Addressing mail to a Icelandic hotel guest who hasn't arrived yet
July 31, 2016 1:56 PM   Subscribe

The hotel in Iceland where we are staying will hold mail that arrives before we do. How should I tell people to address the envelopes?

My wife and I will arrive in Reykjavik on her birthday, and I had the crazy thought it would be fun to get friends and family to send her birthday cards for her to open when we get there. I checked this out with the hotel, and there won't be a problem (as long as it's nothing larger than an envelope.)

I have the address of the hotel. Should the envelope be addressed in a special way? Is there an Icelandic equivalent for "hold for guest's arrival on X date" that should go on the envelope?
posted by emelenjr to Travel & Transportation around Reykjavík, Iceland (8 answers total)
Hotel Guest Karen Jones
c/o Hotel Iceland
234 Main St
Reykjavik Iceland
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 2:03 PM on July 31, 2016

I suggest you call or email the hotel, they'll know better than anyone how to address it.

Otherwise I suppose having 'Guest arrives on -Date-' at the top would be effective.
posted by FallowKing at 2:05 PM on July 31, 2016 [4 favorites]

Also, You've already checked to make sure it's okay, but do be sure to give them a heads up that there will definitely be mail arriving for this guest.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 2:08 PM on July 31, 2016

i use "name (arrives date)" when i do this. i would also avoid having too many things arrive, but maybe that's just me being too english.
posted by andrewcooke at 2:08 PM on July 31, 2016 [2 favorites]

This is an awesome idea, but I feel compelled to warn you that of the eight postcards I sent from Iceland to the US, only two made it to their destination. (It was December, and possible that the Yule Lads got to them.) Just a heads up.
posted by roger ackroyd at 2:23 PM on July 31, 2016

To counter Mr. ackroyd's experience, I mailed dozens of postcards from Iceland on two separate trips (I send a lot of postcards), and, to the best of my knowledge, they all arrived. Iceland seems to have a functioning postal system. I agree that checking with the hotel is probably a good idea but:

Hotel Iceland
Hold for guest Karen Jones, arriving [date]
rest of address

is a pretty good approach. It's more or less the formula I used when mailing letters to a friend sailing around the world, whose arrival could be +/- 2 weeks. All the letters got to her, and I imagine that, while this practice was likely much more common before about 1990, hotels probably still have a similar system in place.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:37 PM on July 31, 2016 [3 favorites]

When I've mailed things to myself at hotels (ahead of business conferences where I don't want to carry on bound program books, etc), I've always used:

Hotel Name
My Name, Arriving DATE
Street address, etc

When I check in, there's a package or two waiting, no trouble ever.
posted by writermcwriterson at 10:29 AM on August 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't include the arrival date information in the address area of the package. Doesn't the USPS have regulations about what should, and shouldn't, go there?

I'd address it as such:

c/o Hotel Name

Then, well below this near the bottom put ARRIVAL DATE xx/xx/xxxx

This way the arrival date info isn't jumbled up with the address, where it really has no bearing.
posted by SoftSummerBreeze at 9:15 AM on August 2, 2016

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