A couple of months ago, I found myself back in Copenhagen – one my very favourite cities. Having last braved the cold of December, this time we were treated to the most amazing late autumn weather. Despite being October, it was sunny and warm with bright blue skies every day – the perfect weather for exploring!
As part of our visit, we were invited to review The Absalon – a family-owned boutique hotel in the Vesterbro area.
About The Absalon
The Absalon is a family-run boutique hotel in Denmark’s capital city. The Absalon, and its sister hotel, The Andersen, are owned by Karen Nedergaard. One of Copehagen’s oldest family-owned hotel groups, it’s been in the family for three generations, having being started by Karen’s grandmother Erna Andersen over 75 years ago.
When it was founded in 1938, The Absalon only had 11 rooms – it now has 161 rooms and suites and was completely revamped in 2015.
The Absalon – a boutique hotel in central Copenhagen
Our first glimpse of The Absalon was of a crisp white building curving round the corner of Istedgade. Elegant and spotlessly clean, it was gleaming in the October sunshine. The planters outside and the stairs into the lobby were decorated with bright orange squashes in honour of the upcoming Halloween celebrations. Walking into the reception area, you immediately get a taste of The Absalon’s design ethos – the hotel manages to be vibrant and cosy at the same time.
Both the public areas and the rooms in The Absalon were designed in collaboration with the Designer’s Guild. The lobby is full of rich blues and greens, with a large sweeping reception desk in the middle of a comfortable lounge area full of plush chairs. Dotted around are quirky decorations such as as vintage typewriters, bookshelves filled with knick knacks and fake fireplaces with little TV screen fireplaces on them. There’s also a bar area and outside yard where you can enjoy a relaxing evening drink.
After checking in, we headed upstairs in the a lift with doors covered in a bookshelf design and went in search of our room.
Superior rooms at The Absalon Hotel
We were staying in room 552 – one of the hotel’s superior rooms. Along with all of the other superior rooms, it was located on the top floor of the hotel. Like the public areas, the rooms are decorated with Designer’s Guild wallpapers, cushions and curtains. There are three main colour schemes for the rooms – the superior rooms are all ‘grass’ – fresh greens with hints of fuchsia and black (standard rooms are either ‘ocean’ – blue and silver with touches of gold, or ‘berry’ – deep purple and plum with touches of gold).
Although the colours are bright, they are offset by the room’s high ceilings and there’s a lot of crisp white. Both of which mean that although the rooms are bold, they also feel cool and relaxing. The plush thick carpets and fabulous silver wallpaper on one wall also add to the boutique hotel luxury vibe.
The large room had more than enough room for a desk, armchairs and coffee table. There was a small kitchenette area with a Nespresso coffee machine (and some lovely artisanal tea bags – but tea never tastes the same made with a coffee maker!) a sink and a small fridge filled with complimentary bottles of water.
The room faced the hotel’s courtyard so was extremely quiet (even more so due to the high-quality Velux windows) and there’s air con for the summer months. There’s plenty of plug sockets (in useful places!) a good full-length mirror outside the bathroom, a 40″ Samsung TV is mounted on the wall with a swivel arm so you can properly aim it at the bed, and there’s all the usual bits like a safe, ironing board etc.
The room also comes with a Handy Smartphone – as well as giving you free local and international calls and free internet access, it also has a number of city guides loaded up ready to help you explore the city.
The bathroom is quite small but manages to fit everything you need – there’s even a small bath. The shower had decent pressure and the towels and bathrobes were fluffy and soft. The bathroom had a heated floor and there was also a whizzy unit that allowed you to pick the colour of the light. The toiletries (which smell amazing) are by Danish brand Karmameju and rather than little bottles, are dispensed from refillable units by the sink and shower – much more sustainable. And, talking of sustainability, if you forgo housekeeping you can get credit for the bar or bike hire from the hotel’s fleet of bicycles.
Breakfast and refreshments
The breakfast at The Absalon is a huge buffet spread with lots of continental-style treats. There’s a really extensive range of breads, pastries, cereals, fruits cold meats and cheeses. There are a couple of hot options (eggs, mini sausages etc), coffee is served at the table in large flasks and tea is available from the buffet counter. We found breakfast to be a little busy some mornings (especially later in the morning on weekends) but there’s a handy note in the lift that tells you when the busy times are. One morning, we found a second breakfast counter, hidden in the downstairs section of the breakfast room right in the back corner – that was much quieter so you might want to head there if the upstairs one is busy!
There’s no restaurant at The Absalon, but since you’re in the middle of Vesterbro, with loads of cafés and restaurants in walking distance, that’s really no problem. If you do decide you fancy a night in, you can order takeaway through your Handy smartphone and have it delivered to your rooms. Options include Copehagen Bento and pizza from Gorm’s Gourmet Pizza. We actually ate at Gorm’s one night and I can recommend their Denny Special: a white pizza covered in mozzarella, thinly sliced potato, goats cheese, fresh rosemary and truffle oil – so good!
And if you’re feeling peckish, you can head to the snack table outside the lifts, where you’ll find some sweets and Danish biscuits, along with some spare bottles of water – such a nice touch.
Where is The Absalon Hotel?
Well, as noted above, the Absalon is in the city’s vibrant Vesterbro region. Not only is it right in the middle of the city, it’s extremely conveniently placed for travellers – it’s only a two minute walk from the Copenhagen’s Central Train Station. If you’re arriving by plane, jump on the first train (not Metro!) direct from the airport to the station and you’ll be at the hotel within thirty minutes of departure.
The hotel is perfectly placed for all of the major Copenhagen attractions – it’s close to the main shopping streets and only a short walk to the famous Tivoli Gardens.
A really handy facility is the ability to buy things like Copenhagen Cards and tickets for Tivoli Garden and other attractions from the 24 hour reception – we purchased our Copenhagen Card from there and there was no mark-up, which was great.
And when you’ve finished your trip, if you can’t be bothered carting your luggage you can take advantage of the hotel’s Airluggage service which will transport your bags from the hotel back the airport!
Despite the relatively large number of rooms, the Absalon still has a boutique hotel atmosphere. The rooms are elegantly decorated and the staff are friendly and helpful. You really feel that it is family-run hotel rather than a large chain which does make a difference to your visit. That, combined with central location and relatively reasonable prices mean it’s a good pick for a spot of affordable luxury when visiting Copenhagen.
- Superior rooms at The Absalon start from 1530DKK (around £185 at the time of writing).
- Small standard rooms start at 1260DKK (around £150 at the time of writing).
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My stay at The Absalon was complimentary for the purposes of review, but all opinions are my own.