If you’ve ever been to Aarhus in Denmark, you know that it’s hard not to fall head over heels with the charming cobbled streets and quaint little shops nestling on every corner. Aarhus is the ideal destination for a weekend getaway, and Guldsmeden is the ideal base for exploring the city. Read more about my experience with the most bohemian hotel in town, right here:
Back to the roots
Today, the family-owned Danish hotel chain Guldsmeden is a growing establishment with properties in both Denmark, Oslo, Reykjavik, South of France and Bali. But it wasn’t always so.
The very first Guldsmeden Hotel opened its doors in a cobbled-stoned street in the heart of Aarhus’ old town back in 1999. In July, I had my first stay there, and I was thrilled to see that the original boho-chic, eco-friendly interior and atmosphere was kept intact. Cause this is the trademark of the chain; a unique blend of Danish ‘hygge’ and Bali vibes, and it works surprisingly well.
Back in the days, the small hotel used to house a number of goldsmiths and jewellers – hence the name of the street and later on, the hotel chain (“guldsmeden” in Danish literally means “the goldsmith”).
It’s small and intimate, offering 26 rooms (in the beginning there were only 15!) and that laid-back ambience that’ll make both locals and tourists feel at home. The term “home away from home” is such a cliché these days, but I’m sure it was invented because of hotels such as this one.
The small lobby area is multi-functional, as it houses a reception and a breakfast restaurant as well. The squeaking wooden floors, winding stair case and carpets with patina testify a house with soul and lots of heart space. If you truly love ‘hygge’ – this is surely your place to be!
Sustainability on the agenda
There’s no restaurant here, but a breakfast buffet including the “classic” Guldsmeden favourites; an organic selection of cold and warm treats, homebaked bread and jams – and plenty of good coffee, naturally. The buffet had been partially removed due to Covid-19 restrictions with table serving as a result. Luckily, Danish summer was showing off from its best side meaning we could enjoy breakfast in the idyllic courtyard. It most of all reminded me of my grandmother’s old garden.
While some of the interior comes from Bali, sustainability is generally a key factor in all of Guldsmeden’s hotels. Whether it’s the food and drinks being served (they prefer using local products), the in-room beauty products (they collaborate with the Danish brand iLoveEcoEssentials) or the bed linens and towels (these are fairtrade in Denmark and made of organic cotton), the main focus remains on how to give each and every guest a wonderful hotel stay with as little environmental impact as possible. If you’re interested in sustainability and would like to know more about how Guldsmeden contribute to a healthier planet, you can read their Sustainable Management Plan from 2019 here.
My favourite thing about Guldsmeden Aarhus (apart from the freestanding bath tub!) was the light and airy rooms. They may be small, but they’re full of charm! As the hotel is located in the middle of the city with locals living right next door, it feels like you’re truly integrated in the city’s buzzing life while staying there.
Meet the other guests and the hotel staff over a glass of complimentary wine in the afternoon, and enjoy a slice of homebaked cake while sinking into the comfy chairs in the lobby. Time sort of stands still at Guldsmeden Aarhus – thank god for little gems like these. They’re much needed in our fast-paced world.
For more information, go to www.guldsmedenhotels.com.