The town of Solvang, set about 2.5 hours north of Los Angeles, is a quaint Danish village dotted with Scandinavian bakeries, windmills, and—thanks to its location in the heart of Santa Barabara wine country—wine tasting shops. Founded in 1911 by a group of Danes who wanted to establish a Danish colony away from the harsh Midwestern winters, the town looks like it’s stuck in a time warp—for better and for worse. While the charming town offers a taste of old Denmark in California, many of the area hotels verge on kitschy and outdated. The notable exception: The Landsby, a 50-room boutique hotel that looks like it would be right at home in modern, artsy, and oh-so-hygge Copenhagen.
From the modern exterior to the effortlessly cool lobby, the Landsby feels quintessentially Danish, but worlds away from the old-fashioned hotels that line the rest of the town streets. Inside, there’s a stylish lobby and bar, where blonde wood floors and plush couches meet geometric accents and cozy faux-fur throw blankets.
The rooms come in a variety of sizes, from 350-square-foot Classic rooms to 575-square-foot Tower Suites. My suite was spread over two levels. On the main floor, there was a spacious tiled bathroom, complete with brass fixtures, a deep soaking tub, and L’Occitane toiletries.
The sleeping area had a comfortable King bed with a wood-paneled headboard and 47-inch flat-screen HDTV. There were plenty of outlets for powering up multiple devices.
Small touches, including original art by local artists, added a homey feel.
The sleeping area opened on one side to the lower-level sitting room with more local art, a small futon with a fuzzy faux-fur throw, another flatscreen TV, and a wet bar. The blond wood floors and mid-Century-style furnishings were chic and modern, while geometric print rugs and soft blankets ensured the room still felt warm and welcoming.
In the sitting area, a Dutch door opened onto an interior courtyard dotted with chairs and firepits, perfect for relaxing on a sunny afternoon or cozying up by the fire at night.
After checking out the room, my husband and I made a beeline for the hotel lobby bar, where happy hour is served daily from 4-6pm. We snacked on spicy Asian chicken wings and sipped the drink of the day—a spin on a New York sour—and though the hotel is located in the center of town close to dozens of other dining options, we were so impressed we opted to stay for dinner in the attached restaurant, Mad & Vin. The name is Danish for “food and wine” and the cuisine is farm-to-table with an international twist.
Throughout my stay, I was impressed not only by the hotel’s style, but also with the service. From the front desk staff to the bartenders and restaurant servers, everyone was professional, courteous, and helpful, from checking us in early and moving our luggage to our room once it was ready, to whipping up a special dessert after dinner. While the kitsch of Solvang has its charms, I prefer a modern hotel, and The Landsby delivers with style that would be right at home in trendy Copenhagen.
If you go: Check-in time is 4:00 pm and check-out time is 11:00 am. Room rates start at around $150 per night. The Landsby is pet-friendly with an additional fee. Wifi and parking are free. Make your reservation online at the hotel website or a booking site such as Priceline.