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Excellence and individuality–that’s what you can expect at Hotel Rangá. In fact, we are extremely proud to be a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. To learn more about this prestigious affiliation, we sat down with hotelier Friðrik Pálsson–the owner and managing director of Hotel Rangá.
“Before joining the hotel industry, I spent time traveling around Europe with my late wife. We usually stayed at chateaus or other small hotels,” says Friðrik, who took over Hotel Rangá in 2003. “We loved these smaller hotels because they are individually run and more private–you feel at home. When Small Luxury Hotels approached Hotel Rangá in 2015, I found it very interesting. After some discussions we decided it was the way to go.”
Small Luxury Hotels of the World
Founded in 1989, Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) is a community of over 500 luxury accommodations. These hotels are located in over 80 countries–from rural resorts to boutique city hotels. For their portfolio of SLH-listed properties, they select only small, independent hotels that offer a genuine one-of-a-kind experience.
Each year SLH receives over 1,000 hotel applications but accepts only 5 percent. Their criteria are strict, and each property is inspected thoroughly to ensure a consistently high standard. As Friðrik explains, those inspections are not just for first-time applicants. “They do a mystery visit at Hotel Rangá every year. While at our property, they closely check about 350 to 400 items on their list. They check everything from big to small and leave nothing untouched. They keep us on our toes.”
Hotel Rangá: Something Out of the Ordinary
Friðrik knows a thing or two about meticulous quality standards. In fact, he has 30 years of prior experience with the Icelandic seafood export business and ISO 9001 certification. “That taught me a lot,” he says, “and since then I have been a big supporter of very thorough standardized procedures. Of course flexibility is also very important to us, and we are always willing and ready to meet whatever challenge there is.”
“Their individual-minded approach is another thing I like a lot,” says Friðrik. He goes on to note that it mirrors the values of Hotel Rangá. “More and more, people are wanting to have something tailor-made . They come to Iceland and want to experience something out of the ordinary. We are always working with local activity companies to come up with something new and different.”
In a competitive industry like tourism and hospitality, Friðrik feels strongly that the Small Luxury Hotels partnership has been a boon to Hotel Rangá and its guests. “I have always believed in cooperation because alone, you are very small. What they offer us is the opportunity to be part of a much bigger brand name, with more visibility to potential guests, as well as recognition for excellence in the luxury market.”
The Considerate Collection
Not only is Hotel Rangá a member of SLH–we are also part of the SLH Considerate Collection. This is an exclusive group of hotels that are passionate about sustainability. To join the collection, hotels must be community minded, cultural custodians and conscious of the environment. At Hotel Rangá, we always strive to make decisions that will align with these values. We want our guests to be confident that staying at Hotel Rangá is an environmentally friendly choice.
Hotelier Friðrik Pálsson has long been passionate about the environment and sustainability. As the owner and managing director of Hotel Rangá, he consistently leads our team to implement green hotel policies. What’s more, he recently led the initiative to bring the first electric aircraft to Iceland alongside his friend Matthías Sveinbjörnsson. Read more about this important project in this blog post.