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
- 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
Not a good start to our visit when the receptionist was disinterested in the problem we had getting into our room, twice we had to have the key reprogrammed, the response was , there it should work and someone’s coming up!!!! The towels supplied were threadbare and coarse, to the point of actually coming apart at the seams ( I use better ones to dry my children’s dogs when they visit) on a positive note however the staff in the restaurant were very welcoming and couldn’t do enough to help and there was a good choice of food
We stayed for 3 nights in February. The main selling point for us was the location - everything right on the doorstep. There was street noise during the night on our last night (Friday night) which is when I think the drunken revellers were walking home. Our room was spotless and had everything we needed. The bar had happy hour from 4pm-7pm, which was the only time we used it. Breakfast was great, and filled us up for the day. Would recommend and stay again.
A really nice hotel lived up to our expectations - lovely warm and clean room - great location - downside was the bar- we decided to name the bartender happy Harriet because she was so miserable! If you're not happy at work don't do it!!!!
This hotel was what you would expect from a Radisson, clean, well maintained and well staffed. The best part was the location, right in the heart of the city center, we never had to walk more than two blocks for restaurants, the harbor, and the weekend flea market. The room was very large, the only down check is that there isn't enough closet space to store clothing so we didn't fully unpack. Overall, a great experience and the additional cost for the room over other hotels is worth the convenient location.
Hotel clean , efficient , breakfast of a reasonable standard . Some of the staff very friendly . Reception staff efficient but not interactive . Our biggest gripe about this hotel which we found on line , there is no mention about the horrendous street noise going on until 2.30 am . There was the popular hot dog stand located at the front of the hotel which was open until the early hours , which seemed to attract screaming youths who seemed to have no concept of time , also cars driving round with boom boxes playing full blast music at 2.00 am , as well as the noise from the bars which are also open very late . The sound proofing at the hotel is completely inefficient and you might as well have had your room windows wide open . In short if you like more than 5 hours sleep a night , do not stay here.