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“Kexland - My Go To Place in Reykjavik”
Review of Kex Hostel

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Kex Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 June 2017

On my second trip to Iceland, I decided to stay in a hostel instead of AirBnB. Kex was my first hostel experience and I already booked my return stay at Kex for this winter.

I've had my share of 5 Star Hotels, I stayed at Kex for the ambiance and to meet like-minded individuals. Based on that, Kex certainly did not disappoint. It's an old biscuit factory, centrally located, has views of the harbor and I loved the common areas.

ROOM:
I stayed in a 4 person dorm which suited my needs for my short stay during Secret Solstice. Each person has a locker, you can obtain the key at the front desk for $20 USD deposit. The charge gets reversed upon return of the key at check out. The room was clean (cleaned daily), bed was very comfortable with soft down pillow & comforter. Definitely loved the comforter, which kept me warm & toasty. Black out curtains was a plus for keeping out the noise, light heat & cold. For uninterrupted sleep, Kex provides FREE EARPLUGS.

BATHROOM:
The bathroom and showers were clean and stocked at all times. I never waited for the single shower on our floor during my entire stay and it was always clean. I appreciated the heavy duty hair dryer in the women's bathroom. Glad I brought my slippers.

STAFF:
The staff isn't super friendly, but they will answer all your questions and address your needs (if they can). Some were bordering on rude, but most were pleasant to interact with. In fact, Siddy was super nice and the cleaning crew, as well. Piece of advice when you're traveling to a foreign country, try not to act entitled and you'd be suprised how nice the locals are and for god's sake DO NOT UTTER THE WORDS, "In America....." You are not in America or wherever your home is. The point of traveling is to soak up another culture. Why travel if you expect to be at home? Keep an open mind and check your attitude at the door.

FOOD:
As in everything in Iceland, the restaurant and bar at Kex are expensive. I suggest skipping breakfast since it's too pricey for a smorgasbord and the coffee is lousy anyways. Instead, take a walk to the Hringbraut and head to Joi Fel Bakery for breakfast/lunch where you'll find delicious reasonably priced sandwiches, pastries, and excellent coffee. If you don't want to venture, there's a 1011 around the corner from Kex where you can grab eggs or a quick bite. Yum Yum Soup comes in handy after a late night. Vinyl Cafe is a 5-minute walk, cool hangout spot to people watch but it's pricey. I do recommend the burger, brunch and happy hour at Kex. I'd go back to Iceland just to have the Kex Burger (sooooo goooooood!).


OVERALL:
If you're looking for hotel accommodations, then this isn't the place for you. But if you're an adventurer, backpacker and have done your fair share of camping then you will love Kex. It is very minimal, a good clean bed with clean facilities. Each floor has a kitchen with fridge and everything you need to cook your own food. Also, the back entrance has a classroom LOL. Keep in mind that people come to Iceland to do 2 things: 1) party and 2) explore. If you expect a romantic and quiet time, I suggest you go elsewhere. If you're looking to meet new people in a cool, clean space then look no further. You will meet all types of people, from all walks of life at Kex and that's exactly why I chose to stay there.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, BRING SLIPPERS!!!! :P

Side Note: When you book a bed/beds in a 4-6 bed dorm, your booking includes sheets and towels while the bigger dorms do not and you have to pay extra for bedding & towel.

Room Tip: 4-6 bed dorms bedding & towel included
  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank ChinitaNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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24 - 28 of 815 reviews

Reviewed 24 June 2017

As with anything in life, take the good with the...less good. There is nothing that screams bad experience, but in trying to be more than it is (or at least should be), it misses the mark on some crucial elements of a great hostel.

Location, location, location they say. Well fortunately Reykjavic is small enough that no matter where your stay, you are within easy reach of the heart of town. Located
near the ocean promenade, walking to the main street is no more than 5 minutes at a very leisurely pace, with access to all bars, restaurants and shops.

The ambiance and decor are great, warming, and inviting in an otherwise cold wilderness. Kex (which I'm lead to believe means biscuit in english) offers a peculiar layout preserving some of its history as a biscuit factory, and adding elements of steampunk to enhance its visual charm. The main floor plays host to a well enough stocked bar, ample seating and tables, couches, check-in, and even a barber who works in-house in faux-traditional set room a couple of days a week. Meals can also be ordered through the bar for lunches and dinners.

The rooms are stocked with comfortable beds, albeit the pillows are flatter than an Anne Hathaway performance. Access to power for those on top bunks is also difficult and limited.

Breakfast is served in the mornings, and a top tip - pre-book it the night before as it will save you 500 Kr over deciding to opt in the next day. Honestly though, skip the hostel breakfast and find yourself some food elsewhere, as it as inspired as an Oprah Winfrey Christmas Special - and you don't get a free car with it.

At nights is when the hostel becomes divisive. Kex sets itself apart by opening its doors to the public (the bar only). This gives the opportunity for locals and hostel goers alike to mingle, make new friends, and have some fun. It does, however, mean the main social area of the hostel is off-limits to anyone looking to relax after a hard day of hiking. Patrons will be limited in this circumstance to one of the couches on the dorm floors (seating for approximately 4 in the corridor) or to their rooms. Should the music and revelers not deter you, finding a table and reading or typing (a review?) is still feasible. Except potentially on live music night. Yes, the hostel offers live music some nights, bringing in an assortment of acts. Again, this may or may not sway you one way or another, but be warned. Fortunately, acts cut off at 10pm sharp for those who may need to be up bright and early (or dark and early in winter).

If you do find yourself sitting downstairs on a busy night at a table, be aware that both hostel goers and the public can book tables. You may find yourself being booted from your comfort despite having paid for the privilege of staying. This is one of the greatest detractors from the public-hostel goer integration.

The hostel fails to offer anything, or very little in the way of interactive activities for patrons. If you are an extroverted enough person, striking up a conversation with someone in the bar shouldn't be too difficult given the opportunity. But don't rely on any specific activities to bring together your fellow hosteliers, and to bring out your inner party animal.

Another fun note to cap off - for the men, there are very few private showers (only a couple on each floor), but there are plenty of showers in the communal restroom. If you're not shy, you're guaranteed having access to a shower at all times. Should bashful show is gnome face, then you may find yourself waiting around for a while. Women, don't worry, you are offered all the comforts of privacy.

At the end of the day, Kex offers a unique and at times exciting take on the global hostel for those open enough to embrace it. Unfortunately, as a hostel stayer, don't expect any privileges over the general public, nor much effort to make your stay overly memorable.

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank tomhD4805HQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2017

I came to Kex on a solo backpacking trip, my first time in Iceland. The staff was nice and courteous and the facilities were very clean. I stayed in a 6 bed dorm, there were no problems at all. The common area is a restaurant that is actually very popular. The wifi is fast. This place is a little pricey though.

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank IanLuo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2017

Room was very small and old with ugly (noisy) view. Dirty drap. Minimum breakfast. Horrible coffee. Extra expensive price. The hall and the restaurant are two (only) positive thing here, but I believe I could get better with the prive I've paid.

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Vịt I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2017 via mobile

It's been long since I stayed in a hostel this true to my expectations. Its rustic style and open, social atmosphere made for a great stay. Stayed in both a single room and a 6-bed dorm room and both were comfortable enough having everything that was needed. The block-out curtains were great since at this time of year it's basically eternal daylight and one needs to block out the light to sleep. The guys at the reception were friendly and helpful when it came to finding stuff in the city and also booking the bus to the airport. Breakfast was good, options for many different preferences. And the kitchens were in good shape for a hostel that sees so many visitors. Had we stayed longer, I'd have had no reservation using the kitchen for self-prepared meals.
Many showers and toilets on each floor. The location is great, right between the main shooing street/city center and the seaside by the concert house and about a 20min walk to the old harbour area. Met several fun people at the hostel, shared some beers and conversation, had a good time. Would recommend Kex for your next trip to Reykjavik.

Stayed: June 2017, travelled with friends
Thank Zailey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kex Hostel

Address: Skulagata 28, Reykjavik 101, Iceland
Region: Iceland > Capital Region > Reykjavik > Miõborg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 108 Speciality Lodging in Reykjavik
Price Range: RM290 - RM865 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
It' s the Icelandic word for "biscuit" and a social hostel in Reykjavik. What's not to love? Housed in an old biscuit factory in the heart of Reykjavik, KEX is just steps from all the bars, clubs, and music venues that give this city its legendary reputation. It's also a painless distance from late night munchies and a mind-boggling array of coffee houses, shops, and tourist attractions. Of course, you might not even want to venture outside of the hostel with all its features: a cafe and bar, lounge area, heated outdoor patio, tourist information desk, laundry room, and free Wi-Fi. Two guest kitchenettes and private laundry facilities are also available. And with a variety of rooms for up to 214 guests, you'll have no problem meeting interesting, new travel buddies from exotic places. KEX oozes with personality and soul-just like our guests. Every piece of decor has a story to tell. Using salvaged materials and found objects from various sources, KEX is an organic concept blending Iceland' s past with a modern, international twist. The raw industrial spaces and vintage furnishings combine to give it a homey, eclectic feel. With the affordable nightly rates, you'll still have enough cash left over to enjoy a few pints of Viking beer or sample some local delicacies like hakarl and Brennivin. In addition to our dormitory rooms we offer three different double rooms: 1. Double Plus - 1 double bed, 1 private bathroom, linens and towels, and 1 fantastic seaside view. 2. Double Standard - 1 double bed (of the most clever convertible design in case you get tired of being so close to your travel partner), shared bathrooms, linens and towels, and if you are lucky the same fantastic view. 3. Twin - 2 single beds, linens and towels, and a better than average chance of making your friends back home quite jealous indeed. LOCATION: KEX is located in the center of Reykjavik, with a view across the sea to Mt. Esja across the bay. The old factory that houses KEX is also home to The Living Art Museum and studios of various artists, dancers, and fashion designers. KEX is within an easy walking distance to the city's interesting nightlife, restaurants, shopping streets, cultural attractions, and other points of interest in the city center. To reach those places a little further afield, the hostel is well connected to the city's public bus system. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kex Hotel

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