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“Exsotic”
Review of Hotel Ranga

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Hotel Ranga
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Hella
Certificate of Excellence
Son, Norway
Level Contributor
43 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Exsotic”
Reviewed 5 May 2010

I was participating in at trip arranged by http://www.icelandworkshop.no/ , and we had been two nights in the highland and the glassier Vatnajökull, stayed at relatively primitive cottages. With that in mind I had no expectations to the Hotel Ranga. First I was overwhelmed by the looks. Wooden buildings is rare in Iceland, and this hotel is in timber. Timber from Canada. The standard rooms are big enough and with bobble bathtub :-) Very good beds. Outside there are several "heita pottur", this is outdoor bathtubs heated by hot water from the ground (volcano activities). Quite å spectacular experience to sit in a "heita pottur" with a drink when it is raining and just a couple om degrees above freezing. The food was amazing and the best experience of the stay. Both dinner, breakfast and lunch was excellent. Gourmet kitchen, with local ingredients. Likewise the service from the staff and the hotel manager. The manager had time to sit with us at the dinner table :-) Where do you experience that?

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank IngeMauseth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2010

Hotel Ranga is in the middle of nowhere, which is perfect for seeing the Northern Lights. The Hotel are certainly geared up for increasing your chances of this and will turn off outside lights and ring you if sightings are imminent.
The hotel itself is of a high standard and the outdoor hot tubs are fab even in the middle of winter. The restaurant is a bit pricey but we found the room service better value and a good choice.
The hotel is a great location to visit the sights but beware in winter months you will struggle to get trips to the Golden Circle as most tours leave from Reykjavik. We managed to find a very reasonable tour operator 'Travel North' off the Visiticeland.com that picked us up from the Hotel for a full day Golden circle tour which actually worked out better than joining a big mini bus full.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank 1974helen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aalsmeer
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 April 2010

We stayed here for three nights and every day and every evening was special.
At night one we had a perfect clear view at the Northern Lights (from our spa-pool). Thanks to the staff that woke us up at night and gave us the opportunity to experience this phenomena. The very next day we where enchanted by the surrounding of Hella and the many waterfalls, at night our tastebutts were having a surprise party at the Ranga restaurant! Day three another great day started with an excellent breakfast before taking off for the trip to the enchanting white desert of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. All and all a super recommendable experience!

Stayed March 2009, travelled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank GarminOne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
158 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2010

This hotel seems to score highly. I may have had a bad experience, but I felt that the reviews I read prior to going weren't completely justified.

The hotel is set in the middle of the southern lava field of Iceland with the river running near by (not past the window!) so there's little to look at. Northern Lights watching (a prominent selling feature) is no more special here than anywhere else on the island - perhaps less so since on both nights I stayed lights were left on to spill into the night sky.

The room I had (a normal room I guess) was fairly small but included all the usual amenities. Various hot tubs were dotted outside the rooms but if a noisy party wanted to have a party in the pool at a late hour which happened to be outside your room, that could be a distraction. The rooms are arranged as two long log cabin like buildings off the main building. A good idea but on our second night, we had a noisy lads party. They arrived late and wheeled their suitcases along the wooden floored corridor. They then confined themselves to what they thought was a quiet room above the bar, little realising that the windows were open so they could be heard farily well into the small hours of the morning. I got the impression that the staff didn't care about the possible noise this party was making though I did get profuse apologies the following morning.

However, the restaurant was excellent though pricey. Very good quality food prepared and delivered with care and attention. (I shan't write what I ate for fear of upsetting nature lovers!).

This is an expensive hotel and pricey restaurant. There's much better in Iceland - Hotel Budir - this one needs to sharpen up.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Empathology
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2010

The perfect location for travel around the south. Staff were very helpful offering a wake up call to see the northern lights if they occurred (which they did at about 3 am). Owner Frederick went out of his way to help us with a car problem and find a mechanic at a very late hour (mechanic didn't even want payment even though he opened up just for us).
Reception staff friendly and also helpful on places to visit off the beaten path (like natural hot pools).
The standard room was fairly average - plain but clean and comfortable. Restaurant food was very good fine dining. Hotel overall was like a large modern log cabin. Comfortable lounge areas with sofas and pool table and spa available.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank StarLego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lausanne, Switzerland
Level Contributor
35 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2010

Whenever I think of the four days we spent at Hotel Ranga, I have a smile on my face.

The friendly staff, their happiness to be of help regarding the Norther Lights and sightseeing, the great lounge, dining room and beautiful breakfast buffet as well as the hot tubs have been described before, and I can but confirm the coziness and happy feeling of the hotel.

We also liked the fact that free internet access, maps and books on iceland were at our disposal in the lobby.

Meal prices in the restaurant were comparable to those of good restaurants across Europe and we found the food absolutely delicious and beautifully prepared, in short, worth every penny (to compensate, we prepared our own sandwiches at lunch time).

I made ample use of the hot tubs, which contributed to making this one of the most relaxing holidays I have ever had.

The location of Hotel Ranga is great not only for Northern Lights watching and ease of access, but also because some of the most interesting natural sites can be reached from there within a short time.

I would love to go back ...

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank asmile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Basingstoke
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2010

I would really recommend this hotel if you are looking to explore the southern half of the island and your not worried about staying in Reykjavik, (personally a day drip + evening meal was enough for us).

We stayed in a deluxe room (room 1) which faces the mountains, had a King-sized bed, Jacuzzi LCD TV and DVD - (Bring some DVD's its cheaper tha hiring, + the selection is limited). Our friends stayed in room 16, this is a superior room same physical size, as our room, but minus the LCD TV DVD and Jacuzzi, did have a normal CRT TV, there room faced the Ranga river which I personally think was nicer.

The Breakfast, one of the things we were concerned about was having a basic breakfast then having to pay for lunch in the afternoon, forget that worry, the breakfast is amazing, (Cereal | Fruit Salad + Fruits | Scrambled egg | Beans | Hash browns | sausages |and my personal fav is crispy bacon - you could also have pancakes + a selection of meats and fish and bread the list really does go on... go on fill yourselves up you won’t need to eat again to the late evening.

The Evening Meal, go to the Ranga’s website and check out their menu (http://www.hotelranga.is/) for me it was too ‘classy’, everything from the menu to the cost of the food, you can’t knock it, it is well run and the presentation is excellent, so if you like dressing up (not compulsory) eating well presented food then you will like this.

If however you like some fast food, like Pizza | Hamburger a Steak then you can go to a restaurant which is only 5 minutes drive away. (Directions - as you drive out from the Ranga Hotel turn left onto the Route 1 and drive for 5 minutes, just before you get to the roundabout in Hella the restaurant is located to your right. The food is good and a lot cheaper for some items.

This hotel is located about an 90minutes from the Reykjavik, they have strict speeding limits, the fastest you can go is about 90khm which is about 56mph, yes you can go faster but you do that at your own risk, What I like about the location of the hotel, you are kind of at the central point to get to all the main touristy attractions not more than 90 minutes drive away. Keep in mind this country is bigger than you think and it does take time to travel to places.

What would I do again.
Apart from the obvious – Geysers’ | Guilifoss Falls | Blue lagoon (do this on your last day as you travel back to the airport)

* I would have been tempted to take a travel tour so that I could see all the main attractions fiorst which woul d have freed up more time to travel to ther locations like Jokulsarlon & Hoft

* Don’t miss Pingvellir national park, this place is amazing and not to be underestimated, we got here by error but we were so glad we did it. – Pingvellir lies within a belt of volcanic activity and fissures which pass across Iceland a part of the mid Atlantic Ridge, the junction of the American and Eurasian tectonic plates, here you will see a lovely waterfall, great walks through the Fissures and amazing view points across Iceland’s open Plaines

With the recent Volcano eruption on 20/03/2010@ 11.30PM GMT a volcano erupted on the Eyjafjallajokull Glacier ( we were there!)

http://travelblog.dailymail.co.uk/2010/03/icelands-volcanic-eruption-a-reminder-that-there-is-more-to-europes-most-remote-country-than-a-banki.html

By travelling to Pingvellir, pronounced Thingvellir you can witness first hand the effects on the Islands terrain of the constant battle between the two different and rival plates , the scars are clearly visible , the jagged tears in the soil and towering walls of stone rising unnervingly vertical the bear testimony of what’s happening below

When I first arrived in Iceland and started travelling from the airport it felt that I had landed on the surface of the moon with all the lava flows that have happened, in fact the beauty of the island does not hit you directly, in fact you could be forgiven to think that this is an ugly island an island only a mother could love, but as you travel this island grows on you as though you are being magically changed from the inside.

Ok I have rambled on – I couldn’t help myself , The Ranga is a great place to stay,

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank David A
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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