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“Stay in the Tower”

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Grand Hotel Reykjavik
Ranked #26 of 54 Hotels in Reykjavik
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed July 6, 2012

This was a very pleasant hotel but it is in the burps and rides into town by hotel are only for one way, odd. In the tower our room was nicely decorated and had all the ameneties, execpt you had to manually turn on your TV, no biggie. Shower is an interesting design, more adequately described by another guest below. Staff was very pleasant and helpful.

Room Tip: Stay in the tower where the rooms have been renovated and not noisy.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Pablo S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,234 - 1,240 of 1,652 reviews

Reviewed July 5, 2012

To me there wasn't anything special about this hotel. Was there during a warm spell, so the lack of air conditioning combined with the extremely long daylight hours made the room very warm and stuffy. If the room faces the front of the hotel, it's quite loud due to the busy main road and hotel parking lot. The room is somewhat sparcely appointed, but functional. Had internet and breakfast included, and both served their purpose adequately without anything notable worth mentioning. To get to the part of town with the majority of restaurants will require a taxi.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms facing the hotel front.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled on business
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Thank S D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2012

Stayed at the Grand on a leisure trip to Reykjavik 20-26 Jun.
We got there at 2AM and as we walked in the appearance wasn't the greatest. The glass around the revolving door was cracked (never repaired) and the red furniture wasn't appealing. The television acts as the alarm clock. It is really hard to get a feel for the actual time as TV wasn't real functional and they didn't have a station that appeared to be local displaying the time. Thankfully we set a watch to the clock in the flybus that seems to be pretty accurate. The Drapes in the room were falling down. The shower head leaked badly around the edges. It would of been nice to have a exhaust fan in the bathroom. We were on the first floor and the only way to get the room cool was with open the balcony floor. It opened to a sitting area for smokers that had a gate to the street that was never locked. Fortunately Reykjavik has a low crime rate (graffiti is another issue). To setting area was kind of nice feature, but to get to it from our room you had to go out a door that locked behind you and to get back to the room you had to walk around to the front of the Hotel and walk back through the lobby.
The breakfast (buffet style) had an egg casserole, lots of bread variety, scrambled eggs, hot tomato with cheese melted, cereals, a lunch meat, cheese, cucumber and salmon selection and juices and milk. It was busy from 7-8 the bused start picking up tours around 8 and most people are trying to be ready to leave by then. It slowed down to a more desirable pace around 8:30.
The Hotel is within walking distance to the center tourist area and Krinlan mall. We were able to get either place in 20-30 minutes. We went to a performance at the Harpa and walk both ways to that with no problem. The midnight sun is useful.
There is city bus service right off the Hotel property.
The staff was very cordial.
If I were going to go back to Iceland I would probably look for one closer to downtown though.

Room Tip: Get in the tower
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank gr8sgnmein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2012

My wife and I have just returned from a two week trip to Iceland and spent two nights at the Grand hotel. We had a very enjoyable time there ;Good food , very freindly service, and super clean. The only downside, avoid the rooms near the front entrance; airport buses start arriving at 5a.m., rather noisy at times.

Room Tip: Spa was very expensive so avoid , use the public swimming pools, every town in Iceland has one and t...
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank woozietraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2012

My parents stayed at this hotel for one night last winter (2012). They enjoyed their stay but after getting home my mother discovered that she had left her alarm clock in the hotel room and a scarf that she borrowed from me. She called the hotel right away and the lady at the reception said that they had not found those things and IF they would find it she was going to call her. The following day my father and I went down to the hotel and talked to them. We waited for almost an hour while the staff searched the room and looked for it in the lost and found department.
Her alarm clock and my precious scarf were never found!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
    • Service
3  Thank 914Lamaze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2012

First, the good news. The two staff people with whom I interacted were unfailingly polite and, it appeared, sympathetic. Now the bad news. The first room that we were assigned (designated "family") was stiflingly hot (roughly 35C) with only a minuscule window that could be cracked open.

I immediately requested another room. Although the hotel was allegedly fully occupied, they were able to find another room -- somewhat worn but several degrees cooler -- which I reluctantly accepted. What I failed to notice was that the bathroom was designed for a wheelchair, which meant that there was no separate shower stall -- the shower poured right onto the continuous bathroom floor. I understood the design -- the problem was poor drainage and extraordinarily high sulfur content in the hot water. The unfortunate result was that when I attempted to take a shower, the entire bathroom immediately turned into a fetid swamp with an inch of foul-smelling standing water.

Predictably, this elicited howls of protest from my wife and toddler daughter. After surviving the first night in the swamp, we asked for another room. The only room available was the same as the one we had rejected initially. The hotel's ploy obviously worked -- sleeping in a sauna (Room 1) now sounded like a perfectly reasonable alternative to contracting whatever tropical diseases might lurk in Room 2. I was able to procure a table fan from the front desk, which, in combination with the slightly cracked window and, perversely, an open room door, brought the nighttime temperature down to a more tolerable 30C. I thus enjoyed a (restless) sleep -- but not so my wife and daughter. They like to sleep in the dark -- something that, in June in Iceland, can be elusive.

You can see where this is going. The choice was stark: a dark sauna with the shades drawn or glaring sunlight at merely Saharan temperatures. The following night I relented and allowed the shades to be closed... and noted the temperature topping out at 37C. Realizing that sleep, at least for me, wasn't a likely refuge, I wandered down to the lobby at midnight. I told the desk clerk that, if they didn't have another room available, I would be camping on a lobby couch. To make an already long story short, after much discussion (in Icelandic) with other staffers, I was shown to a room in the tower.

The contrast couldn't have been greater had I been plucked from the slums of Mumbai and deposited in the Four Seasons in Milan. Sparkling clean, totally odorless sulfur-free water (!?!), soaking tub and separate shower, exotic hardwood floors, bathrobes on the beds, and (I still shudder with relief) 20C with the shades CLOSED. I raced back to the convection oven to share the good news with my wife. Unfortunately, my daughter was sound asleep, so my wife was essentially condemned to another night in The Ninth Circle. It's interesting how the survival instinct kicks in when faced with extreme tests of endurance. I didn't think twice before bolting for my private refuge.

We checked out the following morning. I had to wait patiently in line while another guest, a rather distinguished-looking European gentleman, carried on a loud tirade about the squalid room conditions -- occasionally dropping lightly accented F-bombs. I have to admit that I was strangely relieved to discover that I hadn't been personally targeted for abuse. Apparently The Grand Hotel chooses its victims at random.

If it's not clear already, the message here is STAY IN THE TOWER. Don't even think about accepting a room anywhere else. If you survive, you will be saddled with memories that you wish you didn't have. In a perfect world, the original portion of the hotel would be razed and a monument would be erected to honor and remember travelers who had the misfortune of staying there. In our less than perfect world, they will continue trying to lure the unsuspecting to their lair.

Post-mortem: On my departure, I asked to be compensated in some way for the horrific experience. The perfectly pleasant and sympathetic agent said that she would consult her manager and see what could be done. Today I noticed that I had been credited about 20% of my bill. While this may sound a bit like the wrongly convicted being paid peanuts for his decades of incarceration, I took it as a welcome, albeit Pyrrhic, victory.

Room Tip: Stay only in the tower! If it's not available, run, don't walk, to another hotel.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank Drew922
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2012

During our recent vacation to Reykjavik, we were shuffled to the Grand Hotel by Iceland Air due to them inadvertently cancelling our original hotel reservations at a nearby hotel. The staff at the Grand was incredibly polite and helpful – and was especially kind in picking up the ball that Iceland Air dropped. Having said that, the hotel appears to cater to business clientele and is not a place I’d recommend for the leisure travelers who are wanting to experience the sights and sounds of Reykjavik.

On the plus side, the hotel was clean, roomy, and offered a full breakfast buffet (included in our rate).

On the negative side, the hotel is located in the near burbs along a busy thoroughfare (we could hear traffic all night). It is possible to walk to the city centre, though it was probably a 15 to 20 minute hike at a good pace. We found the room stuffy and hard to cool after baking in the sun all day. The shower setup allowed water to soak about half the bathroom (odd; annoying). Free wi-fi was available in the lobby, but not in the guest rooms.

If you are business traveler, then the hotel is probably fine. If you are on vacation, I would highly recommend staying in a hotel very near the city centre (even if the inside of the hotel isn’t as “classy” as the Grand). You’ll be spending most of your time out and about – and will enjoy being able to drop into your downtown hotel for a quick rest / refresh before heading back out for dinner / drinks.

Room Tip: The west facing rooms can get very warm during a sunny day - and they catch considerable road noise...
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank livn247
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel Reykjavik

Address: Sigtun 38, Reykjavik 105, Iceland (Formerly Top CityLine Grand Hotel Reykjavik)
Location: Iceland > Capital Region > Reykjavik > Laugardalur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Reykjavik
#5 Spa Hotel in Reykjavik
#14 Luxury Hotel in Reykjavik
Price Range: $206 - $447 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Hotel Reykjavik 4*
Number of rooms: 311
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grand Hotel Reykjavik is a first-class, four star hotel for business travelers, conference guests and tourists who demand excellent service and facilities. Grand Hotel Reykjavik is now the largest hotel in Iceland with a total of 311 rooms and 15 meeting and conference halls, seating anywhere from 6 to 470 people. Grand Hotel Reykjavik is a member of Top International.The hotel is situated in a quiet area within a short distance from all services, recreation and business centers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Top Cityline Grand Reykjavík

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