• hotel ranga restaurant exterior rowellphotography
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    Bedroom with hot tub access
  • hotel ranga restaurant interior
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Style and comfort in the Icelandic countryside

Hotel Ranga, near Hella

We’re huge fans of Hotel Ranga, a distinctive property about a 90 minute drive from Reykjavik. Hotel Ranga has become a favourite with our clients too, this cosy riverside lodge offering four-star comfort and fine dining in the volcanic heart of rural Iceland. There’s nowhere better for northern lights viewing – Ranga even has its own star-gazing observatory – while our Summer Nights break at this outstanding property promises long, indulgent days under the golden glow of the midnight sun as well as some fabulous culinary treats.

Winner of Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH)
“Country House Hotel of the Year, 2023”

Summer or winter, you are also perfectly located at Ranga for exploring many of Iceland’s most famous natural wonders – including the tectonic triple-whammy of the Golden Circle and the waterfalls, glaciers and black-sand beaches of the South Coast.

Our special partnership with Hotel Ranga has led to us developing an unrivalled selection of year round holidays. The moment you arrive you’ll receive a warm welcome from the hotel’s staff. Ranga has 52 stylish rooms, including eight sumptuous junior and master suites themed on the continents, a traditional Icelandic Suite and a Royal Suite – some featured in our Gallery of images below.

Although it’s one of the only four-star resorts in Iceland outside the capital, there’s nothing pretentious about Hotel Ranga. Drive 96km east of Reykjavik and you will find the traditional, log-cabin style lodge nuzzled in wide-open Icelandic countryside, the East Ranga salmon river frothing nearby and Mt Hekla brooding in the distance.

Throughout its 20 years, Hotel Ranga has acquired an excellent reputation for its food, accommodation and personal service and is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.

“Hotel Ranga, a luxurious country lodge astride a salmon-stocked river, is an hour from Reykjavik, yet many Rekis drive out to dine at Ranga’s restaurant, one so good that if Michelin covered Iceland, it would undoubtedly receive a ‘worth the journey destination’”.
Tanya Steele, Editor epicurious.co.uk

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The perfect place to see the northern lights

This is big-sky country. No wonder Ranga has such a glowing reputation for northern lights viewing. You’re miles from any artificial light pollution, so when the aurora appears you’re in for a truly unforgettable experience. Hotel Ranga offers its guests an aurora wake-up call so you needn’t worry about missing the spectacle. The staff are genuinely enthusiastic (and knowledgeable) about all-things aurora. You can glean tips on photographing the northern lights and learn about how they’re created. Gaze at the cosmos while gently poaching in one of Ranga’s outdoor hot tubs or see beyond the aurora, deep into space, using the hotel’s state-of-the-art observatory, complete with a roll-off roof.

Although the aurora can be visible at Ranga from as early as late August right through to April, summer has its own very special and unique light show. The glow of the midnight sun not only brings long, long days to this part of Iceland, but the sunsets are also truly remarkable. We can’t think of a more peaceful spot to simply relax, enjoy great food and explore untouched nature.

“Walking up the driveway at Hotel Ranga and having the northern lights to myself was a highlight for me. After a long day of wind and rain, the skies cleared to reveal Orion on the southern horizon. Feeling lucky, I quickly got dressed to see faint wisps of the aurora to the north. It is definitely worth looking out the window whatever the hour of darkness as you never know what you’ll be rewarded with!” – Amy Gibbs

iceland south west hotel ranga northern lights
hotel ranga dinner plate


Often compared to dining experiences at top restaurants in Paris and New York, Hotel Ranga treats its guests to an exciting culinary adventure. Inspired by the seasons and fresh, local ingredients, the restaurant has a ‘farmers’ market’ concept; menus are modern Nordic in style – with a touch of French and Italian.

Hotel Ranga’s gourmet restaurant has one of the most delicious and exciting menus in the country. Locals drive out from the capital just to enjoy the food there. From melt-in-the-mouth salmon to local lamb raised on herb-scented mountain slopes, dining at Ranga will be one of the highlights of your stay.

Expect to be wowed by delicious, beautifully presented dishes of Atlantic salmon, trout, Arctic char, mountain lamb, beef, duck, reindeer, cod, monkfish and Icelandic langoustine. Wild mushrooms and berries add seasonal flavours, while locally farmed organic vegetables, fruits and herbs are used wherever possible. The strawberries from Fludir are a highlight, as are the meats from a local smokehouse near Vik.

A feast of European and Scandinavian gourmet dishes, Ranga’s Christmas Buffet is available during November and December.

The restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows provide panoramic river views – especially beautiful as you watch the sun rise while enjoying the extensive breakfast buffet. As you’d expect, the service is excellent and there’s an extensive wine list.

“We loved the food, especially the fish dishes, and at Hotel Ranga it was exceptional. The staff went out of their way to be helpful and our Christmas Day meal is one to remember!” – Mr & Mrs Cook, Aurora Nights

Things to do from Hotel Ranga

You will definitely want to linger over meals at Ranga, but the long summer days leave plenty of time for getting out and about. Our self-drive holidays give you the freedom to roam the South Coast where mighty Skogafoss beats its thunder and other spectacular waterfalls (like Seljalandsfoss) vie for your attention. You can stroll along black-sand beaches, hike or snowmobile across an icecap, explore a lava cave and visit the Eyjafjallajokull eruption centre. And that’s before you turn your attention north towards the Golden Circle. Easily worth a day’s touring from Ranga, this famous medley of highlights epitomises Iceland’s natural wonders with the cascades of Gullfoss, bubbling, seething Geysir and the fascinating tectonic rift at Thingvellir. There are also numerous activities available at Hotel Ranga itself, from angling, hiking, horse riding and birdwatching to river rafting, snowmobiling, scenic flights over Hekla and 4WD tours by superjeep or quad bike.

Hotel features

  • 4* luxury hotel
  • Breakfast included
  • Welcome drink on arrival
  • Aurora wake up call
  • 52 Rooms & suites including globally-themed suites
  • Free Wifi in rooms
  • Hairdryer, tea & coffee maker, mini bar, TV and room service in rooms
  • Fine dining riverside restaurant
  • Lounge and bar
  • 2 meeting rooms
  • Game room
  • Massage facilities
  • 3 outdoor hot tubs (heated with geothermal water)
  • Stargazing and Northern Lights viewing observatory


There are 52 beautifully furnished rooms at Hotel Ranga, divided into three categories: standard, deluxe and suite. Great fun and highly original, the junior and master suites are themed: Australia; South America; North America; Asia; Africa and Antarctica. The newest is the Icelandic Suite, traditional in design and beautifully furnished. Finally the Royal Suite, very special indeed. All rooms have wonderful views of either the East Ranga River, or towards the volcanic hulk of Mt Hekla.

24 Standard Rooms These spacious rooms (around 18 square metres in area) are well furnished and have wooden floors and smart en-suite bathrooms with jacuzzi baths and showers. Six of the standard rooms have queen-size beds, while 18 have twin beds that can be joined together on request.

20 Deluxe Rooms There are 17 Deluxe Rooms with king size beds and three with twin beds. Larger than Standards, these stylish rooms each cover an area of 26 square metres and enjoy views of the river, the outdoor hot tubs or Mt Hekla volcano. Most have private balconies.

8 Suites Hotel Ranga’s themed suites are an unexpected and original touch. With a unique design based on the seven continents, and a new one on Iceland, they have been cleverly styled using beautiful and authentic décor and furnishings. Ranging in size from 40-74 square metres in area, there are four Junior Suites (Asia, Australia, North America and South America) and four master suites (Africa, Antarctica, Iceland and the Royal Suite). The attention to detail is remarkable, for example: stunning black and white penguin-like leather furniture in the Antarctica suite; a thatched bed canopy and tribal decorations for Africa; minimalist Japanese style for Asia including a deep soaking tub; a fabulous copper, roll top bath and a Native American dreamcatcher above the bed in the North American suite, and in the new Icelandic Suite, a hot tub hewn from basalt rock. Spacious, sumptuous and bursting with character and style, Ranga’s global range of suites are deservedly popular, so be sure to book well in advance to guarantee your choice.


To bring the night sky to life, a roll-off roof observatory has been built at Hotel Ranga, the only hotel in Iceland to have such a facility. Light pollution around the hotel is minimal, making it the optimal location for viewing the night sky. With room for up to 30 people, the observatory is equipped with two high quality 11-inch computerised telescopes which allow guests to view amazing detail on the surface of Jupiter, look at Cassini’s Division in the rings of Saturn, and see details on the surface of Mars. Even distant Uranus and Neptune may be seen.

During the day, and in the summer months when Iceland enjoys bright summer nights, the observatory features a solar telescope with white light filter, providing a fantastic view of the sun, enabling guests to observe sunspots in great detail and activity such as prominences and filaments. Stunning close-ups of the moon are also possible during summer, while the long, beautiful sunsets at this time of year can be enjoyed with or without a telescope.

Certain conditions are required for the observatory to be open/ in use. Please check with the hotel reception for further information.

“We spent our last evening relaxing and stargazing in the observatory at Hotel Ranga.  Using the telescopes enabled us to view the Andromeda Galaxy which is 2.5 million lights years away. This is an image that will stay in my mind forever.” – Kelly O’Brien

ranga stargazing at observatory