Monday, 17 April 2017

Iceland: Staying at Hotel Ranga

Second to the Blue Lagoon, the other thing on my Iceland dream list was staying at Hotel Ranga. I cannot tell you how much time I have spent on their website looking at all the beautiful rooms, suites and of course.. hot tubs.

As South Iceland's only 4* resort it boasts a certain luxury we didn't get staying in the city centre and the hours drive out into the countryside left me hopeful for some Northern Lights spotting. As well as a 4* stay and fine dining, they offer a Northern Lights wake-up call and an observatory for stargazing, all set within beautiful grounds complete with the winding Ranga River and the shadow Mt. Helka volcano. 

We arrived around 1pm, via Super Jeep transfer, a little early for check in. The lady at reception gave us a whole host of information about our stay, maybe a little too much to take in, and then we were shown to the bar and restaurant. You're given a welcome drink upon arrival, but the bartender encouraged us to pay for our tea and coffee and enjoy a glass of wine on the house later (who am I to argue). 

I'm going to do a whole separate post on dining at Hotel Ranga so I won't talk about it too much here other than to say we had the loveliest lunch before being shown to our room. Because were staying on our honeymoon I'd asked for some special decorations: rose petals, candles and a bouquet of flowers, we were kindly not charged for this and it was a lovely surprise for Andy.

The hotel is built out of wood and has a real log cabin feel. Our room was small but perfect for chilling with a comfortable bed, nice bathroom equipped with fluffy towels and bathrobes and just a matter of steps from the outdoor hot tub. It's got perhaps a bit more a rustic feel than your traditional luxury hotel but that felt very in keeping with the whole stay. 

Staying at Hotel Ranga was the perfect opportunity to just chill. While I would recommend renting your own car so you can explore the local area at your leisure, we just spent the few days we were there treating it like a duvet day. We watched daytime television, I took naps and read, Andy played football manager, we drunk hot chocolate in the day and wine at night. It was bliss.

We explored the grounds as well, walking out towards the road in the face-numbing cold to get better pictures of Mt Hekla and Andy made some friends with the locals. 

On our second day, we were treated to a light smattering of snow and hail which I took as my opportunity to make good use of the hot tub. Sitting there, snowflakes drifting around me, Russian hat and bikini-clad in almost complete darkness was completely magical.  

My only small complaint was our room was right by reception which meant it could be noisy, even at night, with people coming in and out and walking outside our room. I was also on tenterhooks for the Northern Lights wake up call (unfortunately the clouds were against us!) so sleeping at night wasn't quite as relaxing as hoped, thankfully, we had the daytime to nap and relax. I'm also confident that had we been less British about it and mentioned this to the hotel staff they would have been very accommodating. 

Overall, our stay at Hotel Ranga was every bit as wonderful as I had dreamed and as far as I'm concerned, if you're looking for some luxurious relaxation while staying in Iceland this is the only place to stay. 

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