I was ready for an adventure in the “Land of Fire and Ice” as I packed my bags with my hiking boots, snow pants, winter jacket, gloves and a handmade hat crocheted by my sister. My itinerary in South Iceland included hiking through glaciers, ATV riding on black sand beaches, a rib boat tour through the Westman Islands and chasing waterfalls at 10PM in the midnight sun.
It wasn’t until I arrived at Hotel Rangá where I checked into the Asia suite where the employee told me that Kourtney Kardashian stayed in my exact room during her birthday trip a few years ago. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West joined her on that trip too.
Inspired by Japan, the room was covered in motifs from their culture where you wouldn’t believe that you were in fact in Iceland. “Out of all of the suites, Asia is the most popular request amongst celebrities and guests,” the hotel employee told me.
It’s safe to say that for the remainder of my time at Hotel Rangá I thought to myself, WWKD – What Would Kourtney Do?
The staff was so attentive, I felt like a Kardashian myself.
Many Icelandic locals don’t know American celebrities, so they are treated just like us – as they should be. The property is family owned and run by Friðrik Pálsson who started the hotel after an impressive career leading two of Iceland’s largest seafood export companies.
He’s a hands-on owner where you will always find him around the lobby interacting with guests and testing out new items on their dinner menu. I had reindeer carpaccio every night with a local draft beer after a day exploring. Throughout his career, he typically would spend over 200 nights a year on the road for work, so he truly knows what makes a memorable stay.
Hotel Rangá has been a hotspot for plenty of American celebrities.
Kourntey Kardashian isn’t the only celebrity to stay at Hotel Rangá while escaping to Iceland. Notable personalities include Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, George Clooney, Jake Gyllenhal, Justin Bieber, Charlize Theron and the Real Housewives of Orange County.
Fun fact: Charlize Theron stayed in the Asia suite as well for weeks while filming Ridley Scott’s Prometheus.
Seven of the eight suites at Hotel Rangá are designed after different countries and continents.
I’ve never been in a hotel before where I felt like I was traveling around the world. Immense research went into bringing each culture to life through interior design including artwork, materials, layout and native traditions. Besides Asia, other suite themes included: Australia, North America, South America, Antarctica, Africa and of course Iceland. Guests staying in the suites have a very different experience from one another.
While on Kourtney’s birthday trip a few years ago, Kim and Kanye stayed in the Africa suite two doors down from Kourt.
I literally showered in a wooden box (and I loved it).
The shower was unlike anything I’ve bathed myself in before and definitely took some getting used to. It’s based on modern Japanese influence, so there was no curtain and essentially appeared like a wooden box – with “Geta” wooden sandals included. When traveling, I always try to push myself out of my comfort zone and try new things so I was up for the challenge.
Besides showering, I could fill it to take a bath. Getting in and out took some practice, catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror struggling not to slip on the wooden step. I thought of Kourtney as I was embarrassingly trying to keep my balance and wondered how she liked it. I grew to really love it.
I felt completely immersed in Asian culture…while in the middle of Iceland.
I can see why Kourtney Kardashian was so interested in the Asia suite specifically. Once inside, you’re far from the Icelandic countryside. The room uses traditional Tatami mats, rice paper doors and a table based on the Japanese kotatsu tables.
According to their website, this suite is the most authentic of them all. The owner Friðrik says, “We particularly enjoyed making the ceiling, which is based on a 4000-year-old design that is still used in Japan today.”
It’s so well done where I found myself roaming the suite to notice every fine detail. They went all in and didn’t just hang Japanese paintings, but truly transformed the space.
After chasing waterfalls in the midnight, heading back to my hotel for some reindeer carpaccio, a local brew and a dip in the hot tub was all I needed. I can see why Kourtney spoke so highly of Hotel Rangá during her trip. Next time I won’t forget to pack my Goop x Poosh candle!
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