The first thing you spot walking from Nørreport station is the bright red neon sign. It reads ‘Hotel’, it’s been one of Copenhagen’s most iconic sites since the 60s and it belongs to the Ibsens Hotel – a chic, stylish and ultra Scandi hotel in the very heart of Copenhagen. Lucky us got to call Ibsens Hotel, with its sign, home during our time in Copenhagen.
Part of the small boutique hotel group, Arthur Hotels, Ibsens Hotel ticks off every single box. Decorated in the true minimalist, Scandinavian style with angled furniture and pops of colour on trendy greys and whites, the hotel is modern and light but has a homey feel and a very relaxed vibe – perfect after a day spent in the busy streets of Copenhagen.
During a major renovation in 2011, local artists from the surrounding Nansensgade district helped decorate the hotel which adds to the urban but authentically Danish atmosphere inside the hotel. With every pillow, book, lampshade and key chain, the city literally moved into the hotel. Every inch of the hotel is perfectly decorated with art from some of the most influential local and international artists of our time. Ibsens Hotel was also the world’s first hotel to accept Artmoney as payment when they accepted 50 Artmoney and hung them in the hotel’s lobby area. Started in 1997 by Danish artist Lars Kræmmer, Artmoney is 18 x 12 cm ‘notes’ of art created by registered Artmoney artists, each worth DKK 200 (around £24). At Ibsens Hotel, Artmoney is accepted as an unconventional means of payment and guests can pay up to 50% of their stay with this alternative currency. Since the first Artmoney was received, Ibsens Hotel’s collection has grown and according to CEO Kirsten Brøchner, they hope to one day decorate the entire chain with Artmoney pieces.
Situated in one of the most charming neighbourhoods in Copenhagen, surrounded by designer shops, galleries, second hand book stores and some of the best restaurants and cafes in Denmark, Ibsens Hotel is easy to get to and is central to all major tourist attractions. The Strøget shopping street, the Copenhagen lakes, Torvehallerne food market and Tivoli Gardens are just a stone’s throw away.
Run by an all-female trio – CEO Kirsten Brøchner, COO Helle Bisholm and CCO Pia Schmølker, the hotel prides itself on creating that home-away-from-home feeling for all guests. The homey atmosphere, friendly staff and characteristic decor all emphasise the hotel group’s core values – being credible, flexible, honest, decent, hard-working, brave, loyal and caring with a united approach.
Other than ensuring the hotel is a beautiful, comfortable space, the leading ladies have also pledged to make it a socially responsible one. Ibsens Hotel is arguably one of the most environmentally friendly hotels in all of Copenhagen. It has been carbon neutral since 2008 and was given The Green Key – an international eco-label awarded to businesses who commit to the leading standard for excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation within the tourism industry. Guests are encouraged to reuse towels and bedding more than once to save water and electricity. Bathroom products such as organic Nordic Amber hand wash soap and shampoo are available in refillable, recyclable bottles and all cleaning products used in the hotel are entirely environmentally safe and friendly. Instead of plastic water bottles, guests can enjoy clean, quality Danish water straight from the tap. Ibsens Hotel also encourages guests to cycle around the city instead of taking taxis, and taking the stairs keeps guests fit and cuts out the electricity usage of an elevator (which is however still available should you require one).
But it’s not just the building and its workings that makes Ibsens Hotel the perfect example of a top environmentally aware hotel. The Nordic breakfast serves only the best organic and local produce with a strong focus on fair-trade. Based on the principles of New Nordic Cuisine, breakfast revolves around the changing seasons, freshness, sustainability, local produce and the ‘less is more’ tradition so famous in the Scandinavian region. It is the hotel’s philosophy that serving quality local, organic produce not only contributes to guests’ health, but ensures and sustains the local, small farmer’s livelihood. And let me tell you, it is also pretty delicious.
La Rocca, a laid-back Italian restaurant and Pintxos, a tapas and Spanish specialities restaurant offer fantastic dining options within the hotel. The staff lunch, served in the neighbouring Kong Arthur Hotel, was however my favourite. Joining staff, you are able to enjoy a buffet lunch of hot dishes and salads in the hotel’s kitchen for a mere DKK 95 (£11.50) per person. I can highly recommend it as the food is great, but it also allows you to connect with locals and get the best travelling tips from them.
The bar in the Ibsens Hotel lobby serves great coffee made with fair-trade, organic coffee beans and fresh organic milk with the option for soy. With both inside and outdoor seating options, the bar serves organic wines and cold beers brought directly from the local Nørrebro Bryghus – a world famous brewery only 10 minutes from the hotel. Ibsens Hotel has also mastered the G&T trend and serves speciality Hernö Gin from a little Swedish distillery of the same name. The bar is open to both hotel guests and locals and is one of the trendiest bars in the Nansensgade area. What set Ibsens Hotel apart from the rest for me was the daily ‘Cosy Hour’ in the bar between 5pm and 6pm when season appropriate drinks are served in the lobby and guests are encouraged to mingle. It created the perfect atmosphere within the hotel and added that special touch – that homely feeling – that lacks in most hotels.
In short, Ibsens Hotel was the perfect space for eating, relaxing, enjoying and sleeping and most of all, experiencing the true spirit of Copenhagen.
To see more pictures of Ibsens Hotel and my time spent in Copenhagen, go check out my Instagram feed. You can also make a booking directly with the hotel by visiting their website at http://www.arthurhotels.dk/ibsens-hotel/.