On a winter’s day I’m dreaming of the cosy lounge at Avenue Hotel in Copenhagen. I’ve been seduced by its warm Danish charm, imagining myself curled up on the soft, crushed velvet sofa in front of the flickering fire, idly leafing through one of those designer coffee table books. The white pillar candles would be flickering, dripping wax onto an antique silver tray, the nightlights glowing in their coloured glass holders and I might help myself to a chocolate that’s been thoughtfully left out for me on the table.
I’d be admiring the kilims covering the oak floor, perhaps planning a trip to Marrakesh to be hopelessly out-bargained by a carpet seller in the souk while being plied with fresh mint tea from an ornate silver teapot. I’d be coveting those design classics, the coffee tables that I swear I saw in some designer magazine, the Bestlite lamps (want one for my living room) and the soft woven Missoni throws in shades of semi-precious stones. Above my head are abstract photos in glowing colours and perhaps I’d order myself some tapas or today’s hot dish from the bar menu and later pour myself a nightcap from the drinks tray waiting on the bar. I could be just as much at home here sharing a drink and a gossip with friends as happy to sit alone and just people-watch. Avenue Hotel’s lounge could definitely be my home from home in Copenhagen.
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When you arrive from the airport as I did by train to the Forum metro station a couple of blocks away, you could easily pass by Avenue hotel, set in a residential neighbourhood, with cyclists whizzing by on the busy Åboulevard leading into town. With the large floor to ceiling windows it looks from the street almost like an interior design showroom or the turn of the century apartment building that it apparently once was. The staff were lovely and efficient and of course everyone in Copenhagen speaks perfect English, or so it seems.
At the back you’ll find a decking patio to live the outdoor lifestyle with awnings, soft cushions and lanterns flickering, or pumpkin masks as I found when I visited at Halloween. Behind the patio there is a small car park and a place to put your bike or rent one from the hotel. Oh,didn’t you know that in Copenhagen you should do as the locals do and go everywhere by bike, whether dressed for a party in high heels or wrapped in a warm scarf and fur lined boots?
I took the small lift up to my third floor room with a quiet aspect toward the back of the building looking out on other neighbourhood apartment blocks. As the 68 rooms have each been carved out of the original apartment building they vary in shape and size, but I was lucky to have a very spacious one with room for a sofa and desk. If the lounge has a slightly exotic feel, the rooms are more about pale Scandinavian design with cream carpets, tan leather chairs against a glossy black desk and gorgeous coloured Missoni bedspreads. The double bed (actually twin mattresses and duvets) was super comfortable and the duvets puffy and warm – I do like to be cosy when I curl up to sleep.
The clean lines continued into the bathroom which had a functional feel with double sinks, a wall of mirror to preen myself in and plain white tiles, with a hairdryer and toiletries neatly lined up in a row. Of course those Copenhageners take their social responsibilities seriously but why did I hang up my used towels to save the environment, as the sign on the wall told me, only to find fresh ones on my return to the room? Or do they fold them so cleverly that you can’t tell the difference? Everything was very fresh and clean although there were a few signs of wear and tear where the grouting in the bathroom had been refreshed and some marks lingering on the tan cotton sofa covers.
I loved walking up the elegant period staircase which really felt like the old apartment building, past the electric blue or burnt orange curtains although again I noticed some marks on the dark carpet. The corridors meandered charmingly at odd angles and it reminded me of the large Victorian houses in England that get carved up into flats, where the slightly scruffy communal areas open up to much more elegant scene behind each front door. Breakfast was really a tour de force of everything from croissants, cereal, juices and a changing range of cold hams and local cheeses. Did I tell you how the Danes love their bread? I eyed the dense bricks of sourdough, with sprinklings of seeds on top and there was even a twirly machine that cut thin slices of cheese. I had to calm the excitement of such gadgetry so early in the day with refreshing pot of Moroccan fresh mint tea in a silver tea pot, while munching on my meusli surrounded by more of those arty food photos by Danish food photographer, Claes Bech-Poulson.
Who will Avenue Hotel appeal to? In the week apparently it’s a favourite of Danes who need a base for business in Copenhagen while at the weekend I spotted couples and groups of friends as well as the odd family with children. Although the hotel has a grown-up feel, younger guests are made welcome with family rooms and a sandpit out the back, while the atmosphere is relaxed and informal. Anyhow, I always think that as children get older, why shouldn’t they be introduced to lovely places like Avenue?
In terms of location, Avenue Hotel isn’t quite bang in the centre of things but then not too far to go either. Personally I love to explore the city on foot and it took me around 15 minutes stroll down the main road, past the string of lakes and endless stream of bikes to reach the Tivoli gardens. You might not be able to easily pop back every 5 minutes between sightseeing, but you’ll look forward to returning to Avenue Hotel at the end of the day, to sink into those comfy sofas and sip a cocktail in front of the fire. On a winter’s day there’s no better place than Avenue Hotel to be cosy in Copenhagen.
Need to know
Rooms at Avenue Hotel, Copenhagen typically range from DKK 1200 for a standard double to DKK1450 for a larger A+ room for a spring time Saturday night, thats £135-165 or €160-195 or $215-255. The room rate includes breakfast (with home baked bread) and taxes. The rates are based on those available on the Mr and Mrs Smith website at time of writing.
You can book your room at Avenue Hotel through Mr & Mrs Smith who always guarantee the best rates available at time of booking
Avenue Hotel, Åboulevard 29, 1960 Copenhagen, Tel. +45 3537 3111
From the airport it’s a direct line to the nearest Forum metro stop, 10 mins walk from the hotel and the journey takes around 20 mins (once you’ve worked out which of the many ticket fare combinations you need to buy from the machine)
The metro will also take you into the central area, or you can take several buses near the hotel, or it’s around 15 minutes brisk walk to Tivoli gardens or of course you could hire a bike from the hotel.
Video music credit: The music on the Avenue Hotel video was Feel What you want by Kristine W . Thanks for Kristine’s permission to use this track.
Here’s what Heather got up to in Copenhagen
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