The perception of everything in Iceland, as elsewhere, is skewed by the interactions with the people you meet. Information office staff, taxi drivers, bus drivers, bike hire people, people walking by or riding by who you encounter when you look lost, people you pass when hiking, hotel staff. In Reykjavik, they were all pleasant and helpful. They will have influenced this review.
The hotel Lotus is modern, spotlessly clean and the staff welcoming. The showers work, the essential blackout curtains are effective and the bed is comfortable. The continental style breakfast is good. You are informed of the start time and left with the impression the end time is rather flexible. There is a trust as regards billing that is much appreciated. Crime is low and we are told on the free walking tour (tip at end so not quite free) that the inmates don’t like the jail as they can hear people having fun outside.
The hotel is a short walk away from the large modern Kringlan mall where the Bonus supermarket sells a can of cola for 78 ISK (44p) as compared to 199 ISK (Approx £1.15p as at 21st Aug 2014 after the money changers cut) in many other places and for £1.80 on the plane. Reykjavik can be expensive but it can also be good value. The choice is there.
Buses go from the mall and from the road near the hotel to central Reykjavik. Single trips are 350 ISK (cash only and no change given and for our visit, free on the day of the marathon) and can include transfers. For example, the excellent hiking centre in the opposite direction from Reykjavik can be reached as a single trip from the mall on bus 6 and then bus 57. As an alternative to buses, central Reykjavik is a 15 minute brisk walk or about 2000 ISK by taxi.
Airport transfers go to Reykjavik centre (1900 ISK one way, 3500 ISK return) or to the hotel swapping from large to small coaches at Reykjavik centre for about 2500 ISK each way. Two companies operate from the airport and offer similar options although different central destinations.
My rating of the hotel is influenced by the competitive nightly rate with an extra star that can probably be partly credited to the marvellous people and the excellent culture night.
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