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“Great Apartment in Reykjavik” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Guesthouse Galtafell

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Guesthouse Galtafell
1.0 of 5 Condominium   |   Laufasvegur 46, Reykjavik 101, Iceland (Miõborg)   |  
Hotel amenities
Bradenton FL
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great Apartment in Reykjavik”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2008

Great location near downtown everything! Very service oriented host that made phone calls and arranged events for us. Stayed 5 nights. Spacious apartment with separate bedroom and kitchenette with some food essentials included. Free parking. Would stay here again!!! Enjoyed DVDs that were provided.

  • Liked — Convienient to Downtown Reykjavik, kitchen and lots of space!
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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70 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New Zealand
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2008

We had an awful time at this place. Unbeknown to us it was the night of the Culture Festival when we arrived and the owner was in a state because as she said it was so full on. She had got our booking muddled and we had to take two rooms for the three of us instead of n "apartment". The toilet was blocked and smelly in the double room's ensuite and with two other guests we had to share a very poky bathroom. She was so "upset" she didn't show us round properly and we had no idea what the facilities were. There was food in the kitchen: were we supposed to help ourselves for breakfast? Was there a code for WiFi? All in all we felt unwelcome.
She apologised when we went to pay after our second night, sure, but we were still charged the full, exhorbitant rate.

  • Liked — Close to town
  • Disliked — Service
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2008

Beautiful Historic home in the best location. Short walking distance to shopping, restaurants, sights.
Owners were friendly and accomodating.
When we arrived our reserved room with private bath was mistakenly given to someone else. The owner fixed the issue immediatley.
The room was good sized. Bath did not have a stand up shower, however did provide a large tub & hand held shower. Shared kitchen facility and seperate entrance.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — musty Bathroom odor
  • Stayed May 2008
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
248 reviews 248 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 108 cities Reviews in 108 cities
448 helpful votes 448 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2008

This was my first time in a guesthouse, so it was a new experience for me. I guess you can say a guesthouse is somewhere in between a hotel and a hostel. So when it come to my ranking/rating of this accommodation, I’ve had to change my standards somewhat – in other words not rate it with the same standards as I have with other hotel reviews on this site.

Positive Aspects:

· Location: This guesthouse is located in a quaint, European suburb – far enough away from the city to avoid the ‘runtur’ crowd at night. And yet it is only about a 10-minute walk away from the heart of the downtown Reykjavik, and about 5 minutes away from the pond. Most tourist sites are walkable from this location (Sólfar sculpture; Hallgrímskirkja church; City Hall; Perlan; harbour for whale and puffin-watching; Videy Island ferry; Culture House; extremely close to the National Gallery; extremely close to the Volcano Show; BSI bus terminal; geothermal beach; National Museum; both tourist info centers; free walking tour; pubs/clubs, and so much more). For those of you taking the bus from the airport to the BSI bus terminal, the Galtafell guesthouse is only about 10-minute walk away from this terminal – we did this easily even with luggage.

· Price: I say this reluctantly. The price was right based on my exhaustive research on guesthouses in the city. We paid less than $100 Canadian per night for two people. Shortly after I booked the room they changed their rates and the month of May suddently became classified as a ‘summer’ month, with corresponding higher rates. Had I booked a few days later we would have paid $600 more for the same thing. I would have recommended this guesthouse based on the price I paid, but I think the new price is outrageous. The new rate works out to $175/night CAN. On my recent trip to Chicago I paid about $100/night for a beautiful, spacious, botique 4-star hotel – I know it’s different countries but it begs the comparison. Check out my pictures here of this guesthouse, and compare it with my pictures of the Hotel Blake in Chicago and you’ll see what I mean. Nonetheless, the price I paid was good for Reykjavik.

· Accommodating Owners: The owners are very accommodating and helpful. We arrived well before check-in time, and they held on to our luggage while we explored the city until our room became available. They let us use their phone numerous times for local calls. We even got a private tour of the guesthouse rooftop.

Negative Aspects:

· No Frills: The price was right for accommodations in a Scandinavian country, but you just don’t get much for $100/night. Our room was incredibly small and we had a shared bathroom and kitchen. Our room was always overheated, and we had no control of the heat. We were there for 8 nights, and the shared bathroom was not cleaned more than once (if that). There is no noise insulation between the walls, so bring earplugs or a white-noise machine. And because we had to keep our window open in our room/sauna, street noise became an issue at times. The shower area is extremely tight, and is basically a curtain smack next to the toilet. There is no reservoir for the shower water….the bathroom floor IS the reservoir for the shower, with a drain in the middle of the tiled floor. Although internet access is advertised, this is for wireless internet only for those that bring a laptop.

· No Breakfast: No breakfast or food was included for this price. You have to pay extra for this.

This Guesthouse served our basic needs and made for a good ‘base’ for our city adventures. But with respect to the new rates, it seems very wrong to pay $175/night for this.

Reykjavik and Iceland is a beautiful city and country. Iceland is a geological fantasyland with breathtaking landscapes and natural phenomenon. And the city itself is a picturesque European city bursting with character and charm. I particularly enjoyed the geothermal pools, caving in a lava tube, and the Golden Circle tour.


- The geothermal beach, past the Perlan, is well worth the trip. We enjoyed it more than the geothermal public pools in the city, which feel too much like regular, run-down public pools. It was something else to swim on a beach with cold Atlantic water drifting in from one side, and geothermally heated water coming in from the other side – all the while lifeguards are standing outside wearing their parkas/winter coats.

- There is a free 2-hour walking tour that departs everyday from the tourist info center.

- If you don’t see whales on your 3-hour whale-watching boat trip, they will give you a voucher to come again for free.
- Both the Golden Circle tour and the Blue Lagoon are well worth the price of admission.

- “Þingvallaleid” is the cheapest bus tour to get you to the Blue Lagoon.

- For cheap groceries, shop at “Bonus” and prepare some meals at the guesthouse kitchen.

- The cheapest pints of beer we found was at a sports pub called “Belly’s.” It worked out to $7 pint Canadian - most other places you’ll pay $9-$10 Can.

- For less expensive meals when eating out, explore off the beaten path. We found some restaurants that cater to locals, and had lower prices (e.g. $10 plate of huge burger and fries). Next to the Bonus grocery store, you will see a spiral stairway that leads to a Thai restaurant. Their prices here were quite reasonable.

- For those looking to make a meal out of sheep’s head, this can be found at the BSI bus terminal restaurant.

- It is well worth a trip to the Hallgrímskirkja church. Try to visit when the church organ is playing, and make an elevator trip up to the viewing platform behind the clock.

- Join in on the Friday and Saturday night pub-crawling known as ‘runtur.’ They really do party hard!

- Tourists can get a rebate on the VAT taxes. If you spend about $50 or more on items in one visit (as I had bought Icelandic gloves, toque, necklace, and t-shirt from one shop), you can receive a rebate of about 15%). This can be huge savings if you get a big-ticket item, such as a traditional Icelandic sweater. There are some steps and paperwork involved in getting the rebate, but the store clerk will explain it all to you upon request.

- You may need a sleeping mask if you’re sensitive to the light. We went in May, and dusk started at around 11:30 PM. Our room had basic horizontal blinds with no blackout curtain – there was still plenty of light getting into our room at midnight!

- For those traveling to this guesthouse from North America, bring a plug adaptor with you since you will not find any at this guesthouse.

  • Liked — Location, Location, Location.
  • Disliked — Don't get much for $100/night - absolutely no frills.
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2007


Need a place very close to down town with private bath, kitchen, clean and safe - look no further. We are situated in the heart of Reykjavík. It takes 5 minutes to walk to the city center and main activities. All suites have private bathrooms, with bath and shower. In the kitchen there is a coffeemaker, microwave oven,stove, toaster and refrigerator.

All rooms and suites have an internet connection and a TV with DVD.

On your arrival they provide you with bread, butter,cheese, ham, jam, juice, milk, coffee and tea so you can make your own first breakfast !!

We stayed 2 weeks in July 2007!

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague, Netherlands
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2007

Guesthouse Galtafell is a pretty, well maintained castle-like building with 3 rooms and 4 apartments, located in a very quiet neighbourhood near embassies, only a 10 minute walk from Reykjavik center. It's one of the cheaper options out there, yet it offers everything one can wish for.

We stayed in a part of the building where there was a nice, fully equiped central kitchen (oven, stove, toaster, fridge, coffee machine and even a TV). This came in very handy. Dining out in Reykjavik can be quite costy, so as an alternative we prepared our own breakfast and dinner here.

Our clean room was quite spacy and the huge kingsize double bed was excellent: soft, very thick matresses and silky soft blankets. We slept like babies, eventhough it never became dark outside during the Icelandic summer!

Our room was equipped with a TV and DVD and our private bathroom had a very large bath tub. The guesthouse is ran by a friendly Icelandic lady who does everything she can to make your stay as pleasant as possible.

  • Liked — The beds.....!
  • Disliked — n/a
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Guesthouse Galtafell

Address: Laufasvegur 46, Reykjavik 101, Iceland
Location: Iceland > Capital Region > Reykjavik > Miõborg
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #21 of 64 Specialty Lodging in Reykjavik
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:1 star — Guesthouse Galtafell 1*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Galtafell is located in the heart of Reykjavik, within easy reach of all major activities. Our bright and non smoking suites are comfortably furnished and all have private entrance. Every suite consists of a bedroom, bathroom, living room and a fully equipped kitchen corner. Laundry facilities are in the building. The apartments can comfortably room up to four persons and bed linen and towels are provided. We also offer double or single rooms. ... more   less 
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