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History

The history in Reykjahlid of receiving and serving travellers with provisions is long. The story says that Sölvi Magnússon felt driven to leave Reykjahlid in year 1895 because of heavy traffic of travelers and lack of peace to attend to his farming. The first concrete house in the Thingeyjar-county was built in the year 1911, solely for the purpose to receive guests.

The history of Reynihlid begins year 1942 when farmer Pétur Jónsson in Reykjahlid and his wife Thuríður Gísladóttir erected the new homestead Reynihlid with 5 bedrooms that were let out to guests in summertime and a spacious living room for reception of guests.

When the bridge over Jökulsá-river  was opened in year 1947 car traffic increased considerably and same summer the couple and their children commenced building Hotel Reynihlid. The primus motor in this project was their oldest son, Gísli Pétursson, who died in the  year 1950 only 28 years of age. The hotel was ready summer 1949 and was opened July 17 same year. From start it had 26 bedrooms and a restaurant for 100 persons.

When the Diatomite Factory was erected year 1966 the demand for bedrooms changed and it was decided to enlarge the hotel with rooms with ensuite bathrooms and a spacious hall, living room and bar, so now we had 28 bedrooms and thereof 8 with ensuite bathrooms. This building was finished in the year 1968, but the bar didn't get license until 1970 since it was the first country bar in Iceland licensed to serve alcoholic beverages.

In the year 1981 a new building was added to the hotel, 18 bedrooms, all with ensuite bathrooms, beside a 70 person meeting room. Now we had 46 bedrooms. Last addition was built year 1988, consists of 7 bedrooms, staff facilities and stock rooms. And this time we closed or changed the oldest bedrooms. At this time we had the highest number of bedrooms, total 48. The last rooms without bathrooms were taken out of service year 1991, joined and renewed, so now we had 41 bedrooms like we have today. When quality classification was adopted in Iceland in year 2000 Hotel Reynihlid was awarded 4 stars and still remains that status.

The family founded a company (Ltd) in 1961 to run the hotel and it has been in the possession of the same family. Stock owners today are Pétur Snæbjörnsson and Erna Þórarinsdóttir.

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