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“Very disappointed”
Review of Hotel Holt

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Hotel Holt
Ranked #10 of 54 Hotels in Reykjavik
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 27, 2012

We booked this hotel as the centrum was full on the last 2 nights of our visit and the reviews were positive. I have to say this is probably the worst hotel we have ever stayed in, the reception was dark and gloomy, the lift is one of these with no inner door and considered dangerous so most hotels replaced them many years ago. The hotel is not traditional, classic, period or any of the descriptions given, it is just outdated. The Furniture in the 'superior' room we had was from the late seventies, cheap and grubby looking. The only change appears to have been replacement magnolia wall paint at some time. The bathroom measured approx. 1.5 m x 2.0 m, I have never before been able to sit on loo and touch the opposite wall. There was a vile smell when the shower was turned on, reception claimed this was typical of Iceland as the water comes from under ground. When I explained that we had been in Iceland for a week and run water without this smell, they agreed it might be the fact that the shower drain was completely clogged with gunk that when disturbed gave off the smell. To resolve they poured a 'liquid' down the drain without removing the gunk, not surprisingly 24hours later the smell was back. The booking stated a welcome drink and free entry to 3 museums, neither materialised on arrival. On checking out the cost was more than the booking confirmation and was told that it was due to a change in the exchange rate and we would have to pay the cost requested. The windows and doors out onto the balcony did not keep out noise, every car and voice were heard clearly from outside even 3 floors up. It might have art but quite frankly if I wanted to see art I would visit a gallery, I prefer good accommodation. Cost wise, the hotel was overpriced for what seemed to us to be no more than 2 star standard. If you are visiting Rejkavik, stay at the Centrum we did for the 1st night and it was almost 1/2 the price and considerably better.

Stayed: October 2012
6  Thank Linda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Valsson, Manager at Hotel Holt, responded to this reviewResponded November 1, 2012

Dear Linda D.

While there isa tiny bit of truth some of what you write, I am not going to waste too much time on replying to your very unfair review. You claim you did your research here on Tripadvisor but still seem to have expected a bright and colourful building with cool features typically found in much newer properties.

All bulidings experience plumbing problems at some point. It is regrettable that you were the victim of such an occasion but we certainly do everything we can to rectify problems such as that. What we don´t have is the possibility of ripping open drains while a guest is in house when we are at capacity so other solutions had to be tried.

The added value of booking directly can be claimed at front desk anytime during your visit but as these items all cost us money, we do not hand out free tickets to everyone if they might not be interested.

In regards to paying more than stipulated. That is all wrong. It is clearly stated in your confirmation that you pay in ISK according to the exchange rate at day of payment. The difference between what the exchange rate was when you booked and when you paid can vary slightly but it is never a significant amount that anyone would be inconvenienced from unless they are looking for more things to be unhappy about.

We have taken everything away from your review that we need to improve on and hope that you enjoy your stay elsewhere more appropriate for your taste in Reykjavík the next time you visit our fair city.
Warm regards,
Snorri

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 20, 2012

I am Icelandic, but live in Boston, Ma. Visiting Reykjavik to see my realtives always includes staying at Hotel Holt! There are many new hotels to choose from, but none come close to Hotel Holt in providing a real Icelandic experience. Their service, rooms and location are excellent, only to be outdone by their fantastic art collection and dining room.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank wshfultravls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2012

We decided to stay at Hotel Holt during a small vacation in Iceland this month. The hotel was known to the transportation companies and made it easy to transfer there after our red eye flight. This is not a "five star" hotel of what one would typically a hotel of that caliber; it was not posh or overly decorated with marble floors, etc. It was however, a great boutique hotel to immerse ourselves in Icelandic culture. The lobby was somewhat Gothic decorated but very nice feeling- very cozy. The service was excellent, the front desk person took a good amount of time to assist us with our endless questions. Furthermore, the breakfast- while somewhat expensive- is well worth it-- outstanding!! Small items of note: There is no iron which is typical for European hotels. The physical layout of the room: Highly spacious and comfortable with a very comfortable,large bed. We highly recommend this hotel during your stay in beautiful country of Iceland.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jandr022
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

The Hotel Holt is a destination in itself in the charming city of Reykjavik. It houses the largest private art collection in Iceland and many of the works are first rate. It has a bar that looks like a private London club, complete with cozily crowded leather armchairs, and framed charcoal drawings by important Icelandic artist Jóhannes Kjarval.

Its restaurant, Galleries, is a jewel in the crown of Icelandic cuisine. The food is fresh, the dishes are deftly and imaginatively conceived and prepared---and beautifully presented. (The lobster soup with marinated langoustine and roasted chocolate cream is world-class memorable.)

The views from the top-floor rooms across the city are magical at any hour.

Breakfast is served buffet style with delicious homemade bread (Icelandic bread is sinfully good), hard and soft-boiled eggs, cheeses and patés, wonderful jams and sauces, muselis and yogurt, surprisingly good fruit salad, scrambled eggs and bacon, pastries, fruit juice, and quite good coffee. With such a spread, we ate something different and equally delicious the days we were there.

My husband and I spent three nights at Hotel Holt, bookending our 8-day trip to Iceland. We couldn’t have been happier. The location is perfect...a few blocks from the busiest downtown streets, so you get quiet nights, but very much close enough to reach the center by foot in five minutes!

The staff is friendly and helpful. We were especially impressed with the hotel’s manager Snorri Valsson, whose energy and warmth keep the hotel from being the least bit pretentious or museum-like. (With such furnishings and artwork, it easily could be both.) The hotel has an active Facebook presence, thanks to Snorri, and this gives potential guests a fantastic idea of what the hotel is like and beyond that, the city itself. I noticed today a post about Reykjavik’s festive, firework-filled New Year’s Eve celebration and so wished I could be there!

If what you’re after in lodgings is the sameness and blandness of giant chain hotels, with their constantly refurbished wall-to-wall carpeting and bedroom furniture, you might want to look elsewhere. This hotel is beautifully kept, but it has been owned by one family from its beginning in 1965 to today, not by corporate owners with unlimited funds to buy, for example, bedside tables in volume. My husband and I were more than happy with the bedrooms and bathrooms, both of which were super clean and comfortable.

We were, as you can probably tell, completely enchanted by Hotel Holt and can’t wait to get back.

Room Tip: If you can swing it, book a room on the top floor, facing the city. The views are spectacular.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Vivianite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2012

Stayed here for our honeymoon in Iceland. Great hotel for a great price. The old time locks (no keycard) and elevator (you had to open the door manually) really added a nice feeling to the place. While it did have an air of regal, it wasn't snooty or run-down as some "old feeling" hotels are.

The staff were great and get an A+ in my book. Not speaking Icelandic was fine everywhere, but it did make it much easier to communicate if you knew it, so having the front desk make reservations and take messages for us was a real time saver. They also followed up with all reservations to make sure all went as smooth as possible; impeccable service.

The food at the hotel is pricey, as with all of Iceland. We passed up the formal (and expensive) dinner but we did have a continental breakfast ($20-$30 per person) and snuck a few things for lunch... but down the road 5 min walking is a great, cheap bakery that many of the locals eat at. It opens at 8 or 9 though, so if your an early bird, you'll have to wait.

Finally, the piece de resistance; the location was PERFECT. 5 minutes to the main street (old part of city), 10 minutes to downtown (new part of city), 15 minutes to Harpa... all walking. It was a bit cold in June, but we did it no problem. And the bit of distance from the main areas really affords a nice, relaxing, quiet nights (18 hrs of daylight in June) sleep.

Traveled: 8 days in June 2012

Room Tip: The higher up the better! Only 4 floors (I think) anyway.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Nick F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

Both the reviews below and recommendations in travel guides led me to this hotel. I am sorry to say that the experience was a bit of a turn-off.

The staff had the kindness to offer me a room in front of the elevator and right above the hotel entrance. Visitors of the hotel's acclaimed restaurant were smoking outside under the window and talking/shouting in loud voices until very late at night on the 3 days I stayed there.

The rooms are in need of a make-over (and could have been cleaned better): there is a serious clash between the comfortable and luxurious gentlemen's club atmosphere in the bar and lobby, and the soulless pale rooms where the 1980s are still there to stay.

Breakfast was, as noted by other contributors, not what you would expect from a 4-star property.

I would not return here, given the other choices in Reykjavik for comparable prices.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank wimbrussel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2012

Amazing hotel with an incredible restaurant, this is a must stay in Reykjavik. With only two days in Iceland I decided to spend one in the Capital-area. This hotel is centrally located with great rooms and a wonderfull art collection

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ebil2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Holt

Address: Bergstadastraeti 37, Reykjavik 101, Iceland
Phone Number:
Location: Iceland > Capital Region > Reykjavik
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Reykjavik
#5 Family Hotel in Reykjavik
#6 Luxury Hotel in Reykjavik
Price Range: $228 - $528 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Holt 4*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Holt is an intimate 42 room 4 star hotel on a quiet street in central Reykjavik with an emphasis on superior service and satisfaction for our guests. Hotel Holt houses Iceland's largest privately owned art collection as well as the country's premier fine dining restaurant with affordable prices. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holt Hotel Reykjavík

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