Tel: 45 33 43 62 00
The beautiful brick Suhr's and Puggaard's warehouses, dating to 1803, overlook both the harbor and the Nyhavn Canal and once held spices and other precious goods from the Far East. Now they compose one of the nine independent Copenhagen properties of small chain Arp-Hansen; the group's most recent addition is Copenhagen Island, a 326-room hotel with a seven-story glass tower sitting on its own purpose-built isle (Kalvebod Brygge 53; 45-33-38-96-00; www.copenhagenisland.com). The 150 rooms in this equally tall, gabled, historic place are romantically atmosphericcozy nests with forests of weathered Pomeranian fir beams, low ceilings, and rather a lot of standard-issue four-star hotel furniture. The nicest have arched French doors that lead to little waterside balconies. Simply put, this is not for those craving a dose of Danish Modern. The beamed and quaint, though unpronounceable, Pakhuskælderen restaurant is open for continental breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Tel: 45 3247 3000
This mammoth hotel in the suburb of Orestad, near the Copenhagen airport, flaunts a lot of impressive stats. When it opened in May 2011, it weighed in as Scandinavia's biggest hotel, with a veritable dream team of Euro architects and designers contributing to its creation. The Danish architectural team 3XN wins credit for the striking facade, composed of two leaning, swaying towers meant to resemble a pair of dancers. The interior's public spaces are almost as impressive, starting with an eye-popping reception area planted with an organic wall of sprouting wild grass and plants. Designed as much as an all-in-one entertainment complex as a hotel, the towers include five restaurants and bars, a massive spa, and guest rooms with Arne Jacobsen lamps, Hastens beds, and marble desks. But those 814 rooms, despite all that star power, are small and look out on the conference center the hotel was really meant to augment. If you are too jet-lagged to navigate the six miles into Copenhagen proper, settle for the penthouse Sky Bar, decked out with a piano and poufy lounge chairs; you can just make out the tantalizing skyline of the city from the picture windows.—Raphael Kadushin
Tel: 45 33 25 04 05
One of two Copenhagen hotels owned by the small Guldsmeden group (don't confuse it with its more spartan, neighboring sister the Carlton), Bertrams is a perfect reflection of its free-spirited Vesterbro surroundings. It's a Copenhagen anomaly, bravely sacrificing impeccable styling for a guileless, raffish, sometimes goofy whimsy. The playful mood starts in the tiny lobby with a pair of black-and-white cowhide chairs, a Dali-worthy tree trunk that doubles as a coat hanger, and the smiliest desk clerks in town. Upstairs the small, whitewashed guestrooms have an equally sunny though more elegant Baltic-goes-colonial look: Balinese carved-wood four-posters; Pakistani rugs; high, firm Danish mattresses. Modern amenities (flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi) are in place, and it's worth it to pay the extra $40 to upgrade to a Superior room, with either a balcony or claw-foot tub. Whatever room style you choose, nab one in back. The tranquil, walled secret garden makes it quieter than Vesterbrogade's arty party brigade, who seem more like boozy yahoos than charming waifs at 3 a.m. A third hotel by the Guldsmeden group, Axel, is on its way to the Vesterbro neighborhood in June 2007.
H.C. Andersens Boulevard 50, Langebro
Tel: 45 33 11 85 85
What a difference an S makes… This is a five-star property, but not of the Four Seasons variety. It's the first five-star hostel in Denmark's estimable network of bare-bones, bottom-dollar, safe, clean, reliable lodgings. Occupying a former office tower, it's claimed the title as Europe's biggest city hostel since fully opening in summer of 2005. Although it has no decor and precious little in the way of facilities (an Internet café, some vending machines, and a TV lounge sum it up), its location right by Tivoli and next to trendy Vesterbro is stellar, and the views from the high floors are worth so much more than the $80-ish top rate. For that money, you get a double room with its own bathroom (since there are only 192 rooms, each with bathroom, you can calculate that most of the 1,000-plus beds are dormlike). For someone on a budget who'd rather splash the cash at Noma or Dansk Møbelkunst, this could be a godsend.
Tel: 800 337 4685 (toll-free)
Tel: 45 33 45 91 00
Situated in the Latin Quarter (a five-minute walk from Strøget), this functionalist landmark, built as a department store in the late 1920s and remodeled as a hotel in 2003, is a show-offy place to stay. While the burnt-orange facade is visible for miles, Danish artist Per Arnoldi's interiors are more serene, done up in his signature palette of blues or reds on white, offset with natural wood and neutral upholstery. The 268 rooms come in seven sizes (literally—they're called S, M, L, XL, plus three suite types); we recommend paying an additional 50 bucks for a balcony. Wi-Fi, international cable channels, conference facilities, and a fitness room keep business travelers occupied, but the Skt. Petri is best enjoyed while lollygagging with the locals in Bar Rouge listening (on weekends) to DJ "Bob Lovestuff and his DJs on Fire" or noshing in Brasserie Petri. One caveat: All that socializing and the thumping soundtrack in the ground floor atrium can echo in the guest rooms. Book a room on the top floor, especially for weekend stays.
Skt. Anne Plads 21
Tel: 45 33 13 34 00
An offspring of Copenhagen's frostiest grande dame, Hotel D'Angleterre, the Front feels less like a lady-in-waiting than a parody of the pandering boutique hotel. The inevitable bowl of apples sits next to the obligatory hotel house-mix CD (for sale) on the reception desk. A distinct, bubble gumpink palette unites the adjoining reception area, lounge, and restaurant. Personal shoppers and yoga trainers are on call if the small basement wellness center and 24-hour room service aren't quite enough. But once Front settles in and relinquishes some of its pretensions, it should get by on its very real charms. It's the only style-conscious hotel directly on the harbor (and thankfully, there's not a knotty pine beam or nautical gewgaw in sight). Some guest rooms have waterfront views, and all are tranquil and punctuated by knockoff Barcelona chairs, steel-gray shag carpeting, longand actually functionalwork desks, and the tech essentials (flat-screen cable TV, free high-speed Internet). The minibar is stocked with (free) soda, mineral water, and local Tuborg beer. And REN toiletries, including an almost edible apricot conditioner, almost make up for the bathroom's overheated floor and unfortunate sizebarely big enough to accommodate two fluffy towels, let alone a bathtub.
34 Kongens Nytorv
Tel: 45 33 12 00 95
Editor's Note: Hotel D'Angleterre will close for renovations on June 1, 2011. It is expected to reopen in February 2012.
Opened in 1755, the Hotel D'Angleterre rebels against Copenhagen's democratic sensibility and prevailing modernism with white-glove service and high Victorian style. Onetime guest Hans Christian Andersen would still find himself right at home in any of the 123 stately rooms—perhaps penning a fairy tale at a black lacquered desk—and he'd likely be delighted by the heavily veined marble bathrooms. (We, however, could do without the wall-to-wall carpeting and chintz bedspreads.) Book a room at the front of the hotel for opera-box views of Kongens Nytorv (King's New Square), the Royal Theatre, and Nyhavn's sherbert-colored canal houses. Restaurant D'Angleterre, with its walls enveloped in gold foil, is an elegant setting for French-inflected international cuisine and the hotel's popular Champagne brunch. And despite the overall crusty patina, this grande dame is looking cautiously forward: Guests can decompress from modern life with a papaya gel massage or a dip in the indoor pool in the Arndal Spa and Fitness Center.
Jarmers Plads 3
Tel: 45 33 95 77 55
If there's a more out-there, streetwise, arty hotel anywhere in the world, the Project Fox team that was behind this house of psychedelic bed-scapes will eat its hat. Its decor was commissioned from international graffitists, graphic designers, and illustrators in honor of a new car. The automobile is the VW Fox 21; the 21 artists include Antoine + Manuel, Freaklüb, E-Types, Neasden Control Centre, Hort, Speto, MASA, and Container (this means something if you're into street art, zines, and manga). The 61 rooms are beyond belief: Tinkp Eepe (#116) has vaguely suggestive bubble gum–pink clouds with tongues and wings. Two Swans (#214) has life-size photoscapes of trees and llamas, a Fertility Shrine, and a pride of stuffed toy lions. Geissenpeter (#506) is the kids' classic, Heidi, in room form; Boxing (#504) is a gym with a trophy case, heavy bag, and gold-robed bed. You choose your room at check-in by selecting whichever matching Do Not Disturb tag appeals to you, and then—in lieu of a minibar—collect your cooler bag (Hangoverbag, Moviebag, Loversbag, or custom bag) and retire to your flat-screen TV, free Internet, and possible nightmares. But really, many rooms are things of beauty, and most designer-artists clearly had comfort high on their agendas. When it all gets too much, take refuge on the roof terrace or in the Fox Kitchen and Bar for healthy foods that are as good for your body as they are for your wallet. As they say: crazy like a fox.
Tel: 45 88 70 00 00
An ongoing sensation in understated Copenhagen, Nimb catapulted to the top of the city's hotel scene when it opened in May 2008 in Tivoli Gardens. Nothing in Copenhagen comes close to matching its 13 gorgeous rooms: All but one overlook the amusement park, and each is decorated with Sotheby's-worthy antiques (elegant secretaries, landscape paintings, rustic armoires), has a wood-burning fireplace, and sports glossy tech amenities such as Bang & Olufsen flat-screen TVs. (The room rates, between $355 and $1,330, are breathtaking as well.) The theatrical design continues in the public spaces—there's a baronial fireplace and fairy-tale murals in the lounge—and the over-the-top Moorish facade (a Tivoli landmark) wouldn't be out of place on the Vegas strip. Since Nimb is co-owned by Tivoli Gardens and the Grønlykkes, owners of the Michelin-starred Falsled Inn and one of Denmark's culinary first families, the hotel doubles as a well-stocked food court. In addition to the Løgismose deli and a small working dairy that produces milk, cream, butter, yogurt, and fresh cheese, Nimb's three restaurants are standouts. More than 1,300 bottles are cellared in the Vinotek wine bar; casual Restaurant Nimb redefines the open kitchen concept with chefs preparing herring plates, fish cakes, and the like at counters situated throughout the dining room; and in the more serious Herman Restaurant, chef Thomas Herman revives country Danish dishes with a haute twist. The chef's Jerusalem artichoke bisque with eel-filled donuts reflects the exuberant but thoughtful Nimb style that brings a grown-up edge to Tivoli itself.
Tel: 45 33 95 95 00
Situated near the Amalienborg Palace on a swanky street lined with antique shops, the Phoenix has a slightly antiquated air itself, and is an effective antidote to Copenhagen's crush of self-satisfied boutique hotels. The defiantly old-world style means certain lapses (no spa, more herring than sashimi in the restaurant). What it does have are guest rooms done up in a Nordic version of Louis XVI, with a vaguely Gustavian sweep of gilded mirrors, cut-crystal chandeliers, whitewashed cupboards, swagged curtains, and gold trim on everything, including the trash cans in the marble bathrooms (which, in the higher-end rooms, match the gold-plated fixtures). The only time the provincial patrician decor curdles is in the overwrought lobby, where an odd little winged cherub fountain is more reminiscent of the ninth hole at a miniature golf course than any bona fide 18th-century townhouse. Book a room on an upper floor in the back for the full time-warp view over copper-domed landmarks and red-tiled roofs.
Tel: 45 3342 6000
Tel: 800 333 3333 (toll-free)
Arne Jacobsen would have turned 105 in 2007 but is looking better each year. In the 1960s, toward the end of his life, he designed this hotel—all of it, from the once-controversial modernist building itself to the cutlery to the beyond-iconic Swan and Egg chairs. These still adorn the lobby, and all but the tiniest rooms have their own Swans coexisting merrily with a cool redesign by German-Iranian Yasmine Mahmoudieh, who has used lots of maple, mirrors, and ice cream–colored glass. Thanks to horizontal blocks of window, these rooms are bright, but none more so than the corner Royal Club rooms with wraparound windows and spectacular views (of nearby Tivoli Gardens, if you scored one on the front). Jacobsen groupies need to book Room 606, which has been preserved exactly as the master did it, complete with the very rare Drop chair, also designed for the hotel. On the top floor is the restaurant Alberto K, with one of the best views in town. Chef Bettina Repstock prepares Italo-Dansk fusion food: Parma ham sits with Løgumkloster smoked ham; gnocchi with anchovy-sage tapenade. The check is not small, but the house Akvavit-prosecco cocktail softens the blow.