Are you a social traveler? The type who’d rather hang out in the lounge than hole up in your room? Linger over breakfast or peruse the news at a communal table? Chill with your pals in the bar?
Then in Copenhagen, consider First Hotel Twentyseven.
The best features of this 200-room boutique hotel, part of the Norway-based First Hotels chain, are its cool public spaces and its prime location, just a short stroll from the Tivoli Gardens, the Danish Design Centre, and the Strøget pedestrian street, lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants.
The vibe in this renovated older building is fun, even a touch racy, starting at the front door where a funky photo greets you: an unidentified woman, her white dress billowing over her head Marilyn Monroe-style, exposing her stockings and lace panties.
The breakfast room (above), where a hearty morning buffet is served, doubles as a rest-your-feet lounge. In the evenings, the space morphs into The Wine Room, a wine bar and restaurant offering Italian-influenced fare.
Guests can use two complimentary computers and a printer in the lounge, handy if you need to print a boarding pass or check the train schedule. Free Wi-Fi is also available throughout the hotel.
On the opposite side of the reception area, a large lounge with more eclectic artwork serves contemporary cocktails. (Be sure to check out the restroom, where a disco ball sparkles over the round communal sink.)
An outdoor courtyard, tucked behind the lounge, feels like a secret summer hideaway, where you can get lost in a novel or refresh with a drink.
And next door is the most chill space of all — the Icebar Copenhagen.
Before riding the elevator to this ice-lined, cave-like room, where the temperature stays a nippy -5˚C (23˚F), you don over-sized blue capes and warm gloves. You’ll need them, too, since even the cocktail glasses are made of ice.
Only 50 people can visit the Icebar at one time, and you can stay only 45 minutes. The Icebar is popular with tour groups, so if you have your heart set on an icy experience, particularly on the weekends, it’s a good idea to book a reservation.
Admission to the Icebar, which includes one drink, is 150 DKK (US$25), discounted to 130 DKK (US$21) for hotel guests.
After all this lounging and sipping, you might eventually settle into your room. The rooms are comfortable and functional, decorated in a spare Scandinavian style, with white linens, wood floors, and shiny red lacquer armoires with fold-out desks.
The “deluxe” units will give you a little more space, and in some, a choice of a balcony or sitting area.
If you’re visiting in summer, request a room on the fifth floor, the only floor with air-conditioning.
At First Hotel Twentyseven, the rooms may not be large or luxurious, but you won’t spend much time in them anyway — not with all this social activity buzzing below and the city at your doorstep.
Room rates during the summer high season start at 1500 DKK (US$245), although it’s worth checking the First Hotels website for special deals.
Hotel review by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller, author of the new travel guide, Moon Handbooks: Ontario, who also blogs about her culinary adventures at WanderFood. Restaurant and guest room photos courtesy of First Hotel Twentyseven. Bar and Icebar photos © Carolyn B. Heller. I paid a discounted media rate for my stay at First Hotel Twentyseven.