When planning our trip to Iceland we knew we’d be stuck inside for a majority of our time. Between the four hours of daily sunlight, the cold winter weather, and considering the fact that the city shuts down entirely for two full days, we wanted a hotel with a pool that we could take the twins swimming and help ease their restless legs during the interim. Booking over Christmas meant low availability, but we found the Icelandair Reykjavik Natura Hotel that offered free breakfast, a pool, and a hotel restaurant open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
► Ranking: #wetdiaper
Icelandair Reykjavik Natura Hotel
Phone: +354 444 4500
The only thing that saves this review from being a #stinkydiaper is they did have a pretty awesome Christmas Buffet, but we could have driven here for dinner – we didn’t have to sleep here in order to eat.
The most frustrating part about our stay is that I called the hotel in advance to ensure there was a pool, and that it was available for guest use. They confirmed my inquiry over the phone, but neglected to tell me that only bookings in specific types of rooms are granted pool access, the pool hours are limited to a few hours a day, and as a family we could only use the pool for one hour at a designated time for an exorbitant fee since we didn’t book the proper type of room.
See, we booked a family junior suite at the Iceland Reykjavik Natura Hotel. In order to use the pool, we had to book a family suite. They’ve since changed the names of all their rooms, and I even wonder if the hotel was purchased by a new group since our stay. The fact of the matter is that if we wanted to pay upwards of a few additional hundred dollars we could use the pool.
The hotel is located centrally to most of the major attractions in Reykjavik. It is in an excellent location, and off the main road, however it is right next to a local airport, and the lights of the planes shone into our room at all hours.
Decorations throughout the Iceland Reykjavik Natura Hotel are very festive, with a beautiful Christmas tree in the front foyer. A grand staircase winds through the center of the hotel, and our babies had fun running up and down the stairs since they weren’t able to go swimming. They have a lot modern art throughout the hotel with large sculptures throughout the building.
However, when it comes to the rooms themselves, they are nothing special, though the rooms are fairly large. They are bare bones, and extremely drab in color. There are two very uncomfortable twin beds pushed together to form a queen, I guess, but they kept slipping apart all night long without any abnormal movement. The windows of the room are lined with bench seats and cushions, which is where we ended up placing the twins to sleep since the beds are entirely too small to fit more than one normal American, and we believe is what they were intended for. There is a couch, and a desk in the room as well.
Reykjavik Natura has three different restaurants. One primarily serves a Nordic breakfast with oats, fruit, meat and a cod liver oil station. The other restaurants served traditional Nordic fare, including a Christmas buffet spread with reindeer, lamb and other delicacies. Read on to hear all about our Christmas Buffet Dinner Dining Experience.
► For Kids: It’s nothing special, and there isn’t a pool for them.
Where have you stayed in Iceland? We would have loved to stay in an airbnb, and wish we’d gone that route. We may have even had a better chance at seeing the Northern Lights if we had.
► Nap-Time Version: The Iceland Reykjavik Natura Hotel is not the best choice for families – stick with an airbnb.
Check out our review of the Christmas Hotel Buffet, our trip around the Golden Circle, and which traditional Icelandic Christmas gift we picked out to commemorate our visit to Reykjavik and Christmas in Iceland.