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
This hotel is very well located in old Reykjavik and from where you can walk to most of the major attractions in the city. The rooms are really spacious and nicely laid out. Beds are extremely comfortable. There is an adequate gym and good wifi.
The accommodation is pricey but then so is everything in Iceland. If visiting, I would certainly stay here again.
It was hard to find the hotel, most probable due to the construction and many streets that were blocked. We were not familiar with the city and streets. We just drove around and kept getting nearer and nearer, until we found the hotel. GPS is wonderful.
The hotel was very close to everything and very convenient to everything. There is no parking so you have to park on the street and pay. It is free after 6pm to 9am. There is no cart to help with your bags so you will need to carry everything up yourself. The hotel was clean and decent and the staff was helpful. It was a bit noisy in the hall way and you can hear all noise on the streets.
We recently stayed at the Radisson Blu 1919 for a week in August. This hotel is very well located near restaurants, the old harbor, sights of interest, bus stops and shopping. Around the corner is the famous Baejarins Beztu Pylsur hot dog stand. Rooms are attractive and comfortable, with thick drapes that effectively shut out the midnight sun this time of year. The breakfast buffet is excellent, with a wide variety of hot and cold choices as well as eggs made to order. Staff was friendly and extremely helpful. Particular thanks to Eyrun, who patiently answered all our questions and made excellent suggestions.
This hotel is located close to the water and is near many restaurants, shops, bars, museums, and other attractions - it's very convenient. Staff was helpful if a bit starchy. Room rates are high, but the location makes the cost more acceptable.