04 April 2018

2018 ICELAND Reykjavik 4 - Grand Hotel Reykjavik

Our room was more than adequate in size, but not spacious. We had a bed, two side tables, a desk, a fridge, and a large closet area.

On top of the fridge was a glass box with a door. We had no idea what that was for. T&L did not have that in their room. Hmmm?
And I love the ecological mindset of the Icelanders. In our room was a three part trash bin, indicating trash, bottles, or paper. It was a great reminder to recycle and saved a lot of sorting by the staff.
Lights are always a mystery. Are switches on the wall or on the lamps? Are the switches toggle or flip? On the base or under the shade? Which switches work on which lights, especially the bed lights? This time you put your room card in a slot by the door to activate the switches. After some experimenting, we figure it all out.

In Iceland you have the option of two twin beds or a "king bed." Basically it means your twin beds are separated or snugged up next to each other. This was our experience in some hotels in mainland Europe as well. Today we had the king set up. Linens were white (except the coverlet) and wonderful. We each had our own duvet. Mike hit the hay immediately.

It had been cold in the lobby and I had a chill I could not shake. I opted for a hot bath first. The bathroom was large with tub and shower and heated floor. I hopped in the long and narrow bath. That did the trick and also brought my swollen knee back to near normal size.

The shower set-up was something we had not seen before. It had an curved swinging glass door to contain the spray. I thought it was clever, but Mike didn't like it so much. Only one kind of soap for body and hair and no conditioner. Not particularly good on my hair.
After my bath I crashed and slept soundly until 20:00. I woke and couldn't sleep, so I jotted some blog notes. I was still antsy, so got dressed and took some photos in the lobby. It was lit in a purple and pink theme, including some areas of the floor.

If you understood Icelandic, you could read the saga stories depicted on the huge (2 or 3 story high) stained-glass windows.
Clocks by the front desk revealed that we were on the same time zone as London.
It was still chilly in the lobby, but the fireplace (above in first purple pix) was lit and candles were scattered about. That gave the illusion of warmth. Back in the room, I was finally able to shut my eyes again.
Breakfast was included in the room rate. I have to say the spread was impressive. There were four main selection areas--beverage bar; fruit, breads and pastries; cold cuts and salad; and hot items and soups. Each area had a wide selection, to appeal to all palates from Western, European, Asian, and beyond. Impressive!

Never saw a serving tray of fried eggs before and they were cooked to perfection.

A "bonus" item at all the breakfast bars on this trip was a bottle of cod liver oil, shot glasses, and lemon. Appropriate, I guess, for a land that eats a lot of cod. Brought back memories for Mike from when he was a kid. His grandparents always had a bottle on hand for a breakfast nip. None of us tried it.

After breakfast we were anxious to get on the road.

An aside: My opinion may be influenced by our rough start, but I would not rate this hotel above average. Customer service skills need to be honed. If the receptionist had indicated our room would not be ready til 14:00, we would have made a different plan. But stringing us along from 09:00 til 14:00 wasted our time and put us in a negative frame of mind to enjoy our stay there.

The room was nice and clean (especially the bathroom), but not what we are used to in a 4-star hotel. The location, from what we saw, did not lend itself to shopping or sight-seeing. The breakfast was fantastic, but that is not a reason to give a top rating. 

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