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Short keep: Antarctica Suite, Hotel Rangá, Hella, Iceland

Short stay: Antarctica Suite, Hotel Rangá, Hella, Iceland

You might be forgiven for questioning how a lodge that’s largely produced from wooden, in a rustic that’s comparatively devoid of timber, has come about. It’s because of the unbelievable imaginative and prescient of proprietor Friðrik Pálsson and wooden sourced from Canada’s pine forests that the 4 star Hotel Rangá enjoys its homely log cabin façade and intensive picket interiors. Read on to study why this Nordic boutique lodge and member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World can be certainly one of South Iceland‘s most interesting luxurious accommodations…

The welcome

Our preliminary greeting is from resident polar bear, Hrammur (which suggests ‘paw’ in Icelandic); he was salvaged from a bankrupt shopping center and stands in a brand new a part of the Hotel Rangá foyer that needed to be specially-designed to accommodate his 13-foot stature.  As we flip to the reception desk, it’s a gentleman named Egill who warmly greets us and advises us that there’s a welcome drink ready for us on the bar as soon as we had settled in.

The room

We stayed in Room 60, a Master Suite. There are seven suites on the property that depict every of the seven continents. With penguin art work above the tremendous king mattress, there aren’t any prizes for guessing that we have been within the Antarctica Suite.

The cool and quirky Antarctica Suite has all of it – from a white-tiled ground that resembles an ice floe to a ceiling with the mural of a wandering albatross with a 12-foot wingspan.

In the case of the opposite suites, furnishings and decorations have been sourced from the respective continents. That’s a bit tougher within the case of Antarctica, in fact, so items have been sourced from the world over, be it sofas from Italy or carved penguins from Canada.

Futuristic black and white décor, alternating black and white lamps and lighting fixtures, and floor-to-ceiling home windows with black-out blinds full the look.

And if all that wasn’t sufficient, two life-sized Adélie penguins guard both aspect of a giant two-person Jacuzzi tub.

There are loads of in-room facilities, too, resembling a Nespresso espresso machine and complimentary Kristall water.

There’s even a glass chess board – made by the Samvek glass producer in Hella simply 10 minutes away – with polar-themed items.

The suite has two balconies and, being an finish suite, treats company to views in three instructions. Two sides look out over the Rangá River – one of many best-known salmon rivers in Iceland – the place fishermen can generally be seen casting their flies.

The lavatory

The theme continues within the lavatory, designed to seem like a bit hut within the Antarctic, the place the partitions are adorned with black and white tiles; there’s a spacious walk-in bathe, a large basin with a big oval mirror surrounded by frosted glass above it, and LED downlights that resemble stars.

Eco-friendly toiletries – one thing we additionally encountered in different accommodations – are additional testomony to Icelanders’ ardent take care of the setting.

The amenities

A world-class eating expertise at Hotel Rangá is among the highlights of any keep on the lodge. With an environment that’s each intimate and convivial, The Glass Hall restaurant enjoys views of the attractive Rangá River and the majestic Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano (well-known for its 2010 eruption that precipitated monumental disruption to air journey throughout Western Europe). With its full size home windows, your eating expertise is heightened by the wild Icelandic panorama outdoors as you savour fashionable farm-to-table fare.

Led by Head Chef Péter Jóni, the restaurant affords a menu with Nordic traditions at its coronary heart, with an emphasis on the freshest, prime quality native components.  Wild mushroom soup (villisveppasúpa) with assorted mushrooms and pickled native mushrooms is certainly one of quite a lot of signature dishes at Rangá, the receipe for which you will discover on their web site – so tasty that my spouse had it two nights working!

I used to be shocked to learn that reindeer should not really native to Iceland however have been imported as a part of an experiment within the late 18th Century. Nevertheless, one can find a scrumptious reindeer (hreindýr) carpaccio with Parmesan, truffle oil and rucola on the menu.

Pescatarians will benefit from the cured salmon (graflax) with toasted bread, salad and dill sauce.

A favorite of mine was the pan-fried scallops (hörpuskel) with apples, baked garlic, langoustine crumble and rucola powder. So succulent and scrumptious!

And when in Iceland, why not attempt puffin? At Rangá, they serve smoked puffin (lundi) in a small glass pot, with apple mousse, crowberry powder and garlic mayonnaise

For your important, you’ll by no means go incorrect with the pan-fried cod (þorskur) with mashed potato, sunchoke three method and white wine sauce. Widely considered the nation’s key marine useful resource, with an important fishing grounds off the south coast, Icelandic cod tends to be barely sweeter than Pacific varieties.

Another basic dish is the rooster breast (kjúklingabringa) with Arctic thyme polenta, pink pesto, fried mushrooms and a deliciously creamy Albufera sauce.

For one thing a bit heartier, attempt the flavoursome fillet of lamb (lambahryggvöðvi) with carrots, pommes ‘Anna’ potato and port wine glaze.

Since the restaurant overlooks certainly one of Iceland’s most interesting salmon rivers, it’s a disgrace to not attempt the salmon (lax) with candy potato purée, apples, mustard seeds, fried broccoli, granola and white wine sauce.

Whatever important you select, I’m certain you’ll not be disenchanted. The beef tenderloin (nautalund) with potato purée, fried root greens and inexperienced peppercorn sauce is one other nice possibility.

For dessert, attempt the chocolate globe (súkkulaðikúla) with mascarpone and fervour fruit sorbet. Your waiter will pour a scorching ardour fruit sauce on prime in a round movement, which melts the chocolate sphere for a show-stopping finale.

After dinner you possibly can get pleasure from the remainder of your night in both the adjoining bar or the upstairs cognac lounge.


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Hotel Rangá could be discovered at Suðurlandsvegur, 851 Hella in Southern Iceland, simply off the nation’s ring street that encircles a lot of Iceland. It’s roughly 100km from Reykjavik and slightly below a 1.5-hour drive. The nearest city is Hella which is 10 minutes away and has a inhabitants that’s simply shy of 1,000.

Southern Iceland is just not solely a beautiful a part of the nation with beautiful landscapes however it additionally affords a wonderful number of pure magnificence – from black sand seashores and inexperienced pasture land to glaciers and waterfalls.

Other good touches

The visitor expertise is on the coronary heart of a keep at Hotel Rangá with all method of little extras to make sure your keep is a memorable one. A welcome drink on arrival, a duplicate of the Rangá Review in each room, the following day’s climate forecast and hotel-branded sweets left at turndown, and an eye fixed masks and ear plugs to make sure evening’s sleep, are simply a few of the many examples.

Another attention-grabbing and touching transfer on the a part of the a part of Hotel Rangá is their coverage on tipping. In quick, they don’t settle for ideas (in a rustic the place tipping is just not a practice) however, if company are proud of the service they obtain and would nonetheless wish to make a gesture, any cash raised is handed on to native search and rescue groups. This modern strategy has resulted in tens of 1000’s of euros being raised for this nice trigger.


Standard rooms at Hotel Rangá begin from € 320 per evening

Master Suites – such because the Antarctica Suite that we stayed in – begin from € 1,016 per evening.

The greatest bit

This was a kind of lodge experiences the place it’s actually tough to focus on only one side of our keep. We have been very spoilt with our suite, however must pick the gourmand eating as absolutely the spotlight.

The ultimate verdict

Our keep at Hotel Rangá was totally memorable for all the fitting causes – an ideal setting, great employees, a wonderful room and an excellent eating expertise. The solely factor lacking was the Northern Lights (however solely as a result of we have been visiting in the course of the Summer when there is no such thing as a evening sky). The Sunday Times Travel Magazine named the lodge as the very best place on Earth to witness the Aurora borealis.

The lodge employees present heat snowsuits to permit you to be cosy while having fun with the Northern Lights, or you would sip a glass of Champagne in one of many outside scorching tubs while marvelling on the spectacle. There’s even an Aurora wake-up service do you have to want to be alerted when the skies are ‘dancing’ above, plus the lodge has its personal state-of-the-art observatory with two telescopes, with an area astronomer who’s available to provide company a tour of the dazzling evening sky.  Hopefully at some point we are able to return for the complete winter expertise.

Planning a visit to Iceland your self? You can watch a video from our journey to Iceland right here. Footage from Hotel Rangá seems from 1m 53s to 2m 12s throughout the video:

Disclosure: This publish is sponsored by Hotel Rangá. Our journey to Iceland was additionally sponsored by Helly Hansen.

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