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A Modernist Mecca: Radisson Blu Royal Copenhagen Hotel

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  Site Where: Hammerichsgade 1, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1611
July 26, 2013 at 10:17 AM | by | Comments (0)

Jacobsen's Room 606

Few can deny that Danish architect Arne Jacobsen, creator of the Egg, the Swan and the Series 7 chairs, was one of the most iconic architects and designers of the modernist era. Could the Radisson Blu Royal Copenhagen be his finest achievement? We went on an exploratory mission to check out what was said to be the “landmark of the jet age.”

The hotel opened in 1960 and was originally built by SAS to accommodate both its first airport terminal and its passengers who needed to stay overnight to catch a flight out of Copenhagen. After a night at the hotel, passengers would check in for their flight in the terminal building attached, and wait for the airline's shuttle bus to take them to the airport.

Today, the hotel still has the same clean lines and simple detail that it had back then. The famous Jacobsen Egg and Swan chairs, originally designed for the hotel, are still found throughout the very large black-and-white-marbled lobby and in the rooms. The elegantly curved white lobby staircase pushed the limits of technology in the late 50s and looks like it could be found in a loft from 2013. Other original details include the dark wenge wood found on the main floor of the hotel. Jacobsen designed everything from the cutlery and plates, bathroom fittings and door handles to the chairs and lighting fixtures.

(There are plenty of pics for you to see in the photo gallery!)

The 260 rooms were last reno’ed in 2001 and are clad in maple, with tons of light coming in from vast expanses of windows. All have features that tie back to the original design, but if you’re a true modernist design freak embrace the urge to stay in Room 606. This room is an untouched-for-decades shrine to the great and powerful design wizard himself (well, housekeeping’s been in but you get the point). This is the only room in the hotel where Jacobsen’s original design has been fully maintained. The space age makeup mirror, radio and intercom are all built into the furniture and one of Jacobsen’s most rare of chair designs, the Drop, is in this room.

The Radisson SAS Royal Copenhagen has a lush cherry red lounge and a casual cafe on the main floor but worth a special note is the top-floor Alberto K restaurant. Once housing the original GM, Alberto Kappenberger (and, incidentally, the current GM – Roy Al Kappenberger – is the son of Alberto and grew up in the hotel and, let’s say it again: ROY AL grew up in the ROYAL Copenhagen), the 20th floor now houses the restaurant named after him.

The food scene in Copenhagen is pretty steamy and the chef at Alberto K is one of the reasons it’s so hot. At the Bocuse d’Or awards this year, twenty-seven-year-old Chef Jeppe Foldager, as the silver medalist, nipped at the heels of Copenhagen’s Noma restaurant, the world champ for years. In April he and his 24-year-old Sous Chef, Daniel Ditman, joined Alberto K and have formed a formidable creative team. Our five-course set dinner consisted of lobster, turbot, roasted quail, and – get this – two dessert courses. Only in paradise.

We recommend you stay in a Royal Club Room rather than the Standard if you can unless you’re only staying a night or two, as the Standard can be quite small. We saw a “Stay 3 nights and save 10%” package offered in October at 1,816.50 Krones ($322) for a Royal Club Room, including breakfast at the sweet Alberto K (the Standard Room is 1,276.50 Krones [$226] with breakfast at the cafe). Room 606 is always 5,500 DKK or $975.

A five-course dinner at Alberto K will set you back 695 Krones ($123) and a seven-course meal can be had for 850 Krones ($150).

[Top photo: Radisson Blu Royal Copenhagen / Photo gallery: Janice Tober]

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