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“Mixed Review”

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House of the Spirits
Ranked #45 of 108 Reykjavik B&B and Inns
Reviewed 11 December 2012

Just returned from a 5 day stay at House of the Spirits. As others have said, location is fantastic! Tourist Information is around the corner; Icelandic Fish & Chips 2 blocks away; easy access to buses. We had a studio (green walls) which was large and generous for the price. The twin beds that had been promised were not there so we had to share a bed. (Not great) Beds were good; linens and towels were wonderful. Kitchen was handy and helped keep costs down; food in the refrig. Building is still in various states of renovation and needs dedicated attention.

Our flight was delayed for many hours by a blizzard that closed Arlanda Airport. Gunner had kept track of the flight and alerted Florent that we'd be very late. Florent was wonderful when we arrived. Very nice caring. But - we had only one key to the room which we accidently left in the room. Florent was amazing in his ability to problem-solve once he got back to the building. (We had no contact information for him - no phone #, etc.)

However - Gunnar wasn't there!!! He was in Paris. The promised service, advice, and assistance on the website didn't happen. We were most disappointed with the disparity between what the website says and what we experienced. Gunnar has gems in a great location. He needs to be much more service-oriented, finish the renovations and repairs, and be attentive to his guests.

I might stay there again but only with assurance that Gunnar will be there and the services will be available.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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4  Thank DownEastWeaver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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73 - 79 of 166 reviews

Reviewed 8 December 2012

We stayed at The House of Spirits from the 2nd December for 4 nights, location of the house was excellent 5 minutes walk to main bars/ restaurants.

The room was really nice and warm with a kitchen area with

Free wifi.

We didnt get to meet the owner but we were in touch with Flroent his assistant and Gunnar was available by email.

The price for the studio was very reasonable and we would stay here again in the future.

It was that nice we didnt want to leave.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank thrahtobe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2012

My friend and I just returned to NYC from Reykjavik. We stayed at the House of the spirits for 7 days and we loved it. The location of this guesthouse could not be better, it is a rather quiet street as some people have mentioned but it's very close to all the touristy attractions and only a short walk to Laugavegur and all the popular streets in downtown Reykjavik.

We rented a small studio on the second floor which had 2 beds, a little breakfast/lunch/dinner table, an electric stove, microwave, coffee maker, french press, electric water boiler and a little refrigerator. We had everything we needed to cook if we wanted to (which we did). Reykjavik is not cheap, the food cost the same you would pay in NYC and clothing and knick knacks are super expensive so being able to prepare food at the guesthouse allowed us to stay on budget.

We didn't get to meet the owner but we were in touch with Florent, the owner's assistant, who was very nice and helpful. He brought us clean towels, toilet paper (which we seemed to use a lot for some reason) and a broom since my friend and I tried to keep the place as tidy as possible.

The price that we paid for this studio was hard to believe, in a very good way!

We did not hear that much noise at night, but then again we are from NYC so it really depends on where you come from. I slept super comfortable every night, almost like I do at home.

Please be advised that the water in Reykjavik smells like sulfur (or rotten eggs) but this is normal (mineral water) and after a few days you begin to notice this less and less.

Overall, wonderful experience! I would like to bring my parents to Iceland one day and who knows maybe we will stay at this guesthouse again :)

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank vivisita77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2012

First I'll just say that I think we would have had a better experience if there had not been so much renovating going on while we were there in August. There was a lot of noise coming from outside and upstairs of construction work. We also had a difficult time tracking down Gunnar, but I think he was busy with the renovations and such. The location and price however, are great. Our studio apt was simple, but nice. The bed was comfortable, but the non carpeted floor was very cold on our feet. TV didn't work. Bathroom was tiny, but clean. Kitchen was very useful for making breakfast.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank nyckirsten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2012

I want to start by saying that the location and price were amazing. As others have said, it is located in the heart of a great section of town. It was so easy walking everywhere! It was also nice that it was off the main street which helped keep out street noise.

Unfortunately, the street noise wasn't really the issue...it was the people above us. We were on the first floor in the tiny studio and we could hear EVERYTHING happening above us. People talking on the phone, people playing instruments at 11pm, people opening and closing doors, people breathing...the walls and ceilings were so thin. Anytime anyone went up or down the stairs it was incredibly loud. I actually didn't get any sleep while staying here which was unfortunate. Gunnar was away while we were there, so I'm not sure if people tend to be more quiet when he is around...although I feel like they weren't purposefully being loud, I think that the walls are just that thin.

It was all very small, but we really weren't looking for anything fancy, just someplace clean and quiet. There really was nothing quiet about this place. I also felt like the room had been thrown together. The kitchen sink faucet was totally loose, which we ended up fixing ourselves, the bathroom light was burnt out, the hall light was burnt out, the pendant lamp hanging over the bed was not hanging flush against the ceiling because of all the wires jammed up inside it which were all now hanging exposed, and the threshold going from the hall to the bedroom was falling apart which made it a tripping hazard.

Again, for this price I really wasn't expecting that much, but I was still disappointed by this place.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Annex1010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2012

My wife and I stayed in the Blue house at 1 Ranargata. On the first leg of our trip, we had a 2nd floor room, and on the last leg of our trip, we stayed in the 3rd floor room. Both were nicely furnished, clean, and offered big windows that looked out to the back and neighboring gardens. It amazed me that a shower could be squeezed into the small bathroom--it shows how we Americans under-utilize space. We fully utilized the kitchen for making breakfast and sometimes lunch and dinner, which made us feel more at home and as eating out all the time in Reykjavik can be quite pricey. Cooking utensils, a refrigerator, a stove, a coffee maker, some food and condiments, and a small dining table were available for us to use. The walk to the Bonus or Kronan Supermarket (Kronan being bigger and offers more choices) is only a 15 min. walk along the waterfront. The location of House of Spirits is very convenient to the heart of downtown and the waterfront. The house is situated on a residential block where other guesthouses and hotels can also be found. All the airport shuttles drop off and pick up from the Metropolitan Hotel which is literally a few houses away across the street, so this proved very convenient. The only downside is that, depending on what other guests are staying at the guesthouse, the noise from doors slamming shut can be annoying in the whee hours of the night. The proprietor and his associate were very helpful in all matters.

Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
1  Thank hemway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2012

We booked a room here for 8 days based on the overwhelmingly excellent reviews but were disappointed. I will admit that perhaps we didn't understand the concept of a "guest house" in Europe. We expected more of a charming B&B type place and it definitely was not that. We are accustomed to staying in quaint B&Bs, small hotels, etc. and while we don't demand luxurious accomodations, we don't expect to feel as if we are staying in a hostel either, which is kind of how this was. I will say the location is excellent - mostly quiet street, but only a very short walk to the city center. Our room was street level, so when people did walk by or vehicles drove by, the sound seemed amplified. Planes also flew over several times a day. Even though Gunnar was very nice when we saw him and he DID keep the fridge well stocked, he was running around most of the time doing renovations on the property so we saw him a total of about 15 minutes in 8 days.

The property is undergoing renovations, so there was a lot of debris, litter, etc. everywhere which did not add to the experience. Our room was spartan with nothing on the walls, a mattress and boxpsring on a frame (no real bed) and an old linoleum floor. On the plus side, the room did have a lot of light. Gunnar had assured us that this was one of his "nicest" studios. We were supposed to have a TV, did not. Asked for and did receive one, but it didn't actually get TV, you could only play DVDs. Gunnar gave us some DVDs to watch, half of the boxes were emtpy.

As several others have mentioned, there was NO service whatsoever during our 8 day stay. We had to ask twice what to do with the overflowing trash and by day 8, I was getting grossed out by both the room and the dirtly towels/sheets. I guess if we had asked, he would have given us fresh linens, but again, we could never find him and should we have to ask??

The bathroom was absolutely a renovated closet. My husband, who is NOT a large man, could barely fit in the shower and every time we showered it was impossible not to flood the entire bathroom. Same with the tiny sink - every time you used it, water splashed all over the floor. All of our shower items (soap, shampoo, etc) had to remain on the sink since there was nowhere actually IN the shower to put them.

If you truly are going for budget accomodations and are staying only a day or two, this may be OK. However, if you expect any standard of functionality and are accustomed to even mediocre hotels, I wouldn't recommend staying here. I guess our lesson learned is you truly do get what you pay for.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank fearnotravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about House of the Spirits

Address: Gardastraeti 8, Reykjavik 101, Iceland
Phone Number:
Region: Iceland > Capital Region > Reykjavik
Hotel Style:
Ranked #45 of 108 B&Bs / Inns in Reykjavik
Price Range: £106 - £155 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We offer elegant studio-apartments and bigger apartments for reasonable price in the centre of downtown Reykjavik. We also offer excursions with a private driver-guide, in a private vehicle. ... more   less 
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House Of The Spirits Hotel

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