In the past 10 years Reykjavík has expanded a lot, with s short break during the 2008 crisis. But Since a couple of years new places like KEX Hostel have been popping up, and more are to come. Only during the year 2013 four new hostels are going to be opened.
Kex is located on the sea front of Reykjavik, almost in the centre. The place occupies 3 floors of what was in the past a biscuit factory, the ground floor being occupied by a gallery museum.
The owners of the place definitely put a lot of effort to make this place look like a home for all people coming here. It looks and feels at the same time like a great base-camp for backpackers, a nice boutique hotel (you could find this kind of place in Berlin or Brooklyn) and it simply serves as a local bar for people living close to it. Our friend, who happens to live just a block away from KEX, calls it as his living room. We perfectly understand that!
The place offers to all very nice Breakfast. Notice: not only for the hotel guests. It has all what you expect to get in a Nordic country as a breakfast (porridge, breads, ham, veggies, jam, musly, eggs, juice coffee, fruit juice...) plus the special icelandic touch, skyr.
If you never been to Iceland before and you arrive late at night, the breakfast at KEX in the morning will set your mood up for your whole stay. Big bonus is that you can enjoy it facing the sea and a beautiful mountain Esja.
Indeed almost every night there is either a free concert in the bar/restaurant hall or a more 'organized' gig in their small concert hall.
Last but not least, few words about the Hostel itself. It stays relatively affordable (yes, this is Iceland), even more in off seasons where prices are cut by half. KEX offers accommodation from the large 16 people dorms for backpackers, to the family dorms (big bed for daddy and mummy and bunk beds for the tribe), and to finish with their 'suits', 2 person bedrooms with private bath and sea views. All rooms are decorated in a industrial/vintage look with old school maps from all over the world.
The staff at the reception of the hotel is extremely friendly and helpful. The staff at the bar is also friendly at the breakfast time, but turned back to Reykjavik standarts later (meaning you will get what you want but don't be offended, if some bartender don't seem to care at all about you).
As a conclusion a great place to stay over or simply to visit for a beer or gig, if you are in Reykjavík.