Iceland Mag

11 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Hotel warning guests not drink tap water, instead buy bottled water, faces an avalanche of criticism

By Staff

  • "Dispicable", "Shameful", "Runaway greed" Photographs of signs in a downtown hotel encouraging guests stay away from the tap water have sparked outrage in Iceland. Photo/Þórunn Snæbjarnardóttir-Facebook

Yesterday Þórunn Snæbjarnardóttir, a local woman, shared photographs of a sign on display in a downtown hotel, AdaM Hotel, encouraging guests to buy bottled water, rather than drink from the tap. The photographs were shared in a Facebook group dedicated to discussions about the Icelandic tourism industry. 

Read more: Downtown hotel advises guest against drinking tap water, charges 4 USD for own bottled water

According to the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, some of Þórunn’s Icelandic friends who live outside of the capital region had been shocked to see the sign when they stayed at the hotel while visiting Reykjavík. Instead of complaining or notifying the authorities they had decided to share the photographs on Facebook. It is safe to say that by sharing the photographs Þórunn managed to draw attention to this questionable advice.

Veitur, the Reykjavík Icelandic water and sanitation utility, shared the photographs on their Facebook page, stressing that there was nothing wrong with the water in downtown Reykjavík The post ha been shared more than 200 times, drawing a flood of comments from outraged Icelanders. All major news outlets in Iceland have also covered the case, for example by the local news site, where the story quickly became the most read item. The comments sections for Icelandic news sites covering the story are full of angry Icelanders. 

Icelanders share their outrage on social media
Icelanders who have commented on the case have been virtually unanimous in denouncing the hotel’s behaviour as an example of the very worst kind of greed which can accompany a tourism boom. One Facebook user commented that it was “beyond shameful” to attempt to make a tiny profit by undermining the reputation Iceland has for clean water. Others fear that runaway greed and behaviour like this is damaging Iceland’s reputation abroad.

While several Icelandic commenters suggested people take to TripAdvisor to warn travellers about the hotel, others pointed out that this should be left to actual guests, and in any case the hotel was receiving very mixed reviews, to say the least. This did not stop others from take to the Facebook page of AdaM Hotel to leave damning reviews, leaving comments like “For some reason they recommend their guest not to drink tap water, instead buy a bottle water. This is false, it is perfectly ok to drink tap water and no need to buy bottle water!”

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