Have you heard of Copenhagen’s new hot spot, Villa Copenhagen? The majestic building in the heart of the capital, which once housed the Danish Post & Telegraph Office, re-opened as a hotel in Spring this year. Despite the turbulent times, Villa Copenhagen has quickly gained status as a hub for design lovers and hedonists – and the locals already seem to love it.
Read my review of the five-star hotel here, which includes an interview with the hotel’s Managing Director, Peter Høgh Pedersen.
A part of the national heritage
The Neo-Baroque building next to Copenhagen’s main central station and Tivoli, is one of the city’s landmarks. For me, and for thousands of other people, it’s a proud symbol of Denmark’s national heritage, so it was a big relief when Nordic Choice Hotels decided to purchase the building when the Post & Telegraph Office closed down in 2015. A thing that beautiful simply had to be used for something extraordinary.
From 2016-2020, Nordic Choice Hotels (which is the largest Scandinavian hotel chain), transformed the grand old lady into a stylish five-star hotel, but everything has been carried out with great respect from the building’s past and location. Villa Copenhagen isn’t just another luxury hotel, though. It’s a lifestyle promoting a sense of union and responsibility for our planet. As the Managing Director puts it;
“Villa Copenhagen is all about conscious luxury, as we call it. It’s about enjoying everything life has to offer – from unique experiences and unexpected encounters to quality food and inspiring surroundings, while at the same time taking responsibility for our actions and our impact on the planet.”
It has been one of the most anticipated hotel openings of 2020, so I was delighted to finally see the place with my own eyes a few month ago. My first impression: a unique hotel, which is quintessential Copenhagen; approachable, fun, laid-back and stylish. Although majestic in its appearance, everyone’s welcome here, and perhaps that’s exactly why Villa Copenhagen has quickly become a popular hub amongst the locals as well.
The lobby, big and bright, welcomes you with a ‘Nordic coolness’ thanks to award-winning Universal Design Studio and Goddard Littlefair. Earthy colours, touches of gold, interesting textile combinations and lots of light coming in from above – this place is truly something out of the ordinary. It seems as though the original Neo-Baroque architecture and the modern Scandinavian design is a match made in heaven.
So, what can you expect as a guest?
390 guest rooms and suites, a restaurant (KONTRAST), a breakfast restaurant (Public), a spa area with an outdoor (heated) pool, a bar and a handful of conference rooms, to be exact. And let’s not forget the lobby area with plenty of options to read and relax. But let’s first have a brief look at the rooms.
An ode to conscious luxury
They come in different sizes and cater to the needs of both families, couples and business travellers. Opt for a ‘Superior Room’ if you’d like a bit more space, a ‘Family Room’ if you’re travelling with kids, or one of the suites if you want the full experience of luxury. Speaking of suites, I believe this category deserves a mention of its own, simply because Villa’s editions are pretty remarkable.
With three different suites available, Shamballa, Earth Suite and Penthouse, you have plenty of options to spoil yourself and your loved ones – with good conscience, even. All three suites are designed with sustainability and ‘conscious luxury’ in mind. I had a brief tour of the Earth Suite designed by Danish architect Eva Harlou. The room might not be as spacious as you imagine a suite to be, but every single detail stands out as unique; from the bricks and paste used on the walls to the bed linen, accessories and furniture crafted by Mater. Fun features: a bike which you can freely use during your stay here, a punching bag (don’t we all need one?!) and a wonderful bronze-coloured bath tub. The suites can be booked by contacting the hotel directly.
The concept of conscious luxury naturally transmits to the selection of food and drinks as well. Focusing on sustainability and zero food waste, the in-house brasserie KONTRAST embraces the rawness of Vesterbro and the elegance of Copenhagen’s inner city – the two neighbourhoods in which the hotel is located. Here, you share the food in a laid-back and welcoming environment – much like local Copenhagener’s would prefer it. The food, though, isn’t particularly Nordic, but more a combination of South European and North African. The ingredients used are mainly local and organic, and everything is neatly orchestrated by Executive Chef Tore Gustafsson. KONTRAST is never boring, but full of surprises, embracing diversity and culture.
Danish pastry ad libitum
Last, but not least, Villa’s hearty breakfast offer is something to look forward too. Try avoiding the most crowded hour, which is usually between 9AM-10AM, and start your day right in the former sorting room of the ancient Post & Telegraph Office, which now goes by the name of ‘Public’. If you know the breakfast selection of Nordic Choice Hotels, you can imagine the one at Villa – only it’s just a tad bit better. The icing on the cake is of course the freshly-baked bread (and darn good Danish pastry!) crafted by the hotel’s own bakery, Rug. Eat as many pastries as you can – no one will raise an eyebrow, although you might catch a slight stomach ache.
Non-residents are also welcome for breakfast every Monday-Friday. Price per person: 245 DKK.
Should you fancy a dip before or after dinner, why not enjoy one of Copenhagen’s very few outdoor hotel pools? Here, you’ll be pleased to find a 25 meter lapping pool, which is heated by the excess heat from the hotel’s cooling system. Now, that’s sustainable.
To ensure a seamless guest experience, Villa provides self-service check-in, remote check-out and a white glove service when required.
I look forward to returning to this gem of a hotel. Meanwhile, I’d recommend you to check out their Christmas and Winter offers here.
Interview with Managing Director, Peter Høgh Pedersen
- What are the core values of Villa Copenhagen? How would you like your guests to feel when staying at the hotel?
At Villa Copenhagen, we have three core values: Contrast, Conscious luxury and happiness.
Contrast: In contrast lies the unexpected, the unique composition of our physical surroundings and the diverse group of people working within, staying at or visiting Villa Copenhagen. Villa Copenhagen is a reflection of a city that exudes sustainability, luxury, happiness and diversity, a city and thereby a hotel with room enough for everyone – both literally and figuratively speaking.
Conscious luxury: is about enjoying everything life has offer from unique experiences and unexpected encounters, to quality food and inspiring surroundings, while at the same time taking responsibility for our actions and our impact on the planet. Acting responsibly is part of our DNA. We take full responsibility for our impact on the planet; therefore, The UN Sustainable Development Goals are part of our overall strategy and in particular of our value of conscious luxury.
Happiness: Danes have long been known for being the happiest people in the world. The Danish unpretentious approach to life, the ability to find joy in the smaller things and appreciation of luxury in the shape of time, freedom, and quality. Villa Copenhagen embodies this view on the world and our courtesy and service reflect this. We are present and service-minded but not intrusive. The atmosphere of the hotel is vibrant and friendly, humorous yet polite and personal.
- Villa Copenhagen is full of stories! Are you using storytelling to connect with your guests?
The buildings location and history is a great start – we are actually part of 2 distinctly different parts of the city – Vesterbro; rough on the edges, neighbourhood like and very colorful. Copenhagen K – the classical old town with parliament, channels, shopping area etc – the more elegant part of the City. This all combined with our set of values – interior designers and partners gives us an abundance of storytelling opportunities – endless I would say.
- Can you elaborate on the interior design of the hotel?
Sure I can: Think contrast, danish design and the feeling of a timeless space, an authentic place. We have tried to reflect our location, the nostalgia of our history and the neighbourhoods I described earlier.
- How do you manage to create a place where both locals and tourists feel at home?
It has been important for us to create a destination that reflects Copenhagen, the danish lifestyle & happiness. This cannot be created without the local citizens – the atmosphere is crucial to give tourist an authentic experience of Copenhagen.
For more information about Villa Copenhagen, click here.