Radisson Blu Royal Copenhagen @ The One & Only Arne Jacobsen's Design Hotel

If ever there was a moment of anticipation, this was the hotel for it! We knew beforehand that this is one of the most iconic hotels under the brand and in Copenhagen due to its architect, the world renown Arne Jacobsen. This hotel was designed to be the key hotel for SAS Airlines and thus, the design is tied to the streamlined look of its aircraft and design ethic of the it’s time and while it may not have all the bells and whistles of a new hotel, it certainly still delivers in many ways that others cannot.  That is also why the hotel signage still says SAS at the top. mylifestylenews checked in to this world first design hotel with a complete range of Arne Jacobsen’s designs and discover besides the infamous Egg Chairs, Swan Chairs, “Series 7” chairs being the most copied furniture in the world today, the Arne Jacobsen Suite 606 is a real find……

The hotel is located just across from the train station, so after alighting from our IC train from Oslo, via Gotheburg, we walked barely 500 metres to the hotel. Attractions like Tivoli Gardens, Planetarium, Rådhuspladsen (Town Hall Square), Strøget shopping area are within walking distance.

On entering the lobby, you have that feeling of a chic airport design from the 60’s – classically elegant and timeless in design, which is what the Scandinavians are so good at. Fabulous hanging lights, use of colour palettes, marble, leather and wood, all used in just the right proportions, with a cantilevered spiral staircase to put you in the period mood and this lobby would put many new design hotels to shame, as it has and always will stand out because of the unique Arne Jacobsen touch and chairs they represent some of the best examples of Jacobsen’s organic design. Together with the organic forms of “The Swan”, the curved staircase constitutes a strong contrast to the sharpcut, simple structure of the hotel. The very slight structure of the staircase was on the verge of what was technically feasible at the time.

The Radisson Blu Royal Copenhagen Hotel opened in 1960 and it was called the Royal Hotel. The architect Arne Jacobsen in front of the building, which would later be known as one of his most successful creations, designed with attention to even minute details: Royal Hotel in Copenhagen.The building was in focus in public debate in the late 1950s, but is now enrolled in the book of fame of international architecture.

 The construction of the Royal Hotel in Hammerichsgade began in 1956. Four years later, the hitherto tallest building in the Nordic area, and the largest hotel in Scandinavia, was ready for inauguration. With its twenty-two floors, the Royal Hotel was to be called a “landmark of the Jet Age”. The hotel was considered the most modern hotel in Scandinavia and Arne Jacobsen’s attention to detail in terms of functions and the choice of materials in the overall design as well as in individual objects was much admired.

On 1 July 1960, the Royal Hotel was ready to receive guests in its 275 rooms and suites. Each room in the hotel was evidence of the careful detailing in Arne Jacobsen’s design. The Royal Hotel was built for the cosmopolitan visitor in Copenhagen. It sent out signals of elegance and subdued luxury, in an atmosphere characteristic of the Scandinavian Style. The hotel represented the victory of simplicity and at the same time is was the most modern and sophisticated hotel in Scandinavia.

We love the free standing design of the check-in ‘counters’ and how the staff could be more personal with their service. The staff are incredibly welcoming and warm and nothing seems too much trouble to any of them. A series of Arne Jacobsen’s  alarm clock designs are displayed  in the lobby (we bought one from the design store across the road) as well as the “Wall of Fame” of all the famous people that have stayed over the years, it  is quite impressive, not because of celebrities but so many varied people from politics to the arts. Some of the original spaces have changed aspect and function. One of them is the Orchid Bar on the first floor, where the hotel restaurant was also located in Arne Jacobsen’s original design. However, many materials and details can still be seen in their original form, for example the marble floors in the lobby and the wall paneling with dark wengé wood.

The hotel has been through various style periods since the mid-1960s. The latest renovation was completed in 2001 and now all the newly decorated rooms are furnished In the typical light Scandinavian style. What is so unique about this hotel though is that due to the importance of the architect and his work, it is heritage listed. Since decades ago, no design changes can be made, although the rooms’ interiors can be updated. So to the guestroom, once again with much anticipation and we were not disappointed.

On entering the room, you are excited to see the iconic swan chairs, the “7” chair and the “Royal lamp” in every room as part of Arne Jacobsen’s famous furniture designsHis designs are referenced on the wall above the bed, the artwork , the reading lights, the colours are light shades of green, and the walls are panelled clad with Maplewood as well as the Vola fittings are used in all bathrooms. The Vola series was very innovative when it was launched in 1969, because it was a modular system, which could be built into the wall. All door handles are specially designed for the hotel by Arne Jacobsen. The handles, which almost fill out the palm of the hand, are still in production. All the design elements are to ensure that there is a clear line back to the hotel’s inauguration in 1960

The window bands give the rooms a refined lightness and  ‘open up’ the rooms and create a calm atmosphere. Our room was particularly special, overlooking the Tivoli Gardens, one of Copenhagen’s most famous landmarks and the birds-eye view of the city most iconic landmarks.  Our room’s view also allow us to see far beyond the city to the not too distance city of Malmo in Sweden.

Our room with a view day & night, probably the best view of the city of Copenhagen from the Radisson Blu Royal Copenhagen Hotel.

We dropped our bag and met up with the Hotel PR for another exciting tour by viewing the most talk-about Arne Jacobsen Suite 606. This is the only room in which the original decor has been maintained as it was from day one which you may request to view, if it is not occupied.

The room is decorated in the original grey and blue-green colours and it functions as an ordinary hotel room.The “3300” sofa series was designed for the airport terminal in 1956.

The makeup mirror, radio and intercom system was built into the unit furniture.“The Drop” was designed for the hotel and is now very rare. It is truly unique, as Arne Jacobsen had provided so much detail in his design: reading lights on a bracket that can be moved along a track on the wall, depending on which seat you are sitting; a desk that doubles as a make-up table; original bathroom fittings, artworks are specially chosen and now they are world-famous classics.

If you are a fan of <Mad Man> TV drama series, you won’t want to leave this room.

The morning breakfast was most enjoyable, warm cooked breakfast is served here as not many European hotels provide such treat as well as the very accommodating staff looking after everyone’s request. The all day dining restaurant is perfectly located right on the corner, you get to see a lot of the passing parade, while feeling very warm and cosy inside a relatively intimately designed space. The food was ate the right temperature and with a constant replenishment.

This was one of those hotels where service and location are exactly what one would expect. It was hard to say goodbye to such an iconic design hotel especially with the effort of maintaining such heritage. There are certainly many grand hotels in this region, but honestly, sometimes looks can be deceiving, this hotel follows through on all fronts and we would recommend it as the hotel of choice for Copenhagen, plus you are living in a timeless design created by one of the world’s great architects whose design is celebrated now more than ever. Sadly, we could not fit the egg chair in our luggage, but maybe we will make room next time!

The vertical building structure appears very light because of the light grey and green colours of the facade, which reflects the passing clouds in the sky.

Additional Info of the Radisson Royal Copenhagen Hotel

Arne Jacobsen (1902-1971) was one of the greatest Danish architects of the twentieth century. His versatile talent won him both national and international acclaim. Arne Jacobsen’s first architectural milestone, was when he won a design competition of the “House of the Future” in 1929 - two years after having graduated from the Architectural School at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. This event marked the beginning of a long, versatile career. Arne Jacobsen mastered all elements in the architectural process, from the great lines to minute details. One of his professed ideas was that industrial production should be based on high-quality craftsmanship. Arne Jacobsen was extremely productive and has created history in almost all areas of architecture and design. When SAS announced its decision to build the Royal Hotel it gave rise to much debate and aroused great interest. On 4 Februry 1959 the national newspaper Politiken wrote: ”Each day thousands of people stop up in Vesterbrogade, look up and think: “I hope it won’t fall down in a storm”. The finished building proved to be an architectural asset for Copenhagen. The hotel building also accommodated SAS’ first airport terminal. The terminal was located in the horizontal part of the building complex, which forms the base of the structure. This feature is emphasized by the use of a darker colour. SAS passengers could check in for their flights in the terminal and then wait here for the buses that would take them to the airport. This function was transferred to the Central Railway Station in the late 1970s. Royal Hotel is a prominent example of Danish modernist architecture. It is known all over the world as the hotel in which the architect designed every detail. It is the most harmonious high-rise building in Copenhagen, and constitutes an ideal in Modern Design. Arne Jacobsen’s artistic talent is evident throughout the hotel from the proportions of the building to the design of the interiors and his unique ability to carry through an all-encompassing design idea must be admired.

<The Swan>
It is now a design icon all over the world. It is evidence of the preoccupation with the organic form, which is characteristic of Arne Jacobsen’s work in the 1950s. The chair was introduced at the Formes Scandinaves exhibition in Paris in 1958, where it was shown as part of Jacobsen’s proposal for the furnishing of the SAS hotel. There is now a Swan in hotel rooms.

<The “Series 7”>
 The most copied chairs in the world. The ”7” chair was not specially designed for the Royal Hotel but has always been prominent in the hotel. In 1960 it was used at writing desks in the hotel lounge on the first floor. The chair is now used in Café Royal, in Alberto K at the Royal and in many of the hotel rooms.

<The Pot>
 It was originally used throughout the hotel, is now very rare. The combination of this chair and the black polished marble showed the architect’s sense of contrast between the sharp lines of the hotel building and the soft organic forms of the furnishing.

Tried & Tested :
Location : 5/5
Ambience : 5/5
Design & Decor : 5/5
Service : 4.5/5

Hammerichsgade 1,
1611 Copenhagen
Tel :+45 33 426 000

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