Hotel Rangá Review | South Iceland

Hotel Ranga is one of the best hotels in Iceland

Name: Hotel Rangá

Location: Suðurlandsvegur, 851 Hella, Iceland

Price: Starting at $425 | Book It

Property:

  • 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.

Read on: Ring Road Guide—Short Version | Ring Road guide—Long Version

 

Checking in & the room at Hotel Rangá

The rooms in Hotel Ranga are small but cozy and inviting.

The rooms in Hotel Ranga are small but cozy and inviting.

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.

Read on: How to see Iceland in only 4 days

Dining at Hotel Rangá

Dinner at Hotel Ranga is amazing and you shouldn’t miss the spectacular dining room.

Dinner at Hotel Ranga is amazing and you shouldn’t miss the spectacular dining room.

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.

You can try Fermented shark in Iceland and it is great at Hotel Ranga. It is an experience… don’t miss it.

You can try Fermented shark in Iceland and it is great at Hotel Ranga. It is an experience… don’t miss it.

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.

Extra Touches

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.

Read on: What to pack for a trip to Iceland

The entire hotel is so cute. Hotel Ranga is definitely the best hotel in Iceland.

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).

Read on: Everything you need to know for a visit to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Pictures of Hotel Rangá 

Final Thoughts

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. 

One last thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing a travel guide for Iceland along with you. Here are some of the best travel guide books I recommend...

One of the most common questions I get: What is the best camera for travel photography? I personally love my Nikon D5600. I use the kit lens and a Sigma wide-angle lens (for Nikon) which I am genuinely obsessed with.

Read on: Full list of travel gear I use on every trip

And of course, if you have any questions DO NOT hesitate to reach out to me via Instagram, Twitter, or just shoot me an email (tessajuliette at gmail dot com).

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Check out why this hotel is considered the best hotel in Iceland. Notoriously busy and consistently booked solid every month of the year you can’t miss it on a trip to Iceland.

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