Copenhagen hotels

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expert-rated hotels in Copenhagen
Expert overall rating:3.0 (out of 5)

A clean, central, no-frills budget option.

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Price from: £44
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expert-rated hotels in Copenhagen
Expert overall rating:2.8 (out of 5)

Scruffy but clean and very cheap no frills accommodation close to the main train station.

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Price from: £21
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First of all the good news. Copenhagen has spent the last few years building thousands of new hotel rooms that it is now struggling to fill. This means that apart from at the very high end places, there's almost no such thing as a rack rate any more. It means that the price difference between some pretty ordinary places and plusher, better-located hotels is surprisingly narrow. Just 100kr or less can make a big difference in quailty and ambience. If you're prepared to do a bit of comparative research (made easier, I hope, by my expert hotels selection) it can pay dividends.

Now for the bad news: The combination of a strong currency, the expense of employing anyone at all in a country with very high employment taxes added to an eye-watering 25% sales tax makes Copenhagen an expensive destination for most international travellers. While it may be a pricey location, Copenhagen has benefitted from the advent of several excellent budget hotels, offering smart, no-frills rooms. They squeeze out costs by automating as much as possible (a concept taken to its Big Brother extreme at the new Omena hotel).

If you have a bit more cash to splash there are a few excellent options offering some amazing levels of boutique style and hospitality. Some of the independents and smaller chains, although perhaps rather more limited in the breadth of the amenities they offer, really do stand out from the chain hotel crowd in Copenhagen.

Perhaps the only observation I would make for very high-end travellers is not to expect the kind of no-holds-barred luxury and service you'd expect in London, Paris, New York or Hong Kong.

Here are some general tips for getting a good room:

  • There are loads of central hotels, including plenty of stylish and romantic places, so unless you need to stay out of the centre, you should find an excellent range of central places to choose from in all price categories.
  • Because occupancy levels are low right now, upgrading to superior rooms can mean much more comfort and space for only a little extra money
  • Many hotels in the centre are in older, single-glazed buildings. This often means no air-con (not usually a problem given the mild-to-freezing climate) and it sometimes also means there's some street noise. It pays to check these factors out before you book.
  • Be aware that room sizes are generally small compared to cities with more modern hotels.
  • Because there are so many rooms and relatively few guests right now, you can get some amazing deals by booking in good time.
  • You have to look hard to find a really great breakfast in Copenhagen. Rolls, ham, cheese, coffee and a bit of fruit is the general fare on offer.  It's one argument for booking into some of the classier international chains, but a good alternative is to head to the city's excellent cafes and bakeries for fancier food in the mornings.
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Location, comfort, value, service and style have been my main criteria in selecting my top places.

I have nothing against chain hotels but looking at my list I see they are not heavily represented, even some solid, high quality places. I guess that's because many travellers will be famliiar with the big international brands and I don't feel I'm adding much value by including more of them. Also I think it's because over the decade or so that I've spent inspecting and staying in Copenhagen's hotels I find the independents often try harder. They are more likely to add touches of personality, charm and, if you're lucky, glamour. It's often all too plain that the big chains have decorated their rooms to a spreadsheet formula that demands a certain cost and yield per room.

The joy of Copenhagen is that so many independents and small chains retain a sense of style, occasion and good old hospitality.

Simonseeks has given star ratings out of five for all accommodation recommendations. With hotels, these will tally with the hotel's official star rating where it exists. Where a hotel has no official star rating, and in the case of b & bs and hostels, the experts have made a judgment as to how many stars the accommodation deserves, in terms of comfort, level of facilities and so forth.

If you would like to suggest a hotel to the community that I haven't recommended, then click here.