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Kriunes Hotel
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Reviews (324)
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All reviewsnorthern lightshot tubbeautiful lakesoupthe ownerfrozen lakewake up callsitting roomlounge areafamily run hotellovely locationtea and coffeelambhome cookedthe buspacked lunchcomfortable room
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259 - 264 of 324 reviews
Reviewed November 21, 2013

From the blurb on the hotel website, I expected something rather more upmarket from the Kriunes Hotel. It's not really a hotel in the service sense; there is no reception and despite saying they do evening meals, there is no menu and notice is required if you want to eat in the evening. On the one night we ate in, the food was delicious but the best indication we had beforehand was that my husband would have lamb and I would have fish. It would have been nice to see a menu, however short. I'd list it as a guest-house rather than a hotel. The breakfast buffet was good, and they are happy to cook eggs to order. Bacon sometimes puts in an appearance, too.

I'd booked the nicest room, Suite 1, with two rooms, fireplace, etc. The decor, curiously, was Spanish, with rough-plastered walls washed with terracotta and tiled floors. Despite ample floor-space, the living-room layout wasn't logical; there was a sink in the corner but it had no plug and there was no cloth, sponge or washing-up liquid, so I don't know why the sink had been installed. Perhaps it was just to fill the kettle. There was also a full-size fridge, yet self-catering hadn't been mentioned. There was no dressing-table with good lighting, which is essential with the dark Icelandic mornings in winter, and no full-length mirror (though I could see down to my knees in the bathroom mirror).

I found the decor depressing, though I realise this is a personal opinion and some may love it. The shelves were adorned with kitsch ornaments, little cherubs and artificial flowers. I felt it looked tired and didn't live up to the image promoted on the website. Having said that, the bathroom was lovely, a good size and very clean. Towels were replaced daily. Again, there was no plug for the sink in there either and the shower temperature had a tendency to fluctuate unpredictably, which unnerved me.

The room was very quiet, and we didn't hear any noise at night so slept well during our stay. The bed was comfortable. I couldn't find a decent pillow, they were all very thin. The view of the sunset on the mountains across the lake was beautiful, though Kriunes wasn't as isolated as I'd expected; there was a scattering of small houses on the shores of the lake and a full estate just a short walk uphill. Public transport systems are some distance away, so I'd recommend hiring a car. There is no railway system in Iceland.

On the Monday of our visit, after an evening out spent searching for the Northern Lights, we met the hotel owner as we returned. He asked if we had seen the aurora but we'd only seen the faintest signs. On the next clear night, Thursday, we again went out to see if we could catch a glimpse but to no avail. The following morning, Friday, the owner said at breakfast 'Did you see the Northern Lights last night? Midnight- they were really dancing'. It's true that we hadn't asked him to alert us if the aurora was visible but he knew we'd been out looking, yet he didn't think to tell us when he could see them. I felt very peeved. It had been an expensive trip to Iceland and although we had a great time exploring the island and Reykjavik, our primary reason for visiting was to see the Northern Lights. This is not a direct complaint, because we both acknowledge it was our fault we didn't ask him to alert us, but it made for a disappointing end to the holiday.

Room Tip: Can't say it's worth going for a suite, unless you really want the extra space.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank funnyjaybird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kriunes, Front Office Manager at Kriunes Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 31, 2017

Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for your candid review of your recent stay at our hotel. Your feedback is extremely valuable to us, as we strive to improve with each and every stay.
I greatly appreciate your comments about aspects of the room that need updating. It is a pleasure to announce that we will be implementing many of these upgrades to the property within the next couple of months.
Our rooms will be getting new mattresses, bed skirts, window treatments, carpeting, in-room accessories, and much more! In taking great care of our charming hotel, our main priority is to be able to offer a very well-maintained and comfortable atmosphere. I hope that I can convince you to change your mind about another visit to our property. if you would be willing to give us a chance to turn your experience around. It would be such a pleasure to personally welcome you back to our new and improved hotel!
With much appreciation,
Nevin Shalaby
Reception Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2013

The receipt for your stay says "Kriunes Guest House" at the top, which I think is better way to describe this accommodation. There isn't a reception desk, nor check in process, nor an extensive breakfast nor a restaurant in the conventional sense.

For breakfast there are cereals, cold meat, tea & coffee, bread / toast, sometimes fruit, and an offer of eggs how you like them.

If you want to eat for dinner, notice is required, as this is cooked specially for you - we had dinner once and the food was nice, but it was a mystery menu of three courses where you didn't know what to expect - but quite a change from choosing off a menu.

Kriunes is indeed well out of town - the view towards the lake is quite special, just open space and mountains in the distance. We hired a car, and drove into the City each day which takes around 15 minutes. We also rented a satnav, which I think was pretty useful, the roads to the city are somewhat circuitous by various multi-lane roads and speed cameras. Parking in the city was ok for us, we found a car park which had spaces each time we tried.

We had room 11 - it's in the photos on the website, it has two areas, a living room with sofas and TV and a bedroom with a massive bath in it, plus a bathroom with shower. We forgot to say, but the temperature of the shower had a habit of shooting up and down from cold to hot, which was nearly scalding and scary. The giant bath takes quite a long time to fill up but is like a small swimming pool once it's run.

Something which isn't apparent from the website is that the location is down a rough track, sort of the in the middle of nowhere. It's true you have a view of the lake, and it was quiet, but if you want to feel integrated into an urban or city location, this isn't it.

The rooms are described as beautiful, we only know about room 11, which was a mixture of spanish tiles and columns, romantic plastic flowers and a heart shaped cushion, and unusual ornaments. My own description of the style of our room would be quirky, sort of surprising when you first arrive.

The Wifi network has two hotspots, one in the main eating area, and a repeater box which I think was in our room 11. The internet access faded in and out, which the owner experienced from his computer too, which made researching maps and Iceland a bit tricky, this may have been fixed.

There is constant tea and coffee in the central area, the coffee is in a big corporate style thermos, the tea via a flask of hot water. If you ask these can be refreshed, or we had a kettle in our room.

Kriunes is described as a mansion, which may not be quite what a person from the UK would expect, the building is single story, spread out around a large courtyard with plenty of space for cars. In the centre is a small (fake) well with a couple of stone donkeys.

The guesthouse is described as being in "unspoiled natural parkland" which in reality is the empty space around the lake, it isn't a park in any sense, just low uncut grass surrounding a lake which would take a good hour or more to walk around.

The website says "In Kríunes is a restaurant" - well yes if you ask in the morning to eat there in the evening, but if you arrive back from a trip starving you will be out of luck - unless the gracious owners can rustle something up at short notice. There is no permanent chef, only the owners, we were told one evening that "the chef had gone home".

For travel the sites says "The city Bus goes by not far from here" - the unmade road is probably a good 10 minute walk from wherever the bus stops, I would strongly recommend hiring a car, otherwise you will find it hard to explore the City let alone the rest of Iceland.

On price, we negotiated via email before our stay, and made sure we had printed that email and brought it with us for checkout, as this lead to a 15 minute investigation into the price that had been agreed with Melissa, an employee. The owner honoured the email, but it was alarming to have to explain which way to read the email to arrive at the agreed price.

In conclusion, the owners were helpful and friendly, but my expectation was a Hotel, whereas Kriunes is a step up from a B&B and a step down from a true Hotel in the style of service.

Some really enjoy the simple personal nature of the place, and the absence of the usual hustle and bustle of a true hotel. It was quiet, it is on the outskirts of the city with a big view, but you can only decide if you'll like Kriunes until you've been, as the website I think is not quite a true translation of how the place really is.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Bill H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2013

the bread and jam and hot tub are great. the view is great. there are TWO buses to take to town.
both extremely unreliable, and taxi is $40. The hotel owner overcharged us for food (and would not disclose the cost when asked first) we were vulnerable. i am left with a feeling of being subtly manipulated and played by a very charming fellow. It was an experience i will never forget, of
being in a hotel prison and at the mercy of the manager. really charming, but i end up with
nightmare of a visit to Iceland. when we were lost and terrified at night due to bus mess-ups, owner got us. then charged us for the favor. No way to treat a guest. I seek no revenge,
just a warning to others. I am 70 years old and traveled for over 50 years. Worst experience
ever: due to vulnerability and excessive isolation of so-called hotel.

Room Tip: only stay if you have your own car
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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6  Thank 18lamaj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kriunes, Owner at Kriunes Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 14, 2013

I apologize that your stay with us did not meet your expectations. I am very disappointed to read that you had such a bad experience. Although I wish you would have expressed your dissatisfaction to me directly during one of our conversations.

I would like to address the issues you have brought up. Firstly, our location in your hotel itinerary from booking.com states we are located in Kopavogur/ Kleppur, not in Reykjavik and a map is also given showing our proximity to the city center.

The public buses are usually reliable as they have to follow a schedule which can be viewed online or at the bus stops.

A taxi ride into the city is rather expensive, though you were charged much less when I drove you personally and even included a free city tour.

I apologize I did not respond to your inquiry regarding the price of the meals. We are a small family run establishment and I must have forgotten to get back to you in my hurry. However, you were not charged for the late night and between meal snacks of sandwiches.

You were not asked to pay for the pick up when you were lost under the road sign which read Kriunes, pointing to our direction. Also, complimentary use of our sauna and hot tub were given, though guests are usually charged due to cost of heating the sauna, cleaning and filling the hot tub.

Although many of our guests also do not rent a car, they do not encounter problems with the public bus or excursion buses which pick them up or deliver them back to Kriunes. I'm sorry you felt vulnerable due to feeling isolated, most guests enjoy the peace and privacy Kriunes provides being a country hideaway within the city limits.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2013

We recommend this unusual hotel. 20 years ago it was a small farmhouse on the edge of a lake surrounded by countryside. It's now in a suburb -- but still on the expansive lakeside with enough land surrounding it to make it seem as though you're still in the country. In the last 20 years the family has added fourteen large bedrooms with excellent heating, and beds designed for tall Nordics. The en-suite bathrooms we encountered were way above the standard size for Iceland. Coffee and tea are permanently available outside a comfortable farmhouse lounge overlooking the lake. The family will give you a lift into and out of Reykjavik for a small charge (I reckon it was a quarter of a commercial taxi price). We didn't take dinner there, so I can't speak for the cuisine: but breakfast was copious in its typically Icelandic way.

It's the perfect place to stay if you want to experience rural Iceland within a short drive from Reykjavik.

I have only one criticism -- it's difficult to find (for a small city, Reykjavik and its suburbs are laced with unbelievable dual carriageways with sliproads, and if you take a wrong turning it's difficult to rectify the error). The solution? A much more detailed online map than is currently provided.

But set that aside -- once you've arrived you're delighted with what you find.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Rachel_Hornbeam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2013

I enjoyed this nice hotel on the lake and a short drive from the city. The staff was very friendly, the accommodations were comfortable. Nice sitting areas overlooking the lake and snow capped mountains in Oct at least. Putting green and pit and putt holes if you enjoy golf. Sauna and ht tub with showers and changing area. One suite for those looking for some extra. Nice location near the city if you are looking to see the Aurora.

Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
Thank On_the_go_with_joe_m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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