Design Travel explores the interplay between design and travel. It might be a new hotel for business travellers, an airline collaborating with a world-renowned architect or a product designed specifically to enhance the travel experience. Our brief is to make you want to be there and inspire you to seek out incredible design examples when you travel, or in your own city. 

Stephanie Williams, is an interior designer,  writer and travel communicator. Stephanie was the first editor of Qantas epiQure and her work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, television and online.  She also has a love of fashion design, borne while working for Comme des Garcons

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HIP HOTELS: The Design-Lover's Guide To Copenhagen’s Best Hotels 

HIP HOTELS: The Design-Lover's Guide To Copenhagen’s Best Hotels 

Candle-lit cafes, cobblestoned streets and pastel-hued townhouses: there’s an old-world charm about Copenhagen which renders it irresistible to even the most seasoned traveller. Consistently ranked within the world’s top ten happiest cities and twice hailed by Monocle as the world’s most liveable city, the Danish capital has earnt its stripes as the coolest kid on the Nordic block. The city's good looks are intrinsically linked to the famed Danish flair for design, with its industrial-chic bars, fashion scene and culinary revolution, plus a swathe of world-class boutique hotels presenting the cutting-edge design trends. Ros Brennan has rounded up the top five hotels to immerse yourself in the Danish approach to life and style.

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel

When the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel opened in 1960, it was in many ways a first. It was the first skyscraper in Copenhagen and the highest building in Scandinavia at that time. And last but not least, it was the world’s first design hotel. Designed by the world renowned Danish architect and designer Arne Jacobsen in 1955, what made the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel ahead of its time was Jacobsen’s idea to be involved in the design throughout the entire hotel.

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From the exterior façade to the stainless-steel cutlery used in the restaurant and the Swan and Egg chairs gracing the lobby – all was designed by the famous Danish architect. A single room has been kept in the original design as a sort of ‘living museum’ to Jacobsen. It has all of the original furniture and wood panels on the wall. What’s even better is that this room, number 606, is still available for booking for those who want to get up close and personal with design history. There’s still plenty of Jacobsen’s design touches scattered about the common areas of the hotel, including the lobby with its signature spiral staircase, Egg and Swan chairs, and mid-century bar.

Hammerichsgade 1, 1611 København V, Denmark
radissonblu.com

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Hotel Alexandra

Calling all vintage lovers: Hotel Alexandra is not only Christian Louboutin’s lodging of choice when he’s in town, but a passionate dedication to mid-century Danish design showcasing stunning museum-quality furniture. No two rooms are the same, each painstakingly curated by vintage expert Anders Petersen with furniture and décor from the 50s and 60s – even vintage magazines scoured from attics and flea markets.

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But perhaps most notably, in designer-inspired suites throughout the hotel, you’ll find exquisite furniture being showcased the way the designer originally intended. The deluxe room includes two Finn Juhl NV-53 chairs (which typically fetch over $36,000 a pair at auction). The striking purple and orange corner suite celebrates the designs of Verner Panton. The Collector’s Suite, reimagined every three months by Peterson, features an early Wegner Sawhorse chair ($3,856), a sculptural coat rack by Adam Hoff and Poul Østergaard ($1056), and a black leather upholstered couch by Hans Olsen ($7876).

H. C. Andersens Blvd. 8, 1553 København V, Denmark
hotelalexandra.dk/

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Nobis Hotel Copenhagen

“We try to infuse personality into our hotels. We don’t look outside for inspiration. We go our own way.” What really matters, he says, “is the personality you can offer.” These are the words of Italian-born architect and hospitality magnate Alessandro Catenacci on his latest project: the Nobis Hotel Copenhagen. Flanked by the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen Central Station, and City Hall Square, the grand 77-room hotel has transformed the landmarked building which was formerly the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music.

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Bringing the Nobis magic to the midst of the Danish capital, the hotel showcases cutting-edge contemporary design fusing modernism and Danish classicism. Like its Stockholm predecessor, food plays a central role. The restaurant, which takes liberty with design styles from the 20th Century, borrows from the best of Nordic culinary traditions and serves up modern seasonal cuisine.

Niels Brocks Gade 1, 1574 København V, Denmark
nobishotel.dk/

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SP34

Oozing laid back Danish cool and sleek minimalist design features, SP34 is a 118-room hotel made up of three renovated townhouses in the bohemian Latin Quarter - an area of the city where high-ceilinged lofts, cosy restaurants, and bars rub shoulders with vintage stores and 1500s university buildings. The rooftop terrace, penthouse balconies, and sky-lit bathrooms offer panoramic views of Copenhagen’s rooftops, the green-spired city hall, and the tower of Christiansborg Palace.

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The bedrooms are very Scandinavian in design with neutral coloured walls, stripped floorboards and snow-white linens. Danish furnishings include sturdy desks, leather-clad chairs and low-hanging vintage globe lighting or desk-style reading lamps acting as sconces on the walls. In each of the 118 rooms, beds designed specifically for the hotel feature individual rounded oak headboards.

Sankt Peders Stræde 34, 1453 København K, Denmark
brochner-hotels.com/hotel-sp34/

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Hotel Danmark

Encouraged by the success of Hotel SP34, Denmark’s Brøchner Hotels has upped the ante with its latest project in Copenhagen’s historic centre. The 88-room Hotel Danmark comprises two buildings – one, built in 1792, and the other in 1969 which architect Morten Hedegaard has swathed with a new racing green façade. The refurbished interiors pop with vibrant blues and reds alongside bold graphics and colours inspired by the collection in the nearby Thorvaldsen museum, whilst the walls are partially coated with glossy lacquer, and splashed with a bespoke paint that has the texture of velvet. In the rooms, leather headboards, bronzed ceiling mirrors and mosaic floors are set off by, of course, handsome Danish furniture. The kitchen shows off its organic bent especially at breakfast, and in-house restaurant Tivoli Hallen delivers Danish classics. The rooftop terrace, meanwhile, incorporates 360-degree city views of Copenhagen’s spired silhouette and canals with a bijou bar. 

Vester Voldgade 89 1552 København V, Denmark

brochner-hotels.dk/hotel-danmark/

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Inspired to travel to Copenhagen? Click over here for Etihad's best rates on flights. 

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