Nobis Hotel Copenhagen
With all the socio-political strife here at home, Scandinavia seems like a good getaway even on a purely ideological level. But for us, a great new hotel or two always provides that extra incentive to just hop the next flight.
Reykjavik’s cool new ION City Hotel is certainly welcome in a capital that is arguably lacking interesting boutique sleeps. If you’re more inclined to the Danish capital – and prefer something a bit more plush – the new Nobis Hotel Copenhagen opened last month and was immediately ranked with the city’s best. Both are members of the Design Hotels group, those inimitable curators of contemporary hospitality.
In a rather august looking work of architecture dating to 1903 – former home to the Royal Danish Conservatory – the Nobis is decidedly posh, but in that tasteful, very Danish sort of way. Indeed, the stark, concrete reception area has a bit of the Corbusian about it. But majestic architectural details (etched ceilings, a grand staircase) give it a princely stylistic gravitas.
Rooms have gorgeous arched windows – so much the better for eyeing the city’s storybook beauty (the majestic City Hall is right nearby.) Mod canopy beds and elegant marble bathrooms add a touch of the romantic to the otherwise classical Danish aesthetic restraint.
And since everyone arrives in Copenhagen now seeking culinary ecstasy, the hotel’s Niels restaurant is notably headed up by former Alberto K chef Jeppe Foldager, and serves creatively turned out dishes like Norwegian scallop gratin and Finnish ribeye. The Niels’ Pampering menu let’s you off the decision hook, and leaves your epicurean fate in Foldager’s capable hands.
Despite banking crashes and volcanic eruptions, Iceland remains as exigent a culturati destination as it was when the cognoscenti first began to discover it in the later 90s. Yet, Reykjavik being a relatively diminutive capital, it’s been noticeably lacking a proper selection of new-gen hotels.
So the spiffy new ION City fills a necessary role in helping to keep the parade of cool kids coming to town. It’s sister to the architectural wonder that is the original ION Adventure in the Icelandic countryside – and it sticks to the same aesthetic principals. Indeed, it forwards no cloyingly trendy old-timeiness. Rather, it’s all clean lines, subdued color schemes and warm, rustic woods.
Deluxe rooms have large windows and something of a cosseting, “mod cabin” feel; jump up to a junior suite, and you’ll get an expansive balcony with private sauna. Move down the hallways and hyper-sensory lighting react to your motions (neato). The sylvan chic continues on into the Sumac restaurant, which does Berbere chicken liver mousse, grilled monkfish skewers and pistachio ice cream in cozy-sleek surrounds.