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 was our third stay at this hotel in 5 years. Pre cruise visit. Hotel’s best asset is its location. Right in the center of town with most attractions within walking.
Rooms were comfortable and price if booked in advance was reasonable. Staff was friendly. Only negative was restaurant. Expensive with mediocre food.
We did breakfast elsewhere (some good and some bad).
Highly recommend this hotel. Superbly centered in the middle of the city, I could walk with ease to all of the venues I wished to see. Marvelously pleasant folks in the hotel who clearly enjoy their job because it shows in their treatment of their guests. Felt incredibly safe as a solo female traveler. Great problem solvers....figured out the problem with my travel adapter and lent me a temporary one for my stay. Truly magnificent breakfast...the best I have ever had.
The cruise line booked this hotel at the end of our luxury cruise. We tried to check in early but could not which is understandable but they could not even estimate when a time when a room would be ready. The lobby was filthy. Had not been dusted in who knows how long. Sofas tattered. The lobby staff was terrible. We had to use the bathroom and the common ones all were closed with signs saying see the reception. When we did she said she had no idea and offered nothing to help. The only good thing is she did tell us where another hotel was close by and we went there we were received by a great reception staff got a room. Go to Hotel Borg not this place. On top if it all the day this all happened was my birthday.
We stayed at this venue for two nights (Thursday and Friday) and found most aspects satisfactory, with the location being a feature.
Our room was spacious, clean and well appointed. The bed and pillows were comfortable and the split Donna suited us.
The bathroom was quite large and modern but had a step in bath/shower arrangement. Even with a hand rail we found access a little difficult due to the deepness of the bath.
The big negative for us was the night noise from the street on both nights, especially on Friday night, when revellers partied loudly from 1am to 4am. Whilst we were on the 4th flour the noise was quite loud and stationary , seemingly under our window, for long periods.
We found the standard of service as very good with reception and dining staff pleasant , welcoming and helpful. Thank you.
We enjoyed dinner in the hotel restaurant on one night and our visit is reviewed separately.
The breakfast ,we found , was only average with basic and limited choices for both the hot buffet and fruit selections.The fruit preparation was disappointing with a cut your own peel off approach? We did not use the egg/specials cooking station.
For convenience, this hotel is worthy of consideration.
This hotel is right downtown Reykjavik and walking distance to many wonderful restaurants and shops. Rooms are clean, not too small and beds are comfortable. I knew we did not need a car during our stay but asked for assistance for airport transportation. Hukur, our driver who the hotel connected us with was wonderful. He was on time (maximum of 4 passengers) and the price was the same or less than the airport direct bus. I just emailed a question to the front desk referencing my confirmation number and they made all the arrangements for me.