24 January 2014

Arne Jacobsen Royal Hotel

For the past couple of years I have found myself circling the Arne Jacobsen Royal Hotel like a lovesick teenager. Catching it in tinted water mirrors and all dressed in fog:

The sight below from the roof of Axelborg made it clear: we needed to get properly introduced.

The Royal Hotel designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1960, is a landmark, preserved and protected from major alterations. The same was not the case for the interior, in the eighties deemed worthless, and the iconic furniture sold off for 100 dkr a piece. Today a single drop chair in leather will easily cost you 120.000 dkr, if you can find one. Fortunately, someone had the great idea to preserve one room, left just the way it looked when it was first designed. Room 606, the Arne Jacobsen Suite, with the famous chairs all covered in a muted greenish upholstery, inspired by the copper roofs of Copenhagen. The people of Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, as it is called today, were kind enough to give me a quick tour, and I caught as much goodness for you, as I could on the run.

All the classics are represented, including "Dråben" (the Drop) that I was told may be looking at a re-launch. There was not enough time to get the perfect shot, and the master deserve no less. Maybe another time..

Arne Jacobsen was a big fan of muted colors, and used textured layers in the curtains, to create the perfect light. From room 606 you have a clear view of both the Tivoli gardens and here, to the right, Grand Central Station. If you listen closely, you can hear my heart racing. Oh.

1. Painting of the Royal Hotel, room 606. 2. Signed: A/S Kampsax, Arne Jacobsen. 3. Lobby, iron spiral staircase, railing detail. 4. Railing detail that draws your hand in. 5. “Royal wall of fame”, a selection of the most famous guests, naming among others The Beatles, Dalai Lama, Louis Armstrong and... 6. Nelson Mandela. 7. Arne Jacobsen's favorite flower, the orchid. 8. 606 detail: dark wenge wood. 9. Lobby spiral stairs detail. I swear: everything in this place feels good to the touch.

Once upon a key.

Since the eighties the world have come around to appreciate the design of Arne Jacobsen, and the iconic interior have returned to the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel. I felt right at home. Not just because it is a five-star hotel (haha), but there is a really good vibe, almost like coming home. The good feeling may be explained by the fact that the hotel have staff going back 35 years, and that the place is run by a man not only born in the hotel, but also named after it: Roy Al. Here he is dressed up as a bell boy with parents and crew of the Apollo 12:

My "Royal guide", the woman with all the good keys, told me she was the one who came across the Lego edition of the hotel, built by a man who remembered his father taking him up on the roof in the 1970s.

In other words, not an experience you are likely to forget.



  1. My family and I always stay at this hotel when we come to Copenhagen. It's magical.

    1. Wow, you are so lucky. Living here, you miss out of the hotel experience, sometimes I consider playing a tourist just to see what that feels like, in my own city.

  2. That is awesome! Doesn't being a famous blogger qualify you for a free night at the hotel? ;) Such a shame for not appreciating the furniture in the '80's (unless you were one of the lucky people who walked away with a bunch of super cool furniture for a steal!). When I was at the Panum, a similar thing had happened; tons of great Scandinavian design furniture was literally in the trash. A lot of it was broken and abused for years :(
    Love the name Roy Al.... great story!

    1. Ha, so far being a famous blogger comes with no perks. Unless you count cosy comments (I do). I can't tell you how crazy it makes me thinking of all these masterpieces being practically given away, haha. I hope they made it to safety, and didn't end up in a landfill.

      This is what happens when we don't appreciate and protect our history, including architecture and old trees. Someone needs to keep an eye on these things... : )


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