It is not very often that I write about accommodation and it is not something that I intend to make a habit of. However, should you ever treat yourself to a trip to the extraordinary nation of Iceland, I urge you to enhance your experience by staying at Ambassade Apartments, perfectly positioned in a quiet side road just five minutes snowy walk to most of the central action.
We arrived two hours later than scheduled, to be met by our charming Dutch hostess named Lis. From the moment she hoisted our suitcase up the small flight of steps, we knew that we had landed into good hands.
We were lucky enough to have been upgraded to a two-bedroom apartment, and delightful accommodation it was too. Primarily white walled with three large windows giving the impression of space and airiness, the part wood, part tiled floor provided the warmth (not to mention the most welcome underfloor heating in the bathroom). The rooms were tastefully decorated throughout. IKEA style furniture, glorious chandelier, ultra-modern kitchen equipped with everything you could want, supportive beds and wet room style bathroom.
Mrs Wilbur, being a qualified interior designer, has a nose for detail and she was very impressed. Lots of candles provided for a special ambience, fruit in the bowl, fluffy dressing gowns, maps, magazines and tourist brochures provided, dimmer switches everywhere, strategically placed lamps, loads of cupboard space, warming rugs, female friendly large mirrors. It would be very hard to criticise any aspect of the decor, but perhaps one or two pictures adorning the walls would be nice. That however would be being very picky indeed.
By arrangement, each morning we had a tasty breakfast there waiting for us in the fridge. Cold meats, cheese, fresh bread, tasty spreads, orange juice and a different yoghurt flavour every day. The brilliant coffee-making machine provided two wonderful hits a piece each morning to dissolve any remnants of sleep that lingered. Tea was waiting for us for our late night wind down.
It just happened to be my 50th birthday weekend and Lis obviously noticed the cards I had brought with me. On our return from a hard day visiting waterfalls and hot springs we came across a lovely note from owner Oli and Lis, plus a bottle of wine and delicious fresh fruit sponge. A lovely touch so typical of our stay – please don’t go pretending it’s your special day on the back of this!
Lis was also a font of local knowledge; pointing out the close supermarkets, wine shop (at those prices best to bring your own), nearby best bars & restaurants etc.
As I said, we were pretty much five minutes from the main thoroughfare of shops and entertainment, ten minutes from the amazing Hallgrímskirkja Church, eight minutes from Gray Line Tours main office and fifteen minutes walk from the Old Harbour and main concert venue.
We didn’t avail ourselves of the freely available hot tub, nor the experience of hiring a private chef for the evening (a tad expensive so would need to be an extremely special occasion), but also had the impression that nothing would have been too much trouble if we had asked.
Ambassade goes straight into our top three apartments, alongside others in Paris (Bridge Street Apartments Montparnasse) & Cordoba (Apartment San Fernando 62).
We paid around £110 per night for the privilege of staying there, an absolute bargain by Nordic standards. When we visit the land of ice and fire again, we wouldn’t dream of staying anywhere else.