Friday, September 9, 2016

Hrifunes guesthouse

We spent several days in South Iceland this June and before going we were thinking of hotel hopping or staying in one place. Our limitations were a) time and b) travelling with young kids.

One location that I definitely wanted to visit was Jökulsárlón. So we decided that this would be our furthest point during our travels. Even though it was February and we were travelling in June, we soon found out there was another major limitation - availability. With prices sky high (according to my standards) there were still no rooms available. Especially for families. When we finally found a family room at Hrifunes guesthouse we decided to make the guesthouse our 'home' base to explore south Iceland.

I think the outside does not give due credit to the feeling you get when you are inside. The living room has a nice furnace and is very well decorated. As is the kitchen area. The common areas make you feel very much at home. People hung out there quite a lot having tea or a glass of wine and chatting. There are several books about Iceland and also photo books as the husband is a photographer and also does photography tours in Iceland. The guesthouse was very child friendly and the owner also brought out a suitcase of toys for our kids. We were in heaven. Every evening we were looking forward to getting back 'home'.

We were also lucky - the owner, Hedda, happened to be there during the time of our visit. The regular manager of the guesthouse was on holidays. And Hedda was very lovely. And patient (with our kids).

We arrived after a long drive and were shown to our room. It would have been nice to have our own bathroom but we ended up sharing (to have a cheaper room) and it turned out to be no problem. For me the price was steep - 250EUR for a room without a private bathroom. But the prices are what they are and everything was fully booked. The main house of the guesthouse had 4 rooms and 2 bathrooms so there was never any queue. The guesthouse also has another house (The darker house behind the red house on the photo) where all rooms have their own bathrooms.

Coffee/ tea area for breakfast

Our room had a double bed and bunk bed for kids. We were also provided towels. I think the towels were washed once during our 4 night stay there. I cannot recall to be honest. As it was rather chilly even for June it is nice to have fresh towels.

We fit very well. The room was not huge but it was quite enough for us.

It was possible to use the laundry machine for a small extra.

The guesthouse also provided dinner for extra cost of c.50 EUR per person. Again, it seemed a lot of money in the beginning but after eating out 1 evening we realised what a gem our guesthouse was. The cooking was excellent and the price fair considering Icelandic standards. Our kids, 2 and 6 ended up getting a heavy discount. We also got specially prepared meals when e.g. there was alcohol used in the dessert.

the owner with a girl who was helping out - sorry for the out of focus photo

The dinners were absolutely delicious. There was always a starter and then a small buffet with a selection of foods and after that dessert. Wine and beer were available for extra cost or you could have brought your own. We ate there the first night and then tried a restaurant and after that ate there again for 2 more nights. Perfection. I was very much looking forward to dinnertime.


Table set for dinner

Everything was cooked fresh

our family at dinnertime

The view from the guesthouse was phenomenal. We had this view from our bedroom. One morning I took a walk with my son down to the beach. We had to climb a fence but made it down. It was lovely. The location is so picturesque.

Would I stay there again if I had a chance? Yes. For the accommodation and food. I also would recommend booking dinner (you need to book 24 h before) even if you do not stay at the guesthouse. They might be full (during one weekend day we were 16 having dinner) but then again, there might be space and then you are in for a treat.

I perhaps would not use this as my home base for south Iceland trips. It was great to go to Jökusarlon (c.2h drive) but the rest of the sights we wanted to see were on the other side and we ended up driving back and forth a lot. But I think this guesthouse should be on anyone's list for at least 1 night, if not 2.

More info on sights in later posts....

Doha/ Hamad International Airport - kids play areas

From the series: Travelling with kids.

Airports. They can be a joy or a headache. We transferred through Doha (Qatar) for the first time last June (2016) and the airport was a dream! It looked liked from a movie from the future. Everything worked and was clean and efficient. The best part? When travelling with kids - the play areas! And this airport has been the most amazing one we have travelled through so far.

You can get more info on their website as to the locations of the play areas, family toilets and family rooms here:

And here is a taster as to what you can expect when travelling to Doha International Airport: