Hard to believe, but there are more hotels from my trip to Iceland. We had a whirlwind tour of hotels on a rainy Thursday, February 2, 2012 in beautiful Reykjavik. Despite the rain, we made our way to several hotels and as a result, I can relay to you information about some of these accommodations in Reykjavik.
Unlike other cities in the world, I bet most people you talk to can’t say they’ve been to Iceland and so you might feel concerned about relying solely on online “unbiased reviews.” However, if you’ve been reading my blog then you know that I say what I mean and I don’t hold back. I’ve noticed that there are plenty of people who like traveling abroad and staying in large chain hotels. Personally, I enjoy locating a hotel in the heart of everything that gives me a true feel of where I’m visiting rather than an sanitized and watered down version in a chain hotel. I don’t want to lay down at night and wake up wondering what city I’m in because the room looks the same in Miami, France, Norway, or Iceland. But once again to each his own. When I heard we would be looking at a Radisson hotel, I was concerned about looking at yet another cookie cutter chain hotel, but I was quickly set straight once I stepped inside the hotel.
The Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel is located in central Reykjavik, Iceland. A four-star lifestyle hotel, it is an ideal accommodation for all types of travelers, and is situated only 47 kilometres from the Keflavik International Airport. The Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel offers “a perfect blend of historic architecture and modern interior.” Considered a contemporary hotel, it is housed in the former home to the offices of the first major shipping line in Iceland, the Eimskipafélag Íslands. The hotel lobby is sparsely decorated with contemporary pieces and there is ample ambient lighting behind curtains. The front desk is easily accessed upon entry into the lobby and the hotel elevators are close by.
The Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel has 88 hotel rooms in various types available, including standard, deluxe, business, junior suite, suite, and accessible rooms. You’ll immediately notice the modern furnishings and modern amenities, including free high-speed, wireless Internet access, and mini bar, among other things. The larger rooms and suites can accommodate more than two people, which is nice if your traveling with your family and want everyone in one room. They also have two rooms for families with one entrance and separate rooms, which would be great if you were traveling with friends or family.
I appreciated the attention to detail that has been taken in the Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel from the beautiful hardwood floors to the original crown molding to the original ceiling designs that they left intact from the original building. Somehow they were able to find a way to mesh their idea of contemporary styling into a historic building. They worked within the structure and details instead of fighting against it. By doing so, the overall feel of the hotel is relaxed, comfortable, and inviting instead of forced or artificial and I really liked that.
An example of this dedication to preserving the original character of the building can be seen in the care and attention to the hotel’s central staircase. This photo doesn’t do it any justice, but this 5-story marble staircase is original to the building and absolutely beautiful.
The hotel does have one restaurant and one lounge, each appropriately called the “1919 Restaurant” and the “1919 Lounge.” From the hotel’s website regarding the “1919 Restaurant”:
This Reykjavik restaurant’s menu provides a variety of exclusive international flavours, blended with the best raw, local produce. Simplicity and respect for local ingredients brings the menu alive and keeps it seasonal; making it easy to rotate specials throughout the year while keeping the “classics” as permanent headliners. Specialties include Arctic char over catfish cheeks with puréed potatoes, smoked puffin meat with blueberry sauce and Icelandic mountain lamb.
I love that they source local produce and design their menu around it to serve in what otherwise could a more traditional and perhaps mediocre hotel restaurant. They certainly rose to the occasion and as a result, they have a restaurant where you wouldn’t mind enjoying a meal or two during your stay in Reykjavik.
Who would I recommend to stay at the Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel? I could definitely see business travelers, couples, and families staying here. Room rates vary depending on room size, dates of travel, how long you’ll be staying, and if you take advantage of any special rates, including advanced purchase rates. As a result, I did see a range of room rates from as low as 123 EUR to 343 EUR. Plan ahead if you can to take advantage of the best rates and to book the best rooms possible.
Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel, Reykjavik
Tel: +354 599 1000
Fax: +354 599 1001