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“A fantastic experience....”
Review of Hotel Ranga

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Hotel Ranga
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Hella
Certificate of Excellence
Manchester
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A fantastic experience....”
Reviewed January 2, 2010

Hotel Ranga is perfectly situated for peace and quiet, and exploring the south of Iceland. If visiting in Winter I would say a car is vital to get the most out of your time there, but driving in the winter is not for the faint-hearted and a 4x4 will certainly make life easier in the wintery conditions. The hotel itself is stunning - we stayed in the new extension and saw no evidence of the problems mentioned elsewhere. As with many hotels I have stayed in overseas there are no kettles in the rooms so you might want to take a travel one, but everything else you are likely to need is provided - the robes are a particularly nice touch for the dash to outside hot tubs! Staff were helpful and courteous without being overpowering. My only criticism, as has been mentioned elsewhere, is the food available in the restaurant which is very expensive and gourmet, and it certainly wasn't a viable choice for us to eat there every night of our stay. Room service was more suitable and of a very high standard but the range was limited. However if you don't mind a short drive (so no drinking for the driver) the cafe on the right just before entering Hella from Hotel Ranga is a very good alternative - don't be put off by appearances, the quality of the food was outstanding and the prices reasonable for Iceland.
I would recommend Iceland as a holiday destination but if visiting in Winter don't forget your thermals ( we averaged -8 to -13 not counting the wind chill factor), take a travel kettle if you need your caffeine boost (and flask for when you are out and about during the day, hotel staff will fill it for you), take a bottle or 2 of wine with you if you like a drink as all alcohol is very expensive throughout the country and fit in a visit to the Blue Lagoon if you can as it is a fantastic experience and not far from the airport so can be a lovely way to end your visit before heading off for your flight home.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Daffodil73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (455)
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English first
Brentwood, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
356 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 472 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2009

We stayed here for 3 nights 14-17 December 2009, we had such a good time, and loved the location of this Hotel, there is so much to see within a few miles, a great base. The staff were brilliant, and nothing was too much bother. We had a more basic room, still lovely, warm, welcoming, and comfy, when we arrived we misunderstood the brochure and thought every room had DVD's so we took some to watch, but these are only in premium rooms, but they arranged one for us for the duration of our stay. We took our own flask and they filled it every morning and night with a smile, and gave great advice on sightseeing too. The hot tubs are filled from a geothermal spring, so they dont have much control over the temperature, but they were all working and all very hot for us and we had a great time looking at the stars and relaxing in them. There was more than adequate car park spaces, and we saw no sign of the building work some other people mentioned so we can assume its all done, it was just a perfect Hotel in the best setting.

We ate in the restaurant on one night only as its expensive. It was a little too highbrow for our taste, although the salmon was lovely, the white chocolate sauce served with it was strange to my palatte, we dined from the set menu, expensive and incredibly small portions, in fact the 3 pieces of fish starter were ridiculously small. The one failing of this hotel is that there is no snack menu, no big bowls of warming soup, simple omlette, or cheese sandwich, its all just very expensive prententious food. It is an exclusive hotel, but there arent many exclusive hotels in the world where you cant get a hamburger :o)

There is an excellent diner in on the main road to Hella, (the fried haddock in shrimp sauce was divine and very very fresh) which was inexpensive, another night we ate at the Pizza house in Hvolsvollur, the Pizzas were really nice and once again, a fraction of the cost of the Ranga.

There are several comfy lounges, the one upstairs is nice just to relax with a pot of coffee, there is a very high quality pool table in the games room, with an unusual genuine antler chandelier, not plastic as someone else has said.

A walk along the river is lovely, we wrapped up and had a stroll, its so quiet, and the amount of stars on show are breathttaking.

Free wireless internet in the rooms is a nice touch, and there was a laptop in the lobby for anyone who didnt have an iphone etc.

Visit soon....its well worth it.......

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank stugrmi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 8, 2009

Went to Iceland for a few nights to try and see the northern lights with my girlfriend, staff at the hotel were very polite and friendly and also extremely knowledgeable about the Northern lights. Very nice hotel, outdoor hot tub at night under the stars is an experience.

Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank KaiG2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Icelander in Reykjavík
Level Contributor
26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2009

Ranga could easily be one of Icelands best countryside hotel, but it is somewhat disappointing.
It was enlarged last year, and quite few rooms added to the building, but still they did not enlarge the parking, so therefore you might end up parking your vehicles on the grass, or up to the bedroom windows, not good.
The extension was not ready, but still rented out to customers, without any excuse or discount. The whole extension had not been varnished, to look like the rest of the building, (Ranga is a log house), and the sprinklers where missing in the ceilings. The room I got, was somewhat strange, it seemed that the bed was too big, because one side was up against the wall, and window. The curtains where kinda stuck between the wall and the bed.
In one of the most expensive countryside hotels in Iceland, it is funny too see a pool table in the hallway, and with a light fixture of antlers hanging above, made of PLASTIC !
The staff was lovely, and good to speak to, but service stunk ! I needed room service twice, and I have never gotten worse room service than at this hotel. First I called the lobby, and asked for a pack of cigarettes. I had to call again in 30 minutes, to get it, and the price for this service was double the price of the pack. Then I needed assistance with the TV. again I needed to call again in 30 min. and then got the manager to fix the TV. for me in person.
The food is good looking, but expensive, we took a ,,summertime offer", and one small bottle of wine. The bill was around 24000 Isk. (about $200), and it didn´t make any impression on us, taste or quality.
There are three hot tubs outside the hotel for free use of the guests, I have been staying there for 6 years now, many times each summer, and the hot tubs have never been in order. Somehow the thermostats are not working, and it was sad too see a family trying to get into the way too warm hot pot, in full view of the dining room, without anyone from the hotel to try to assist the people or controlling the heat in the pot.
There is the same price for the room regardless on which side of the building they are: Facing the east, with river and glacier view, and balcony, with hot tubs outside your room. Or to the west, with Car park view, no balcony, and no hot tubs outside. Strange !
The location is ,,good". It´s at the riverbank of one of Icelands best Salmon river, and the view is great (not from all the rooms though). You absolutely need a car, if you want to go to the nearby villages for any reason, but then you have to remember that there is no tolerance at all to drinking and driving in Iceland. Once you have had your first glass of wine, you are not allowed to drive. There isn´t many chances of an ,,evening stroll", so the only thing you can do there is to spend the evening at the bar, or soak in the working hot tub.
Overall, The location is great, but prepare yourself to spend the whole night out there, or not take one sip of drink.
It is though one of the very best places on the south coast for the Northern Lights.
And it is well located for touring the highlands and the south coast.
The staff is friendly, but the service is not neccessary as good as you would expect in a four (4) star hotel.
The food is way not worth the four stars the hotel sports. Portions are small, and the taste and quality is nothing special. The bar is good, but like the food, ,,they sure know how to make the bills here"
Breakfast is good, but somehow the staff seems sleepy, just out of bed, and a little disorientaded, something you do not expect from a four star hotel.
And one more thing, the mobile phone coverage is at the best poor !

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank icelandicguide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
103 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2009

This hotel had an excellent and expensive restaurant. A giant stuffed bear in the lobby. Friendly staff. They first gave me a room facing the parking lot. I requested a room on the other side, the back side of the hotel. It was a bit rustic but comfortable. The best part of this hotel were the hot tubs a few feet from your room. Seemed like one for each few rooms. It was very dark out there and you might want to have a flashlight. If you like wide open spaces, the night sky and quiet - this is your place.

Stayed May 2006, traveled solo
Helpful?
Thank Nemokota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
32 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2009

There is a gigantic stuffed polar bear in the lobby, and that is the best thing about the place. The 'hot tubs' out the back were luke warm, and although the food in the restaurant turned out to be nice enough it cost an arm and a leg and a song and dance to get anything decent for the vegetarians. It is miles from anywhere, in sight of the Hekla volcano, and I would go up the wall if I had to spend more than one night here. It was ok as a place to stay, but it is not what a 'hotel' should be.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travelzlattern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hants
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 15, 2009

I booked this hotel because the main aim of our trip was to try and see the Northern Lights. Instead of booking an organised tour from the UK hoping that the Lights would show, I thought I would book into a hotel that has very little light pollution and is said to be in a great area to see the Lights.This way we had several nights to try our luck. The staff will switch off the outside hotel lights and call your room to let you know when the Lights are visible, if you ask.

Our room was cleaned daily with fresh towels. We had a double deluxe which comfortably slept four of us (two children). The bed was huge and we had a sofa bed in there too. The bathroom was a great size and the heated towel rail was brilliant for drying our hats & gloves, we also had a large radiator in the bedroom. Our room had a flat screen TV but no DVD. The staff soon rectified that. There were nice little touches such as complimentary chocolates put in our room each day.

The outdoor hot tubs were a great addition, as was the laptop with free internet access for all guests to use. The staff were really helpful in advising or booking any tours you may wish to take. There was also a snooker/pool table which was great for the kids to use.

The buffet breakfast was excellent. Vast choice, everything you could wish for. We only dined in the restaurant on one evening, and although expensive it was really tasty. There is a room service menu, which the chef happily adapted for the children. A great help when you have fussy eaters! There are no tea and coffee making facilities in your room but the staff will bring a flask of hot water and cups if you wish to bring your own.


The hotel is in a great position if, like us, you wish to hire a car and see the sights yourself. Excellent for the 'Golden Circle' tour. Reykjavik was at least 1 and a half hours away so it's worth remembering if you have booked tours that begin from there. Hella is a 5 minute drive away. There is a small supermarket should you wish to pick up provisions for lunch etc and also a petrol station. We took the plunge and drove to Glacier Lagoon on one day. It is really worth it. Yes, it is a really long drive but if you break it up with a trip to Skogarlfoss, Vik etc on the way, it won't seem so bad.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank margoHants
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Ranga

Property: Hotel Ranga
Address: Sudurlandsvegur, Hella 851, Iceland
Location: Iceland > South Region > Hella
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Hella
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Ranga 4*
Number of rooms: 51
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Ranga is a luxury countryside hotel and the only 4 star resort in South Iceland. It offers all the facilities and services of a modern resort. Located about an hour from Reykjavík between the towns of Hella and Hvolsvöllur, it lies just off the main road right in middle of South Iceland’s panoramic scenery. The resort is built in log-cabin style and has through the years acquired an excellent reputation for its food, accomodation and service. It is the first Icelandic hotel to become a member of the prestigious international hotel chain Great Hotels of the World. A celebrity hot spot, top honeymoon destination and favorite hotel amongst Icelanders, Hotel Rangá also offers great facilities for small business meetings, weddings and social gatherings. One cannot miss feeling welcome entering its warm interior where relaxed countryside feeling meets the professional ambition of pleasing its entire clientel. Upon entering Hotel Ranga, you will be greeted by a towering 10-foot tall polar bear named Hrammur that resides in the lobby. He is a favorite model for photographers and is definitely one of the most pictured objects in Iceland. This is just a prelude to the cozy ambience that you will encounter that vibrates throughout the hotel. Hótel Rangá was upgraded and renovated in 2007/2008 and presently has 51 luxuriously decorated rooms and suites. It also features an acclaimed riverside restaurant, a lounge and bar, 2 upstairs meeting rooms, a game room, massage facilities and three much beloved outdoor hot tubs heated with geothermal water - where there is an excellent chance to view the fantastic northern lights during September through April. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ranga Hotel Hella
Hotel Ranga Iceland/Hella

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