Kvosin Downtown Hotel Review – Your Icelandic Home Away From Home
When I was searching for Reykjavik’s most unique accommodation’s I shocked by the amount of apartments available. Reykjavik’s popularity as a transatlantic stop over has made locals open up their stylish homes to visitors. Others have capitalized on the opportunity and purchased properties to use as rental suites. Those crafty Icelanders. I browsed through many websites and reviews on various apartment style hotels before I stumbled on the brand new (June 2013) Kvosin downtown hotel. As soon as I read the home page of the Kvosin Hotels website I knew I had found something unique:
Kvosin downtown hotel is a modern hotel in an old building. The spirit of the house is thus a great mix of old and new. You don’t have to go long distances to find some inspiration and fun. In less then three minutes walking distance are cafés, bars, clubs, museums, Harpa (concerts and conventions), the mayor, ducks and politicians working in the Icelandic parliament next door (never mind).
The quirkiness continues in the summaries. “Lying tired (hung over) in the sofa watching some Icelandic TV shows that are probably funnier for you than the locals” and “Walking downtown looking at the guests of other hotels that are not as happy as you” drew me in. With writing this tongue-in-cheek I had to see more. I eagerly clicked on the photos of the rooms and was sold. This large apartment style hotel in the heart of Reykjavik would be the perfect spot to kick off my around the world trip.
After confirming details I received an equally charming and funny confirmation letter that included a key code to get into our apartment. This is a great feature as it makes early morning or late night check-ins a breeze. On the downside, it makes you bypass the incredibly helpful and friendly staff at the front counter, but there is plenty of time to interact with them later. In our case, we were very jet lagged and ready for a nap.
Feeling at Home at the Kvosin Downtown Hotel
Upon entering our “Biggest Room“ we immediately felt at home – if home was a super retro and comfortable flat in the heart of Reykjavik. Sharing the place with newlywed friends of ours made the size of the room that much more attractive with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a small kitchen, and a cozy living room. The apartment is bright and airy with patio windows facing east and west. This allows for plenty of natural light to cast over the vast amount of Icelandic features found throughout the rooms. From books to pillows, to throw rugs, this apartment has charm. I already knew I would love this place based on the website but seeing the cool fixtures, wood tile floors, subway tiled bathrooms, and the shelving units constructed out of old piping made me want to renovate my home. The large deck off the back and the small one off the front overlooking Austurvöllur Square and Domkirkjan church, the oldest of its kind in Reykjavík, is also a nice touch. Well played Kvoisn.
The little touches set this place apart as well as made me feel at home – complete with a Tivoli stereo and a Nespresso espresso machine – both of which I own.
The bedrooms are tastefully decorated and include comfortable pillows and sheets, perfect for that jet-lagged nap or sleeping off that Icelandic hangover.
The kitschy appeal that I loved about the website and confirmation letter continued inside the Kvosin Downtown Hotel with quirky comment cards, notes on what to see and do, and a wine and beer list that can only make you smile.
The lobby consists of a little coffee and snack shop where you can load up on supplies as well as pick up uniquely Icelandic souvenirs, many of which are items found decorating the rooms. There’s also a beautiful wine bar and lounge off the lobby which is great spot for a drink before dinner or for a nightcap before bed.
Breakfast is included in your stay and is served by a cute little coffee shop around the corner. The meals I had were fast and healthy consisting of your choice between several organic options including a green smoothie that can help erase the previous nights damage.
Location, Location, Location.
The Kvosin downtown hotel cannot be in a better location. Situated on a quiet yet popular square near the end of Laugavegur street, the main Street in town is known for it shops and nightlife, this great Reykjavik accommodation is minutes from everything. Turning left out of the entrance you can find many of the great restaurants and cafes found in the city. Turn right and you can bar hop or shop your way up Laugavegur street. Next door you will find museums, the parliament building, and the massive city pond – perfect for a nice stroll, people watching, feeding the massive ducks (seriously ginormous) or in our case, viewing the Northern Lights. From our home away from home we just stuck our head out the back deck every 15 minutes or so after 10 PM until we saw a glow above. That’s when we bundled up for the two-minute walk to the center of the frozen pond where we got away from the city lights (ever so slightly) for a wonderful show. No need for an expensive tour out-of-town if you are looking for a taste of the lights.
Reykjavik has many options when it comes to apartments and hotels but you won’t find anything that comes close to the charm, character, and Icelandic comfort offered by a stay at the Kvosin downtown hotel. The warm staff, the quirky touches, excellent amenities, and great value make this new hotel stand out. Look no further than for your quick transatlantic stop over or your week-long stay in this truly cool and truly unique city.
Kvosin on Facebook
Although I was provided a comfortable and cozy few days for a reduced rate from the Kvosin Downtown Hotel,
the experience, opinions, and words are my own.