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“Cozy and welcoming - a real treat” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Ranga

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Hotel Ranga
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Sudurlandsvegur, Hella 851, Iceland   |  
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Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Hella
Lausanne, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Cozy and welcoming - a real treat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2010

Whenever I think of the four days we spent at Hotel Ranga, I have a smile on my face.

The friendly staff, their happiness to be of help regarding the Norther Lights and sightseeing, the great lounge, dining room and beautiful breakfast buffet as well as the hot tubs have been described before, and I can but confirm the coziness and happy feeling of the hotel.

We also liked the fact that free internet access, maps and books on iceland were at our disposal in the lobby.

Meal prices in the restaurant were comparable to those of good restaurants across Europe and we found the food absolutely delicious and beautifully prepared, in short, worth every penny (to compensate, we prepared our own sandwiches at lunch time).

I made ample use of the hot tubs, which contributed to making this one of the most relaxing holidays I have ever had.

The location of Hotel Ranga is great not only for Northern Lights watching and ease of access, but also because some of the most interesting natural sites can be reached from there within a short time.

I would love to go back ...

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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814 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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
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English first
Basingstoke
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2010

I would really recommend this hotel if you are looking to explore the southern half of the island and your not worried about staying in Reykjavik, (personally a day drip + evening meal was enough for us).

We stayed in a deluxe room (room 1) which faces the mountains, had a King-sized bed, Jacuzzi LCD TV and DVD - (Bring some DVD's its cheaper tha hiring, + the selection is limited). Our friends stayed in room 16, this is a superior room same physical size, as our room, but minus the LCD TV DVD and Jacuzzi, did have a normal CRT TV, there room faced the Ranga river which I personally think was nicer.

The Breakfast, one of the things we were concerned about was having a basic breakfast then having to pay for lunch in the afternoon, forget that worry, the breakfast is amazing, (Cereal | Fruit Salad + Fruits | Scrambled egg | Beans | Hash browns | sausages |and my personal fav is crispy bacon - you could also have pancakes + a selection of meats and fish and bread the list really does go on... go on fill yourselves up you won’t need to eat again to the late evening.

The Evening Meal, go to the Ranga’s website and check out their menu (http://www.hotelranga.is/) for me it was too ‘classy’, everything from the menu to the cost of the food, you can’t knock it, it is well run and the presentation is excellent, so if you like dressing up (not compulsory) eating well presented food then you will like this.

If however you like some fast food, like Pizza | Hamburger a Steak then you can go to a restaurant which is only 5 minutes drive away. (Directions - as you drive out from the Ranga Hotel turn left onto the Route 1 and drive for 5 minutes, just before you get to the roundabout in Hella the restaurant is located to your right. The food is good and a lot cheaper for some items.

This hotel is located about an 90minutes from the Reykjavik, they have strict speeding limits, the fastest you can go is about 90khm which is about 56mph, yes you can go faster but you do that at your own risk, What I like about the location of the hotel, you are kind of at the central point to get to all the main touristy attractions not more than 90 minutes drive away. Keep in mind this country is bigger than you think and it does take time to travel to places.

What would I do again.
Apart from the obvious – Geysers’ | Guilifoss Falls | Blue lagoon (do this on your last day as you travel back to the airport)

* I would have been tempted to take a travel tour so that I could see all the main attractions fiorst which woul d have freed up more time to travel to ther locations like Jokulsarlon & Hoft

* Don’t miss Pingvellir national park, this place is amazing and not to be underestimated, we got here by error but we were so glad we did it. – Pingvellir lies within a belt of volcanic activity and fissures which pass across Iceland a part of the mid Atlantic Ridge, the junction of the American and Eurasian tectonic plates, here you will see a lovely waterfall, great walks through the Fissures and amazing view points across Iceland’s open Plaines

With the recent Volcano eruption on 20/03/2010@ 11.30PM GMT a volcano erupted on the Eyjafjallajokull Glacier ( we were there!)

http://travelblog.dailymail.co.uk/2010/03/icelands-volcanic-eruption-a-reminder-that-there-is-more-to-europes-most-remote-country-than-a-banki.html

By travelling to Pingvellir, pronounced Thingvellir you can witness first hand the effects on the Islands terrain of the constant battle between the two different and rival plates , the scars are clearly visible , the jagged tears in the soil and towering walls of stone rising unnervingly vertical the bear testimony of what’s happening below

When I first arrived in Iceland and started travelling from the airport it felt that I had landed on the surface of the moon with all the lava flows that have happened, in fact the beauty of the island does not hit you directly, in fact you could be forgiven to think that this is an ugly island an island only a mother could love, but as you travel this island grows on you as though you are being magically changed from the inside.

Ok I have rambled on – I couldn’t help myself , The Ranga is a great place to stay,

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Kent
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2010

Stayed here for 2 nights in January hoping to see the Northern Lights.
Couldn't really tell you what the hotel looked like as we never saw it during the daylight hours but the hotel inside was very clean and the reception staff were welcoming.
The owner introduced himself at dinner to our party and asked us if we wanted to be informed when the northern lights appeared, he was true to his word as we were half way through dinner on the first night when he said that they had appeared so we all got up and left our dinner to rush outside to look at sights.
I went with me husband and booked the holiday through Discover the World on an escorted tour not realising you spend every hour with the group except when you are in your room. You had to have dinner all together so it was a set menu so couldn't choose from the menu, the waiters / waitresses just put the food in front of you so we didn't know what we was eating unless we asked, there was no menu on the table and the staff didn't say what it was, it was ok but I personally didn't like some of it but I wouldn't have chose it if we could pick.
The Reception has a big stuffed polar bear in the lobby which is a good photo opportunity. The rooms are comfortable and very warm and the lounge upstairs was very comfortable with big leather sofa's to relax in with a drink.

They also had hot tubs outside for guests to use, we never did but a couple of our party did at night and said it was amazing looking up at the stars.

Overall the hotel was ok but as we didn't see it in the daylight I couldn't really get my bearings as to what was around thate area all I know was it was about a two hour drive from the airport.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Liverpool, England
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2010

Just returned from the Hotel Ranga, following a 4 night stay for my sister's wedding.
The hotel was perfect, rooms nice and spacious, we had the deluxe rooms which were better than the standard rooms. Upon our arrival at the hotel were the Northern Lights, and they have an amazing view at the Ranga. My sister also got upgraded to the Africa Suite for the duration of the stay, which was very kind of Frederick.

The hotel is situated basically in the middle of nowhere, but the location is great. Peace and quiet during the whole stay.

The hotel has 3 outdoor hot-tubs, all naturally heated, really relaxing.

The staff make the hotel amazing; there is nothing too much for the staff....Kola the front desk manager was great, so too was Caroleena the head waitress, service perfect. The owner Frederick too was a great guy, along with the assistant manager!!! They made my sisters wedding perfect!!! Bryndis too was great in making the wedding arrangements, which could not have been done without her! Thank you so much.

Each day the breakfast was perfect too; always plenty to eat, from fresh fruit, to bacon&eggs...great way to start the day.

If you are looking for a truly relaxing time in Icealand, this is 100% the place to stay.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
127 helpful votes 127 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2010

Iceland wasn't exactly what I was expecting. I thought it would have a much more upmarket, Scandinavian feel than it did. Even in central Reykjavik quite a few of the houses looked a little run down. However, the Ranga was a glorious exception. It doesn't have an initial wow factor (unless you count the 8 foot polar bear that greets you in the Reception) and the long corridors have a bit of a travelodge feel. Our room had the sofa bed turned into a bed for our kids so there wasn't much room, but then you probably don't need to spend too much time in your room. It had a large bathroom with big whirlpool bath that we all (just) could get in (kids are young!).

The first wow comes when you go into the dining room, which is glass walled on three sides and looks out over a huge vista with a wide and fast flowing river in the foreground and mountains on the horizon. When we were there there was snow on the ground, and in the morning light (the sun comes up quite late even in February, partly because Iceland is on GMT which it should really be an hour behind) there was a beautiful pale blue, almost purple glow. The south side of the hotel definitely has the better views; however, if you're going in Winter there's a lot to be said for getting a North facing room (which look out onto the car park, although you on a clear day you can see mountains and the Hekla volcano in the distance) as this is where the Northern Lights are (the clue's in the name!). Before going to bed you can ask the hotel to put your name on a list and they will call your room if the Northern Lights can be seen - which they did on the first night. Then, with a north facing room you can watch them out of the window, although for the full effect it's better to go outside (if you can brave the cold).

The restaurant food was good and creative, and they also had a menu for kids. My son (aged 3)'s favourite bit of the whole holiday was going in the hot tub on the south side of the hotel. This involved a quick walk through the snow in bare feet (might have made sense to bring flip flops) and then a lovely long soak looking out over the snowy landscape. Apart from the kids being noisy, it was truly blissful.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Colyton, Devon
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2010

We arrived at Hotel Ranga, on my 40th birthday to a very friendly and professional reception staff. To our surprise we had been upgraded to one of the amazing suites and spend the next two nights in "Africa". We were told we were upgraded because the room had not been booked out which was amazing because not all hotels will do this, although I'd like to think it was because it was my birthday :)

After relaxing for a few hours in this beautiful suite, we went to dinner in the restaurant which was such a positive experience. The wait staff provided top-notch service and were very knowledgeable about the food and wine. I had the monkfish and langoustines and my partner the lamb and langoustines and it was absolutely delicious. My partner also had the Hotel Ranga Fish Soup which was sublime. Desserts were of the same high standard.

The next morning, we received some great advice from reception about where to go and what to do along the South Coast. We saw some amazing things based on their recommendation and also did a Glacier Walk at their suggestion which was fantastic.

The second night we ate from the "bar" menu in the beautiful lounge on the second floor (which far too few people use by the way as we had it all to ourselves). The bartender, who also served us our food was so helpful and deliberately non-obtrusive in making the trek up the stairs every so often to check how we were getting on. The "bar" food was of the same standard as the dining room and I took the opportunity to have some more of the delicious fish soup. I fully appreciate the fact that some people comment on how expensive Iceland is, however, I didn't find the prices drastically different from Central London. The overall bill (other than the accommodation) was just under £200 for two nights dinner (desserts and appetisers on one night), half bottle of wine, a few Gin and Tonics and a few cappuccinos; not cheap, but worth it in my opinion.

All in all, an excellent experience at this beautiful hotel to which I will return very soon!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Hook Norton, Oxfordshire, UK
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2010

We stayed here for 2 nights during a short break to Iceland. The hotel is located just outside the tiny town of Hella, up a little side road. Upon arrival, we were shown to our room which had 2 single beds pushed together to make a double. Unfortunately, this made the room almost impossible to negotiate, with one side of the bed being right up against the wall and no light above for reading. Therefore, we separated the two beds which made it much easier for us as we now had a bedside table and light we could both use.

The room was nicely furnished with TV and free wi-fi, but rather on the small side. The bathroom had a huge corner bath with shower, which was great to soak in after a day out in the freezing cold of a Nordic winter, but again was rather on the cramped side. However, everywhere was spotlessly clean and lovely and warm.

The staff were really helpful, giving us all sorts of advice about where to go, what to see etc. They also called us in our room late one evening when the Northern lights were scheduled to appear (you can request this at check in). The remote location of the hotel means there is pracitcally no light pollution, so if you go in winter time, this is a real draw. Breakfast was very good: eggs bacon, sausages, fruit, cereals, wonderful home-baked bread etc, all served in a gorgeous room with huge floor to ceiling windows, complete with stunning view.

We didn't eat in the restaurant for dinner, finding the food very expensive and not to our taste (puffin?!). The nearby town of Hella has a couple of restaurants and we ate two nights in a row in Aarhus restaurant: nothing fancy but very tasty and good portions.

Despite the slightly cramped rooms, this was a great hotel and somewhere I'd definitely go back to.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Ranga

Address: Sudurlandsvegur, Hella 851, Iceland
Phone Number:
Location: Iceland > South Region > Hella
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Hella
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Ranga 4*
Number of rooms: 51
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Ranga is a luxury countryside hotel and the only 4 star resort in South Iceland. It offers all the facilities and services of a modern resort. Located about an hour from Reykjavík between the towns of Hella and Hvolsvöllur, it lies just off the main road right in middle of South Iceland’s panoramic scenery. The resort is built in log-cabin style and has through the years acquired an excellent reputation for its food, accomodation and service. It is the first Icelandic hotel to become a member of the prestigious international hotel chain Great Hotels of the World. A celebrity hot spot, top honeymoon destination and favorite hotel amongst Icelanders, Hotel Rangá also offers great facilities for small business meetings, weddings and social gatherings. One cannot miss feeling welcome entering its warm interior where relaxed countryside feeling meets the professional ambition of pleasing its entire clientel. Upon entering Hotel Ranga, you will be greeted by a towering 10-foot tall polar bear named Hrammur that resides in the lobby. He is a favorite model for photographers and is definitely one of the most pictured objects in Iceland. This is just a prelude to the cozy ambience that you will encounter that vibrates throughout the hotel. Hótel Rangá was upgraded and renovated in 2007/2008 and presently has 51 luxuriously decorated rooms and suites. It also features an acclaimed riverside restaurant, a lounge and bar, 2 upstairs meeting rooms, a game room, massage facilities and three much beloved outdoor hot tubs heated with geothermal water - where there is an excellent chance to view the fantastic northern lights during September through April. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ranga Hotel Hella
Hotel Ranga Iceland/Hella

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