Barren and austere on the outside it may be, but inside it’s dramatically dark and slick – arty and industrial with an open plan reception area, all below street level, incorporating a small sunken bar which surprisingly, encourages a far more intimate setting than first impressions suggest.
Happy Hour is definitely a must for getting together with other guests and sharing Icelandic tourist trip truths as well as musing about the various toilet facilities the hotel offers in each of its rooms.
Hmmm... Note to self .. When reading hotel room descriptions do not be overly-impressed with the high-style imagery and pay more attention to the practical as this is one of those rare hotels where the photos are 100% accurate hence:
• The amazing array of lighting options along with a combination of lamps in the room results in overly complicated switches, dimmers and trailing wires everywhere.
• You really do need to consider your attitude to modesty as frosted glass partitions and discreet ablutions do not make comfortable bedfellows. You have been warned!
There though ends even a hint of any ‘complaint’ about this hotel although some music in the restaurant might not go amiss? Just an idea
Breakfast there was varied and plentiful and constantly replenished although the options didn’t change throughout our stay. The cooked food was always a sort of scrambled omelette with well cooked streaky bacon and mini sausages, plus there were all the usual cold cuts, fruits and continental fare to cater to most tastes, with a few local tidbits to tempt you. A definite bonus worth considering when booking any hotel in Iceland as eating out can soon mount up. If you’re a fan of fish though, you’re in for a real treat everywhere it seems.
Tip: If you arrive late and tired, you can’t go too far wrong than to eat at the restaurant next door on the corner of the main street.
Service in Boutique hotels tend to be a bit more personal but to be fair, we didn’t need much. Staff were generally friendly and helpful though.
Check in was straightforward too and given previous reviewers comments, we’d requested double room, top floor, back of the hotel, furthest from lifts and end of corridor to get the most peace since we were also staying over the weekend. Every one of our requests were not only acknowledged by email beforehand but also met. There's plenty of floor space but cupboard storage is limited. Beds and pillows were super comfy though and oddly, we were given an individual quilt each on the bed - how untypically practical of them! An excellent start.
Any noise from outside the hotel on the weekends though is not as obtrusive as some reviewers would have you believe ... not unless you’ve never been to any city in the entire United Kingdom on either a Friday or Saturday night anyway! That said, judging by the broken bottles and glasses strewn around the following morning in the central downtown area, it gets a lot rowdier there.
Centrally located can therefore mean a number of things to different people and all the plusses are definitely there being less than a few minutes’ walk to the portside and centre. The obvious downsides are there too though with crowded and limited parking, heavy traffic and minimal ‘views’.
Reykjavik itself is quite sprawling but this hotel is an ideal base to explore from. Distances are deceptive in Iceland however and you will need to travel out a lot further afield than you might think to check out the tourist spots. Tours can be pretty expensive too. Consider hiring a car if you’re in a group as we did and shop around for the best vehicle deals as they are all good quality and geared for the terrain. I would strongly recommend a satnav as essential mind you, as signposting is poor and their alphabet takes a bit of getting to grips with. Petrol is roughly the same price as here.
Without a doubt, this is quirky hotel in many respects and won’t be to everyone’s taste but given that its appeal was so internationally widespread with a number of American guests favouring it too, they must be doing something right mustn’t they? Definitely gets my vote.
Rooms in the eaves are height restricted over a lot of the space. Not a problem really but noteable...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.