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“Excellent Hotel, Adds to Iceland Experience”
Review of Hotel Holt

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Hotel Holt
Ranked #10 of 54 Hotels in Reykjavik
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 October 2012

We decided to stay at Hotel Holt during a small vacation in Iceland this month. The hotel was known to the transportation companies and made it easy to transfer there after our red eye flight. This is not a "five star" hotel of what one would typically a hotel of that caliber; it was not posh or overly decorated with marble floors, etc. It was however, a great boutique hotel to immerse ourselves in Icelandic culture. The lobby was somewhat Gothic decorated but very nice feeling- very cozy. The service was excellent, the front desk person took a good amount of time to assist us with our endless questions. Furthermore, the breakfast- while somewhat expensive- is well worth it-- outstanding!! Small items of note: There is no iron which is typical for European hotels. The physical layout of the room: Highly spacious and comfortable with a very comfortable,large bed. We highly recommend this hotel during your stay in beautiful country of Iceland.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jandr022
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 October 2012

The Hotel Holt is a destination in itself in the charming city of Reykjavik. It houses the largest private art collection in Iceland and many of the works are first rate. It has a bar that looks like a private London club, complete with cozily crowded leather armchairs, and framed charcoal drawings by important Icelandic artist Jóhannes Kjarval.

Its restaurant, Galleries, is a jewel in the crown of Icelandic cuisine. The food is fresh, the dishes are deftly and imaginatively conceived and prepared---and beautifully presented. (The lobster soup with marinated langoustine and roasted chocolate cream is world-class memorable.)

The views from the top-floor rooms across the city are magical at any hour.

Breakfast is served buffet style with delicious homemade bread (Icelandic bread is sinfully good), hard and soft-boiled eggs, cheeses and patés, wonderful jams and sauces, muselis and yogurt, surprisingly good fruit salad, scrambled eggs and bacon, pastries, fruit juice, and quite good coffee. With such a spread, we ate something different and equally delicious the days we were there.

My husband and I spent three nights at Hotel Holt, bookending our 8-day trip to Iceland. We couldn’t have been happier. The location is perfect...a few blocks from the busiest downtown streets, so you get quiet nights, but very much close enough to reach the center by foot in five minutes!

The staff is friendly and helpful. We were especially impressed with the hotel’s manager Snorri Valsson, whose energy and warmth keep the hotel from being the least bit pretentious or museum-like. (With such furnishings and artwork, it easily could be both.) The hotel has an active Facebook presence, thanks to Snorri, and this gives potential guests a fantastic idea of what the hotel is like and beyond that, the city itself. I noticed today a post about Reykjavik’s festive, firework-filled New Year’s Eve celebration and so wished I could be there!

If what you’re after in lodgings is the sameness and blandness of giant chain hotels, with their constantly refurbished wall-to-wall carpeting and bedroom furniture, you might want to look elsewhere. This hotel is beautifully kept, but it has been owned by one family from its beginning in 1965 to today, not by corporate owners with unlimited funds to buy, for example, bedside tables in volume. My husband and I were more than happy with the bedrooms and bathrooms, both of which were super clean and comfortable.

We were, as you can probably tell, completely enchanted by Hotel Holt and can’t wait to get back.

Room Tip: If you can swing it, book a room on the top floor, facing the city. The views are spectacular.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Vivianite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2012

Stayed here for our honeymoon in Iceland. Great hotel for a great price. The old time locks (no keycard) and elevator (you had to open the door manually) really added a nice feeling to the place. While it did have an air of regal, it wasn't snooty or run-down as some "old feeling" hotels are.

The staff were great and get an A+ in my book. Not speaking Icelandic was fine everywhere, but it did make it much easier to communicate if you knew it, so having the front desk make reservations and take messages for us was a real time saver. They also followed up with all reservations to make sure all went as smooth as possible; impeccable service.

The food at the hotel is pricey, as with all of Iceland. We passed up the formal (and expensive) dinner but we did have a continental breakfast ($20-$30 per person) and snuck a few things for lunch... but down the road 5 min walking is a great, cheap bakery that many of the locals eat at. It opens at 8 or 9 though, so if your an early bird, you'll have to wait.

Finally, the piece de resistance; the location was PERFECT. 5 minutes to the main street (old part of city), 10 minutes to downtown (new part of city), 15 minutes to Harpa... all walking. It was a bit cold in June, but we did it no problem. And the bit of distance from the main areas really affords a nice, relaxing, quiet nights (18 hrs of daylight in June) sleep.

Traveled: 8 days in June 2012

Room Tip: The higher up the better! Only 4 floors (I think) anyway.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Nick F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2012

Both the reviews below and recommendations in travel guides led me to this hotel. I am sorry to say that the experience was a bit of a turn-off.

The staff had the kindness to offer me a room in front of the elevator and right above the hotel entrance. Visitors of the hotel's acclaimed restaurant were smoking outside under the window and talking/shouting in loud voices until very late at night on the 3 days I stayed there.

The rooms are in need of a make-over (and could have been cleaned better): there is a serious clash between the comfortable and luxurious gentlemen's club atmosphere in the bar and lobby, and the soulless pale rooms where the 1980s are still there to stay.

Breakfast was, as noted by other contributors, not what you would expect from a 4-star property.

I would not return here, given the other choices in Reykjavik for comparable prices.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled on business
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2  Thank wimbrussel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2012

Amazing hotel with an incredible restaurant, this is a must stay in Reykjavik. With only two days in Iceland I decided to spend one in the Capital-area. This hotel is centrally located with great rooms and a wonderfull art collection

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Ebil2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2012

We had three days in this lovely, old fashioned hotel which is more like staying in an art gallery as there is a huge range of art is displayed on all the (mainly dark wood panel) walls. Do not be put off by the rather characterless exterior.

Our room, 220, was spacious with wide beds, night tables, armchair, desk with chair, flat screen TV, and coffee/tea making ingredients. The bathroom (shower only) was spacious with nice amenities and hair dryer. Bathrobes were in the cupboard as was the safe. There was much hanging and storage space. There was also free wifi. A nice touch was the free ticket to the Hallgrímskirkja Church Tower.

Buffet breakfast was served from 06:00-10:00. It included cereals, skry, cold cuts, cheese, boiled and scrambled eggs, breads and pastries, juice and coffee/tea. The offering was not very inspiring however, it was fresh and tasty.

The staff are friendly and give excellent route information for getting in and out of Reykjavik. We followed the web site directions on arrival and had no problems. We always found parking in the hotel's parking lot.

Highly recommend as an alternative to the chain hotels: this one is very different (in a good way), has decent sized rooms, and is in a convenient, quiet location.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank yns_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2012

The Holt Hotel is a chic little hotel located on a residential street in Reykjavik. It boasts an impressive art collection, a very good if expensive restaurant and very friendly staff. As most places in Iceland it has good wi-fi access throughout the hotel with good signal even in the slightly small rooms. The bathrooms are adequate, if small and offer single use portions of bio-friendly cosmetics. The Beds are good and clean, the showers are, for some reason that I can't fully comprehend, perfect and the service is impeccable.
My only gripes with the Holt are the breakfast and the checkout bill. The breakfast food was not extremely varied, offering a limited selection that never changed. I really think that the Holt could have done a lot better than your typical british hotel 'continental' breakfast. THe tablecloths were also a bit worse for wear, and most of them had small rips, even in the very expensive Gallery restaurant. The checkout bill was a bit more of a problem as, at the end of the stay we found out that our party of five had been billed for every single breakfast (despite having booked the rooms with breakfast included), billed separately for food and drinks in the restaurant and that our bill added up to around 3500$ not including the price of the hotel stay. Only after a talk with the manager and the producing of our reservation voucher which, fortunately, included the words "breakfast included" did we manage to reduce the charges.

All in all the Holt is a very nice place to stay but watch out for the small print.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank tsavatar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Valsson, General Manager at Hotel Holt, responded to this reviewResponded 19 September 2012

Thank you for your review and I appreciate all the nice things you had to say about our hotel.

I do take offense with the headline. I think anyone reading this can see from our communication that we are not looking to make money on small print. In your case, your travel agent booked your stay without breakfast and we were not informed that you had been charged for breakfast by them. When you pointed this out, it was duly corrected. We are fully aware that you do not get anywhere in this business by trying to get away with dishonesty and that would never be our goal.

In regards to the breakfast, we have done big improvements of it this summer but you are right, it is nothing like a beautiful varied buffet breakfast you might find somewhere in the US or Asia. We have compared us with the best hotels in Iceland and Scandinavia and found ourselves to be at least on par with them. Everything is more expensive in this part of the world and we have found our guests are not prepared to pay more for the extra bells and whistle that an omellette bar would bring for example.

In addition, never changing breakfast is something most people appreciate. Usually, most of our guests want the same items for breakfast every day so swapping a muffin in for a croissant for example, would prove unpopular I´m sure. But given your comment, I will pose this question to our Facebook community and see if this is something we´re wrong about.

But we value your comments and will continue to strive for improvements in all aspects. We definitely need to make sure travel agencies are selling you what they are buying from us.....or you can book directly. That is always best :).

Warm regards,
Snorri

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Holt

Address: Bergstadastraeti 37, Reykjavik 101, Iceland
Phone Number:
Region: Iceland > Capital Region > Reykjavik
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Reykjavik
#5 Romantic Hotel in Reykjavik
#6 Luxury Hotel in Reykjavik
Price Range: £172 - £430 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Holt 4*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Holt is an intimate 42 room 4 star hotel on a quiet street in central Reykjavik with an emphasis on superior service and satisfaction for our guests. Hotel Holt houses Iceland's largest privately owned art collection as well as the country's premier fine dining restaurant with affordable prices. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holt Hotel Reykjavík

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