Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Near Groningen, Netherlands.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Just wandering the Netherlands.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Which hotel in Reykjavik?

We did something a little different for accommodation during our five days in Iceland. We stayed in five different hotels! A different one each night.

CenterHotels operates five different hotels in downtown Reykjavik. If your main consideration is location, you can choose any one of these hotels because they are all located right downtown and within minutes walking distance of each other and all of the downtown restaurants and attractions.

CenterHotels are all right downtown in Reykjavik.

So, as far as location goes, any of these five hotels are absolutely perfect, and one is really no different than the other in that regard. But, there are other considerations you may want to take into account when choosing where to stay in Reykjavik. 

Unfortunately we were only able to stay in four of the five hotels because the CenterHotel Skjaldbreid was sold out during the time we were there. But that's okay because it gave us an opportunity to stay in another popular form of Reykjavik accommodation...a guest house, so we were able to do a more accurate comparison.

So, what things are important to you? We are always on the lookout for value, so first of all lets look at the cost.

I picked a random date...in this case, November 28 and looked at the prices. (Click on the hotel name to visit their website)

CenterHotel Klopp €55 ($68.75)
CenterHotel Skjaldbreid €55 ($68.75)
CenterHotel Plaza €75 ($93.75)
CenterHotel Arnarhvoll €80 ($100.00)
CenterHotel Thingholt €85 ($106.25)
1912 Guesthouse 9,990 ISK ($82.00)

Interesting to note that I checked prices for high season (for example May 2013) and advance booking prices don't change that much for the CenterHotels. Some are a little higher. The price for the 1912 Guesthouse doubles to 19,980 ISK ($164.00) though!

The CenterHotels Klopp and Skjaldbreid are located in older buildings and have smaller rooms than the other three. They also do a more basic breakfast and that's reflected in the pricing as well. But, it's still a good breakfast and you get a start to your day on a full stomach. If price is your number one consideration, Klopp and Skjaldbreid represent fantastic value for a Reykjavik hotel.

The breakfast room at CenterHotel Arnarhvoll

All of these hotels supply breakfast. Restaurant meals are expensive in Reykjavik and you will pay at least $10 per person for breakfast. So consider that it will cost another $20 or so to stay in a place that doesn't supply breakfast. There was no breakfast included with our stay in the guesthouse, but we bought some cereal and milk so that we didn't have an empty stomach when we left. I should also mention that the guesthouse did have a full kitchen that you are welcome to use as well, and that it is shared with all guests.

The breakfast that CenterHotels supplies was a little different at each hotel. We didn't experience breakfast at the Skjaldbreid so can't comment on that but the Klopp didn't have any hot items. We have to admit that we like some eggs and bacon or sausage with breakfast so that's a selling point for us. But even without that Klopp did have enough items to fill our stomachs. Our favorite breakfast? For the food, a tie between Plaza and Thingholt but Thingholt has a better setting. Arnarhvoll was also good, but the lack of fresh orange juice while we were there dropped it down a few points in our book!

Best place for a view? If you get a room at Arnarhvoll facing the water, you have a great view every morning. Or, if you can get a room on the top floor of Klopp, that's pretty nice too! Plaza has a decent view of the plaza (go figure!), but Thingholt and Skjaldbreid don't have any view at all.

So, here's our opinion (click on the name to visit our review of each hotel, including pictures!)...

Best Room Overall: CenterHotel Thingholt
Best Breakfast: CenterHotel Thingholt
Best Value: CenterHotel Klopp
Best Location: CenterHotel Plaza, although all locations are great.

Booze is very expensive in Iceland. But if you feel the need to have a drink, CenterHotel Thingholt has happy hour between 5-7pm where all drinks are two for one. This is a great deal if you're in the mood for a refreshment.

The guesthouse we stayed at was very nice, also right downtown, and we had a nice room. But given a choice we would pick any one of the CenterHotels over this option. Why? Lots of reasons. Shared bathrooms, no breakfast included, no television (if that's important to you). And if you're there in high season, a ridiculous price difference.

Booking and paying in advance will save you 20% at CenterHotels. If your schedule is written in stone, this is a worthwhile choice. These are the prices I have included in this comparison.

Internet access everywhere we stayed was great.


  1. Nice reviews and sounds like you had a great time.

  2. Thanks for the opinion ... one of the CenterHotels will likely be our base of operations when we visit in 2013.

    1. I think you will happy with your choice, just remember to book them well enough in advance to take advantage of the cheaper prices.


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