There is only one Salvation Army Guesthouse in the world, and it’s located in downtown Reykjavík, just across from the oldest house in the city, former home to Jón Sigurðsson. If you’re worried that by merely entering the building you will be instantly converted and asked to follow the beliefs of founder William Booth, who suggested goals of education, relief of poverty, and performing charitable acts beneficial to society as a whole, worry not. You don’t have to have any religion or be interested in charitable acts to stay at the hostel.
The hostel has 58 rooms, with space for 90 people total. No rooms have private baths, though all are so clean and quiet that guides like Let’s Go and Lonely Planet have given the hostel its highest recommendations. Because of these recommendations, the hostel is booked throughout the summer, though there is often still a possibility to get in when people miss their reservations.
The price is right: 2000 ISK for a shared room up to 5000 ISK for a single room in the heart of downtown can’t be matched in the area. And the decor is so timeless and well-kept, that our reviewer described it as “a lot like my grandmother’s country cottage.”
During the winter, rooms are available for monthly rent.
If you want churchin’, though, it is possible to be around religious people at the Salvation Army. The premises contains a chapel which holds services on Sundays at 10:30 and holds fellowship services from July to August at 20:30, but, again, this is by no means required of guests.
Salvation Army Guesthouse. Kirkjustræti 2, 101 Reykjavík. Phone: 561-3203 more info at www.guesthouse.is.