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Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Glymur Akranes
A JEWEL IN THE ICE
I have visited Iceland on three previous occasions and have fallen in love with this wonderful spot in the North Atlantic. I have always stayed in and around Reykjavik which is a lively, friendly but unfortunately expensive city. I have also visited the Golden Circle of tourist wonders and the Blue Lagoon. This time I chose a hotel outside Reykjavik on the shores of the Whale Fjord. The Glymur has wonderful views across a tranquil inlet and rolling hills and mountains in the distance. The Hotel itself is an art gallery, full of artefacts from all around the world, all with a slightly odd and funky slant. The owners, Jon and Hansina, welcome all the guests like they are coming into their family home. The food is superb and the restaurant had diners who had just come to the hotel to eat, which is always a good sign. The rooms are on two floors with the sleeping area on a gallery - not so good for the infirm or slightly tipsy! Even though we were in the middle of nowhere, there was plenty to do with trips up the glacier, lovely walks, whale watching etc. If you needed a shot of nightlife, Reykjavik is only 45 minutes away. This is a wonderful hotel, I do not have shares in it, unfortunately. I recommend Glymur whole-heartedly, especially for travellers who are planning a two centre holiday in Iceland - madness in Reykjavik - tranquility in Hvalfjordur.
A high feel-good factor
We arrived in Iceland towards the end of May and found we had to change our plans to stay in the north, due to excessive snowfall; we needed somewhere to stay and the hotel Glymur, a 90-min drive from Keflavik, was very accommodating. The rooms are comfortable; we had a great view of the mountains and fjord. I liked the split level with a sitting area and bathroom downstairs and the bedroom upstairs- very comfortable beds. The staff are extremely helpful and friendly, and everyone has time for you, including the owners. All views are spectacular, the outdoor geothermal hot tubs marvellous, and the level of hygiene is high. The décor, while being quirky with a mix of art and knick-knacks, works. I am a vegetarian and it was no trouble to produce appropriate meals.
Everything possible was done to make our stay enjoyable. Providing you have a car, it's a good base from which to explore the south west of Iceland. And in inclement weather it's particularly comforting knowing that you have somewhere warm and welcoming to return to.
Elegance, sophistication and relaxation
Myself and my family (children 10 and 7) stayed 6 nights in this fabulous hotel. From the moment we arrived we were all (especially the children) made to feel extremely welcome. After a tour of the hotel, pointing out the hot tubs with the spectacular views, we were shown the newly refurbished bedrooms which were chic and mordern with the most comfortable beds. The food was a la carte and very good quality but not fussy as my children ate the same menu without any problems. Hotel Glymur is set overlooking whale fiord with both its amazing natural beauty and wealth of history (Jon gives an excellent tour/talk on all things WW2/Whaling in the area), it is truly an ideal location to explore the surrounding countryside. I would recommend a stay here as we returned home both relaxed and invigorated.
Completely refurbished; awesome place
We stayed at Hotel Glymur in April 2006, just after a three month refurbishment of the hotel. Whilst we haven't been here before, judging the earlier reviews I can only say that the place probably got a lot better than it already was. The staff are excellent and so welcome, it's like coming home to your mum!
The view over the fjord is stunning and the hotel rooms are so unique, with a living room downstairs (leather sofa, flat screen tv and bless: Senseo coffee machine!) and the bedroom upstairs.
The hotel is full of great artwork and all sorts of interesting sculptures from all over the world.
And let's not forget the food: how's about smoked salmon, complete French cheesboard, fresh thick bread etc for breakfast.
Sadly we were only here for two days!
I enjoyed it
I have stayed here three times and I'll be back next year. I find it calm and cozy, no stress and the owners are doing their best to make me happy. It is a family hotel and especially the son is doing en excellent job in the restaurant. I enjoy the meals, the hot pot and most of all -a room with a view.
One word: Excellent.
We've just had our wedding at the hotel in June 2005 and we couldn't have been happier. We had friends from all over the world (US, Italy, UK, France, Mexico) visit us and all were quite impressed with the standard of the service. The staff was very attentive, the food was purely divine and as an extra bonus, the hotel is situated in one of Iceland's most beautiful locations, near a bay/lake and majestic mountains.
I agree with the other reviews that if you're looking for a quality hotel at a fantastic location and an unique peaceful experience, then Hotel Glymur will be your choice.
An Icelandic Oasis
We have just returned from a week long stay at the Hotel Glymur and we have had the most fantastic time there. The staff were ALL very friendly, helpful and accomodating. The food was excellent and plentiful and the room was cosy and comfortable. We paricularly liked the way it was on a split level, giving a sort of bedroom and sitting room feel. We made full use of the geothermal hot tubs which are out in the open and give amazing views out over the fjord as you sit and steam! It is worth noting that the hotel is not in Reykjavik itself, but a 40 minute car journey away from the capital in a peaceful rural setting that allows you to truly unwind and relax. We felt that we were treated like royalty during our stay and nothing was too much trouble for our hosts. I would recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a comfortable base from which to explore the south west of Iceland.
I great place to get away from it all!
Every year I go to Iceland to fish for Salmon and I always stay 1-2 nights at this hotel wich is about an hour away from Reykjavik. I like to come there to unwind and get me in the mood for fishing. I love the view, the friendly staff and the food is always fantastic. One of the things I like about this hotel is how different it is. I spend over half of the year traveling and I always stay at hotels and they are all the same but Hotel Glymur is different. The whole hotel is a gallery that you can spend hours exploring different types of art, photography and history. I like the fact that there are no TV. in the rooms as I rather spend my time outsite walking, in the hut tub or in the cosy library reading. I can totally recomend this hotel for everyone that is looking for something diffrent and less formal then all the Marriots out there, because it is truly unique.
Not what we expected
We traveled to Iceland as part of our honeymoon. Most of the time was spent in Reykjavik, but I thought we should sneak out to the country for a few nights. The website makes the Hotel Glymur look like a really friendly, eclectic, arty hotel surrounded by gorgeous wilderness. Well, the best part was the drive out there, along the edge of the beautiful, secluded whale fjord. This alone almost made the excursion worth it.
The hotel decor itself was interesting and artful enough in the lobby, restaurant, etc, and the view was magnificent, even on this cold, grey, windy day. Our room was a tiny loft, with a chair and desk and small bathroom on the first level, then steep metal steps up to a platform with our bed. the room overlooked the fjord, as half of them do. Being this far out in the country, the sulfur smell of the water is excessive, and the bathroom was pretty basic, almost like a college dorm bathroom. Quite a shift from our Reykjavik hotel with its own hot tub. We would have used the geothermically-heated hot tubs, save for the freezing cold wind, high up on the hill, and the strong sulfur smell.
Dinner was ok. Fortunately, there were quite a few people there who were bussed in for dinner, since we were one of only 2 couples staying overnight. The lamb I had was fantastic, they prepared a special meal for my vegetarian husband, but the awful light over our otherwise nice table with an even better view, made us feel like we were being interrogated. Breakfast the next morning was a buffet of the usual Icelandic breakfast fare.
We planned on staying 2 nights, but cut it short after one night of being cooped up in this tiny room with nothing but what we could pick up on the clock radio and the intense sounds of the cold wind.
After looking forward to this part of the trip, we were quite disappointed. I guess we should have expected the boredom part, being out in the middle of nowhere, but the place just didn't live up to the expectations we got from the beautiful website. Certainly not for the price we paid... We went back to Reykjavik after that and spent the rest of our time in Iceland in luxury. A TV and a bathub, even!
Ok so it looks like a red garden shed on a hill (see the web site). But that didn't initially put us off - perhaps it should have done. We had read a lot about Icelandic hotels and to be honest didnt expect much, but were pleasantly surprised by the 3 other hotels we stayed in on our recent trip to this wonderful island.
- the hot tubs overlooking the beautifull fjord. Marvellous with a glass of bubbly and some sunny weather.
No more good points.
- food was horrendous. About the same as my school dinners - I was given the impression that the cooking was perfomed in some vast vat somewhere and spooned out to the unsuspecting guest.
- rooms were basic to say the least. Nice student accomodation (from the 1960's), but not up to the somewhat excessive price tag.
- cleanliness. Unlike the other hotels we visisted in Iceland, the cleanliness of this hotel left a lot to be desired. The overpowering smell of rotten eggs didnt help matters either.
TripAdvisor Reviews Hotel Glymur Akranes
Travel Blogs from Akranes
... the other end. The first sighting of lights were exciting but minimal. The bus driver and Gulla were getting updates of sightings. We took a pit stop at a very nice mini market , snow flurries made the evening more exciting. At one point we tried to turn around in a residential driveway. It was a long road that lead up to the house. The driver could not make a three point turn in the area near the house. The owners came out wondering WTF! ...
... no, he inspected our paperwork and said yes, we were to go with him. He would take us to the Blue Lagoon and at 12pm there would be a bus there to take us to the Golden Circle. We went around the corner and found an Iceland Excursions bus. Huh? It turns out Nordic Visitor is just a booking company. Whereas its website says it offers a multitude of tours, in reality it subcontracts to different tour companies. It is very much a case of false advertising. Anyway, we got on the bus ...
... just wasn't time to go up and check out the view. We would have loved to go to the Blue Lagoon after hearing so much about it, but we just couldn't put it together in a time frame that suited us. Oh well, a reason to come back. I did manage to find THE BEST souvenir of the trip so far. It's a cute little puffin hat that will get lots of wear in the curling rink this winter. We say goodbye to Iceland ...
... as my trip drew to an end.
To the east is the looming Akrafjall, a big saddle-shaped mountain which would have been a good day hike, but was not easy to get to from the town (again, a car would have helped). Instead I walked around the town, went to the lighthouse which is open to the public - climbing up to the top was neat, and the view from the top made for some good pictures. I could glimpse ...
... pretty strong here but you get used to it after being in Iceland for a while. Some of our travelers thought they could smell it in their showers at the hotel but I didn't notice it that much. On these cold days, it was just so nice to go back and know you could stand under a scalding hot shower for as long as you wanted!