by Lissa Poirot
This hip, boutique property in Reykjavik has a sleek, contemporary design of muted gray and white colors that blend into the Icelandic backdrop, paired with pops of color like a bold red chair or lighting fixtures. It may seem a bit too hip for families, especially when you walk in past a barbershop bar, the city’s famous bar that actually is a barbershop! You’ll spot bearded hipsters getting their haircut while ladies in knee-high fur boots linger nearby with cocktails. Then again, you’ll also see those same hipsters talking to their young sons they have brought along for haircuts. And despite the illusion that this place may be too cool for you, it will certainly make your teens feel you maybe are cooler than they thought for bringing them here.
For families, it has the convenience of being located on Laugavegur, the city’s main shopping and dining street. Within steps of the hotel door is all you could ask for in a city stay. If you have rented a car to explore the island, parking is easy — street parking is plentiful and cheap, as is the parking lots around the corner and across the street. In the morning, enjoy a breakfast buffet before departing and discovering the city or the beautiful countryside. Then return for dinner at the plethora of nearby restaurants and enjoy the warm and serenity of the Alda rooms, some of which feature terraces.
Our Editor Loves
- Located in Reykjavik's historic district
- Breakfast buffet
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
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As hip as the hotel wants to be, Alda can accommodate families of four in one space, specifically in Family Rooms with a double bed and sleeper sofa that opens to a double. These rooms can accommodate a family of four in a studio space.
Alda Deluxe Rooms also sleep up to four with a studio room providing a double bed and a sleeper sofa.
For more privacy, choose a suite, which provides a bedroom with a double bed and a separate living room with sleeper sofa and extra chairs. Suites also provide two bathrooms, making it easier for sharing. Plus, one of the bathrooms provides a tub, which most rooms do not offer. (Standup showers are the main feature of the guestroom bathrooms.)
Single and Double Rooms
For families with teens who crave a little more privacy, single rooms are available, as well as traditional doubles.
All rooms come with flat-screen TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi.
We stayed four nights at the Alda Hotel in central Reykjavik.
The hotel is in a great location on one of the main shopping streets Laugavegur with lots of cafes ,restaurants and bars in easy walking distance.
The hotel was very clean and the room which was on the top floor, had a shared balcony with nice views was a good size and all furnishings were nice and in good order.
We had a room suitable for a wheelchair as my wife is disabled and the room met all our needs.
Breakfast was very good with a good variety of options.
The staff were very friendly,polite and efficient and went out of their way to make our stay enjoyable.
We would definitely stay in this hotel again.
The Alda is located right in the heart of the city, along the main street with lots of restaurants, galleries and shops. A pleasant walk to the older city center and harbor. The staff are efficient and friendly when engaged, otherwise they leave you alone and do their job. The bar/cafe/restaurant I did not try - not very busy and many better active choices it appeared along the road. Easy to get to by airport shuttle bus plus a 5 min walk. My room was as pictured and quite a good size for a business meeting. Internet was fast and efficient, they also give you a cell phone if you want to use that for local guidance. For the price I might have expected them to through in a little breakfast, perhaps some Skyr. Room had a coffee maker (tea and coffee refilled) No fridge, which I would have appreciated.
The only activities families can enjoy in the city hotel are a haircut at the Barber Bar. Like most traditional city hotels, this property is a place to call home between exploring the city sights. However, its location is near the main highway that also takes Icelandic visitors to its national parks and countryside sights.
The only meal offering at the Alda is a complimentary breakfast buffet, located in the hotel's Nordic space. The buffet offers both hot and cold items.
A chocolate "store" is a glass case within the bar with a sampling of chocolates for purchase. It's so small you may miss it, but your kids won't!
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
One of the perks of this hip hotel is the free mobile phone you receive at check-in. The phone is equipped with data and mobile dialing so you can call local numbers and utilize the Internet when you are out and about.
A small fitness center is located on the property, with a sauna.
The Art of Smart Timing
Reykjavik is notoriously expensive, as you will hear if you tell friends who have visited, but that's due to the fact that it is a remote island location. That said, in an effort to lure visitors, airfare sales and hotel packages, particularly on Icelandic Air, can be incredibly cheap, offsetting any costs of food and expenses when visiting. You'll find the best airfare sales in the fall and in early winter months, such as January and February. While cold, this is a fantastic time to visit, as the Northern Lights are most visible during winter months.
Reykjavik's airport is serviced by a number of airlines, with Icelandic Air operating as the home airline. When concerned that snow may delay flights during a recent visit, the taxi driver joked about how airlines like Delta will delay or cancel flights for snow but Icelandic pilots don't blink at a mild snow and grew up in snow, always taking off on time and safely.
Reykjavik is about 30 minutes from the airport, and could take longer if you arrive during morning rush hour, as there is only one road into and out of the city, with just one lane in each direction for most of the drive. The city is pretty large, but the hotel is located near the seaport and the attractions and dining center.
If you rent a car, it is important to note that you must enter the Icelandic spelling of streets and places, and without it, you can very easily wind up in the wrong place or not finding the places you seek. Be sure you have the Icelandic spelling and have set the GPS properly.