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“Comfort, great food and a touch of kitsch”
Review of Hotel Ranga

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Hotel Ranga
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Hella
Certificate of Excellence
Paris, France
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Comfort, great food and a touch of kitsch”
Reviewed 24 January 2012

This hotel is a a great but fairly expensive choice if you want to get outside Reykjavik but stay relatively central for day visits to Gullfoss, Geysir, Vik etc. It’s about an hour’s drive from the capital. Getting away from the city lights means more chances of being able to see the Northern Lights, and the Northern Lights are taken pretty seriously at this hotel. There’s a wake up list at reception where you can note your room number for a wake up call in case any lights are spotted. In fact you can even choose to receive a second wake up call in the same night. It’s fairly surreal, and funny, to find yourself out in the hotel carpark in the middle of the night with a bunch of people wearing pyjamas, boots and coats waiting for the lights.

The big plusses at this hotel are the service, the food, the hot tubs and the views.

- Service is attentive and genuinely friendly. The staff are used to advising on driving conditions, places to see and helping with bookings. They went out of their way to give us info and suggest alternatives when road conditions were really bad. They even called the road maintenance people to check conditions for us. Restaurant, bar staff and the cleaning staff are also efficient and really nice.

- Food is excellent. Perfectly cooked to order and beautifully presented. Typical dishes are catch of the day fish, lamb and great vegetables with interesting touches for every dish. There’s even Reindeer carpaccio. Waiters describe the ingredients in your dish as they serve it up.
You won’t have any options for eating elsewhere while you’re here unless you drive for 10 - 20 mins or so. Thankfully food is so good it shouldn’t be a bother. Prices are a little high but given the exceptional quality it's hard to grump.
Wine is around 40euros for a nice bottle. If you feel like breaking out the piggy bank on the wine this is the place to taste a Chateau Neuf du Pape 1994 or a Petrus… Alternatively try a shot of Icelandic ‘Opal’ after dinner – a mix of vicks vapo rub with sweets, it has the consistency of marmite and will clear up any sinus troubles :-)
Breakfast is a varied and generous buffet with hot and cold dishes, you can make your own waffles or even serve yourself a shot of cod fish oil if you feel like reminiscing on growing up in Ireland in the 70’s

- The hot tubs out back of the hotel are magic. There are 3 in all seating around 5 people per tub. We were lucky to get one to ourselves. You can access them from your back porch. Sitting in the tub in the evening looking out at the views was a unique experience. Don’t forget to bring your beanie if it’s cold as anything out of the water chills down fast in Winter.

- The hotel location is isolated but provides beautiful views, there’s a river out back and mountains in the distance. When we were there everything was covered in snow and with the Icelandic weather the views changed every 15 minutes. Stunning.

The hotel is a big wooden ranch with just 2 floors. It’s pretty kitsch. We stayed in a superior room and it was fine – very comfy double bed, couch w/ low table, big bath/jacuzzi. There’s a wooden porch out the back of all the rooms with a bench and table and unobstructed views of the landscape. You can rent DVDs at reception. There are reading areas with books in the hotel and also a billiard room with a fantastic antler chandelier. Despite all this, this is not your standard luxury hotel where you while away the hours. It’s a warm, comfy, welcoming place with amazing food and service but it’s a hub for visiting places in Iceland rather than a destination in its own right. 3 nights was a perfect length of time to stay.

Our only disappointment (nothing to do with the hotel) was not being able to get to Vik due to the driving conditions. The manager suggested we go to the black sand beach instead near Eyrarbakki, wow this is really something. Black sand, ice shards at the water line and amazing views. It’s just as you get off the end of the bridge from Eyrarbakki on the Eyrarbakkavegur coast road going back towards Reykjavik.


TIP: Go to www.road.is to check driving conditions in real time, very necessary in Winter as conditions change every half hour it seems.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank WatchysWayOut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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England
Level Contributor
118 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2012

We stayed two nights as part of a Northern Lights special. Sadly no lights, but a wonderful stay at a lovely hotel. Peaceful, exquisite food, very tasty Icelandic beer, a presentation on the Norther Lights by the staff, the manager taking the time to say hello, fabulously comfy beds and hot hot showers, just great. We were lucky to have a hot tub right outside our door all to ourselves in the dark, very romantic. Definitely recommend, a pleasure to visit.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking River Ranga are peaceful and better than the car park. Bathrooms were dated and co...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank CKJEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2012

We were a party of 6 adults, a 7 year old and a 14month old and we spent 5 nights at the Hotel Ranga in the hope of seeing the Northern Lights. The hotel was cosy and charming, the rooms were smaller then expected (I could hardly walk on my side of the bed) but the bathrooms lovely. The staff were friendly as previously mentioned, and the food good. A glass of wine was £7, a main course £25 but if you eat out at the cafes in the service stations you will pay around £5 - 10 for a decent hot meal. The rooms had a kettle, coffee & hot chocolate, but cuppa soups and extra hot chocolates were very welcome when standing outside to watch the Northern Lights (which we saw on the last night from 10.30am to 4am when I went to bed). We had rooms 26 - 32 and although a little noisy from the stairs, were ideally positioned with the hot tub outside our back door, and the car park/reception for Light spotting. If you really want to see the lights I would suggest you stay up from 10pm - 12am as they came and went so the receptionist did not call the rooms at the end of the list, and they missed out.
Our tips:hire a car and do the sights yourself. We saved £250 each on excursions as there are no entrance fees to the national sights. Petrol is about £1.35 a litre and the roads easy to drive and well sign posted.
If you are touring, stay a night in Rekjavik to do the tour of the city and Blue Lagoon, then a night in Hveragerdi for best heated outdoor pool (£2.50 per person and the same again for towel hire), Geysir, Gullfoss and Pingvella, stay at Hotel Ranga for the Northern Lights and then move to Vik or Skaftafell for the national park and the ice berg lagoon. This will save you so much time and mileage driving up and down the coast!
In Rekjavik we visited the cathedral and it is worth paying £3 fee to go to the top of the tower for spectacular views, the lake and then to the Blue Lagoon that was actually worth the £25 entrance fee.
The weather was awful so take warm clothes and good walking shoes. The exchange rate for Sterling to Krona and back again was at least 10% better in Iceland, in the local banks, then in the UK.
If driving, get the 4 wheel drive for the distances. There are miles between towns so keep the car filled with petrol, take the extra car insurance (one of our cars slid off the icy roads into traffic lights but were covered by the insurance). It was easy to find the hotel and took around 2 hours in the rain and fog on the N1 road.
I hope this is helpful, despite the weather we loved Iceland and the people and will come back in Summer. We would also come back to the Hotel Ranga.

Room Tip: Rooms 26 - 32 were close to the hot tub and close to the car park for viewing the Lights quickly, bu...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank robp2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yorkshire
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2012

We have just returned from a long weekend in Iceland clebrating our friend's 50th Birthday. This hotel was excellent with a very pleasant and efficient team of staff. The buffet breakfast was excellent with a wide variety of choices to suit all tastes - even a waffle maker which I successfully used! We ate dinner in the hotel on 2 of the nights and the quality turned out by the kitchen was Michelin star standard.
The staff were very helpful and on our first night we were approached at the dinner table by the manager, welcoming us to the hotel and reminding us to ask any of the staff if we needed assistance.
In addition, I wish that we had the Ranga's Icelandic builders over here in the UK who could show us how to insulate buildings and install windows and doors in such a way that there is absolutely no draughts even when there is a gale blowing outside!
The only downside to the hotel is the very high cost of the food and drink, but, this is reflective of the whole of Iceland and with quality as good as this, everything is relative.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank YorkshireAnimalLover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, NY
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2012

We stayed at Ranga in July 2011 on our 2nd to last night of a 10 day trip. We were really looking forward to it after everything we heard. Upon arrival we recived an upgraded room due to a wedding party that needed a block of rooms. We had teh Australlian room which was awsome. There was so much detail in the room, there was always something to look at. The large bathroom was great, which lots of amenities. The staff at the hotel was very accomodating. They helped us with info for our rental car. We ate at the restaurant which was pricey but good. Breakfast was also good, plenty of options. The hot tubs outside looked nice but they were small. Our room was on the 2nd floor and we would have been cold going from the tub to the room. If you have a room right next to the tubs I would def imagine using them. We also had massages at Ranga which was the worst massage I have ever had in my life. The pool table room is beautiful but there was always kids in there (most likely due to the wedding party).

Room Tip: If you can swing it - the continent rooms are the way to go
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Paradisse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durham
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2012

Remote location, stunning hotel with amazing upscale dining. You can sign up to have the front desk call you when the Northern Lights start to appear. Stay dressed and go to bed- they will call or knock on your door! We could also see them from our room. This is a romantic, cozy, well appointed resort. The restaurant was absolutely outstanding, with the best service I have had outside of NYC fine dining. We only stayed one night but would go back in a heartbeat. Note this is a 4 star in Iceland, which is different than a 4 star in the US. Don't expect a bellman. Do expect a towel warmer and heated bathroom floor. It's worth it.

Nice drive to local sights like Skogafoss and Eyjafjallajokull.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank oddcouple1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
293 reviews
91 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 205 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2012

I think the problem was that we went to this hotel expecting too much based on the reviews and at the end were rather disappointed. By far this was the most expensive hotel we stayed at during our 5 day Iceland trip. We had a superior room. Unfortunately there was nothing superior in the room! The decor and the appliances need upgrading. Front desk service did not feel very warm.

Dinner was good (but expensive) with nice views. Overall this hotel is overrated and not worth the money.

Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank ryokogasuki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Ranga

Property: Hotel Ranga
Address: Sudurlandsvegur, Hella 851, Iceland
Region: Iceland > South Region > Hella
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Hella
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Ranga 4*
Number of rooms: 51
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Ranga is a luxury countryside hotel and the only 4 star resort in South Iceland. It offers all the facilities and services of a modern resort. Located about an hour from Reykjavík between the towns of Hella and Hvolsvöllur, it lies just off the main road right in middle of South Iceland’s panoramic scenery. The resort is built in log-cabin style and has through the years acquired an excellent reputation for its food, accomodation and service. It is the first Icelandic hotel to become a member of the prestigious international hotel chain Great Hotels of the World. A celebrity hot spot, top honeymoon destination and favorite hotel amongst Icelanders, Hotel Rangá also offers great facilities for small business meetings, weddings and social gatherings. One cannot miss feeling welcome entering its warm interior where relaxed countryside feeling meets the professional ambition of pleasing its entire clientel. Upon entering Hotel Ranga, you will be greeted by a towering 10-foot tall polar bear named Hrammur that resides in the lobby. He is a favorite model for photographers and is definitely one of the most pictured objects in Iceland. This is just a prelude to the cozy ambience that you will encounter that vibrates throughout the hotel. Hótel Rangá was upgraded and renovated in 2007/2008 and presently has 51 luxuriously decorated rooms and suites. It also features an acclaimed riverside restaurant, a lounge and bar, 2 upstairs meeting rooms, a game room, massage facilities and three much beloved outdoor hot tubs heated with geothermal water - where there is an excellent chance to view the fantastic northern lights during September through April. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ranga Hotel Hella
Hotel Ranga Iceland/Hella

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