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“A real disappointment”
Review of Hotel Grimsborgir

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Hotel Grimsborgir
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Selfoss
Certificate of Excellence
UK
Level Contributor
183 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
“A real disappointment”
Reviewed 22 September 2013

With great reviews on TA, this was an anticipated highlight of our accommodations in Iceland - and all the more disappointing because of that. There was a lot wrong, so have listed:
1. We were told that we had been upgraded to the private 'guesthouse' behind the owners house. But this meant had to park next to the owners cars on their house drive. All other units parked directly on the level outside their accommodation. We had to walk alongside and behind the owners house (which felt unpleasant every time as they were in residence the night we were staying), and also down a number of steps to the guesthouse.
2. At first appeared to be a real treat - four bedrooms, lots of space on two floors. Due to oversight, they had not been warned about my feather allergy - so we had to await the change of all that bedding - which was thrust into my husbands hands and he was left to change it all himself! Unfortunate, but not great problem - although it was handled quite unprofessionally by the staff, with great play being made that the owner had to find bedding from her own linen cupboards for us. Surely we should not have been made to feel we were causing a problem.
3. Once we were left in the guesthouse, it quickly became apparent that it had not been cleaned for our arrival. Bedroom table tops, kitchen worktops and appliances were dirty, and and were marked, sticky and in the case of the toaster, kettle and coffee machine were too filthy to be used without cleaning. But the one blue cleaning cloth provided was too dirty to be used, and no kitchen roll provided. We had a half used pack of coffee, some tea bags and nothing else. Glass fronted kitchen cabinets had marks, stains and drips of other guests use on them, and needless to say, we did not use anything other than two cups which we scalded clean before use and had to dry with paper tissues. No toiletries provided nor any other sign that the guesthouse had been prepared for our use other than a hand wash in the bathroom.
4. The bathroom was beyond disgusting. I had to use the shower as we had no other choice - we knew of no other hotels in the near area or we would have moved on immediately. The amount of mould growing along the shower base and up the tiles - clearly the result of lack of cleaning over some months, not just dirt left from the last user - was beyond gross! Whilst showering, the drain cover came off, the shower tray was flooding as it could not drain water away quickly enough and black dirt from the internal drain floated around my feet in the rapidly increasing water level. I had to stop the shower, wait for it to drain down and then gingerly finish. Needless to say, we did not use the shower before leaving the following morning!
5. The towel rail in the bathroom had so much dust on each rail that we just used paper tissues and some napkins we had with us to try and clean it enough to be able to put a towel onto it. The skirting boards had clearly not been cleaned for a considerable period of time.
6. The bathroom is by the double front glass doors to the guesthouse - although there are curtain rails at the door, there are no curtains or blinds anywhere on that floor.(except the bedroom) With the owners were in residence at the house above us, we were unable to come in and out of the bathroom without being fully dressed as their house windows looked over us - and given that the bathroom was tiny - there were real logistic difficulties in using the filthy shower, finding somewhere clean to put our clothes whilst showering, and then trying to dry off and get dressed before we could leave the bathroom to go to the bedroom. Obviously, we were then unable to use the lounge or the bathroom in our night clothes at all, that evening, during the night or the next morning, so we found it very difficult to actually relax in the accommodation. Not having curtains at the front windows looking out over the view is fine - but at the rear looking out at the owners/road and other bungalows? We noticed the other accommodation all had privacy curtains or blinds.
7. Having driven past all the other accommodations, and seeing their individual hot tubs steaming away ready for the occupants use, we were shown an empty hot tub gull of grit and dead leaves and told how to fill it up. This seemed a further indication that we had been assigned to the guesthouse as a late decision with no preparation for our arrival.

We did eat at Grimsborgir that night - and had an excellent meal - although we were warned that there was a large party staying there, so we were placed in the cosy little dining area. We were told it was a buffet, but once sat down without any warning we were brought bowls of soup with lobster in them. I do not each fish at all, so my partner doesn't either as I hate the smell. But the staff were so put out that this soup should be rejected. They were so unprofessional - the soup removal should have been seamless and we should not have been subject to the great expressions of surprise and it made such a song and dance of! Bear in mind that we then ate little of the excellent buffet choice as we ate no fish. We loved the meat selections and the desserts were to die for.

We had complained about our dirty accommodation when we went to dinner that evening - and were asked if we wanted to have it cleaned 'again'. We refused as firstly, no amount of cleaning that night would remove the build up of many months of grime and mould in the shower and everywhere else should have been prepared already for us before we arrived. Also, we had unpacked our items and were trying to relax at dinner and did not want to have to break our meal to go back over to the guesthouse (the furthest point away and a car drive) and move items around to facilitate cleaning that should already have been done. The staff spent some time talking about our complaint and to say they made us feel uncomfortable would be an understatement.

As we returned after dinner, the owner (Christine?) came out of her house, asked about our complaints and to see the problem areas. Shown the bathroom and kitchen areas she just kept repeating "Oh, my God, Oh, my God..........." , obviously surprised at the dirt. We explained again that by then, around 8.30pm at night, we did not want to go through the upheaval of a cleaning job that was not going to help in the shower and we just wanted to get a nights sleep and get off the next morning. She seemed very understanding and apologetic.

After breakfast the next morning, we went to pay our bill and leave. The staff were surly and uncommunicative - there was no chat, there was no apology for the problems we had experienced, nor any offer to reduce our bill for the buffet the night before. We were stunned at this reaction - hardly in line with the glowing feedback for customer service we read on Trip Advisor. We are grateful that Nordic Visitor have since fully refunded us.

Have attached some photo's which show the horrible mould around the shower area, the dirty shower screen and the filthy skirting board, all of which has clearly built over some time, not just from the last user. Also the dirt on the coffee machine/ where I have wiped down the glass coffee jug to show the difference. I tried to photograph the dirty microwave, but it does not show too clearly. With hindsight, I should have photographed the drain cover and the dirty drain area as well.

Room Tip: Could not recommend after our experience - but certainly not the 'Guesthouse'!
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank cannicUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grimsborgir, Director of Sales at Hotel Grimsborgir, responded to this review, 6 October 2013
Dear Guests,

This review is extremely exaggerated and unfair. Anyone can see that it does not match any of the other reviews we‘ve had. The type of person who has written this review has some other problems in their lives and takes it out on the hotel.
We started by upgrading you to a four-bedroom apartment which most of our guests would dream of getting. Beautiful apartment with the best view possible and even a private hot tub. It is one of the most popular apartments that we rent out to our guests and hundreds of guests have stayed there. We get special requests for this exact apartment.
We had not been told about the feather allergy before your arrival, but it was no problem for us at all. We handled it without hesitation and we have extra bedding for these kind of situations.
It is ridiculous to think that the owners would be looking out through their windows, spying on the guests in the guesthouse. We did not know that this was a problem for anyone and the same regarding the parking. You can go to any hotel in the world and everywhere you‘ll have to park next to another car.
Regarding the hot tub – We don‘t fill up the hot tubs for the guests if we don‘t know at what time they will be arriving or if they will even use it so we leave it up to them to decide and show everyone how they can turn it on and of course we can fill it up for them if anyone requests it.

If you were so unhappy about your stay with us in Iceland I think it‘s strange to walk away from the check-out without saying anything! We ask all of our guests how their experience was and if they say nothing we can‘t do anything about it. If you go home without mentioning these things to us and then spends hours on writing this review and making things up there is something else wrong.

Regards
María Brá Finnsdóttir
Reservations & Marketing
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2013

We had originally booked a two bedroom apartment, but due to visiting offseason they had availability and upgraded us to a four bedroom -for free. This was fantastic, I think the house was 200m2, so we had plenty of room. We really enjoyed staying here, just a few minor issues -there is really nothing close by, so a trip to the supermarket takes a bit of time. The coffee machine in the room was very, very dirty so immediately upon arrival I needed to start cleaning it to make us some coffee.. For a 'luxury' apartment I would have hoped for little things, like glasses in the bathrooms for toothbrushes, paper towels in the kitchen/kitchen towels.. At other not so luxury locations in Iceland utilities included glasses in bathrooms, cotton balls, q-tips etc, which were missing here. One big minus is the wifi, which didn't seem to work (at least most of the time). Also, it really didn't bother us at all, but the entire apartment was from head to toe Ikea -since when is Ikea 'luxury' ..? ;-) Regardless, the decor was really nice and stylish.

All in all, we had a great stay. Staff is really nice and welcoming. We recommend this place and would return.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Mimi914
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malvern, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2013

Where do I start.
We chose this place purely on the internet's recommendation, not knowing anyone who had been to Iceland prior to booking.
When we arrived, it was late evening and we had already booked for dinner at 8.30, so we hustled to our table before seeing our apartment. So first impressions were of our
buffet style dinner.
It was very impressive and had a large selection of meats, vegetable dishes and salads, sweets and cheeses. Then Olafur the proprietor showed us to our apartment.
Well the first thing that struck us was the size of it, it was enormous.
A four bedroom apartment for two people, with full kitchen, dining room for eight people and two bathrooms, a large lounge area, a study area with radio, and a tv

entertainment area with satellite and dvd, free wifi (requested as subject to fair usage).
On the patio area was a table and chairs, a gas barbecue and a hot tub fed by geothermic water.
We went to bed very tired after the days travels and decided to explore the next day.
On waking we used the wonderful walk in shower and after explored the rest of the apartment.
There were three other very good sized bedrooms, loads of storage space, you would need to move here in a removal van to utilise half of the storage space provided.
The kitchen area had plenty of drawers and cupboards, which
had every conceivable device you could need for a self catering holiday.
The dining table was laid for eight with candles in the centre.
The decoration was clean and modern with very tasteful artwork on the walls. Ceramic tiles on the floor and underfloor heating for underfoot comfort. There were at
least three (if not more, we didn't check the other bedrooms) different thermostats for controlling the floor temperature in different zones.Very cozy.
Double glazing kept in the heat and insulated us from the volatile winds outside.
Multiple electric socket points so charging cameras, phones, ipads, laptops etc didn't become awkward.
Cleaning materials are in the cupboards, along with vacuum and mops in a large wardrobe. But if you wish the hotel will supply maid service for an extra consideration.
The Kitchen also had a minibar in the large fridge freezer, which is useful until you have chance to visit the Vinboudin offlicence.
Just an aside, the supermarket, Bonus, is in Selfos and has a very large selection of your usual grocery's, but check your cupboards first, as you may already have what you're
looking for. ie dishwasher power, washing up liquid etc. This may save you a few pounds.
We moved onto breakfast after exploring the apartment, and were very pleased to find every type of breakfast offered that you may want.
Seriously if you can't find it I'm sure Olafur or his staff could supply it if you asked.
The staff were very courteous and friendly, and Olafur made a point of showing us the best sights and local attractions which saved us the task of searching for too long.
I nearly forgot the wonderful hot tub experience. We have one of these in the UK, but we have to chemicalise it, which is a pain, but here you turn a tap to close the dump

valve and press a switch and forty minutes later its ready to use. Nice hot geothermically provided water, from mother nature herself, very green indeed! But not the water!!

Afterwards, just turn off the switch and dump the water. Simples.
All in all a very pleasant week was spent here, and thats not even mentioning the adventures we had!! Book into apartment 9 and read our guest book account for further
stories.
People told us that Iceland was expensive, but if you are self catering I don't think you will spend more than say, what you might in the Uk at a holiday location. The beer

and wine is expensive in bars and restaurants, but is similar in price to the UK in the off licence, which is run by the government, and is controlled very well. The food in

the supermarket is packaged for the "once a month " bulk shopper because of the large driving distances that you have in Iceland, so that needs to be taken into consideration

if there are only one or two of you. I.e. we bought a box of beefburgers (10) and only used 4, a waste yes, but we wanted burgers! And there is a freezer!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank David T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grimsborgir, Director of Sales at Hotel Grimsborgir, responded to this review, 17 October 2013
Dear Dave,

Thank you very much for the review and the very kind word. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us in Iceland. It is always a pleasure to hear such good things about the guests experience.
I hope we'll see you again.

All the best
María Brá Finnsdóttir, Sales manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
Level Contributor
167 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2013

This hotel is in a great location and very well run. But, it is really a series of condos that are not connected. After checking in, you drive you car along a road to your unit. Our unit had a kitchen and was attached to one other unit. We shared a nice hot tub with the other unit. We like the feel of a hotel where you can walk down to the desk with a question. Here, you have to drive to breakfast. Also, we could hear whenever our neighbors used the shower. So, this is a well run, nice place, in a good location, but be aware it is not a true hotel or inn.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank jjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halifax, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2013

This hotel was a real find for us. If you're heading back tot he Capital region before flying out, think about staying a little outside the city in the Golden Circle. Amazing gorgeous decor, awesome friendly attentive service, this hotel was everything we could have hoped for. We were almost happy on rainy days as we got to hang out here a little. The food here was really very good if expensive but in line with other places in Iceland. Breakfast was great and included in the room. I hope this hotel is exactly the same when I return to Iceland. Can't wait to come back!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank realfoodie38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed 29 August 2013

Set in a Good location which is very handy for the Golden Circle and close to Rejkyavik with very helpful staff,a great choice of food ,all very well prepared. Verycomfortable & stylish accommodation. Best place we found on our recent road trip in southern Iceland.

Room Tip: As approaching, First block to the left of reception building.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank den a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2013

I travelled here with my 13 year old son and it really is a lovely hotel. The location is very picturesque. The room were well apportioned, tastefully decorated and very clean. The highlight for me was the restaurant. We had dinner and breakfast there and both were excellent. My only issue was that the internet in our room was very week and I found it hard to stay on top of my business emails. Other guests said that they had an excellent connection, so it may just have been our room.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Vered1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Grimsborgir

Property: Hotel Grimsborgir
Address: Asborgir 30, Selfoss 801, Iceland (Formerly Grimsborgir Guest House)
Region: Iceland > South Region > Selfoss
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Selfoss
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Grimsborgir 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Grimsborgir Luxury Apartments and Restaurant is situated in South Iceland, directly at the Golden Circle tourist route. Our accommodation types are hotel rooms, studio apartments and deluxe apartments. Hotel Grimsborgir is surrounded by beautiful Icelandic landscape with mountains and the biggest fresh water river of Iceland, the river Sog. Grimsborgir Restaurant is serving gourmet food as well as traditional Icelandic dishes, for example fresh Lamb Loin, local Salmon and Lobster and the famous Icelandic Meat Soup. Also, we serve coffee and cake as well as lunch - every day! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Grimsborgir Iceland/Selfoss

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