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
This hotel was excellent and in a fantastic location and the staff very polite and always willing to assist with any queries. Breakfast excellent. Room great. No need to look elsewhere if we return to Iceland.
I and my husband stayed at this hotel for five nights and I thought it was absolutely perfect. The staff on reception were very helpful to start with.
The room was very nice and had everything we needed. It was cleaned daily to a very high standard.
The location of this hotel is perfect as well if you like nightlife.
I didn’t find anything wrong with this place. Thanks for making my trip great!
This hotel is in a great location right in the heart of the old town close to the museums and galleries and perfectly placed for a good mix of restaurants and shops. It is also close to Bus stop 3 and 4 for tours and the harbour for whale spotting trips.
The hotel is in an old building that has been modernised to a high standard. The reception staff were very friendly and welcoming and were very helpful at answering queries or making phone calls for tour information etc. The room we had was very modern with wooden floors and minimalist furnishings. The beds were very comfortable and I had one of the best sleeps for ages. The bathroom has a great shower and some excellent complimentary toiletries and was very clean.
Breakfast was included and there is a great selection of yoghurts and fruit along with hams and cheeses and hot food including bacon eggs etc if you want it. You can have as much as you like ... although can get very busy. All in all I can recommend this hotel as a great home from home in Reykjavik