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“My first experience with a hostel”
Review of Kex Hostel

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Kex Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
Ellijay
Level Contributor
110 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“My first experience with a hostel”
Reviewed June 27, 2013

We arrived at 11am and could not check in until 2pm, so we stayed in the lobby, chillaxing on lounge chairs and a couch. Kex was exactly how I pictured it. No one over the age of 30 but me. However, that was absolutely not an issue, as everyone (guests and staff) were very friendly. We had to climb 2 flights of stairs to reach the lobby, then 3 more flights to reach our room. The room was very sparse, but extremely clean, with twin beds, 3 folding chairs, and a desk. Beds were super-comfortable, with the typical European snow-white thick comforter, folded in half. No top sheet. It also had blackout curtains (20+ hours of daylight while we were there). There were plenty of bathrooms and showers available, including private ones, just a short walk down a hall. There was also a shared kitchen at the end of the hall with shared cold storage, shelves, and everything you would need in a kitchen, from pots and pans to dinnerware. I was astounded at how clean everything was in the entire place. If I had to describe Kex with one word, I would say...."Kitschy" The breakfast provided each morning was great! I would definitely recommend staying here.

Room Tip: If you have trouble with stairs, not a good choice (for us older folks) Altho there is live music d...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Silver1953Atlanta_GA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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782 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (137)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
85 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2013

We stayed in a 6 bed dorm with our 4 kids after a 36-hour journey from Australia. It was our first experience of a youth hostel as a family and we really enjoyed it. Room was very tight with our 4 suitcases but the bathroom was just across the hall and the people very friendly. Breakfast (purchase the night before for a better price) was good and the lounge/kitchen/bar area was so cosy and welcoming that we all looked forward to hanging out there each day. Staff were helpful and friendly and the beds extremely comfortable. (It certainly seemed that way after all that travelling). We walked everywhere.

Room Tip: Ask for one near a bathroom
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank nusstafa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2013

This place is great. About a 10-15 minute walk to downtown Reykjavik but other than that it is right near the water (though there is a bit of an unsightly gas station in front). The people were great and friendly, I had an issue which required me to change my flight and they were more help than any hotel I have ever stayed at in rearranging my travel plans. Really went above and beyond their duties, whether it was just Icelandic hospitality or great service, I was grateful either way.

Good food, great people, and fun, young atmosphere. Whether you are a younger solo traveler or older couple, you really can't go wrong.

Room Tip: I chose to stay in a six bed room. Had the whole thing to myself my entire stay there, do yourself a...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mcrucireta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ireland
Level Contributor
122 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2013

This place is a cross between an excellent youth hostel, a well curated exhibition and a consensual hallucination. Legend has it that it used to be a biscuit factory. As it stands now, it is a particularly cool hostel, right at the water's edge with a nice view of the sea and the mountains across the bay. At least, that's what I could see, I suspect weather has a lot to do with it.

The check in area has a cheerful atmosphere, loads of lounge about seating, and a retro bar. By retro, I don't just mean 1950s, this place has ceramic tiles around the bar and a copper bar counter.

Everywhere has an eclectic old library/school house/mad professor vibe to it, with giant maps on many of the walls (curiously not in Icelandic, so they all had to come in from somewhere else) and shelves full of diverse and obscure books (again, not all in Icelandic). Disturbingly, the vinyl records in the foyer are very similar to my own collection.

Rooms are spacious, well equipped with sockets for all the charging we seem to be doing these days, and well maintained.

There is a kitchen with merry go round horses suspended from the ceiling as well as huge fridges which presumably were in action in shops before now as they have glass doors and Coca Cola logos on them.

The accomodation floor has its own lounge area, in a 1920s London Gentleman's club style, and a spare school room for any last minute lessons in Icelandic that you might need to convene.

There's an outdoor terrace and often the hostel organises music events at the back.

Staff are very helpful with tour bookings and local info and the like too. Hard to fault this place for a funky, charming cheerful vibe that is an ideal component to a visit to Iceland.

Room Tip: A couple of tips. Rooms ending in 01-06 overlook the sea, and the Indian Embassy. These may be dorms...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank murnauontour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2013

I have stayed in probably 100 hostels, and after a couple of nights at Kex I had decided this was amongst the best. The 16 bed dorms are HUGE. As in, spacious. My stay in the big room was very pleasant. However, when I moved to a 6 bed dorm, things changed. The space was very cramped, and not cleaned. It was a very surprising difference. Also, third floor showers are communal, which I do not feel is appropriate outside of a gym setting. In fact, I have never encountered communal showers at any other hostel. The staff is very helpful. The bar is in fact a LOCAL hot spot, not just for travelers. There is always something going on. Live music, parties, etc. Fun place, with awesome hipster type decor.

Room Tip: Take the 16 bed dorm. Normally I am against this strategy, but here, do it.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Yanks9596
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ARLINGTON
Level Contributor
130 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2013

I had a single night in Reykjavik and a friend recommended Kex. I'm so glad he did! It fit my needs perfectly. I made an online booking for a private room/shared shower with breakfast. My flight from the U.S. arrived early in the morning and the bus from the airport dropped me off right in front. This was one anxious. The door was barely marked, and I had to walk up 2 flights of stairs with my luggage, hoping to find that this indeed was the right place. I was delighted to reach the landing and see that all was well, the public spaces looked just as fun in person as they had on the web site, and breakfast was waiting on the buffet.

Check-in was easy. I knew ahead of time that I wouldn't be able to get into my room until afternoon, so that was no problem as I'd planned to walk and tour. The luggage storage was another little source of anxiety, as it seemed to be on the honor system with no claim checks. You just walked into the storage room, left your bag, and retrieved it when you came back. But without any alternative, I went with the flow.

Ate the delicious and filling breakfast before going out to tour, with a gorgeous view across the water toward the mountains. Location was perfect, within easy and pleasant walking distance of major sights, cafes, etc. I had an early flight the next morning and didn't want to fuss about dinner on a jet-lagged stomach, so I returned to Kex, ordered a nice beer and a tasty bar meal and spent more time on wifi with the great view.

Bed was very comfortable, shower & toilet facilities more than adequate. Used the kitchen only for tea, but that was fine. There were some noisy groups down at the dorm end, but my room was pretty quiet.

Only minor complaint was that the elevator was inoperative, so I lugged that suitcase up another 2 flights of stairs -- that's 4 total.

TIP: If you book B&B for one night and have an early arrival and departure for your flights, there's no problem eating breakfast on arrival. You just get a chit from the check-in desk and give it to the dining host.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dunyazade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
101 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2013

Kex is an excellent hostel. A great location, clean rooms and bathrooms, a nice bar/restaurant with a great view and evening jazz concerts make this an exceptional place to stay. The only reason I do not give them a highest rating is I do not like the fact that the linen rental and breakfast is extra. Online they appear to be a great value and they are, but once you add linen and breakfast you get a better comparison with their competitors offering all inclusive services and they are not the cheapest. So if you are on a tight budget just make sure to bring your own sleeping bag and self cater. I would stay here again.

Room Tip: The front rooms above the bar/restaurant are noisier. The rooms in the back much more quiet.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jefre O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kex Hostel

Property: Kex Hostel
Address: Skulagata 28, Reykjavik 101, Iceland
Location: Iceland > Capital Region > Reykjavik > Miõborg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 102 Specialty Lodging in Reykjavik
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
It' s the Icelandic word for "biscuit" and a social hostel in Reykjavik. What's not to love? Housed in an old biscuit factory in the heart of Reykjavik, KEX is just steps from all the bars, clubs, and music venues that give this city its legendary reputation. It's also a painless distance from late night munchies and a mind-boggling array of coffee houses, shops, and tourist attractions. Of course, you might not even want to venture outside of the hostel with all its features: a cafe and bar, lounge area, heated outdoor patio, tourist information desk, laundry room, and free Wi-Fi. Two guest kitchenettes and private laundry facilities are also available. And with a variety of rooms for up to 214 guests, you'll have no problem meeting interesting, new travel buddies from exotic places. KEX oozes with personality and soul-just like our guests. Every piece of decor has a story to tell. Using salvaged materials and found objects from various sources, KEX is an organic concept blending Iceland' s past with a modern, international twist. The raw industrial spaces and vintage furnishings combine to give it a homey, eclectic feel. With the affordable nightly rates, you'll still have enough cash left over to enjoy a few pints of Viking beer or sample some local delicacies like hakarl and Brennivin. In addition to our dormitory rooms we offer three different double rooms: 1. Double Plus - 1 double bed, 1 private bathroom, linens and towels, and 1 fantastic seaside view. 2. Double Standard - 1 double bed (of the most clever convertible design in case you get tired of being so close to your travel partner), shared bathrooms, linens and towels, and if you are lucky the same fantastic view. 3. Twin - 2 single beds, linens and towels, and a better than average chance of making your friends back home quite jealous indeed. LOCATION: KEX is located in the center of Reykjavik, with a view across the sea to Mt. Esja across the bay. The old factory that houses KEX is also home to The Living Art Museum and studios of various artists, dancers, and fashion designers. KEX is within an easy walking distance to the city's interesting nightlife, restaurants, shopping streets, cultural attractions, and other points of interest in the city center. To reach those places a little further afield, the hostel is well connected to the city's public bus system. ... more   less 
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