Going to Iceland? My Recommended Hotel for Your First Night

If you are planning a trip from the United States to Iceland, I can tell you the best hotel for your first night.

After departing the previous evening from a North American airport, you are probably looking at an early-morning arrival at KEF airport. For example, the $99+ flights on WOW Airlines from Boston and Baltimore arrive as early as 4 AM.

WOW Airline Offers Low Cost Airfares to Iceland and Europe
WOW Airline Offers Low Cost Airfares to Europe

Add in a couple of hours to get your luggage, go through passport control, and ride the bus (40 minutes) from KEF to Reykjavik, and you are stumbling into your hotel lobby at about 6 AM…after trying with little success to sleep on the plane overnight.

You really want to take a nap, but what hotel will have a room ready at that time of morning?

The answer, for me at least, was the Radisson Blu Saga hotel. I recommend that hotel for your first night in Reykjavik.

Saga Hotel Roof View, Reykjavik, Iceland
Saga Hotel Roof View, Reykjavik, Iceland

The Radisson Blu Saga is a very large hotel, about 1/2 mile walk from downtown. The roof is open to anyone, so you can see most of the landmarks and get oriented.

When I was there earlier this month the huge free parking lot was never more than ~25% full. That suggests to me that most of the rooms were empty, ready for early arrivals.

And that is what happened to me. I walked into the lobby early morning, expecting to lie on a couch for several hours until a room went vacant, but there was no wait…they gave me the key to my room right away.

I spent 2 nights at the Saga, then switched to a downtown hotel (the Radisson Blu 1919 hotel) that was closer to everything.

While I can’t guarantee that the Saga will have a room for you early in the morning like they did for me, the empty parking lot suggests that may be a common occurrence.

Iceland is a fun place to visit…everyone speaks good English (except the new-immigrant FlyBus drivers), prices are high but not unreasonable, and the scenery is gorgeous.

UPDATE: Here is the report of a travel blogger who stayed at the Radisson Blu 1919 hotel downtown: http://thepointsoflife.boardingarea.com/radisson-blu-1919-reykjavik-iceland-hotel-review/

He also stayed at the Radisson Blu Saga hotel: http://thepointsoflife.boardingarea.com/radisson-blu-saga-hotel-reykjavik-hotel-review/