The Beauty And Diversity Of Iceland’s Many Hotels And Guesthouses
Article by Roger Hernandez
In the north Atlantic, roughly between Greenland and the United Kingdom, lays the small island-nation of Iceland. And no, it doesn’t get its name from being icy. Iceland has been named something different by each of the foreigners who landed on its coast, but in Norse languages, Iceland is spelled “Island.”
While Iceland has been blessed with all the hot water and geothermal energy a country could ever use, resources have never been their strong point. However, for several reasons, tourism has become a big economic cash cow for Iceland, right next to fish and sheep. There are mountains to climb, snow to ski, horses to ride, food to gorge on, glaciers to dog-sled, you get the picture. And of course, tourists have to have a place to stay.
Hotels abound in almost every city and town in Iceland. In fact, if there’s a gas station, there’s a hotel with half a mile. Fresynes makes it on the map even though the entire town consists of a gas station, a guesthouse and a hotel. Okay, it’s not a town. It’s a stop.
Guesthouses Dutas online are all the rage now. In the United States, people start internet businesses as a full-time job or to make a little money on the side. In Iceland, people open guesthouses. Farmers, gas station managers, graphic designers, everybody’s got a place for rent. These are usually the ones that are the nicest too.
Hospital rooms may seem small when they’re full of equipment, but when the building is renovated into a hostel, the bedrooms are suddenly roomy. A defunct nursing home turns into a fantastically homey guesthouse.
Building new buildings, especially after the severe economic traumas of 2008, is prohibitively expensive, and so Icelanders make full use of the phrase “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” Actually, they fulfill the first three so well that “doing without” never comes into play. As you can see real estate investments in Iceland are very creative business.
Take Hotel Natur, for example. A new guesthouse across the Eyjafj√∂r√įur fjord from the northern city of Akureyri. Originally a cowshed, it’s now boasts twenty four splendidly furnished rooms with en suite bathrooms, a dining hall that would give most small restaurants a run for their money, conference facilities, and a hot tub. Not bad for a long, low building used for storing hay until 2005.
With all this accommodation at the ready, Iceland just needs more visitors. Southern Europeans like the Spaniards and Italians come in the winter. The summer is for Germans and Brits and Americans and a few Dutch tourists. Each group pretty much sticks to its season. However, Iceland is fantastic all year round. The attractions change, as does the daylight — in the winter it’s dark by 4:00 pm and in the summer it never gets dark — but the beauty of the country and the people are ever constant. Iceland is the world’s best kept secret for a saga-worthy vacation.
About the Author
Roger Hernandez is a keen world traveler and freelance writer. His wanderlust is fueled by his interest in real estate investing and he is a member of Lifestyles Unlimited real estate investing group.