Words by Jim Bamboulis
In many ways, the Hotel Kong Arthur perfectly reflects the soul of Copenhagen. Located around the bend, down a cobblestone road, and at the end of a cul-de-sac, walking distance between classic and current renaissance, man-made lakes and classic spires, it’s a peaceful oasis that cradles old world charm and modern class. Sensing your approach – and exhaustion – its front doors automatically swing open, gracefully welcoming you like a distinguished dignitary. Elegant in style yet casual in feel, it blends rustic and chic beautifully.
At first glance, the urge to sit on the comfy sofa, and order a drink next to the fireplace was like a visual siren song. There will be time for all of that, but first check-in. With smiles and warm greetings, staff work as a team to get you settled. “You’ve arrived at the perfect time. Do you know about our Cozy Hour every night between 5-6pm?” It was at that precise moment when this boutique hotel went beyond your typical welcome speech and city maps to an experience of real substance through comfort and reconnection. It was at that point when the Hotel Kong Arthur became a place that’s close to everything but spiritually, a world away.
Wait, what’s Cozy Hour?!
Cozy Hour, a brilliantly simple idea. What better way to bring people together then by offering them a glass of wine or beer. Every evening for an hour, guests are invited to the lobby bar for a complimentary drink. Sure, the urge to take it back to your room is instinctual, but before you realize it, phones are put down, conversations are sparked.
From the outset, it’s only a drink. But on a deeper level, it’s a beautiful and inviting gesture. A chance to slow down, look around and feel the energy around you, reconnect with yourself, even meet someone new, live and in-person for a change. Sit at the bar, courtyard or even those comfy couches I mentioned earlier next to the fireplace. Cozy Hour is a perfect way to end your day and start your night.
Walking distance to everything!
If you’re like me, want the best of both sites and serenity, within super reasonable travel times then this is your ideal home base. Steps away to the north is the beautiful Inner Lakes, and the Queen Louise’s Bridge. This stunning 19th century architectural masterpiece that links Frederiksborggade in the city centre with Nørrebro, one of Copenhagen’s most up-and-coming uber local neighbourhoods.
Surrounding the hotel, cafes and bars, not to mention Copenhagen’s food market – Torvehallerne – fill the streets with delectable aromas that stimulate all of your senses. Expect everything to be predictably busy from start to finish. Believe me, that’s a good thing. Remember, you’re in a super local area, away from the tourist traps. If you’re one to eat where locals eat, shop where they shop, then busy is what you want. Locals know best and considering everything is super fresh and authentic, you know that you’re sampling the real deal.
As for points of interest. Pick a direction and enjoy the journey. Tivoli Gardens, the 2nd oldest amusement park in the world (the first is Bakken about 20 minutes north), is 15 minutes to the southwest, while the picture-perfect-postcard-famous Nyhavn is 25 minutes southeast. But considering the fact that along the way, you’ll probably be stopping to admire the many castles, churches, gardens and the thousands of nooks and crannies that central Copenhagen offers, it will thankfully take you far longer.
Of course, what’s a great hotel without walkable access to public transit. If you prefer to let others do the navigating, buses and trams are around the corner while Nørreport Station is only a 5-minute walk from the hotel. A major hub, it connects you with all underground transport going in every direction.
Amenities that make it hard to leave the hotel in the first place
You know what’s better than coming back after a long and rewarding day of sightseeing? Welcoming staff who greet you by name instead of room number and hotel amenities, that’s what. Consisting of four different buildings, the Hotel Kong Arthur is essentially a small village within the greater city. With three in-house restaurants, its very own contemporary Danish art gallery, and home to Copenhagen’s biggest spa, you could spend the day here and not regret it.
Be it a long day working or walking, Ni’mat Massage and Spa is an Asian-inspired haven for those yearning to decompress. Translated from Indonesian, Ni’mat means luxury and that’s exactly what Owner Heidi Østerby wants you to feel from the moment you step inside. Having brought back to Denmark traditions she learned abroad, you can bet that whether you start by sipping on ginger tea or exfoliating your pores in the sauna, Heidi’s passion for the finer details will make your pampering experience that much more appreciated.
Get your Organic and Traditional Nordic Brekky on!
While other hotels could (and do) serve up a typical, often Westernized continental breakfast, the Hotel Kong Arthur, thankfully, does the opposite. I’m not just saying this for the sake of. Truthfully speaking, I’ve never been to a hotel that proudly showcases local food and cooking as much as the Hotel Kong Arthur. Whether you like Nordic cuisine or not, the fact that it’s rightfully celebrated, stays true to its geographic/cultural traditions and isn’t compromised, is refreshing!
Whether savoury or sweet, the hotel’s New Nordic Kitchen promotes local, true organic and sustainable ingredients that embrace the country’s historic agrarian roots. Ham, salami and cheeses are all sourced from organic farms, jams are made with fresh local and seasonally-sourced fruits and berries, butter from local dairy farmers, bread from a local baker who uses local organic flour.
Delicious, filling and easily another example of why stepping out of your food comfort zone transforms a trip into an experience. If the soul of a place is determined by its food, then the Hotel Kong Arthur is a true ambassador of the country’s cultural and ethical fabric of promoting everything fair-trade, organic and local.
Big time environmentally conscious!
Be it a drink or a meal, hotel features or room amenities, the “3 girls running the Hotel Kong Arthur” have their environmental priorities in order. On the surface, CEO Kirsten Brøchner, COO Helle Bisholm and CCO Pia Schmølker ensure that the Hotel Kong Arthur offers a homey, informal and playful feel through its staff and decor. Underneath, there’s an intense passion to continuously pursue a perfectly sustainable way of operating for both the good of the guest and the planet. Sustainable isn’t just a catch phrase around here, it’s a way of doing business and a way of life.
Speaking of which, sustainable of course includes a healthy personal lifestyle through healthy personal physical activity. The Hotel Kong Arthur offers plenty of chances to get your heart racing. It’s no secret that Copenhagen is one of the most bike-friendly cities on earth.
That said, tens of thousands of people cycle everywhere daily. If you want to experience the true pulse of the city, do it in style and get in shape doing so, rent a branded Hotel Kong Arthur bicycle and be on your way. If you’re a morning person who enjoys running at dawn, sign up for an energizing 5km run with the Arthurs Running Club. Run alongside other guests, hotel managers and even locals who join in as you meander through central Copenhagen.
When you stay at the Hotel Kong Arthur, you’re not simply booking a room. You’re reserving an experience waiting to be enjoyed and returning home with a story to tell.
Hey y’all. I’m Jim. I spent 16 years in the broadcast media world before starting up Travel Mammal, a site dedicated to working with brands to promote travel, food, and cultural experiences.
I’ve created content and collaborated with everyone from Chevrolet, Lonely Planet, Trivago, Nevada Tourism and The Weather Network to New Brunswick Tourism, Yellow Pages, Tourism Toronto, and Airbnb. Safe travels, y’all.