Iceland in November and December? Really? I saw an Icelandair promotion on Instagram which I couldn’t resist. The catch? It had to be late November to the start of December 2022. But I could – easily – enthuse Oriol to come along for a road trip in the South and West of Iceland.
Okay, so this is what we did for this Iceland Road Trip. We booked a package with Iceland Tours, where we paid for a rental car, accommodation, a road map and an extra night in Reykjavík. We opted for budget accommodation, but a good car for the icy, cold, and windy road conditions.
Budget accommodation means low expectations. We didn’t have an input for hotel choice. Which is as such fine.
Our first hotel was Hotel Cabin. Funnily, I stayed at Cabinn Hotel in Aarhus in Denmark with Frank in 2013. But these are not related to each other.
Booking gives Hotel Cabin no stars at all, just a thumbs up.
Reception and room
We stayed twice in Hotel Cabin. On the first night and on the two last night. On the first night we got a room with window (apparently that is not a given at Cabin) on the first floor. First floor American style that is. Ground floor for the merely mortals.
At the end of the trip we stayed on the fourth floor (3rd Euro style). The two rooms are very similar.
Reception was not overly friendly but polite and functional. Being booked via a travel operator all was settled so check in was swift.
The room is small. Double bed but separate mattresses and duvets. The duvets are folded German style so it’s your job to unfold them.
There is barely space around the bed. I boldly claimed the side with most space. Sorry Uri. Luckily we only had hand luggage with us and we could store them under the bed.
There are a few power outlets. The is enough light.
The bathroom is small. A small shower cabin, with no shampoo or shower gel. We had to ask at the reception, where we got them for free. There was no foot mat, so we had to sacrifice one of the small towels.
The sink is small. There is barely storage space for your toiletry bag.
Don’t expect any coffee or tea facilities. Although there is a bar and a small counter with some snacks and drinks.
The breakfast buffet is very basic with cheese and cold cuts, bread, cereals, porridge, the largest jam bowls I have ever seen. The offering is unimaginative. It also never changes. The coffee isn’t nice, I’m told.
The breakfast room feels like a school refectory. The whole place has school trip vibe, actually.
Signs tell patrons not to take food out of the refectory, to make a lunch. Another sign says the water dispenser was only for glasses, not to fill water bottles.
They say “when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”. I’d like to add “when you offer peanuts, you attract monkeys as well”.
I remember Cabinn in Aarhus had as slogan “all you need to sleep” (but nothing more). The same is true for its Icelandic cousin. There was nothing bad at Hotel Cabin, but it’s not a pleasant hotel.
But, it has a great location, walking distance from the city centre, yet easily reachable by car. It has parking and space for tour buses. So there are good reasons why Hotel Cabin is good option. It’s affordable, it caters groups and it has a good location.
And it teaches us a good lesson: a good hotel is worth some of your money.