Our experience started with email contact with Hraun. He was incredibly responsive on email, even after we were on Vestmannaeyjar. The lava cottage is just 1-2 meters from the edge of the 1973 lava flow, which I assume is the source of its name. The location of the cottage is very convenient, just a couple of blocks from the downtown area and great food, and just half a block from stairs that lead up onto the system of walking trails on the 1973 flow.
We stayed in the "private room" upstairs, and we had noticed when we booked that there was another lodging option available on AirBnB, the bunk area. So we knew that there could be other travelers staying there and previous reviews mention that the kitchen and bathroom is shared. OK. However, it turns out that you have to walk through the shared bunk room in order to get to the "private room." This was a bit of a surprise, and not entirely comfortable when you are worrying about waking other sleeping travelers when you go downstairs to the toilet, or making them uncomfortable if you walk by in a state of partial dress. In short, it felt more like a hostel experience than a private room. Especially considering you can hear alarm clocks and other sounds from the other room very easily.
There were also a number of issues with the house. While the room was advertised as having wifi, Hraun informed us after we arrived that it didn't work and he had been having trouble getting it fixed for some time. I understand that it can be difficult (especially on an island) to get telecommunications hardware fixed, but the listing should reflect that. We also pulled an incredible amount of hair out of the shower drain so that we could shower without standing in a rising pool of water. Finally, the hot tub water was not very clean at all - again, possibly due to other previous visitors, but not very pleasant. Hraun told us that he had cleaned and that he could not be responsible for what the other visitor had done, but it was quite obvious that our other visitor (who had very short hair) was not responsible for the incredibly huge amount of hair in the shower, and probably not in the hot tub, either. We contacted Hraun about these issues, but Hraun's response was particularly disappointing. He didn't apologize or take responsibility for any of the problems.
It is too bad, because the lava cottage could really be a nice place to stay with some better cleaning. It also seems that it would be better either as a hostel or as a private apartment; mixing the two doesn't work very well. We avoided many of the potential problems from that mixing because the other traveler that we shared the cottage with happened to be a wonderful individual. I would hope that changes are made so that others will have a better experience.