Your 20s is an interesting time – you go from living like a bum in the early years as a student to starting to earn money and living the proverbial “high life” once you reach the end. Some of the changes include buying wine based on the region instead of the price tag, not having to buy home brand food and best of all, putting the days of dodgy hostels behind you and finally checking into real hotels. But even then “living the highlife” means sleeping in your own room in a 2 star hotel with questionable hygiene and a bedspread that probably hasn’t been washed since 1987.
Enter the classy hostel….
Yes, believe it or not, such a thing does exist and it is conveniently located in the crisp, cold capital of Reykjavik in Iceland and its name is KEX.
KEX has done a suburb job of creating the ultimate place for a traveller like myself – someone who wants buzz and atmosphere but also wants privacy; someone who has money to spend on nice things occasionally but also has to stick to a budget and someone that just appreciates cool shit!
Located in Downtown, in a cold industrial looking building, KEX opens up into a warm, welcoming abode fitted out with kitschy antiques, leather furniture and world maps all over the walls. The bar has wonderful food and guests can enjoy a cheap buffet breakfast for a small fee. KEX also has regular live music, organises daily tours to explore Iceland and incredibly helpful staff.
- Service: super friendly, relaxed, informal and helpful.
- Food: the food in the restaurant downstairs in some of the best, and most reasonably priced in the city.
- Rooms: Like an amazing hotel room, without the added extras such as mini bars, TVs and bathrooms. The communal showers and toilets are cleaned throughout the day and aren’t shared among too many people. Added bonus: views of the snow capped mountains.
- Amenity: Free Wifi, information desk, meeting room, secure luggage storage, heated outdoor patio, 2 kitchens for guests and bike rental
- Best for: young people travelling alone, with partners or friends
- Price: Cheap. $50 – $100 a night ranging from 8 person dorm to private ensuited rooms.
- Location: KEX is located 250m from the main shopping street of the city and close to the beautiful harbour. Added bonus: car rentals are right across the road and road tripping out of the city is a must.
For more information about Reykjavik and Iceland you can read my guide here.