We stayed at the Hotel Ranga, in the south west of Iceland, for two nights on a complimentary basis in late October 2016.
The transfer from Keflavik Airport took around one hour forty minutes. As our taxi arrived in the hotel car park, just after midnight, many guests were out at the front to see the Northern Lights. Evidently there had been a good show prior to our arrival, which was fading fast by the time we got there.
If you wish, reception will phone you during the night if the Northern Lights appear. So that you can dash out fast. there are padded suits hanging in the lobby that you can grab on the way out.
There was a tapestry map of Iceland in the lobby.
I loved the Icelandic scene in the painting in the lounge across from our room.
We stayed in room 9 which faced north. There was what I assumed to be Icelandic writing above the bed. I liked the fabric used for the curtains and bedspread, but maybe lighter colours would have made the room brighter.
The bathroom was large, with a jacuzzi bath.
The king size bed was comfortable. The timber clad room was a very pleasant temperature during the day, but we found the duvets a bit too warm during the night. The WiFi was excellent throughout our stay.
All rooms at the Hotel Ranga have French doors leading to a terrace with a bench.
I really enjoyed the hot tub. There are three hot tubs on the south side of the hotel facing the River Ranga.
I laughed when I spotted the bar stools.
I liked the mountain view art in the bar.
The restaurant had ceiling to wall glass on three sides. The breakfast buffet offered a good selection of cheese, cold meat, fish, fruit, cereal and jams. There was a hot selection including scrambled egg, sausage, bacon and beans. You could make your own waffle; the batter was pre-measured in small jugs.
After breakfast on the first day, I had a walk down to the river.
Dinner that evening kicked off with a salmon and pea amuse bouche.
My husband didn’t eat his lightly cured and smoked sea trout starter. For him, the fish still tasted raw. I tried the trout and it was very good.
As I wanted to try something different, I ordered the smoked puffin starter. It was described as having slightly fishy and gamey flavour. I didn’t detect any fish flavour, it tasted like beef to me.
My husband enjoyed his Arctic Char (a cold water fish of the salmon family).
My lamb main course was so good. The lamb was tender and complimented by the pea cream, carrot puree and brown cheese sauce.
My husband’s cheese board was impressive.
My carrot dessert consisted of carrot cake, mousse and sorbet with chocolate crumble.
We hoped that we might see the Northern Lights that evening. As you never know if they’ll appear, we thought that we’d do some star gazing at the observatory in the hotel grounds. We enquired about opening hours at reception, and were told that it opened at 9pm.
Around 9.30pm, we attempted to walk to it. However, the red lights that supposedly demarcated the path to the observatory were so far apart, that I didn’t feel comfortable attempting the walk. My husband walked there alone, but it was locked.
Whilst I appreciate that you don’t want to create light pollution near an observatory, the path needs to be clearer. It might be useful to have a sign in reception informing guests if the observatory is open, as that’s dependent on the sky being clear.
We had lunch at the Hotel Ranga prior to our taxi transfer to the airport. My husband had Artic Char again. I opted for the Baconburger, as I was wanted something to fill me up for the forthcoming journey. It was one of the tastiest burgers which I’ve ever eaten. The beef in the burger was lean. The addition of bacon, fried mushrooms, cheese and bearnaise sauce made the burger too large and heavy for me to safely pick up, I had to use my knife and fork and couldn’t eat it all.
For dessert, we both had ice cream served with almond crumble and berries.
In summary, I really enjoyed my stay at the Hotel Ranga in Iceland. I wished that I’d had more time around the hotel in daylight. On the first day, we were out for seven hours on a Golden Circle tour. On the second morning, we went Icelandic horse riding. Our room was comfortable and cosy. It had a kettle, but I wasn’t in the room long enough to use it at all. The food at the Hotel Ranga was superb. The staff were friendly and helpful.
Hotel Ranga offer a three night Stargazing and Northern Lights Package until 31 May 2017 (excluding some dates during the festive season). Prices start at 942 Euro for two guests in a standard room. The price includes breakfast and a three course chef’s choice dinner every day.