Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel, Reykjavik
What We Love
- Comfy beds you’ll never want to crawl out of in the morning
- Almost all the city sights are just an easy stroll away
- The WiFi is quick, consistent and, best of all, free
- Rooms, spacious by city standards, feel even larger thanks to their huge windows and sky-high ceilings
What To Know
- Iceland’s tap water may just be the best in the world, so bring along a refillable bottle
- The extensive buffet breakfast, tempting you with everything from eggs and bacon to smoked fish and skyr (Icelandic yogurt), costs extra
- Light sleeper? Ask for a courtyard-facing room; while the hotel’s not smack in the middle of the nightlife district, boisterous party people do pass by regularly
- You don’t need a rental car to explore downtown, but you will need one to go anywhere else
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
The hotel’s exterior is quietly grand, with rounded corners, a handsome cornice and the name “Eimskipafelag Islands,” the country’s first shipping company and the building’s original occupant, still visible across the front. Inside, the spare lobby is edged by seating and features humanoid art pieces by Icelandic sculptor Steinunn Thorarinsdottir on one wall. From the lobby a gorgeous green marble staircase (original to the building) leads to the floors above — or you can just take the elevator.
Bed & Bath
The guestrooms are the kind where you throw open the door and sigh contentedly. They feel clean and serene, with wood floors, original crown moldings, a subdued black-meets-white palette and sleek furnishings that remind you you’re well on the Nordic track. The beds will introduce you to the no-top-sheet, two-individual-duvets concept that’s popular in Scandinavia and parts of Europe for its insulating sleeping bag effect, insuring that both you and your bed buddy will be snug as a bug during the cold northern nights. Bathrooms are simple affairs done up with tons of tiles on the walls and floor and their own handy wall radiators.
Off the lobby the contemporary 1919 Restaurant serves neo-nordic dishes — local lamb, cod and even minke whale — while its lounge counterpart serves cocktails in a slightly more hip setting with tufted armchairs and cowhide ottomans. And while there’s no spa, there’s a modern gym where you can get your workout on should the mood strike.
In the Area
Generally, restaurant prices are high enough to raise eyebrows. Save your pennies by stocking up on snacks at local grocery chain Bonus (its logo is a goofy pink piggybank) and lunching on fully loaded hot dogs at the famed Baejarins Beztu stand, and bowls of steaming, spicy pho at, well, Pho. Then splurge at Fiskmarkaðurinn (Fish Market) where uber-cool decor — hammered bronze lights, pebbled walls — meets such delicate Asian-influenced dishes as grilled pork ribs and langoustine tartar. If you’re sweet on shopping, most stores are clustered around Laugavegur and Skólavörðustígur streets (Kiosk sells killer pieces from local fashion designers). But a trip out of town is a must. There’s the Golden Circle, a drivable-in-a-day hit list of three major sights: þingvellir, a rift valley and the former seat of parliament, Geysir (the original) and the epic Gullfoss waterfall. And don’t miss the otherworldy Blue Lagoon for some soul-soothing soaking. Is it touristy? Yes. Will you care? Not one bit.
How to Get There
Our room was a beautiful with lovely high ceilings and nice furniture. The bed was amazing! Especially as we had just finished a 9 day camping adventure. The room was lovely and clean. The gym was fantastic for a hotel gym, lots of dumbells, squat rack and plenty of plates. Breakfast was so so so good. Great location ????
No fault of Radisson blu but if you have trouble with noise like me, take ear plugs. It was Saturday night and there were people on the street partying all night long till 6am. I took use of the gym by this stage. The floor in bathroom very slippery and I went A up ????kinda funny kinda painful. Staff helpful but not so friendly.
I stay in a lot of hotels and generally don’t review them as they tend to be unremarkable. This Radisson Blu is exactly what you would expect of the brand and the location is great for exploring the city and attending a conference at the nearby conference centre.
The highlight of this trip for me has been the hot chocolate in the bar, described by a colleague as “dying going to chocolate heaven!” I certainly won’t argue.
We stayed here 2 nights and really enjoyed it. The breakfast was wonderful, rooms were beautiful and bathrooms were surprisingly large. A short walk to shopping. Service at check in/checkout exceeded expectations.