Few hotels in Copenhagen enjoy a position as privileged as Alexandra, fewer yet are an aesthetic experience rather than simply somewhere to spend the night. When it comes to location, Alexandra has the best of both worlds: near-direct access to the city’s main pedestrian thoroughfare – Strøget – and, by extension, other old town landmarks, as well as Copenhagen’s cool, grungy neighbourhood of Vesterbro, which is also within walking distance. The Central Station is a short walk away, too, with the famous Tivoli Gardens amusement park right next door.
Style & Facilities
Although Alexandra is technically a hotel, calling it just that would be inexcusably reductive. The magic starts as soon as you enter: dapper-looking reception attendants, dressed and groomed with respect to a mid-20th century theme, offer to prepare you a welcome drink (on the house) while you browse through the extensive design-book library in the lobby, a space which could just as well be used as a movie set for a certain Danish retro family drama.
Furnished almost exclusively with Danish design pieces dating back to last century’s late 40s through 70s, Alexandra virtually transports guests back decades, with the thoughtful addition of modern-day conveniences like flat-screen televisions and the hotel’s very own mobile app with recommendations on things to do in Copenhagen compiled by on-staff locals (there are scannable QR codes all over the hotel).
There is a tremendous amount of expertise behind what you see here – design furniture expert Anders Petersen helped to recreate the authentic feel of everything from the discreet, modest post-war aesthetics of the 50s, all the way to the freedom of expression and much bolder approach to interior decoration of the 60s. What’s especially striking is the incredible attention to detail: there are genuine 1950s hand-printed design wallpapers, and everything down to bedside reading lamps are Danish design originals.
To explore the city like a local, take advantage of the bike hire service available at reception. For those travelling by car, private parking is available in the inner courtyard at a moderate fee. A dry cleaning/laundry service is also available.
Of the hotel’s 61 total rooms, not one is exactly like another. Each room was designed and furnished with individual care and attention; there are standard single, double, and twin rooms, along with eight exclusive rooms dedicated entirely to the work of a particular creator: Finn Juhl, Hans J. Wegner, Arne Jacobsen and Nanna Ditzel, to name just a few, with the latest addition of a tribute to internationally-acclaimed Jens Risom, some of whose designs are still in production today.
The two masterpieces that steal the show, however, are The Collector’s Suite and the extravagant Panton Suite. The former, conceptualised by the aforementioned Anders Petersen, features a selection of furniture by some of the greatest masters of Danish design, and nearly all of it is for sale (good news for those who happen to fall in love with a particular piece). The Collector’s Suite is also meant to be re-conceptualised four times a year, bringing ever-new additions to its assortment of exquisite 70s pieces.
The Panton Suite is a true show-stopper: its all-violet bedroom and all-red and orange living room together make for a near-hallucinatory experience, one that simply cannot be had anywhere else in the world.
The suite contains Panton’s experimental designs, down to the unmistakably 60s psychedelic rugs.
Breakfast is served daily at the adjacent Vietnamese restaurant, LêLê Street Kitchen (7-10am on weekdays, 7-11am weekends). It’s a casual affair, but the selection is extensive, and includes scrambled eggs, bacon, fresh pastries and even a waffle-maker, which guests are welcome to make use of. The individually-plated granola is a delight, along with cream-cheese topped cured salmon.
One nice touch is a DKK100 voucher offered at reception in exchange for skipping the room cleaning service for the day. It’s equally good for the environment and your wallet, and entitles you to a sizeable discount on LêLê’s lunch- and dinnertime offerings, which range from spicy rice noodle salads to crispy spring rolls, Vietnamese meatballs, fresh rolls with chicken and shrimp, and five-spice pork or fish cake – we recommend the mixed menu that easily feeds two.
Why we love it:
In an age of simplicity, blandness and mass-produced sameness, everything at Alexandra is relevant, storied and meticulously curated, as much a catalogue of Danish design history as it is a hotel. There is so much to love about it, but what causes, perhaps, the most admiration is that time travel here doesn’t come at the expense of what today’s demanding guests expect from their lodgings. Museum-worthy design pieces and furnishings are pleasant to look at, and, unlike at most museums, touching the exhibits isn’t only allowed, but encouraged – do not hesitate to ask to be shown around by the knowledgeable staff and further familiarise yourself with the life and work of figures that defined 20th century design.