[dropcap style=”one” color=”grey” text=”Y” /]ou know the drill. Hotels worldwide often exaggerate a tiny weeny bit about their great location and amenities. This might be understandable in a tough competitive market but it is always the customer left with the short stick after arriving. Once there, there is little point in arguing about some half-truths on the hotel website and spend a hard-earned vacation time arguing over small stuff.
In any case, team Total Iceland, to the rescue. Below you will find the exact location of the larger hotels in Reykjavik Iceland and 100% truthful info on how far it actually from the beating heart of the city. The beating heart in this case? Austurvollur square.[blockquote type=”blockquote_line” align=”right”]Which hotels are exaggerating about their location?[/blockquote]
We have marked in blue the place called downtown by locals. Within those boundaries are most bars, clubs, galleries and shops belonging to the downtown area. It does not mean there is life on every street. Remember, Reykjavik is small.
We rate the best situated hotels in or around Austurvollur with 10/10 but the score lowers the further it is from the heart of Reykjavik. Keep in mind the score only covers location and not service or amenities.
> HILTON REYKJAVIK NORDIC – On its website they advertise closeness to the largest recreational and fitness area of the capital, 5 minutes walk, and a short journey to downtown by a complimentary shuttle.
In reality, you will have to run to reach the Laugardalur fitness area in five minutes from the hotel. Ten minutes walk is closer to the truth. Walking to downtown from here will take you, on average, approximately 20 minutes to Laugavegur shopping street and 30 minutes to the actual heart of the city in Austurvollur. Score: 4/10
> HOTEL REYKJAVIK CENTRUM – Hotel Reykjavik Centrum is a new first class hotel in the heart of the city is says on the website.
Which is very true. Located in Adalstraeti street which is pretty much the heart of the town and roughly one minute walk to Austurvollur square. Score 10/10
> ICELANDAIR HOTEL REYKJAVIK NATURA – Its website declares: Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura is also the perfect location for those who love nature and the outdoors. Located in one of the greenest areas in Reykjavik, you can enjoy access to expansive stretches of biking, running and walking trails and pathways, Reykjavik’s-own Nautholsvik Geothermal beach area, bird-watching, easy access to the famous Perlan and more. To top it off, the buzzing city center is also within easy reach; just a few minutes away by car or bus or approximately 20 minutes by foot. Website.
This renovated Icelandair hotel is far away from downtown Reykjavik in any sense. Located by Reykjavik airport and not far from the Perlan restaurant and viewing platform. But easy access to Perlan is crap. You will have to walk uphill for 20 minutes before reaching Perlan. True, it is close to Reykjavik´s manmade beach, Nautholsvik, but even getting there from the hotel will take you ten minutes on foot. A walk to the city center is a waste of time and takes anywhere from 25 to 50 minutes depending on your rush. Luckily the hotel offers complimentary shuttle to and from the center a few times a day. Score 3/10
> RADISSON BLUE SAGA HOTEL – According to this hotels website it offers prime location near the city centre.
Prime location depends entirely upon the things you´d like to do in Iceland. In the sense that you want to take in the colors of downtown Reykjavik on a fairly regular basis whilst here this is not a prime location at all. Located in the western part of Reykjavik city and whilst a walk downtown will not take too much energy it will take time. Relaxed walk to Austurvollur from this place will take 15 to 20 minutes. However, a number of buses stop right outside the hotel going straight to the city center. Score 7/10
> RADISSON BLUE 1919 – This hotel’s location in the city centre, says on the website, offers guests access to top destinations such as Laugavegur Shopping Street, the Seamans’ Museum and the restaurant and bar district.
Team Total Iceland was not aware of limited access to Laugavegur shopping street or the restaurant and bar district. Calling the typical shopping street a “top destination” is in our opinion an insult to the truly stunning destinations in Iceland. However, this hotel offers top notch location being but one street away from Austurvollur square. Score 10/10
> BEST WESTERN HOTEL REYKJAVIK – This hotel advertises as being centrally situated and minutes walk from the city’s main shopping street and one of its main bus stations. It is within easy reach of the business and financial district.
Raudararstigur street, on which the Best Western is located, is on the edge of downtown as Icelanders usually define it. It is not far from the Laugavegur shopping street but bear in mind that Laugavegur is a pretty long street. To get to Austurvollur on a leisurely walk takes at least 20 minutes from here. But it is close to Hlemmur bus stop from where a number of local buses go straight downtown. Score 6/10.
> GRAND HOTEL REYKJAVIK – A pretty large name for a hotel with pretty mixed reviews. According to its website the hotel is centrally situated in the capital of Iceland. It is a easy travel to all the interesting places in Reykjavik.
This place is a stone´s throw away from Hilton Reykjavik Nordica and thus same things apply here with one difference. This hotel doesn´t offer free shuttles downtown. At least 30 minutes brisk walk to get to Austurvollur from here. Score 4/10.
> PARK INN – They contend on their website this hotel is ideally positioned in the financial district, only three kilometres from the city centre and near attractions like Laugardalur Park and Botanical Garden.
Let us rewind for a bit. There is really no financial district in Reykjavik city and even it it was this would not be it. A tiny bit further away from downtown than Hilton Reykjavik Nordica. Walking is 30 – 40 minutes at least and even 5 minutes to nearest bus stop. This one is pretty outside of things but not so far away from Laugardagur valley which is a nice place. Score 3/10.
> HOTEL KLETTUR – Advertised as a stone´s throw from downtown on its website.
Admittedly a stone would have to be thrown quite a distance to fall anywhere near downtown. This new hotel is a weeny bit outside of our circle of buzzing downtown as can be seen on our map. Close to Hlemmur bus stop and naturally close to Laugavegur street but still 20 minutes away from the real downtown. Score 6/10.
> CITY CENTER HOTEL – Usually hotels make much of their closeness to things but this place does the opposite. On its website you can read this being conveniently located only 4.1km from the centre of Reykjavik. Local tourist attractions such as National Cathedral, Parliament House and City Centre Reykjavik are not far from the hotel. Also easily within reach are Reykjavik Pond, Laugavegur and Reykjavik City Hall.
The guy hired to make the homepage must have been either drunk or never been to Reykjavik city. This place is smack in the middle of downtown. Roughly 50 steps or so from Austurvollur square. Score 10/10.
> HOTEL HOLT – There was a time when this place was the hotel to be seen in by Reykjavik´s elites. The website promises a quaint first class hotel, situated on a quiet street, within 5 minutes walking distance from the heart of Reykjavik.
Spot on. No exaggerations here. It is located in Bergstadastraeti street which is about five minutes from Laugavegur shopping street. To Austurvollur from here will take ten minutes. Score 8/10.
> 101 HOTEL – The very posh 101 design hotel makes no secret that is it located in the heart of Reykjavik on its website.
The Total Iceland team can verify this. The hotel is located in Hverfisgata street which is the next one to Laugavegur street. Five minutes walking time to Austurvollur. Score 9/10.
> CENTER HOTEL THINGHOLT – Located next to Reykjavik´s main shopping street says on the website of this hotel.
True enough. Pretty good location and a wee bit away should noise bother you. Three, four minutes to Laugavegur and ten minutes to Austurvollur square. Score. 8/10.
> HOTEL BORG – The Hotel Borg is located in the center of Reykjavik as it goes on the official website.
Well, we can find no fault with this description. The hotel is located on Austurvollur itself. Score 10/10.
> HOTEL BJORK – If the web is to be believed this is the place if you are looking for a centrally located hotel and would still prefer peace and privacy.
Team Total Iceland doesn´t really like the name of this place in Brautarholt street. Clearly intended to cash in on the fame of the singer Bjork. As for the location it is further away than you would like if nightlife and likely to stagger home after a nite out. Close to Hotel Klettur and not far from Hlemmur bus stop but not really inside the ring of happening as we see it. Score 6/10.
>FOSSHOTEL BARON – These guys cut all the corners. The central location of Fosshotel Baron is superb, a few meters from Reykjavik’s shopping street and next to the seashore, a short walk from Reykjavik’s harbour according to the hotel´s website.
Superb is an overstatement if there ever was one. Indeed it is a few minutes from Laugavegur but a short walk to Reykjavik harbor is incorrect. Leisurely walk from Baronsstig street to the harbor will take most of 20 minutes. Since the harbor is close to downtown area make it close to twenty to Austurvollur square. Score 7/10.
> HOTEL FRON – Welome to a friendly and a modern environment at Hotel Fron in the center of Reykjavik are the first things you see on their website.
Indeed, this place is pretty central downtownwise. One of a handful of accomodations located on the one and only Laugavegur street. Score 9/10.
> ICELANDAIR HOTEL MARINA REYKJAVIK – This brand new place promotes itself being located in downtown Reykjavik next to the dry dock.
Fair enough. It is pretty central although a walk to Austurvollur squre is roughly ten minutes away. Laugavegur shopping street is a good 15 minutes. Score 8/10.
> HOTEL ODINSVE – Yet another hotel “in the heart of Reykjavik” as seen on their website.
This place is well placed indeed but still some distance from Austurvollur and a few minutes away from Laugavegur shopping street as well. However, it is located in a quiet street if that is your thing. Score. 8/10.
> CENTERHOTEL SKJALDBREID – Stay in the heart of Reykjavik is the motto of this hotel.
And so it is. Another fine hotel in a nice building and basically situated in Laugavegur street. Five minutes by foot to Austurvollur square. Bars nearby may cause sleeplessness. Score 9/10.
> HOTEL LEIFUR EIRIKSSON – Hotel Leifur Eiríksson is set in a old respectable house right in the center of Reykjavík it would seem from the website.
Alas no. It´s very well situated right in front of the majestic Hallgrimskirkja, church of Hallgrim, but as for being in the center of Reykjavik part is total bullshit. To reach Laugavegur shopping street you need five minutes and for Austurvollur ten to fifteen minutes is more like it in reality. Score. 8/10.
> CENTERHOTEL ARNARHVOLL – And yet another hotel boasting the fine motto of being “in the center of Reykjavik.”
Yes and no. It is centrally located but a bit away from the hustle and bustle. Only two minutes to Laugavegur but close to ten minutes to Austurvollur square. Score 9/10.
> CENTERHOTEL PLAZA – Imagine!!! Another one making the “heart of Reykjavik” its calling card.
And well they may. This place is rock solid central before the Ingolfstorg square and less than two minutes to Austurvollur. Score 10/10.
> HOTEL CABIN – Humbleness is a virtue. This hotel only prides itself on being “within” easy reach of Reykjavík’s city centre.
If there is one hotel really in the financial district of Reykjavik this is it. But keep in mind the financial enterprises here consist of four or five local banks. Hotel Cabin is really not close to downtown but rather close to Grand Hotel Reykjavik and Hilton Reykjavik Nordica. 30 minutes to Austurvollur and 20 to Laugavegur but buses stop outside of the hotel making the trip downtown rather quicker. Score 5/10.
> CENTERHOTEL KLOPP – Klopp hotel is right in Reykjavik´s city centre if judging from the website.
Smack on the corner of Klapparstigur street and Hverfisgata street this really i central. Few steps from Laugavegur shopping but a weeny bit longer to Austurvollur. Not too bad at all. Score 8/10.
> FOSSHOTEL LIND – Fosshotel Lind is located at Raudararstigur 18, next to the city bus terminal at Hlemmur in the city center says its website.
Well, well, well. Close to downtown sure but still some ways to go for all those staying. A few steps from Hlemmur bus terminal indeed but as for Austurvollur square add some twenty minutes minimum. Score 7/10.
> 4TH FLOOR HOTEL – Simple and elegant: located downtown Reykjavik is all this website wrote.
Truth be told this place is close but no cigar. Like Fosshotel Lind very close to Hlemmur bus terminal but there is a long way to go downtown. Long as in 20 minutes by foot to Austurvollur square. Score 7/10.
> ARCTIC COMFORT HOTEL – This simple place implies it is close to Kringlan shopping mall and Laugardalur outdoor mecca.
The reality is that this is far away from civilization in downtown Reykjavik. Approximately 40 to 50 minutes on foot but luckily some bus stops are close by. And it is cheaper than many worse places. Score 3/10.
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