Copenhagen offers environmentally sustainable, boutique and design hotels in all price categories

If you haven’t visited Copenhagen since the ‘90s, you’re in for a treat: Since 2000, the hotel scene in Copenhagen has improved immensely and now even the cheapest beds in town come with great design and consideration for the environment.

Many of Copenhagen’s hotels are historic landmarks: An epitiome of old-world elegance, Hotel D’Angleterre has been looking down on the Kongens Nytorv Square for more than 250 years, while the classic townhouse style of Hotel Kong Frederik is in keeping with its centuries-old history.

Design hotels don’t have to be new; sometimes they mean taking an ugly old building and completely refurbishing it, perhaps asking a well-known artist like Per Arnoldi to paint the rooms. Hotel Skt Petri is the five-star rebirth of a blue-collar department store, while HAY design team transformed a 1960s office building on the waterfront into the award-winning urban environment of STAY Apartment Hotel.

No discussion of Copenhagen’s design hotels is complete without mentioning the amazing room decor of Hotel Fox, a PR experiment by Volkswagen that stayed around. While some love the notion of hotel bedroom as an artist’s playroom, others prefer their boutique hotel design calm and laid-back: Axel Guldsmeden is an  enchanting mix of Balinese and Scandinavian aesthetics.  

If you crave a room with a view, try 23 stories above Copenhagen at the ultra-modern Bella Sky Comwell, purposebuilt in 2011 from futuristic-looking sustainable panels. For those who prefer to be lower down, Hotel CPH Living is a floating hotel docked on Copenhagen’s harbor with sea views from every room.  

Copenhagen has central beds in all price ranges, from the deliciously decadent Nimb Hotel where all 12 rooms are different, to budget rates at convivial Danhostel Copenhagen Downtown.


Copenhagen Downtown Hostel
Photo courtesy of Copenhagen Downtown

The bright, modern hostel 'Downtown' has a youthful outlook and takes the lead over the more hyped hostel Copenhagen, at least in our opinion, thanks to its unbeatable location that couldn't be more central. Situated in an old neighborhhod behind the walking street, just look for the 'Vandkunsten' a historic fountain that is a traditional meeting point for Copenhagen's students. Downtown is small enough to feel friendly, and the hostel's bar is a great place to meet other guests. The cheapest option is to bunk up in a co-ed 10-bed dorm with shared bathroom facilities down the hallway, but for those craving a bit more privacy the hostel also offers 2, 3, and 4-bed rooms with or without private bathroom. Breakfast and even dinner are available for a small extra charge; alternatively you can cook yourself in the bright, modern communal kitchen. Families are also welcome.

Read more about Copenhagen Downtown Hostel →

Axel Hotel Guldsmeden
Photo courtesy of Lisbeth Michelsen

The Axel Guldsmeden is a surprising find on this rather unpromising street: A environmentally sustainable, exotically-furnished spa hotel just blocks away from let's be honest, the pretty grotty Central Station in what's left of Copenhagen's once mighty red light district. Guldsmeden has 129 rooms furnished in the Axel group's signature blend of Balinese and Scandinavian design they refer to as 'laid-back luxury'. The hotel is also very proud of its lavish, totally organic breakfast buffets, and they encourage you to dig in as much as you like to keep you going until teatime. Other perks of this unusual boutique hotel are bike rental (charged per day or for three days) and its wonderfully luxurious spa, sauna and steam bath – in keeping with the hotel's philosophy, all spa products are totally organic.

Read more about Axel Hotel Guldsmeden →

AC Hotel by Marriott Bella Sky Copenhagen
Photo courtesy of Comwell Hotels/ 3XM architects

You can't miss the futuristic form of the Bella Sky hotel floating over the Orestad horizon like a CGI-model in a sci-fi movie. Opened in 2011, this amazing architectural wonder consists of two interlocking towers which move gradually away from each other, connected at the top by a rooftop bridge (according to the architects responsible, "like a dancing couple in movement"). The 23-story, 812-room hotel is the largest in Scandinavia and boasts a spa and fitness center, three restaurants and two bars, including the rooftop Sky Bar. Its strange, otherworldly facade is made up of insulating solar panels, making it environmentally friendly as well. Pets are welcome for an extra charge. Although located some distance from the downtown area, Bella Sky is well served by both bus and Metro and making a trip into the city is simple. Bella Sky is also accessible for the disabled.

Read more about AC Hotel by Marriott Bella Sky Copenhagen →

First Hotel Kong Frederik
Photo courtesy of First Hotels

We love the dramatic monochrome color scheme of the newly refurbished Kong Frederik, a former coaching house and one of the oldest hotels in Copenhagen. Its classic townhouse style, with its solid mahogany furniture casually suggests long-standing traditions and a cool elegance. In contrast to most Copenhagen hotels but in keeping with the classic romantic style, all of Kong Frederik's bright, airy rooms come fitted with bath tubs. The hotel's delightfully secluded atrium is the ideal stop for a mid morning coffee, while come evening Kong Frederik has a great pizza and pasta restaurant, The Italian, with very reasonable prices. The central location just north of City Hall square Radhuspladsen on one of Copenhagen's busiest streets can get a little noisy, so ask for one of the back rooms if you can.

Read more about First Hotel Kong Frederik →

Nimb Hotel
Photo courtesy of Nimb

Part of the glittering white Nimb building on the edge of Tivoli gardens, this Moorish palace houses Copenhagen's most exclusive boutique hotel. Nimb has just 14 rooms, nine of which are suites, and all of them unique. Old-world luxury sits comfortably with the ultra-modern here with open fireplaces and antique furniture next to B&O flatscreen TVs and an iPod docking station; lounge decadently in your room while below you the thrill seekers of Tivoli play on. For the jetsetter sightseer, a private limousine service in the hotel's own Audi A8 can drive you around the city. A stay here starts at DKK 2,000 a night; pampering is naturally included in the price.

Read more about Nimb Hotel →

STAY Apartment Hotel is both a practical solution to frequent travelers who find the usual poky hotel room restricted and cramped and an aesthetic one as well. This modern apartment hotel opened in 2010 on the Copenhagen waterfront in the rejuvenated dockland district of Islands Brygge: We suggest crossing the harbor just below Dybb?--lsbro Station via cyclebridge Bryggebro and heading south. Innovative Danish team HAY has transformed the former A-Huset, an abandoned 1960s office complex used by young local artists as studio space for a number of years, into a thoroughly modern urban environment comprising 180 studio, two and three-room apartments with fantastic views over the harbor. STAY is suitable for both short and long-term accommodation and its facilities include two restaurants, a gourmet bakery, organic supermarket and a gym.

Read more about STAY Copenhagen →

Hotel SP34
Photo courtesy of Brochner Hotels

In spring 2014, the design Hotel Fox is changing into the Hotel SP34, part of the small Copenhagen-based Brochner Hotels group and branding itself as "a boutique hotel for the discerning businessman". Gone are the wacky, artist-designed bedrooms, and the overall decor is cool, calm and uber-Scandinavian - classic minimalism, designer furnishings, and a clearly subdued palette. The hotel has 118 rooms, conference facilities (including a cinema), several bars and restaurants and a great location just minutes' from Copenhagen's lively Latin Quarter, with its many interesting boutiques and coffee shops. The hotel's name is taken from its street address, an abbreviation of "Sankt peders Stræde number 34".

Read more about Hotel SP34 →

CPH Living
Photo courtesy of Achim Hepp

Copenhagen is a city surrounded by water, so if you really want to get a feel for the place, why not stay directly in the harbor? The thoroughly modern, 3-star Hotel CPH Living is Europe's first floating boutique hotel, moored just off Langebrogade on the Islands Brygge side not far from the Langebro Bridge. Its 12 rooms are larger than you might think are all equipped with floor to ceiling windows to get the most out of those waterfront wakeups along with private bathrooms, underfloor heating, flatscreens and WiFi connection – there is also a sun lounge up on deck.

Read more about CPH Living →

Hotel D'Angleterre

Despite the fact that the closest most people will get to staying in this historic mansion of a hotel is a fancy lunch in the hotel's ground floor restaurant, D'Angleterre is one of Copenhagen's best known landmarks and has come to epitomize luxury and affluence. It's stood proudly on the King's Square since 1755 and attracts dignitaries, royals and celebrities who value the hotel's high levels of discretion. The list of prominent people who have stayed at the Angleterre goes back as far as HC Andersen, with Grace Kelly and Laurel and Hardy in between (the heroes of silent comedy used their hotel balcony to wave to fans). These days, the grand Kongens Nytorv landmark is considered rather too traditional; as the hotel is currently closed for renovation, we'll have to wait and see what changes will be unveiled when D'Angleterre reopens in fall 2012.

Read more about Hotel D'Angleterre →

Ever since stars like Robbie Williams started choosing Skt Petri over D'Angleterre its reputation as the hotel of the rich and famous was cemented. This luxury five star boutique hotel is situated in Copenhagen's historic Latin Quarter, close to both the city's cathedral and its renaissance Round Tower. With excellent conference and meeting facilities (used regularly for fashion shows and product launches), Sankt Petri is the only hotel in Scandinavia to have made Conde Nast's top 100. The 268-room Skt Petri has come a long way since its department store days: Daells was more Sears than Selfridges before it closed in 1999, the transformation of the 1920s building into luxury hotel taking place in 2003. Skt Petri is also the name of the local German church situated on the other side of N?--rregade. Check out the hotel's modern brasserie restaurant or its exclusive cocktail lounge Bar Rouge.

Read more about Skt. Petri →


Meet Jane Graham

After touring most of Europe in her twenties, Jane was charmed by Copenhagen's relaxed tempo and moved there from her native northern England in 1999. Four young children at home has meant...  More About Jane