Full garbage bag on my suitcase after housekeeping
Room rather small
You can almost read the popularity of Iceland as a tourist destination also for North American tourists that the capital Reykjavik hosts three Hilton Hotels. During one of my stays in summer 2021, I had two nights in the most traditional (and: cheapest) stay of all three, the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica. Here is my review.
Hilton Reykjavik Nordica – Location & Transport
The Hilton Nordica is located close to the Laugardal district, East of city center. There are some other hotels around was well as some major sports facilities, including the Laugardalsvöllur soccer stadium. The U.S. Embassy is located right across the road. The location is actually really nice and offers a good balance between central location, good connections and reasonable hotel price (Icelandic relations, of course).
If you want to explore Reykjavik by public transport, you can take the bus stop right in front of the hotel, Nordica. Alternatively, there is a quite large car park in front of the hotel – nonetheless, grabbing a parking spot may be tricky in buzy times.
Hilton Reykjavik Nordica – The Room
I booked a single room for two nights in August 2021 at the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica. The room price was a total of 50,401 ISK, some 344 Euro, for both nights. The rate was a promotion from the Dream Away fares by Hilton with a one day cancellation. My Hilton Honors Diamond status grants free breakfast to me. The hotel gave me a really nice room with a beautiful view. The size of the room has not been overwhelming, I struggle to put my second suitcase somewhere. The architecture was typical Hilton style. However, the room felt to be rather refurbished and definitely not worn out.
The shower bathroom was good and with a reasonable size. The room was clean at check-in. Nothing too special, but not bad at all.
Hilton Reykjavik Nordica – Breakfast / Food
The breakfast area is actually quite nice in regards of the design. Unfortunately, my breakfast experience was rather poor. Hilton Reykjavik Nordica does offer a nice range of items, but the service was not sufficiently well organized. Breakfast time started at 7:00 hrs. I was really early and almost ahead of time, but already at 7:10 hrs latest, the breakfast area became chaotic. The hotel accepts too many groups at the same time and the capacities were not enough. Hotel guests were also not asked to stick to the mask obligation. Furthermore, items in the buffet cleaned rapidly, which was also caused by a massive “All you can carry” mentality, majorly by US American guests from organized group travels.
The second morning was even worse. Services like live cooking completely broke down, the buffer was a mess and did not at all give a relaxed start of the day. The pictures below have been taken around 7:30 hrs on the second day, 30 minutes after opening the buffet. Three star Spanish all-inklusive places don’t look worse after the free cheap cocktail afternoon.
The hotel bar / lobby bar was actually very nice and had a good atmosphere.
Hilton Reykjavik Nordica – Executive Lounge
Maybe the best place of the hotel is the lovely executive lounge, which almost feels to have a winter garden style due to the large glass front. Lovely views from there. The happy hour is typically not the best time to enjoy the lounge, but at other times, I really loved it there. Food and drinks provided in the lounge were fine.
Hilton Reykjavik Nordica – Spa & Gym
The spa and gym area of the hotel has been a really good experience as well. There is no pool, but indoor and outdoor hot tubs and saunas The gym was nice as well – just could not take too many pictures from there. The gym is open to members and serviced during the day, while you need a door code for the night. However, that was not stated in the hotel information I received.
Hilton Reykjavik Nordica – Services
WiFi in the hotel was very good. Unfortunately I struggled with many other services. The receptionist at check-in almost felt to want to refuse to give me water (which is one of my standard Hilton Diamond Benefits). Check-out was slightly better. When I returned back to my hotel room on the second evening, house keeping had left my garbage on my suitcase. What a no-go – first of all having the idea to but garbage on the hotel guests’ staff is respectless and does not show a good hospitality attitude, and secondly being too dumb and sloppy to remove it when leaving the room… I leave it up to you what you feel is worse.
Hilton Reykjavik Nordica – My View
Bad luck. Hilton Reykjavik Nordica could have been a good stay to me. The location is nice, the overall architecture is good and even though the room is a bit too small for a Hilton, it still has been okay in Icelandic relations. Unfortunately, they just did not provide good service. If I know that I will be crowded by hordes of bus groups (that’s the good thing about them – you know when they arrive…), why don’t I open breakfast earlier? The reception performance was average and having dust bags on my equipment is simply disgusting. Thus, my stay has finally been too far below the standards I would expect of a Hilton Hotel, not only as a high tier member of their customer retention scheme.