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“Wonderful respite on long drive between Akureyri and Reykjavik”
Review of Gauksmyri

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Gauksmyri
Reviewed November 12, 2012

If you are driving between Akureyri and Reykjavik, be sure to stop here for a break. The waffles are the best in Iceland - light, crispy, and served, of course, with a generous dollop of whipped cream. The restaurant has a gorgeous view - we whiled away an hour watching some horses frolic in the tall grass. The place is expanding and will soon have a Raven's lookout tower which will provide wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. If we had planned our time better, we would have stayed the night and gone for an early morning ride before continuing our drive. The staff is friendly and welcoming and the Icelandic horses are very well cared for.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Gail N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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82 - 88 of 159 reviews

Reviewed September 30, 2012

I did not stay at the lodge, so I can't comment about the rooms or the buffett. I did, however, go horseback riding at Gauksmyri and it was the highlight of my most recent trip to Iceland. The lodge is located off Rt. 1 just outside of Hvammstangi and we stopped in on our way back to Keflavik without a reservation, hoping to be able to go riding. I've wanted to ride in Iceland ever since I began researching for my first trip a few years ago, but because there is so much to do I didn't get the chance. The gentleman at the reception desk was very helpful and friendly and got me set up to do the 1 1/2 hr ride which would be starting soon and said I was free to look around while I waited. There were only two other riders joining the 1pm ride so we really had the full attention of our instructor, which was awesome for me as I have very little experience riding. After about a 1/2 lesson we hit the trail. The horses are very well trained and gentle, making for a very pleasant experience, and of course the scenery couldn't be better. It was so much fun and our instructor (I believe her name is Annalina (sp?) was the nicest and most friendly person I met in Iceland. If you want to go horseback riding in Iceland I highly recommend Gauksmyri Lodge. I'm already day dreaming about going again.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank annabanana245
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2012

Well located halfway to akureyri from Reykjavik . Helpful owner with a lovely B&B with great attention to detail. The set dinner was superb and very well priced. Breakfast was sumptuous and the room comfortable, if a tad small..

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank PriyankaDoctor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2012

This is a nice inn in horse country in the north of Iceland. The address indicates the town of Hvammstangi, but it is actually a few kilometers out of the main town, visible from the main road and accessible from route 1 by a driveway. There is a dining room for breakfast and dinner (a buffet). It offers horse rides if you have that interest (which we did not). We chose it for its location and were quite happy with the lodging.

This lodge (inn) has roughly 20 rooms and many have private bathrooms. We opted for one of those, which was located on the second floor and this appeared to be a relatively new room. This room had, in addition to windows that opened, a door that opened to a tiny balcony. This allowed cross-ventilation. The room was very clean and the bathroom was also spotless. The shower was rather small, but fully adequate and this style is relatively common in Iceland. The beds were comfortable and equipped with the kind of comforter for a covering that is common in Europe. We are not fond of these things, but were happy anyway.

Breakfast is a full breakfast, with a variety of options of all kinds. It is not quite a full Irish breakfast, but there are a variety of things and you will be able to have plenty to eat. There is fresh fruit, cereals and eggs, etc. We had dinner and this was a buffet. There was salad, which was rather good, and was fresh. The vegetables at the buffet were properly cooked and not overdone. There were a variety of meats: chicken (the best of them), horse meat, minky whale, salmon (overdone) and pork (second best). The salmon gave the feeling that it had been reheated from an earlier cooking. The chicken was the best although the whale was interesting. That appeared to have been marinated. Ice cream was available and it was tasty and likely made on site. Service was just OK. While lodge residents were eating a small tour bus arrived and produced about 16 or so folks from a tour. These people had soup and salad, but no full dinner. They arrived and left within about 45 minutes. There are few places to eat in the area and thus it is likely inevitable that such small tours visit the place.

The staff at the front desk are very helpful and can provide a lot of local information. They are also friendly and provide a bit of a quick tour of the inn when you check in. All in all, this is a nice place.

Room Tip: Ask for one with private bathroom. Get one on the second floor with a little balcony for cross-venti...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank BobHLeverett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2012

This guesthouse is truly aimed at horse lovers who don't mind that their room isn't much bigger than the box of their horse. While clean and nicely decorated, the room lacks even the smallest space to place your suitcase. When we arrived, the rooms had an awful sewer smell, they clearly must have had an incident with their plumbing. It's nice to read that their hotel is eco friendly and their sewage is treated environment friendly, but it should work!!! What was disappointing to me was that they did not mention this on their own initiative, but only admitted it after we had complained. To be fair, they offered us a significant discount, which convinced us to stay.

The hotel is cosy, but the common area was completely overheated and quickly became crowded and noisy with horse lovers loudly exchanging their riding adventures. Since the wifi did not work in the room, there was no place where we could use our ipad.

The breakfast buffet was a bit sparse, the dinner BBQ buffet was fine but only if you love meat.

What truly makes this place worth a visit are theor stables with very enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank AilaAlbrecht
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2012

This is a horse farm specializing in Icelandic horses. My overall opinion is that the hotel is trying to handle as many people as they can fit and to do it as cheaply as they can. They love their horses, and tourists are only there to support the owners' horse habit.

Notes from the journal I kept:
We were tired by the time we got here, and they charge about US $60 for 1 ½ hours of riding, which isn't a bad price, but we decided not to do it. There is a large pond and marshy area on the other side of Road 1 from this farm, and the farm owners have built a wooden walkway out to one side of the pond with a hut containing a birding telescope and birding books. We walked out there and had a fun time finding and identifying birds. It was wonderful to have the telescope and the bird books at our disposal. You can use this birding hut without staying at the lodge.

The bird hut was great, but we weren't very pleased with the lodge in general. We opted to share a bathroom to save on costs. This worked well for us at other places in Iceland, but not here. Here we had to share the bathroom and its shower with at least 7 other people and it was almost always difficult to get in there.

This lodge is kind of in the middle of nowhere, so we also had dinner here. It was a buffet for 4700 kronur each. It was overcrowded with tour groups, making it difficult to move about. They did have a nice salad bar. I'm used to eating lots of salad, and green veggies are hard to find here, so even though it was iceberg lettuce, my least favorite, I had a good helping of it. For meat they had cod, lamb, chicken, trout, horse and minke whale. My husband and I are against the idea of killing whales, so neither of us had the whale, but everything else was good.

One more oddity of this lodge is that they require everyone to either cover their shoes with plastic booties when indoors or to wear the slippers they provide. I know that in Iceland you are always supposed to remove your shoes within someone's home, but the owners do not live in this building, so apparently this is done just to lighten their cleaning costs.. Also the electrical outlets don't match standard Icelandic outlets and most of the walls in our room had no outlets. Wherever an outlet exists, they've had to provide an adapter just to handle standard Icelandic electrical devices.

They had the worst sheets I've ever experienced on a bed. I know some people are really "into" the quality of sheets as determined by thread count. I've never paid much attention to that, but these sheets had such a low thread count that we felt like we were sleeping on some sort of netting rather than sheets. It was very scratchy material, and since this is a horse ranch, we joked that the sheets must be horse hair sheets. I slept poorly on them, trying not to roll over because I seriously thought I might wake up covered in scratches.

At the breakfast buffet, we found the area overrun with the tour groups staying at the hotel. To begin with, the serving area was already cramped for space, and then with all those people in there jostling for food, it was ridiculous. I managed to get a bowl of cereal and contented myself with that until those people left. We were glad to leave.

Room Tip: Enjoy their bird hut but stay elsewhere!
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank ColoradoCarol2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2012

High points included good location close to Vatnes Peninsula, pleasant dining room and lounge area, and good breakfast buffet.
The rooms at Guesthouse Steig are very small and have basic furnishings (not stylish or cute). We were in a room next to the kitchen and I felt like I was actually in the kitchen with very loud kitchen noises (banging of pots and pans). Was nearly deafening until about 9 pm and at a lower noise level until almost 11 pm. The hotel seemed poorly designed since you had to walk past an open kitchen door to get to the rooms--felt like we were in staff quarters. The facilities needed maintenance.
Guests are asked to remove their shoes or wear surgical slippers over their shoes. I can understand this in a private home as is the custom in Iceland but this is a very busy, public facility with dozens of guests. Expected that the guesthouse would be smaller but it serves tour buses.
The adjacent lake requires crossing the highway and was nearly dry in July with few birds.

Room Tip: Avoid annex off of kitchen.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Crowhollow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gauksmyri

Address: Gauksmyri 531, Hvammstangi 531, Iceland
Location: Iceland > Northwest Region > Hvammstangi
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Hvammstangi
Price Range: $136 - $149 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Gauksmyri 3*
Number of rooms: 27
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Also Known As:
Gauksmyri Iceland/Hvammstangi

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