A Warm Welcome in the East
A blend of tradition and modernity equals a comfortable stay
Lakeside paths wind around Egilsstaðir Guesthouse, a stately eighteen-room hotel in Egilsstaðir, just a few minutes off Route 1. Built by owner Gunnlaugar Jónasson’s great grandfather, this former farmhouse has hosted guests since it was finished in 1903. However, Egilsstaðir Guesthouse has changed to meet the needs of its growing number of visitors and was renovated in 1998. As Egilsstaðir transformed into East Iceland’s hub, Gunnlaugar improved on his great
grandfather’s original idea of a comfortable guesthouse by adding modern conveniences such as an en suite bathroom, wireless Internet access and a television for each room. Guests are also served a complimentary buffet breakfast each morning in Egilsstaðir Guesthouse’s spacious restaurant.
Egilsstaðir Guesthouse holds onto its ‘lived in’ feeling mainly because Gunnlaugar’s family lived in the house for generations and Gunnlaugar lived in a section of the hotel with his wife and children until one year ago, giving the service and style of the hotel a personal touch. “My children used to play in the halls and help welcome visitors. This was not a hotel, but our home
and we still receive guests in the same way today.” Egilsstaðir Guesthouse holds onto the unmistakable warmth of a house, while treating guests to a hotel’s quality of service.
Food plays an important part at Egilsstaðir Guesthouse and its restaurant has gained an impeccable reputation for its food and decor. Gunnlaugar’s wife, Hulda, is the mastermind behind the menu, adding variations to Icelandic dishes and including at least one vegetarian dish of the day. Hulda’s mastery of the art of local food is mainly due to establishing a network of farms and fishermen to supply the restaurant with fresh ingredients year round. Menus share tips on Icelandic dining decorum and the names and stories of the people who supply ingredients to the restaurant, connecting dishes to their source. Most ingredients come from less than 50 kilometres away, like the beef and dairy products that come from the farm right across the street and deliveries of fresh vegetables from Vallanes, a farm 12 kilometres away.