I like hotels that have something unusual about them. I need all the standard creature comforts, but I look for something else too. On my recent trip to Copenhagen I stayed in Hotel Kong Arthur, which is part of the small, boutique Arthur Hotel Group along with the nearby Ibsens Hotel. They’re both family owned hotels, each with their own unique style, and each of them carbon neutral.
Kirsten Brøchner is the woman at the helm and here she answers a few of my questions about hotels, as well as giving her insider tips for visiting Copenhagen:
Kirsten, each hotel in your group has its own style. Did you design them with different guests in mind, and what kind of guest would like Hotel Kong Arthur?
We have the philosophy that we want our hotels to be a mirror of the street we live in. We want to give our guests a holistic experience when visiting Copenhagen. In that view, we do not have a specific type of guest in mind. However, what characterizes Kong Arthur is that we are a homey 4 star with a twist. We can handle the same requests as the 5 star hotels, but we do it in our own informal way. We want the hotel to be cozy, homey and pleasant with a personal touch. Each piece of furniture or other interior design is carefully hand-picked to give the hotel personality. The last thing we want to be is industrial, chain-like. This we will never be.
Aside from your own hotels, can you tell me about your favourite hotel anywhere else in the world?
I have thought about this question for a while, but honestly, the image that keeps coming to me is the Anantara Dhigu in the Maldives. Imagine this: landing in the airport, a couple of boys in khaki shorts and yellow polo t-shirts awaiting you, you take your shoes off and are transported to the resort. With a glass of champagne in your hand, you are taken to your condo. You first put your shoes back on the minute you are in the airport after a vacation that easily could have lasted a lot longer. What I like about this hotel is that you feel relaxed and at home the moment you are there. In coherence with the beautiful Maldives, this hotel matches its surroundings perfectly.
What is your one must-see or must-do recommendation for a first time visitor to Copenhagen?
It is difficult to choose just one so I have made a top three instead. I hope this is okay!
1) When I have guests coming to Copenhagen, what I always do is to take them biking in the city. Taking them through the different districts such as Østerbro, Christiania, to the waterfront, along the lakes – let them experience the special Copenhagen atmosphere where there is room for individuality, and where these many individuals and individual parts of the city merge into one big melting pot. It is the lovely feeling Copenhagen brings that I want my guests to experience. If one is not up for the bike ride; for instance if there is an old lady among my guests or perhaps children not feeling safe by bike, I rent a bike cab or a Christiania bike. I definitely think that Copenhagen should be experienced by bike. This is also why we rent out normal bikes as well as Christiania bikes at the hotels to give our guests this experience. A good idea is to hire a city guide who will guide you through all those special hidden places the city has to offer.
2) Another must do in Copenhagen is experiencing Copenhagen from the sea side, going sightseeing in one of the canal boats. The city looks marvelous from the sea side. This is definitely a must do!
3) I also have to mention visiting Louisiana, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art north of Copenhagen. This is without doubt one of the top ten museums in Europe in my view. Rent a car and drive along the coast, past the beautiful mansions and the wonderful view, all the way up to Louisiana. When you have seen the exhibition, sit down by the waterfront near the café and enjoy a cup of coffee while contemplating the view. What is so wonderful about Louisiana is both the location in the most beautiful surroundings and the outstanding art.
Many thanks to Kirsten for taking the time to answer my questions – hopefully her tips for visiting Copenhagen will be useful if you’re planning a trip there any time soon. Need Another Holiday thinks it’s a great city break option, and it doesn’t have to be as expensive as you might think.