Occupying a corner spot of a quiet street in Copenhagen’s Nansensgade area, Ibsens hotel is easy to spot, thanks to the Lynchian neon red “HOTEL” sign.
We arrived in the city late at night, and, like tired moths, gravitated towards this welcoming beacon when taking the five-minute walk from Norreport Metro Station.
It’s just one of the cool features of this 118-room three-star hotel (part of the Arthur Hotels Group, which also features next door’s Hotel Kong Arthur and nearby Arthur Apartments).
There’s a calm Scandi feel inside the CO2-neutral space, with young staff who will sort your key card and breakfast vouchers so you’re free to either escape to your room or decompress in the low-lit and homely downstairs lounge, with a wood-burning stove, bar and library. Very hygge.
Here you’ll also find groovy furniture that’s been sourced from local designers, as well as walls covered in the uniformly sized paintings and drawings that count as ArtMoney (guests registered with this organisation can pay up to 50 per cent of their bill using ArtMoney, with the value of each approximately postcard-sized piece at DKK 200, about £25, see www.artmoney.org).
Budget or boutique?
Ibsens has a quirky design aesthetic that’s about as far from a Travelodge as you can get. Expect perks that you wouldn’t find in a budget hotel, like use of their Ni’Mat Spa (next door to Ibsens, in hotel Kong Arthur), with a fitness room, a treatment menu and the Water Temple that incorporates a hot tub, sauna and more (admission DKK 195, about £24).
Wining and dining
The hotel has two affordable (for Copenhagen) ground floor restaurants. For dinner, there’s Spanish eatery Pintxos, where you can feast on tapas and paella, or Italian restaurant La Rocca is open for lunch and dinner. One minute away, there’s their own sushi joint, Sticks ’n’ Sushi.
The buffet breakfast at Ibsens is healthy, Nordic and light, with skyr and fruit compote, granola, boiled eggs and lovely rye bread.
For on-the-hoof eats, the hotel is two blocks away from food market Torvehallerne, which will service all your smorrebrod and ale needs.
If size doesn’t matter, choose a Tiny room (just 10m2, but it still fits a double bed) starting from DKK 727 (about £90) per room per night, excluding breakfast. Depending on how many cats you want to swing, there are also Small, Medium, Large, X-Large and Junior Suite sizes of boudoir.
We supersized with one of the latter, which occupied a corner spot facing the street. At three times the floor space of a Tiny, it’s high-ceilinged and airy – painted in grey and white but with pops of colours provided by furniture and soft furnishings. There’s a king-sized bed topped by a mustard quilt and flanked by white Anglepoise lamps, as well as a desk and open storage with plenty of hanging space. Although the bathroom is slightly dated, it’s completely functional, with wet room and bath.
Worth getting out of bed for
It’s strolling distance to most of the major sights, but just ten minutes away from the peaceful University of Copenhagen Botanical Gardens and the 17th century Rosenborg Castle. We also walked to other attractions, including amusement park Tivoli (where we went on the least scary rollercoaster, The Odin Express), pretty Nyhavn, the Round Tower, amazing street food market Papiroen (Paper Island), where you must try the luxury hotdogs at Polse, and the National Museum of Copenhagen with its enjoyably creepy room full of dolls’ houses.
Those who’re feeling a bit lonesome might want to take advantage of the hotel’s Cosy Hour, from 5pm-6pm, which involves hobnobbing with other guests, a free drink and nibbles. Or, there’s a staff lunch at Hotel Kong Arthur, from 11.30am until 12.45pm, with hot dishes and salads for DKK 95 (about £12). The hotel has bicycles to hire (from DKK 150 per day, around £18.50) and mention must be made of the organic Nordic Amber products in the rooms.
The ambience is lovely with an attention to detail that gives a hotel character and makes one look forward to spending time there.
A Junior Suite starts from DKK 1577 (about £195) at Ibsens Hotel, Vendersgade 23, Copenhagen (0045 334 57744, www.arthurhotels.dk)