From the outside this summer house is clearly in a beautiful and calm setting next to the lake and away from traffic. The outside was being refreshed (walls painted) and this was needed. Some more clean up of the yard and house exterior is needed. It took quite a few communications with the owner to agree on a meeting but in the end he was present when we arrived a bit late. We were a little surprised to see that he had laundry (sheets and towels) drying in the bathroom and on the stairway bannister upon our arrival. He apologised for this but it was clear that he had been trying hard to get the place in shape for our visit (I am guessing that the regular people that take care of this were not available or he left this until too late). In any case, although the house was clean and the beds made, it was strange to have the laundry drying in the house (it was far from dry). What struck us immediately was that despite the room available in the house, much of the floor space and shelf/storage space was used up with old (sometimes non-functional) furniture and memorabilia. Thus the feel was more like a museum or that you were staying with a friend or family whose house was already completely full with belongings. This included the kitchen where every cupboard was completely packed with dishes, utensils, and mostly used food packages (probably left by the previous renters). Some were well out of date and for instance there were 5 open cereal boxes, some identical products. The fridge and freezer also had previous renters (or the owners) food left inside. Although we appreciate having the basics (condiments, spices, oil) on hand, one usually does not leave opened old food packages in a rental.
The master bedroom was very nice, spacious, clean but it was the only bedroom with a roomy feeling. The other bedrooms were upstairs and were OK but not luxurious. There was only one shower (in the ground floor bathroom) which was fine although the toilet was very high, presumably for handicap access, but very uncomfortable as a result). There was a toilet and sink attached to the master bedroom (which was down a long cold hallway from the main part of the house). Given that the house was intended for up to 8 people (2 should be children since one bedroom was small and clearly for children), we felt that only 1 shower was hardly a luxury. The one thing that was a luxury was the presence of large flat screen TVs (with cable access) in the living room, master bedroom and one other bedroom. There were older CRT TVs in the other two bedrooms. The internet connection was sporadic at best, for large parts of the day there was either no connection or a very slow connection. As we use this a lot, it was fairly annoying not to be able to look up things when needed.
Another positive thing was the jacuzzi, which had room for 6. Although we had to wait more than a day for the temperature to reach a reasonable level (because it was just refilled before we arrived), it was pleasant after a long day or in the cold weather. Warning: to access the jacuzzi you have to go outside and the room, although enclosed, is not heated. Also the shower/toilet adjacent to the jacuzzi was not usable, for unknown reasons, which was too bad as it made it much less convenient to use the jacuzzi. Another plus was the fireplace, for which you had to buy artificial logs, but it worked well and was pleasant to have.
The house had an alarm system that had to be activated and de-activated. We suppose there had been a break-in in the past, but we had no problems. The electrical system was a bit strange, with heaters and mains outlets sharing the same outlets. We blew the kitchen circuit breaker several times when using the toaster, even though almost nothing else was in use in the kitchen (we moved the toaster to the living room and it was OK there).
The location was fairly remote (nearest shopping 30km) but if you want nature and calm it was ideal. We had mostly bad weather (wind and rain) so did not get to profit so much from the view and the lake.
We chose this rental because of its proximity to the "golden circle" (Thingvellir park, geysers, waterfalls, mountains) as well as being not too far from Reykjavik. For this it was a good choice.
In conclusion, this house is recommended for a group from 4 to 6 people as long as you are willing to stay in a very "lived in" place that clearly belongs to someone else. However, we did not feel it is up to a luxury standard except for a few points. The owner, Bjorn, was helpful, friendly and apologetic for some of the inconveniences. We just think that if this is to be advertised as a luxury summer house, it needs to be cleared up so that it does not feel like you are moving into a house that is already occupied. That plus a refresh on some of the older parts of the house (e.g. kitchen and living room) could put it into the luxury category. We rate it at 3.5 stars.
|How easy was it to book the property?||How helpful were the directions to the property?|
|How easy was key pickup/access to the property?||Overall condition of the property|
|Bedding & mattresses||Kitchen & utensils|
|Bathroom cleanliness||Other facilities & amenities|
|Older travelers||Families with young children|
|Check in / front desk||Service|
|A romantic getaway||Older travelers|