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“Very Close to Perfection”

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Castle House Luxury Apartments
Ranked #1 of 108 Reykjavik B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 28 June 2008

After spending two weeks on, and off, the ring road around Iceland, I had but two nights for Reykjavik. I had done my homework, much of it on Trip Advisor, before leaving Oregon and booked The Castle House and Embassy Luxury Apartments largely based on the reviews posted by previous travelers. I simply could not have been happier with the result.
I had the smallest apartment. It was a studio on the ground floor in back and had everything I required and more: one of the most comfortable beds I found in Iceland, a more than fully equipped kitchen, excellent television. (There was even a small, unobtrusive electronic gadget that discreetly released a slight scent, presumably to dispense with any cooking smells. This is a studio apartment after all.)
Heida and the staff were warm, friendly, and did an immaculate job of maintaining my apartment.
The location is impossible to beat, a quiet residential area, steps (about five from my front door) to the National Gallery and moments on foot to the heart of the city.
There was a misunderstanding on the part of the parking police about my parking right in front, but it was efficiently and fairly handled by the apartment management/ownership.
I am not going to relate what I paid for two nights, because I am a bit embarrassed that it was so little for what I got. Suffice it that it was the least by far of any place I stayed in Iceland.
My next trip to Reykjavik will not require any advance research about where to stay. I shall go straight back to the Castle House and Embassy Luxury Apartments.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled solo
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1  Thank JohnLocke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 June 2008

We arrived at about 1am (2am UK time) and were buzzed in straight away. We'd ordered some shopping in advance by email and it was all there waiting for us along with a 'late arrivals special' which was juice and biscuits - some of the biscuits were delicious!

The apartment was spotless. We'd paid extra for a balcony and it was a pleasure to sit out there looking at the lake in the middle of the night with the sun still shining.

We were only in Reykjavik for three nights and the two full days we had there consisted of early starts and late returns so it was very good to be able to get back to the apartment and rustle up a snack without the hassle of going out to a restaurant late at night.

I can't praise the Castle House Apartments highly enough. Staying there added considerably to what was a very good trip indeed.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank Daz50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2008

I wasn’t going to write a review of this hotel as although I wasn’t satisfied I didn’t really look into the hotels in Iceland, and (wrongly) relied on this hotel’s (at the time) number 1 rating. The fact is that no matter where you go in Iceland, you’re going to need to either take various tours, or like us hire a car as the sights of Iceland are very far apart. So as a frequent Tripadvisor surfer I relied on the hotels rating and booked after the quickest of looks around to compare prices as location doesn’t really come into it and “Normally” Tripadvisor’s rating gets the quality right.... But I feel everyone may be thinking the same thing which is why this hotel gets such a high rating.

During my stay I had various issues with these apartments. The first being the parking, the hotel amenities state there is parking, there is not, there is a pavement right out front that you could fit two cars on and people do park here, but there are no signs telling you that you can do so. Also with this many apartments to advertise “parking” and to only have 2 spaces is very misleading. Parking on the street is via parking meters with tow away signs and parking attendants all over the show. I had to circle the local blocks for a while every time we came home to find somewhere to park which certainly isn’t ideal. This also meant the walk to the apartments and the what seemed like ten minute wait for someone to let us in after sounding the ridiculously loud buzzer god know how many times very unpleasant. Especially in the rain, and when you have to let them know in advance your arrival time, so they can be “prepared for your arrival”. The Second issue being the apartments themselves... There isn’t much luxury; the studio apartment we stayed in was laid out like the following from left to right.

Wall / 2 foot of walk way /double bed (with two single duvet covers) / 1 foot of useable walkway / overhanging breakfast bar / three foot of walkway filled with large stools / kitchen units.

You feel very crammed in and have to bend yourself around the fittings and furniture. I wouldn’t dream of trying to even use the kitchen it would be a nightmare. The other flaw with this layout is the fridge/freezer… these as everyone knows make a humming noise. Well imagine this in your bedroom, in a confined space, so you have extra echo, it was unbearable…

Our toilet was also broken, as you push the flush the whole thing (made from the flimsiest of plastic) creaks and cracks and tilts and getting the toilet seat to sit still on the toilet was like a gameshow challenge… On our last day we even had a decorator repairing and painting our bedroom window, I’m all for the improvement of these apartments, but as the windows are only covered by a loose pattern net curtain and has three drop blinds which don’t completely cover the windows, couldn’t this wait till we were out? This was Iceland’s peak season after all.

There was in our welcome pack with our invoice a problem sheet for you to report any problems they had missed and I was all for filling it out, unfortunately the entire welcome pack was removed from our room’s table the first time we left the room unattended!

The only shining feature of these apartments is the location... And this is just due to the fact it’s near to local shops restaurants etc so you can easily walk to these. It’s also pretty easy to drive from here to the main roads. There are no picturesque or noticeable views nearby and everything in Iceland is so far apart it’s hard to see this as a big selling point.

Overall I was very disappointed,

  • Stayed: May 2008
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15  Thank Gaze79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2008

Having read a number of reviews on this site about these apartments I was looking forward to my 2 night stay.
We arrived and the apartments are set right next to the National Gallery and they overlook the lakes situated right in thr middle of Reykjavik.
We were staying in apartment 40 which is small but clean and comfortable.
The shower takes some getting use to as the warm water has a sulphur smell which to some could be off putting and the toilet seat and flush was broken.
The tv with sattelite was handy as you can get BBC & ITV if you don't want to miss your soaps.
Reykjavik itself can be expensive ie, buger and chips with a beer £25. There are plenty of restaurants and bars as well as some shops to browse down Langavegur.
Overall the apartments are comfortable but luxury they are not and at £153 per night they should be.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank TelnNick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IcelanderReykjavik, Manager at Castle House Luxury Apartments, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2008

It is always disconcerting for us when guests are not completely happy.

In this case they have complained that the toilet seat was broken and that the toiled did not flush. Which sounds like a real dump!
Fortunately this was not so. I contacted the guests and they told me that they felt the toilet seat was a bit loose but that the toilet did indeed flush.

So this was a bit of an overstatement.

We would have fixed the seat for them if they had let us know.

We are available by phone 24 hours a day and specifically ask guests to report any maintenance problems immediately. They did not report this.

Regarding the other complaints:

Icelanders drill for hot water like some other nations drill for oil. The water is used for heating all buildings in Reykjavik and for the numerous
outdoor swimming pools and has made Iceland one of the worlds environmentally cleanest countries.

The downside is that the water sometimes
smells of sulphur. Icelanders hardly notice this. Most tourists get used to this in a few days.

We have enjoyed a very high ranking on Tripadvisor for a couple of years.

We do our utmost to keep this reputation. However, prices for rooms and apartments vary greatly between summer and winter seasons at all hotels here.

Hotels get most of their revenue during the short summer season when we have a lot of visitors, but then the prices plummet during the winter.

So if you read of our very good value in a review from guests who stayed with us in February, then stay with us in July, you will probably be disappointed with the comparison.

Nevertheless we remain a very good value compared to most hotels In Reykjavik.

And after the recent changes in the value of the Icelandic krona, Iceland is now much cheaper for our guests using Pounds, Euros and US dollars.

One tip: Because of the great fluctuations of the Icelandic currency lately, banks in many countries have a very different buying and selling rates for the krona. If you want to convert cash to Icelandic kronur, you will probably be wise to do so after you arrive in Iceland – at an Icelandic bank, which will give you the correct rate.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2008

We just got back from a weekend at the apartments. We chose this based on the good reviews it has received, however our experience seems ot be a little different to everyone else's.

We stayed in apartment 62. We arrived at about 1am. We buzzed and buzzed a few times, standing in the cold, before we were finally answered and able to enter reception to get our key. The website mentioned parking, but this is only street parking, and you have to pay for it. We didn't have any coins, so we had to leave the car without a ticket, and moved it early the next morning. Goodbye to our sleep in.

Number 62 is a studio apartment, which I knew, but the way it is done, it kind of feels like the bed is in the kitchen. The toilet was broken, the shower dripped constantly, and the fridge/freezer was so noisy we had to turn it off, which meant the freezer defrosted and melted all over the floor.

For £468 for 3 nights I was very disappointed. I have stayed in luxury apartments before, but this doesn't compare.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled with friends
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Thank Angebange
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IcelanderReykjavik, Manager at Castle House Luxury Apartments, responded to this reviewResponded 23 June 2008

This is the second review that mentions a broken toilet! Since the toilet was fine I contacted the
guest and found out that he meant the seat was loose.

We are sticklers for cleanliness, so use toilet seats that can be removed during cleaning.
However, they should not be loose and this problem has now been corrected.

We are available by phone 24 hours a day and specifically ask guests to report any maintenance problems immediately. The guests did not report any problems while they stayed with us.

For this reason we have only found out about the noisy fridge from this review, and it has now
been replaced. This would have been done during their stay with us if they had told us.

Their complaint about a dripping shower is harder to fix, since the shower does not drip.
It is also behind 2 doors away form the bedroom so even if they had not fully turned it off
it should not have troubled them. Perhaps the fridge had been so frustrating that other
things seemed worse than they were.

Regarding parking, there are 2 free spaces in front of the apartments. If these are taken,
there is metered parking in the street. The charge for parking in this area is ISK 80
(approx. £0.50 - $1 0.65 Euro) or for the first 2 hours , then ISK 20 per hour from 10 – 6 pm weekdays 10 – 13 Saturdays and free on Sundays. There is also free parking in some nearby
side streets.

Our check-in system is highly effective and is done by phone. I have checked our phone
records and found that these guests had to buzz twice, which should not happen.
For this reason they had to wait for 2 minutes for the door to open. Usually there is no wait at all.

We offer apartments in various sizes, from 20 to 120 sqm. Apt. 62 is one of our smallest. If a
guest has written a review about our large apartments, it will not describe the smallest studios.

Prices are higher during the short summer season. However the krona has fallen drastically
in the last few weeks, making Iceland a much cheaper place to visit! This is also true of our apartments, the prices are now lower than before when converted to Euros, pounds or dollars.

Regarding the layout of apt. 62, I enclose a couple of pictures.
Always best to see for yourself ;)

Thanks for reading this message

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2008

We just got home late last night following 5 wonderful days in Iceland.
We were a party of 4 adults and stayed in 2 separate apartments No's 10 & 40 Castle House on our 1st night, and together in No 70 a two bedroomed apartment in Embassy House.
Both buildings are located within a 5 minute walk of the centre are beautifully fitted out. No 70 has the edge on luxury with it's huge plasma TV, 3 couches, 2 deep armchairs, gold plated cutlery & glassware, ornaments,books, paintings and oversized King Bed!!!
You truely will want for nothing.
A lot of care and thought has gone into these apartments down to providing spare bulbs!
It feels as though you are staying in someones home.
Much nicer than any hotel.
We ate in a lovely Italian restaraunt "Caruso"on the main street.
Everything is run so efficiently, you just buzz in and your keys & instructions are left in an envelope with your name on it in the hall
Therein lies the ONE and ONLY fault I would have with this place, and that is the lack of personal interaction with the owner/manager.
Top marks to all involved!

Iceland is a magical place, go and enjoy!!!

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled with family
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank Palestine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2008

Just spent four nights at the Castle House apartments. It was like having your own place in Reykjavik. Clean, comfortable, and centrally located. As an added bonus you can park your rental car right in front, which is a blessing because parking can be difficult in the city. You can walk to everything but are far enough away from the bars that the drunken crowds won't bother you on the weekends. This is the third place I have stayed in Reykjavik and would stay again.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
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Thank AlanaJS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Castle House Luxury Apartments

Address: Skalholtsstigur 2a, Reykjavik 101, Iceland
Region: Iceland > Capital Region > Reykjavik > Miõborg
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 108 B&Bs / Inns in Reykjavik
Price Range: £100 - £220 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Castle House Luxury Apartments 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An airport bus is available for all flights and takes passengers directly to our hotels. You need to book in advance. ... more   less 
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