Iceland has become one of my favorite trips of all time. It’s. That. Cool. After doing a ton of research online, we chose to stay at the Sandhotel in Reykjavik. While my entire trip was well above expectations, I was a bit worried about the hotel selection, mostly because the online information we gathered had very conflicting reviews – or more like conflicts of interests, which I’ll get into in this Sand hotel review.
The Sandhotel and My Stay in 2018
Reykjavik is the most happening City in Iceland. You arrive there after about an hour trip from the airport, which is located in Keflavik. The reviews online coupled with the numerous (biased but somehow not biased) tour operators opinions on where to stay made this a very difficult decision. Looking for a luxury hotel in Reykjavik, we had so many conflicting opinions that it drove us crazy. My girlfriend had heard that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had stayed at the 101 Hotel, and we gave that a serious look before more than one local told us the Sandhotel was better. Let’s face it, I’m not trying to keep up with the Kardashian’s but I know they won’t stay somewhere that’s not luxurious!
I was saying to myself, “I’ll be upset if the 101 is hands down a better place to stay, but let’s let this play out.” So without further ado, here is how my stay at the Sandhotel went.
The Sandhotel in Reykjavik Review
For Starters, this trip happened in February of 2018. I always like to be clear because like any content, it can become dated and things do change rapidly with surroundings, personnel, and management style. So for full disclosure, that’s when we visited and that’s all I can report on. I do plan on returning to Iceland in the Summer of 2018, so if I stay there again, I’ll update this review with more details.
Let’s start with the broad strokes and get down to the nitty gritty. Also, it’s worth noting that there are many options to book this hotel, but none better than Booking.com.
Location of the Sandhotel
Located on Laugavegur, there is not a better location, in my opinion, for a hotel in Reykjavik. This is the “main street” of Reykjavik and it showcases all of the bars, restaurants, coffee shops, clubs, and shops that you will definitely be frequenting on your trip, so you may as well stay right in the belly of the beast.
There is a bakery next door, basically connected to the hotel, called Sandholt, which is an amazing selection of pastries and breakfast dishes that are served all day. I opted for the pretzel bagel sandwich, which was absolutely dynamite.
Also in the hotel you’ll find a bar and restaurant, which we used one time each and they did not disappoint. You’ll find prompt, courteous service with a smile at both establishments. The bar features specials which are hand made and absolutely mind blowing. Check out the video below.
You’ll find the following establishments within a brief walk (some within mere steps) of the hotel:
- Lebowski Bar
- Chuck Norris Bar
- Durum Restaurant
There are MANY other places to visit within walking distance, but these are the absolute closest. Nothing is more than a half of a mile, it seems, from the Sandhotel location.
Check out each review by clicking the link of each destination. Some are currently being updated and will be linked shortly.
Con’s of the Sandhotel
Some people complained of street noise from surrounding bars, due to the location. So like they say, it’s a give and take. If you want to be near all the action, expect the action spilling into your space from time to time.
On our first night, which was a Friday, we did hear this noise, (basically bar noise and music) until about 2-3 AM. However, after being worn out from a full day of exploring, it didn’t deter us from sleeping. I’ll also add that we had a second floor suite that was situated right above the Laugavegur street which has people walking to and from shops and bars all day and night. The only way we could have been closer to the street is if we were on the ground floor, and there aren’t any rooms on the ground floor.
In short, the noise was not something I’d tell friends was a bother. In fact we didn’t experience any noise on the Saturday or Sunday night of our stay.
Some people may find there are cheaper prices for other hotels in Reykjavik, and we toured the City enough to see their location to be very happy with our decision. While I can’t speak for the interior, service, or experience at any other hotel (at this point in time, at least) in Reykjavik, I can say that for my money, the location of the Sandhotel is the absolute best in Reykjavik.
Room Details and Customer Experience
Let me first say that when I use a room, I use it for everything that you could imagine. As an Entrepreneur and part time travel blogger, it’s imperative that I have a cozy environment where I can experience high speed internet without interruption. I’m happy to say that this hotel did NOT disappoint. My room was equipped with free guest wifi service which was astonishing quick. There was a desk that allowed me ample room to write and work. There was also a nice lounge area where I could use my laptop and order food and drink from the hotel bar and do my thing. In the Summer, which I didn’t get to experience, it appeared I could be doing this in the alley area near the Sandholt bakery.
If you find yourself needing to work at any clip, this hotel will not prohibit you from keeping your business moving.
As far as room amenities, the bed (King bed in this case) was extremely comfortable. I can’t recall an experience where I slept better in my many times of International travel. After a night out, I’m somewhat embarrassed to report I slept nearly 12 hours entirely uninterrupted!
While the rooms are quaint, they are entirely ample. Although they probably don’t work for families of more than three people, they are certainly perfect for a couple.
The bathroom had heated floors and was entirely made of stone. It was very nice and had a solid shower with hot water (a must for the Winter of Iceland) that made us feel great and fresh at all times. The only complaint about the shower is that they did not have any shelves for products. The hotel provides their own brand of products (which were wonderful) for your own use, but again you have to place them on the floor between uses. This may sound very tedious, but anyone having any chronic conditions with their back, or in my case, after a half day of hiking in the blizzard, it wasn’t something I loved doing. With that said, the room experience was totally on par with expectations. There wasn’t a mini bar, which admittedly saved me money, but sometimes it’s nice to have easy access to water, a beer, champagne, or soda at moments notice.
If you are an American, you may find the television channels unbearable, since it’s all British or local programming for the most part. However, we made due and can’t blame the hotel for the lack of ESPN and other such luxuries. Let’s face it, when in Iceland, the last thing I want to do is try to Keep Up with the Kardashian’s.
All in all, this was a very pleasant experience. Again, I can’t personally compare this to other hotels in Iceland, but I’m confident in saying that after extensive research, I ended up in the best hotel for my needs and desires.
The Bar in the Sandhotel
You’ll find a wide variety of local beers and eclectic cocktails that will NOT disappoint. A perfect way to wind down after a long day.
I can confidently recommend staying in this hotel if you are looking to stay any length of time in Reykjavik. I will be staying here again in my return visit.
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