There are some things that could be useful to know: the hotel's easy to find, being within sight (but not sound) of Route 1, but don't try getting there via public transport - it's too remote. The nearest shops etc are a 15-minute drive away in Hvollsvollur, so the hotel has a monopoly on food and drink. The restaurant is superb, with an extensive buffet selection for breakfast which was kept well topped-up by attentive staff, and the evening meals are wonderful cuisine. You don't really need to order starters, as you'll get a free taster of the delicious mushroom soup before your main course. Options are cod, lamb, chicken, vegetarian barley or fish of the day...so just about enough for you to have something different every day for a week. I recommend the ice cream, the skyr and/or the chocolate pudding for dessert. Of course, the wine list isn't cheap, and the bar prices are also high, but you have to expect that. Some of our party spent an evening whisky-tasting - which didn't quite break their bank! The staff are all very friendly, professional and pleasant at all times.
The reception area is quite compact, so that with six of us and our luggage, it felt full. I think checking in and out as a larger group could feel uncomfortable. We arrived at 12 noon and couldn't check in until 3pm, but were offered free coffees, and then went out to explore in our cars for a while. On return, check-in was very quick, and we had deluxe double rooms overlooking the river, which have decking and outside seating and easy access to one of the (three) hot-tubs. The view's not majestic, but it is very peaceful, with lots of birdsong. The rooms have black blackout blinds as well as curtains, and seemed well soundproofed, making it easier to get a good night's sleep in midsummer. Bathrooms of a good size, flat-screen tv, large mini-bar (which we left alone), and enough space for clothes and luggage. Very comfortable beds, and all immaculately clean. The hospitality tray was stuck in an awkward corner behind the door, and for some reason included one small teacup and one tiny coffee cup, which was our only niggle.
The hotel does seem to be used as a stopover by touring groups, so you might be unlucky and meet a large noisy party in the restaurant, but other than that I'd highly recommend staying here for at least a couple of nights, if you can afford it. There's much to enjoy in the eccentric décor, the attentive owner and staff, and the general ambience.
Apparently it's good for the Northern Lights in winter, too. We picked the wrong time of year for those, but would be happy to go back some time.
- 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