Radisson Blu 1919 Reykjavik: VIP Treatment

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The Radisson Blu 1919 Reykjavik Iceland Hotel Review is part of the Whose Land? Iceland Trip Report which covers the following cities:

Here is the Picture Preview.


Getting There: Rent a car. Taxis are absurd and you will need a car to see the sites. You can return it within the city. 


We arrived at the Radisson Blu 1919 around 7AM and were not surprised that we could not check-in. I was also not surprised that Club Carlson Gold members do not get free breakfast, a brash assumption that I made in Tahiti. Sleep deprived and confused by our surroundings, we made the wise decision to delay the Golden Circle drive till the next day. After the hotel made Blue Lagoon reservations for us, we set off to find some breakfast.

The Location 

The Radisson Blu 1919 has the best location in Reykjavik. Let me detail why in order of importance:

  • It’s right next to the hot dog shop.
  • It’s one street away from bars.
  • It’s a few minutes away walking from the harbor.
  • It has the best breakfast restaurant.
Hot dogs
Hot dogs
In the center of it all
In the center of it all
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Delicious food is at the harbor

The Breakfast 

TPOL paid for breakfast! And this time it was delicious. For around $20, this is one of the best hotel breakfasts I have ever had. It’s very hard to describe the spread without having to take a break from writing to go get a snack. The highlights were the omelette, the salmon, and TPOL’s favorite, the croissant. Even the baby muffins were delightful.

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1919 Breakfast Buffet
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1919 Breakfast Buffet
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Awesome
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Breads
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Juice bar
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Morning Mary
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Salmon
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Omelette

The Front Desk 

Since I stayed at the 1919 for four nights and was up at all hours, I became familiar with everyone that worked at the hotel. They were very helpful and willing to assist in any way. This included doing research on golf courses, on tour companies, and providing recommendations for where to eat. The best service the hotel provided was allowing us to check-in at 10AM so we could try to get some sleep. The second was when they personally came to our room to wake us up for the Glacier Lagoon tour after we ignored our 7AM wake up call. The third was supplying us with endless Nespresso capsules to keep our Iceland binge on track.

The Hotel Itself 

The hotel is weird. It’s dark and quiet with crazy sculptures of guys on the wall. Even though it was mostly sold out, I barely ever saw another guest.

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Radisson 1919
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Radisson 1919
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Note the balcony
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Radisson 1919
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The entrance to the strangest lobby
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The exit from the strangest lobby
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These guys
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These guys
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These guys
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Particular favorite

The Room 

I would be lying if I said the room was a disappointment. I fully expected the typical Club Carlson prototypical tin box. We were upgraded to a business class room which was bigger than the average room and to my surprise had a huge balcony, the only one in the hotel. The view from the balcony became an ongoing joke as the view never changed, day or night.

The problem with the room was the two hospital beds that were not comfortable and too tiny for a grown boy like myself to sleep in. The other problem was the torture of either drawing the shades for a dark room and roasting in the heat (for obvious reasons hotels in Iceland don’t have AC) or opening the curtain and allowing the cool breeze to come in along with perpetual blinding brightness. We settled for a mixture of the two depending on our threshold for pain.

Other than that the room was fine. Sill, I could never rationalize paying $400-$500 a night for an uncomfortable bed and a room that was so basic. I attribute the cost of the hotel to the location and the service.

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Hospital beds
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Hospital robes
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Unlimited espresso
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Tiny TV
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Unused minibar
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Gold amenity gift

The Bathroom 

The water pressure was good and the soaps were basic. I’d like to caution the disoriented or elderly when getting in and out of the shower as you have to step about a foot off of the ground to access it.

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Basic soap
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Basic bathroom
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Dangerous shower

Parking 

For those that rent a car, know that the hotel doesn’t provide parking. There are parking spots outside of the hotel that go off of a meter. Figuring out how to use the meter was a bit tricky initially.

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What?
Reykjavik Iceland Hotel Review
Spark parked safely below

Overall

This is a great hotel. I doubt I will stay here again post Club Carlson devaluation but I am glad that I used my 2*1 nights for a memorable, sleep-deprived Icelandic experience.

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. I stayed in the same Radisson Blu 1919 hotel two weeks ago, taking advantage of the (since discontinued) last-night-free benefit..

    My room was on the second floor (one floor above ground floor) and was very comfortable. The location is excellent, right downtown. Some have complained about lots of street noise, but that did not occur during my 2-night stay.

    I ate at the nearby hot dog stand, trying to avoid thinking what the hot dog ingredients might be…Icelanders eat a variety of meats that are not commonly in the American diet.

    The hotel has no parking garage, so you have to park on the street. Some zones are marked type 1 and some type 2…the latter are a couple of blocks from the hotel and are less expensive. Parking is enforced from 9 AM to 6 PM.

    Iceland has some beautiful scenery, and WOW’s $99 o/w fares make it easy to visit.

  2. I stayed in the same room as you last month. I had booked it as a premium award, because I was otherwise not guaranteed of getting two rooms. Of course, breakfast was included in the premium award, and I agree with you: it was the best hotel breakfast buffet that I’ve ever had. Folks, even if you’re staying somewhere else, go to the 1919 for breakfast.

    I wasn’t impressed with the decor, but like you, I got great service. I also thought that the room was blah, and the white desk chair needed cleaning. I was really disappointed in the parking, because the hotel promised free parking when I booked it (front desk told me that they had only recently lost their parking spots).

    Overall, I preferred the Saga Hotel, the other Radisson Blu property in Reykjavik. It had a larger room than that premium room we stayed in, it had better decor and nicer beds, and it had free parking. It’s definitely less convenient to stuff around the harbor, and its location also fails to provide the ability to bar hop and walk back to your room, but I’d otherwise recommend it over the 1919 to anyone who is renting a car.

  3. I was at the Saga for 12 hours and the bed was way better. I felt out of the mix but it was Sunday night so it didn’t matter too much. That review is coming up next.

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