I had certain reservations when I heard Andersen Hotel was located on the corner of Helgolandsgade and Istedgade.
I’ve been in Copenhagen a million times, but rarely in this part of town. In fact, last time I was here, I was one of a group of curious fresh-faced teens, all gawking at the world of adult entertainment. Istedgade, you see, used to be the street to go for sex shops and prostitutes; Copenhagen’s own little Reperbahn or Red Light District (minus the red lights).
These days, things have changed. Well, not absolutely everything. There’s still the occasional sex shop; between the railway station and the hotel there’s one sporting quite an impressive collection of toys, judging from the window displays. But on the whole, Istedgade has been reborn. It has been cleaned up and pimped up (so to speak), yet, I’m glad to say, it has managed to hang on to its edgy feel.
Just around the corner from Andersen Hotel is Kødbyen,‘meat town’, Copenhagen’s renovated 19th century meatpacking district, with wacky little shops, art galleries (there’s even a gym/gallery combo), an energetic nightlife, and plenty of cafes and restaurants. One of these is BioMio, where every little detail is organic and sustainable, down to the kitchen staff being specially trained in conserving water.
Inside the doors of this small family-owned boutique hotel I’m greeted with funky paintings of George Harrison, the Danish queen, Jimi Hendrix, Freddie Mercury and more. Brightly coloured pouffes and transparent designer chairs are spread around the lobby, making it easy to have little group chats, play chess, browse the free mags and newspapers, or just hang out with a drink or a cup of tea before or after dinner.
My room, number 14, is on the first floor, up one flight of stairs (no worries, there’s a lift as well). The room is stylish and small, just big enough to contain everything I need: a large comfortable bed, a 40“ TV on the wall opposite, a desk, a small fridge and two designer chairs.
What I particularly liked:
- The proximity to Copenhagen Central Station, very convenient for early morning train connections – whether you want the airport train or you’re heading off on Interrail (that’s Eurail for you non-Europeans; it’s no longer just for the under-26 crowd, you know. More on that in a later post.)
- The cool Philippe Starck details and the luscious Green Park toiletries by Molton Brown
- Normal clothes’ hangers, not the annoyingly clumsy anti-theft kind (a pet peeve of mine)
- A self-explanatory shower, not one that requires a PhD in mechanical engineering to operate (another pet peeve)
- Windows that open (yet another)
- Free, high-speed wi-fi throughout the hotel
- Bikes for rent at reception (this is Denmark, after all – flat, and just made for cycling)
- A healthy, tasty breakfast buffet with a variety of breads, yogurts, fruits (fresh and dried), vegetables, breakfast meats, cheeses, eggs, porridge and even Gammel Dansk (‘Old Danish’, a bitters liquor often served with festive breakfasts, also excellent cure for hangovers and cold winters.)
- The unusual minibar, with wine, raw chocolate and organic sweets. One item is DKK 25 (about EUR 3/USD 4), 2 items cost 35, and the whole shebang (just enough for an indulgent sweets-and-wine party for two) is DKK 199. Simple.
- A well-stocked selection of coffees and teas (from Østerlandsk Thehus) in the lobby bar, as well as very knowledgeable and friendly staff. I discovered a new tea: HC Andersen Blend. Yum!
- The bold use of colours
- My favourite: the innovative Concept24. This means you can keep the room for 24 hours, regardless of when you arrive. (Remember to book Concept24 specifically).
- Andersen Hotel is located in the Vesterbro area, at Helgolandsgade 12, just 200 metres from Hovedbanegården (Copenhagen Central Station). Continue through (or around) the station and across the street, and you’ll be at Tivoli Gardens, the world’s second oldest amusement park, which inspired Walt Disney to create his parks.
- Rooms start at DKK 1145 (EUR 154/USD 196). Non-refundable stays start at DKK 845 (EUR 113/USD 144) – and there are various packages on offer, including spa treatments, coffee&cake at Copenhagen’s oldest patisserie, art&culture, green&healthy, and more.
- I slept wonderfully, but if you’re sensitive to noise, ask for a room not facing the street.
Disclosure: In Copenhagen, I was a guest of Andersen Hotel and InterRail. As ever, any opinion offered is mine, all mine.