When we booked our trip to Iceland, our tour operator sent us an itinerary that included the hotels we’d be staying at each night. I immediately started to search the internet for information about these places.
I was satisfied that each place met the requirements we put in place before booking. We asked for a private room with an ensuite bathroom. We didn’t need luxury but we wanted comfortable accommodations with Wi-Fi and at least a queen-size bed.
While everywhere looked nice, one hotel seemed to stand out. The pictures of people sitting in hot tubs looking at glaciers or local wildlife roaming nearby filled the hotel’s Instagram page. Needless to say, I was looking forward to our stay.
I should have known that Instagram isn’t real life, and some photographers are experts at turning lemons into lemonade for social media posts. Looking at this picture, wouldn’t you want to stay here???
Understand that this is not a review saying the hotel is a bad place to stay because it’s not. Just don’t use to picture above to judge what you’re going to experience.
This hotel is just a bit off the road and near Höfn. I already wrote about how the hotel didn’t offer dinner and said we should eat in town before arriving. Since we’d get to the hotel after the front desk closed, the hotel said to call the phone number listed on the door when we arrived. The hotel was very accommodating to our late arrival.
After our lengthy dinner experience in Höfn, it was late when we arrived. It was also cold and rainy with a low cloud cover so we couldn’t see any views. Our room was on the 2nd floor of the main building, over the reception area. There was a separate entrance with nearby parking, and a hill between the reception area and our room, so no need to climb any steps, even though were technically weren’t on the ground floor.
Breakfast was included in our rate. We also had access to the hot tubs located just a minute or two drive down the road. While a hot tub soak sounded good, they closed at 9 PM and all I wanted to do was get to the room, change clothes and get to bed. We’d be able to explore tomorrow.
Hoffelli II B, Hoffell 781 Iceland
The reception area is part of the main building’s ground floor. To the left is the dining area and behind the desk is a sitting area and a museum with information on the nearby glacier and other Iceland history.
Our room was the first one past the door, on the left. There was a shoe rack and jacket hooks just inside the outer door and it’s apparent the hotel is popular with people visiting the surrounding nature areas.
Our room was very basic and the smallest one we had for our trip to Iceland. Still, it was plenty big for a one-night stay. We had two single beds pushed together. Besides the single pillow in the middle, it’s obvious this is two beds 🙂
There was a small closet, chair, desk with a lamp (and some plugs) and a wall-mounted TV. Below the TV was a luggage rack that folded out from the wall.
The bathroom was small but efficient.
They gave the most room to the shower, which I think was a smart decision.
The following day, we had breakfast in the dining room. It’s located off the reception area and has large picture windows to look at the glacier while you’re eating.
The breakfast spread was usual for most of our stay—plenty of carbs, some cereal and some meats. We ate enough to fill up, but it wasn’t great.
There’s outside seating but this was the weather and view on the morning of our departure.
I wish the view was like the one I saw online.
As a nice touch, there’s a rather large and detailed museum located off the lobby area.
When we checked out, the friendly front desk person said we were still welcome to visit the hot tubs located down the road and we could return to change back into our clothes at the bathrooms located near reception.
We decided to check the tubs out on our way out.
There was a sign on the road pointing you to the location.
See the trailer in the distance? That’s the entrance.
We were exempt from the charge but the weather outside and the surrounding scenery weren’t calling us to a leisurely soak.
There are four tubs located around the rock formation with what looks like garden hoses feeding some of the tubs.
Here’s an up-close view along with the rinsing shower for you to use before entering the tub.
Not exactly the vibe I got from the Instagram post.
Looking back at the pictures online, I can’t complain that they’re not truthful. I’m sure there’s a time of year when the flowers are blooming around the hot tubs. They never took a picture showing you what they look like on the inside, only the water and the edges. For the views from the hotel, I can’t fault them for the weather for the one night of our stay. It might have been nice the day before or the day after.
I blame myself for falling into the trap of thinking that how I see things on the internet is exactly how it will be during my visit. I would have enjoyed my stay more if I had never checked out the pictures. That way, all I would have expected was a hotel to spend the night where we needed to stay. I ended up with high expectations and a hotel that had no way to meet the level it set for itself.
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