Name: Hotel Rangá
Location: Suðurlandsvegur, 851 Hella, Iceland
Price: Starting at $425 | Book It
- 51 spacious rooms with suites available
- On-site dining
- Star/Sungazing Observatory
- Hot Tubs
- Game Room
- Billard Room
Best Tip: Book early!! Hotel Rangá sells out quickly, and at all times throughout the year.
Stay here if… you want to stay in the only luxury hotel in South Iceland.
Checking in & the room at Hotel Rangá
First off, I was so excited to book a one-night stay at Hotel Rangá. This hotel is notoriously busy and consistently booked solid every month of the year. This is because Hotel Rangá is the only 4-star resort in Southern Iceland. I am so lucky I got a chance to stay here.
I arrived to the hotel around 6 pm and was greeted warmly by three lovely ladies at reception. The check in process was quick and I booked an 8 pm dinner reservation while checking in. I was quickly given a rundown of the layout of the hotel and was in my room in a grand total of 15 minutes. After long days of travel I really appreciate quick check in procedures.
The room itself was a standard double with a large bathroom and king sized bed. The mural on the wall was gorgeous and inviting....as was the bed. After sleeping for a week straight in a small camper all I wanted to do was climb in. But I held off on a nap, dropped my bags, and immediately hopped in the shower. The pressure and heat were great, but the shower-head itself wouldn't stay upright. Annoying, but not a huge issue. My spirits were too high to care too much. After drying my hair and putting on a dress for the first time in a week I felt human again. I loved my camper van and totally recommend renting one when you come to Iceland, but there is nothing like a quality hotel.
Dining at Hotel Rangá
Before dinner, I enjoyed a complimentary welcome drink at the bar. My choices included wine, beer, tea, or coffee and I gladly accepted a robust red wine. Dinner followed next, which was one of the best meals I have ever had. Head chef, Karl Johann, creates Icelandic cuisine with a modern twist that left me wanting more even though I was stuffed after dinner. I tried the roasted cauliflower, salmon starter, and Arctic Char main course. My sides of potatoes and barley, decadently slathered with butter and gravy were worth every highly caloric bite.
A breakfast buffet is available in the morning from 7-10, but because of a late night sightseeing I went to bed around 5 am and didn't wake up in time. When I did awake, around noon, it was gray and raining outside. I used the poor weather as an excuse to stick around and try some lunch at Hotel Rangá. (Like I needed an excuse to stick around at this beautiful hotel...) Again, I was not disappointed. I had a warm and filling mushroom soup while chatting with the owner, Fridrik Palsson, and Head Chef, Karl Johann. During our chat, they found out I had not tried Kæstur hákarl, better know as rotten fish AKA FERMENTED SHARK, (!!!) and they insisted I try some.
It was quite an experience...not awful but not the best! After the rotten fish, I was also served a dessert of whipped Skyr (traditional Icelandic yogurt) and berries. This was, as you can guess, much easier on the palate. I left feeling as if I was leaving home, Fridrik and Karl had made me feel such at ease in their gorgeous hotel.
Wifi at Hotel Rangá
WiFi is always what guests are most concerned about, myself included. I usually work from the road and plan as I go, so a properly functioning and efficient WiFi is key. No complaints here. Hotel Rangá's WiFi was easy to access and free throughout the hotel. I streamed music, watched Netflix and answered e-mails easily.
Hotel Rangá is most busy during the winter months and known for excellent aurora gazing. Their huge dining room has floor to ceiling windows so you can watch the light show at any time it decides to happen, including during dinner. There are also hot tubs outside, which are open all year round. I can only imagine how amazing it would be to stare up at a colorful night sky while sitting in one of them. Hotel Rangá also has star gazing equipment in their observatory located on hotel grounds. During the summer, and the midnight sun, the equipment turns into a sungazing telescope. Such a unique extra amenity I don't think you can find elsewhere.
Hotel Rangá Location
Hotel Rangá has a prime location in South Iceland - less than an hour away from Reykjavik - between the towns of Hella and Hvolsvöllur. From the hotel, you can easily reach Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, two of the most renowned waterfalls in Iceland, as well as a variety of other sights. Vik and its famous black sand beach are also less than an hour away.
I used Hotel Rangá as a base for most of my sightseeing in South Iceland. There is so much to do in a small 100 km radius that having somewhere nice to take a break was a welcome change to the constant on the move and pushing forward mentality that a drive of the ring road entails. It is also a great hotel for booking adventure tours including Eyjafjallajökull, various Golden Circle tours and the Glacier Lagoon (Jökulsárlón).
Hotel Rangá lived up to my expectations and so much more. The staff were all incredibly friendly and accommodating. The food was excellent and the location beyond perfect. I can't wait to visit again soon, hopefully during northern light season. If you want to stay here (and you should) be sure to book early.
Pictures of Hotel Rangá
One more thing....
Researching online is great, but for a trip like Iceland I highly recommend bringing a travel book along. Here are my favorites:
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