Copenhagen: In Search of Hygge
Copenhagen, the home of ‘hygge’ – how on earth you pronounce it still baffles me despite spending a reasonable amount of time trying – the Danish word describing a feeling or a mood which involves taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, everyday moments more meaningful, beautiful or special. To understand the real meaning of this word, I visited Denmark’s capital for a long weekend staying in three hotels which were both beautiful and very special.
This legendary and historic hotel is not only defined by its important position in Copenhagen, both physically and socially, but also by its longevity and the charming fairytale story of d’Angleterre’s creation. It all began in the 18th century when Jean Marchal, a servant in the royal court, and Maria Coppy, daughter to the royal chef, fell in love. Maria was known for her brilliant culinary skills and Jean was well versed in serving the privileged. Together they created a restaurant on King’s Square which evolved over the years and ultimately became the iconic Hotel d’Angleterre.
After a full and extensive refurbishment, Hotel d’Angleterre has been given a new lease of life, sensitively blending its rich heritage with new world style thus creating a haven for the discerning traveller as well as local guests, all of whom have the same desire for superb hospitality and wonderful gastronomic cuisine.
The hotel has 92 rooms, including 60 suites, spread over five floors. The décor is refined elegance consisting of a grey, white and purple palette. The rooms transition beautifully from one to another and they feel fresh and vibrant. As I was directed to my room on the 4th floor, a very charming member of the reception staff claimed that this was his favourite room in the hotel. As the door opened, I could see why – natural light shone into the living room and bedroom through the six glazed doors leading onto the balcony which overlooked Copenhagen’s famous coloured houses, the ‘unusual’ area in Christiana, the food market, the paper town, and many other iconic sights of the city. The accommodation flowed perfectly– from the living room to a bathroom, the bedroom to the dressing room – making it not just a room with fresh sheets, but a place you could call home, a very luxurious home, with levels of comfort you might not find elsewhere.
Luxury and comfort is not just reserved for the accommodation, the hotel’s restaurant, named after its founders, Jean and Maria Marchal, offers an array of many delicacies in a space designed to create a dynamic and high-energy atmosphere for both hotel residents and Copenhageners alike. The meal I had was stunning: each course was paired with wine to enhance the flavours of the food. The waiter was extremely knowledgeable making suggestions and offering his opinion as to which dish was best to follow my starter. From turbot to pigeon and baked Alaska to poached pears, every element was beautifully created and delivered with a performance to make the evening special and extremely memorable.
This hotel is far from stuffy and old fashioned – it is energetic and welcoming, where hospitality and service are paramount in this luxurious palace.
For more information, visit: dangleterre.com.
Hotel Kong Arthur
Located on a cobblestoned alley, between Copenhagen’s food market and the inner lakes, is this peaceful oasis which was once the old apprentice residence. Despite its deep history, the style is exclusive and modern with a hint of medieval – a wonderful mix of rustic and chic décor.
The hotel’s atmosphere is warm and friendly, and the staff make you feel welcome as soon as you enter the building through the heavy oak wooden door. During cozy hour, drinks are served at the bar to guests on a complimentary basis which results in a gathering of travellers and revellers enjoying their 5 o’clock tipple which of course creates a buzzy, lively ambiance in the hotel!
When travelling, it is good to gather recommendations for great, authentic food. Hotel Kong Arthur’s approach to caring for each guest is to also care for society locally as well as globally. For breakfast and in the bars, their focus is on fair-trade, organic and local produce. Their considered and sustainable approach to service has meant the Green Key, the international eco-label for tourism facilities, has been awarded to the hotel –– and the Hotel Kong Arthur has been carbon neutral since 2008.
For more information, visit: arthurhotels.dk/hotel-kong-arthur.
Founded more than 75 years ago in 1938, the Absalon Hotel mixes the old and the new to create an award winning luxury boutique hotel. As one of Copenhagen’s oldest family owned hotels, you can expect a casual and homely atmosphere during your stay. A real plus for the weekend traveller is Absalon Hotel’s ‘Concept24’ which offers guests late departures from their rooms. Its décor has the feel of a wacky English country home. The Designers Guild funky fabrics epitomise the lively neighbourhood on the hotel’s doorstep.
Its location is just moments away from the trendy Meat Packing District, overflowing with restaurants that many discerning travellers would relish, and for the nature lovers, the Tivoli gardens are just 5 minutes away. This hotel in Vesterbro is in a great location to experience the many sides of this intoxicating and varied city.
For more information, visit: absalon-hotel.dk.