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.
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.
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.
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.
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!).
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.
- 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