Escape from London: Villa Copenhagen in Denmark
Villa Copenhagen, in the capital of Denmark, offers conscious luxury and understated Danish style to visitors exploring the Viking heart of Scandinavia…
Photo: Villa Copenhagen
The imposing building now housing the Hotel Villa Copenhagen in the heart of the Danish capital was once the city’s central post and telegraph headquarters, built in neo-baroque style in 1912.
Today it is a contemporary and sophisticated eco-friendly hotel that combines grand architecture with an elegant, sophisticated yet understated Danish style.
‘Conscious luxury’ is how the Villa describes the inspiration behind the property, which officially opened in June 2020.
The term refers to the hotel’s commitment to sustainability that doesn’t compromise on luxurious touches. For example, the Villa’s stunning outdoor swimming pool – the only one in Copenhagen – is heated by excess heat from cooling systems. The hotel has invested in the use of local brands and also has a zero waste approach to food.
Sleek but not intimidating, first impressions upon entering the hotel are space and light. A huge atrium provides an immediate feeling of calm as you exit the busy street.
Once open to the sky, the courtyard is covered with a glass roof spanning tables, chairs and sofas and creates a veranda-style space where visitors and locals alike relax, work or chat over coffee and tea. a cocktail.
Danish jewelry brand Shamballa Jewels was involved in the design of the hotel, an influence visible in the courtyard lights here that hang like bracelets of precious pearls from the ceiling. Their touch is also found in the elegant details around the property, including the magnificent Old Boardroom decorated with hand-painted wallpaper.
Scandinavian hotelier Petter Stordalen was the mastermind behind the hotel which has an extensive collection of modern art.
The outdoor rooftop pool overlooking the city is one of the villa’s highlights and with the lifting of Covid restrictions has been a major draw for locals as well as visitors to the city. A 25-meter heated lapping pool feels inviting even in the dead of winter, and the adjoining sauna and terrace bar make it a relaxing and unusual space.
There are 390 rooms here, each offering great comfort but few unnecessary frills and whims. Don’t expect cushions on the bed that you will inevitably throw on the floor, but instead find fresh and inviting white bedding and a heavenly sink in sleeping pillows. The decor is in a neutral yet calm Scandinavian style with an excellent coffee maker and minibar. The sleek black and chrome bathroom has a super efficient shower and only essential toiletries. Several suites are also available with even more space and luxury, including copper baths.
The Kontrast dining room nods to the neighboring Meatpacking district with its industrial spirit and sleek design. Diners can watch the food being prepared as they face the lively open kitchen serving fresh European and Danish dishes made with organic ingredients from the hotel’s hidden roof garden as well as from local vendors.
Breakfast is served at the Public Bakery and Carpet, in the former sorting office of the former Post Office on the lower ground floor. You breakfast on freshly baked bread and pastries and hearty Danish fare next to the railway line from which mailbags would have been delivered once.
The cozy cocktail bar T37 was once the meeting place for postmen and still has leather mailbag straps as an original design element. It is a quiet place for cocktails and wine.
While it exudes an intimate feel through personalized service and attention to detail, Villa Copenhagen also offers 24,757 square feet of unusual meeting and event space and a huge room that was once used for the horses of the post office still has the original stone walls.
Getting to Villa Copenhagen couldn’t be easier. The hotel is a short walk from Grand Central Station which offers a regular 16-minute direct service to Copenhagen Airport, with flights from most UK airports.
What to do in Copenhagen
The historic Tivoli Gardens are well worth a visit, located a short walk from central Copenhagen. It is the second oldest amusement park in the world and combines a vibrant atmosphere, exciting food and drink and entertainment enjoyed by locals and visitors of all ages. But Tivoli is not just a matter of frivolity, the gardens are now home to first-class restaurants. The themes change according to the season, from Halloween to Christmas to the events and festivities of spring and summer. JardinsTivoli.com
The meat quarter
Copenhagen’s meat-packing district is mainly called Kødbyen (which simply translates to the city of meat). Although there are still a few food businesses in this area of Vesterbro, it has now mainly become a cool hangout where locals come to dine and drink at bars and restaurants such as the trendy Fleisch and WarPigs. Because of its history, the neighborhood has a gritty industrial vibe that has attracted a number of creative boutiques and galleries.
Join in on fashion at a former pencil factory in Copenhagen’s Islands Brygge district. Danish housewares brand Vipp has transformed a century-old pencil factory into a cozy dining room. Vipp Pencil Factory is a stage for talented chefs who throw pop-up dinner clubs.
For more traditional cuisine, there are a plethora of restaurants in the city center such as the pretty Nytorv or Puk serving Danish specialties such as smorrebrod, herring and pork. Accompany your meal with a glass of Carlsberg beer or an herb schnapps.
The Autonomous Anarchist Quarter of Christiana is a former military base that was abandoned until 1971 when a group of hippies settled there. About 900 people now live there in a community which has its own rules independent from the Danish government. You can stroll and browse the clothing stalls, small galleries and boutiques, or take a break for coffee and cakes in the colorful surroundings. Cars are not allowed but the locals are welcoming.
Built in the 1600s as Christian IV’s summer palace, this magnificent Renaissance castle has beautiful gardens and is home to the Danish Crown Jewels and many other artifacts.
Once the fabulous home of kings and queens, the palace now houses the Danish parliament. Guided tours are available to see the imposing halls, including the Throne Room and the Great Hall. Located in the city center, you can also attend the changing of the guard.
On the water
A canal trip is a relaxing way to see the mix of old warehouses, boats and modern buildings built over the water in Copenhagen. Pass the colorful, traditional 17th-century houses on Nyhavn’s waterfront, and spot the spiers of churches and palaces. Look for the iconic Little Mermaid statue inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale.
Central Copenhagen is a shoppers’ paradise with designer boutiques as well as small independent boutiques selling distinctive Danish designs. Walk down Stroget, one of the longest pedestrian streets in Europe that runs from Town Hall Square to Kongens Nytorv Square, stopping for lunch in one of the many bistros.
Although Denmark is renowned for its high prices, a visit can be made more affordable with the Copenhagen Card which gives access to over 80 attractions and public transport for 72 hours.
Rates at Villa Copenhagen, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, start from £ 260 per night on a B&B basis; villacopenhagen.com
For more information on tourism in Copenhagen, visit visitcopenhagen.com