We wanted to split our 9 nine day trip up a bit and came across the Brekka VRBO on Conde Nast Traveller. We booked a 3 night stay and used this as a base for sightseeing on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and along Hvalfjordur. The location is perfect. You're a comfortable 45-50 min from Reykjavik, but you have this incredible view down the entire fjord, both east and west. The changing cloud patterns were mesmerizing. A quick drive east takes you to the Glymur Falls hike.
The accommodations were outstanding. The cottage is newer and the place was spotless. It was the perfect size for our family of 4. Great modern bathroom with a rain shower head for the shower. Three good sized bedrooms and nice 2nd floor loft offered plenty of space. The large deck was great for hanging out. Excellent wifi service. Just a wonderful place to kick back and relax in a peaceful setting. The hot tub was perfect for the cool evenings...we used it every day.
We bought some supplies from the grocery store to prepare our breakfast/lunch which worked out well. There is a great town about 15 minutes west, Akranes, which has 2 sensational restaurants (Galito and Gamla Kaupfelagid).
Jon was great to work with. Booking was straightforward. He emailed us great detailed information regarding the cottage, location, directions and places to eat. Any subsequent questions we had regarding our upcoming stay were promptly answered by him. I thought Iceland was a once in a lifetime trip for our family. After our wonderful stay, we decided we will be returning and staying longer.
The view from this cabin is astounding and the cabin is like a home away from home. Clean and comfortable. Love to visit again.
My wife and I stayed in Brekka for 7 nights. It is a modern cabin with a superb view of Iceland. The view really is quite exceptional; it took my breath away when I first stepped inside and looked out the windows. Sitting in a hot tub while watching clouds change over snow-capped mountains is not something I will soon forget. The property is located a convenient distance from some of the best areas in Iceland, yet is in a remote area such that it is hard to believe that Reykjavik is only 45 minutes away. Although I only spoke to the owner via email, he was extraordinarily friendly, and the online description of the cabin was completely accurate. Everything was very clean and ready for our stay. My wife and I now have some very nice memories of Iceland thanks to this place.
However, reviewing the cabin itself, with respect to other rental properties that we have stayed in both inside and outside of Iceland, we found this cabin to be about average. I hope the owner will not be insulted, and take my review for what it is: an honest attempt to provide useful feedback about the property. We had five issues, outlined below. At the end, I have some recommendations to address some of these.
First, there is an outdoor privacy issue. The cabin is indeed in a remote area, but it is situated with a few other cabins on a hillside. From the main room in the cabin, there are blinds covering most of the windows, but one door is uncovered, and there is a straight view from one cabin into Brekka's main room. Especially at night, we felt exposed to the other cabin. By the hot tub, there is a privacy wall, but two other cabins can still see people in the hot tub. We were so excited about the remoteness of the cabin, only to be disappointed that others could see us (and that we could see them), especially when some minor alterations to the cabin during construction would have fixed this problem. To be clear - we are not complaining about other cabins nearby. We are complaining about the fact that they could easily be blocked from view, but they are not.
Second, there is a floor space contention issue. The cabin has many small bedrooms that are suitable only really for sleeping, plus a bathroom. All of the other space, including the loft, is essentially one big room. However, the floor space is arranged in such a way that the amount of useful area is limited. The entryway space is only good for leaving/exiting. The main area (shared by a couch, kitchen table, and kitchen) is cramped a bit by the stairs. The loft space has a low sloped ceiling with a couch in the highest space, so one can only really use a small part of the floor, unless sleeping. We were only there for a day when we tried to do yoga indoors and we realized that it was remarkably difficult to find a spot that worked for both of us.
Third, there is a bed comfort issue. None of the beds were comfortable at all to us, and after two nights, we took the mattress covers of two other beds and moved them to our beds in an attempt to soften them up. We still had a lot of problems sleeping. My wife and I travel quite a bit, and the worst beds we have ever encountered have never caused this much of a problem. We also just came from another Icelandic rental with beds that were very comfortable and caused no problems, so this did not seem like some sort of cultural issue. It just seemed like not-so-great beds.
Fourth, there was a heat issue. The cabin has radiant heating, and when we were arrived, the floor was nice and warm for our feet, and we thought "This is great!" However, halfway through the trip, with three nights to go, our bedroom became very hot, and it was hard to sleep. The next night, we turned the heat down in the evening for all rooms, and opened a window, yet our room seemed even hotter. The last night, we had the heat set to low all day, and we opened even more windows, and our room was even hotter! I don't know if this was a quirk of the weather, the wind, the heating system, or all three, but I'm just reporting what happened.
Fifth, there's a occupant capacity / indoor privacy issue. This was big for us - for others, I guess it depends on how well you can stand being in close quarters around friends and family. We originally planed for more people to join us on our trip, but they could not. When we first arrived, we were sad that our family couldn't make it, but by the end of the trip, we determined, at least for us, that we wouldn't have been able to handle our family in the cabin, and possibly not even another couple. Here's why: we would spend all day close together driving all over Iceland, and be exhausted in the evening, and want some space to ourselves. But there isn't really any place anyone can go to be private. As mentioned before, the bedrooms are really only suitable for sleeping, floor space is limited, and everything is essentially one big room. I would have the tv on, and the sound would overlap with my wife watching Netflix in the bedroom. The kitchen table is small, and the coffee table is even smaller, so if even one person sets out a bunch of maps, or wants to play a board game or card game, it's going to interfere with someone else wanting to eat, or use the table for something else, etc.
Here are my suggestions for the owners to address some of the issues:
- Put blinds on door facing other cabin. Build new privacy wall near hot tub. Make it so both of these block views to other cabins.
- Have more bedding options. Provide thick pillow top pads that could be optionally placed on hard beds to make them softer and/or consider buying new beds.
Again, I hope this feedback is helpful. We really appreciate the hospitality and we had a wonderful time in Iceland!
Lodge is very clean, well laid out and furnished, with everything you need in it and more . Hot tub was very popular.Outstanding views and good location to tour the west of this beautiful island.
We have just returned from a 3 night stay at this wonderful lodge. It has been a pleasure to deal with Jon and he has been very responsive in answering emails.
When we arrived we were all speechless, the lodge is exactly as you see it in the photo's. We were 5 adults and there was plenty of space. We made great use of the hot tub, especially at night when it started snowing. This place is definitely 10 out of 10 and I would not change anything about it. It was mesmerising looking out from the large windows, snuggled under a blanket and watching the ever changing weather and the snow covered mountains, I even got up early each morning just to sit in awe at the view. Highly recommend this lodge and will definitely return.
Brekka, simply put, is amazing. We traveled throughout Iceland for 14 days and Brekka was by far the highlight in our accommodations. Have you ever stayed somewhere that you didn’t want to leave? That was our experience. Yes it has everything that you would expect, and then some. The owners were so kind to us, answering questions and offering advice (and we were very grateful we rented the 4x4 Jon). The views are amazing day and night. Do yourself a favor, stay at Brekka, it is amazing.
Did I mention that that there is some good bird watching for all you bird nerds?
From the moment we stepped out of the car, we knew that Brekka was a special place. Our favorite activity was looking out the windows onto the fjord. The view changed from minute to minute with the light and the movement of the clouds.
The home had everything we needed for a comfortable stay and some details that made it extra special. We used the hot tub every evening. The rainhead shower, heated floors and heated towel rack were nice touches. With 3 bedrooms and a loft, there was more than enough space for the 5 of us. The beds were warm and comfortable.
Jon was helpful and attentive from booking to directions to suggestions of sites to see. He and Auja even dropped off a chocolate egg as a gift on Easter Sunday.
I can't recommend Brekka highly enough and we hope to return in the future.