Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Radisson Blu 1919

6 Dec 2013 by Jenny Southan

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

Not to be confused with the 51-year-old Radisson Blu Saga hotel, also in Reykjavik, the 1919 opened in 2005.

The décor is simple and modern with a Nordic slant (think hardwood floors and cowhide). Reception can be accessed from the front and back of the hotel, but is locked at night once it gets late (security staff are on hand to let guests in). A conversion property, the building used to be used as offices.

WHERE IS IT?

On Posthusstraeti, opposite the waterfront Harpa concert hall and conference centre. It is 45 minutes’ drive from Reykjavik Keflavik International airport, with Iceland Excursions Grayline (grayline.is) public coaches dropping off at a depot close to the hotel. You can buy tickets (2,090 ISK/£10.69 one way) in the landside area of the airport upon exiting.

ROOM FACILITIES

Standard rooms are 16 sqm and come with free wifi, tea and coffee, safes, queen-size beds, showers (some have baths as well), and on-demand movies.

The hotel’s 29 Deluxe rooms are 24 sqm and also come with robes and slippers, while the 28 sqm Business rooms have the added benefit of Nespresso machines, breakfast and upgraded toiletries.

Junior suites are 35 sqm and guests have the same amenities as Business rooms but also come with free laundry, while the loft-style Suites have spa baths, king-size beds and 50 sqm of space.

I was staying in a Business room on the corner of the building so had views of the Harpa convention centre. I found it to be quite cold so had to turn the radiators on, and the large, echoey bathroom was a bit institutional with its bright lighting and white-tiled walls and floor. It also came with a combined shower and tub, and Anne Semonin bathing products.

The bed was decent, but nothing special, and there was a long workdesk that was handy for spreading out my belongings and typing on my laptop. The windows opened for fresh air, though it was too chilly and noisy to keep them open at night.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS

The 1919 Lounge is open for light bites until 10pm and serves beer and cocktails throughout the day. I had breakfast at the ground-floor 1919 Restaurant, and enjoyed the buffet of fruit, pastries, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, bread, juice, Skyr (creamy Icelandic yoghurt) and other various items on offer in an adjacent room. They even had cod liver oil for health fiends.

The décor is simple and modern, and floor-to-ceiling windows look out on to the street. Staff were friendly. Lunch and dinner is also served à la carte. Room service is available until 10pm.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES

The hotel has three meeting rooms with AV equipment and free wifi, and capacities of six, 14 and 20 delegates.

Across the road is the cutting-edge Harpa concert hall and conference centre, which opened in 2011.

LEISURE FACILITIES

There is an on-site gym open from 6am to 10pm. The hotel is just a short walk away to nearby restaurants, bars and boutiques, and the harbour, where boats depart for whale watching.

VERDICT

The Radisson Blu 1919 is a reliable corporate hotel in a central location, close to the Harpa concert hall and conference centre. The Business rooms with free wifi and breakfast are recommended. Staff are friendly.


FACT FILE

  • HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 88 rooms across five categories – Standard, Deluxe, Business, Junior suites and Suites.
  • HIGHLIGHTS Central location, free wifi and buffet breakfast.
  • PRICE Flexible internet rates for a midweek stay in January started from €137 for a Standard room.
  • CONTACT Radisson Blu 1919, 101 Posthusstraeti 2; tel +354 599 1000; radissonblu.com


Jenny Southan
 

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