experience. It feels as though they have squeezed too many rooms into the building, and have attempted to mask this fact behind a quirky design.
I’m sad to say that we would not stay at this hotel again and would not recommend it unless you are either staying here alone or don’t mind staying in a room that effectively has no door / wall from the bathroom to the main room. I can though highly recommend a trip to Iceland as it will give you an experience found in few other locations around the world.
Choose a room at the front, they are bigger and have a much nicer view.
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.