Iceland seems to be a buzz word at the moment, if you don’t know what all the fuss is about, check out our Instagram feed for some samples of the phenomenal scenery.
When we started researching where to go our itinerary seemed so packed with places to go and things to see that it seemed an almost impossible task to cut down the list to a realistic amount. The same cannot unfortunately be said for the choices for accommodation.
As our itinerary took us around the island, we sampled a couple of great hotels, but Hotel Ranga really is a stand out experience. Here’s why…
How was the experience before getting to the room?
I had seen a post about Hotel Ranga on a blog and decided to contact them to book a night, which was very easy through email. Advertising itself as “The only four-star country resort” in the South of Iceland we were very excited to see what all the fuss was about. We landed early morning and had been on the road driving and exploring all day. We didn’t start our journey to the hotel (from Solhiemajokulll plane wreck) until after dark, but were confident that once close, we’d see the lights of the hotel.
We were wrong. Not that the hotel was hard to find (there are big signs) but that we would be able to see the lights. I’m not sure how they do it, but it’s almost like the whole hotel is cloaked in darkness – all the better to see the Northern Lights. The car park was full which reassured us that we weren’t in the middle of nowhere and about to find out the hotel was closed!
Once inside, we were enveloped in the toasty atmosphere and checked in easily. We opted in to the “Aurora Wake Up List” where you would get a phone call to your room should the lights decided to make an appearance. A lovely touch, especially as I probably would have been checking out the window every five minutes if I didn’t have that reassurance.
To make matters even better, we had been upgraded to a junior suite (I know, that never happens to me!) and boy, were we in for a treat!
We took some time to unpack before our dinner reservation, but mid unloading the car, we got the call. The Aurora was out.
Dropping everything, we suited up and ran out into the freezing air. We were so lucky to have witnessed this breath taking show.
Does it cover the travellers’ basic needs?
Breakfast – Check (hot and cold buffet)
Comfy bed – Super king sized Check!
Decent Sized Towels – Check
Fridge – Check
Good Pillows – Check
Parking – Check
Safe – Check
Shower with decent water pressure – Check
Decent Wifi – Check
This hotel checks all the boxes and more, really delivering on the warm and cosy atmosphere you will crave after a day in the harsh Icelandic air.
What makes your stay feel special?
The service here is infallible; everyone is so willing to help and to make your stay even more special. The Manager was also very visible during dinner taking an interest in your trip and welcoming you as an old friend. The main thing that made our stay feel welcome was the upgrade to a junior suite – a complete surprise which totally exceeded all expectations.
The main feature of our bathroom was the HUGE bathtub, perfect to warm-up in after a night spent stargazing and aurora hunting. The whole room was very cosy and the attention to detail was astonishing.
Do the hotel and room make sense?
The room layout was simple and functional, making it feel like a home away from home. There was a separate seating area and a large desk. The only minor (and I mean minor) downside was that the lighting levels were very low, which certainly added to the peaceful ambience, it was a little frustrating when trying to check all our equipment.
It was soon time for our dinner reservation, so we reluctantly packed away our equipment, tore our gazes away from the sky and headed inside to the dining room via the bar. We checked the aurora forecast to make sure it would still be out after we had finished which meant we could sit back and relax over dinner.
Our dining experience would be far too long to detail here, so check out our Ranga Restaurant review here!
Breakfast is a hot and cold buffet with all the lovely things you’d expect from a good breakfast of several courses. They also had a gluten free section.
This hotel is in a perfect location on the south side of the island, especially if you are on your way to or from Reykjavik.
After dinner, we headed back out into the night to chase the lights, we ended up at Skogafoss waterfall, watching the lights dance in the waters reflections and even saw a shooting star through the aurora. It was a truly magical (and very cold) night.
When we arrived back to Hotel Ranga late into the early hours, even though it is relatively close to Skogafoss. Everything was still (I am guessing we may be a little hard core on the lights chasing) and we tiptoed up to our room. Tim fell straight to sleep, whilst I ran a warm bath before collapsing into bed and getting lost amongst the throw pillows.
Best extras included?
The Northern Lights were an amazing “extra” although they cannot be guaranteed. The hotel has a stargazing hut on site with complementary equipment and warmth if you wanted to learn more about the phenomenon of the aurora which is free to all guests.
You can also make good use of the complementary snow suits to stay warm when outside.
The “free” water was very refreshing.
If we’d have had more time at the hotel it would have been nice to make use of the pool table and hot tubs, which overlook the surrounding area and one of Iceland’s renowned salmon rivers.
I am still trying to think of something…
A slice of luxury in the middle of the Icelandic countryside, this hotel is more than a welcome break and a stay here would certainly enhance your trip and experience.
Thank you Hotel Ranga for a truly exceptional stay and if we are ever back on the island again, you will certainly be the first place I call!
Last modified: 14th March 2016