Copenhagen is a city that is almost impossible to dislike. It is big enough to be cosmopolitan, yet small enough to be intimate. Cobbled squares and copper-roofed townhouses are complemented by dazzling modern architecture. It is safe, friendly and clean. Everyone speaks English. Few cities have made life as easy for cyclists. On warm summer days, dozens of people can be seen swimming in the harbor in front of the Opera House. The food is consistently delicious, and around a dozen restaurants can usually boast Michelin stars, including two, noma and Geranium, that are frequently cited as being among the best in the world. Surprisingly, however, Copenhagen has lacked a boutique hotel of real distinction. This changed last November with the opening of the 54-room Hotel Sanders.
Located on Tordenssesgade, a quiet side street, the Sanders offers the best of both worlds, being within easy walking distance of Kongens Nytorv, Copenhagen’s largest square; the Amalienborg Palace; and the Nyhavn canal, the city’s colorful 17th-century waterfront. Set within a row of townhouses, the property is owned by Alexander Kølpin, the former principal dancer of The Royal Danish Ballet. (In 1992 he won the Prix Benois de la Danse, one of the world’s most prestigious ballet competitions.) His transition to hotelier might seem surprising, but Kølpin comes from a hotel-owning family. And the Sanders was intended to embody a cosmopolitan style that reflected his many years of international travel while on tour.
On arrival, I passed through theatrical velvet drapes to find myself in the hotel’s spacious living room, an extremely stylish and comfortable space where people sit reading, tapping at their laptops or enjoying a drink in front of the log fire for hours at a time. Stripped wooden floors, rattan chairs, subdued colors and eclectic artwork combine to create an exceptionally peaceful and civilized environment. Check-in was at a small desk, set to one side.