If the stress of opening a brand new luxurious lodge within the midst of a worldwide pandemic weighs on Peter Høgh Pedersen, it doesn’t present. Sitting within the gleaming new atrium of Villa Copenhagen earlier this month, the manging director of the property is filled with boundless enthusiasm for the undertaking and what it means for the Danish capital. Regardless of the dismal outlook for a lot of the hospitality sector in Europe, it has been an thrilling few months he explains. “We opened on July 1st, having taken the choice to maneuver forward whatever the state of affairs with Covid-19 – and we had a blast. The primary seven weeks we welcomed loads of Danish vacationers, as much as 90 per cent of our friends have been Danes, whereas the remainder have been from Norway. So we had an exquisite summer season.”
He provides: “We have been a bit shocked, as we had ready in any other case, so we have been calling a few of the workers again who we had saved on maintain. I can’t say it has not been a bumpy summer season, as a result of it has, however individuals have been impressed with what we’ve got accomplished with the constructing and what we want to create right here.”

When you may have a undertaking as grand as Villa Copenhagen, nonetheless, it’s simple to be excited. Situated subsequent to the central prepare station within the coronary heart of the town, the brand new enterprise is housed within the former headquarters of the Danish Submit & Telegraph Workplace. Initially designed in 1912 by architect Heinrich Wench in a neo-Baroque fashion, it has been utterly reimagined inside whereas the imposing façade stays. As we speak, up to date Scandinavian design is juxtaposed with the unique structure to create an inspiring and playful atmosphere. Stroll by means of the principle entrance and the sensation is extra like that of a personal members membership than a luxurious lodge, with an off-the-cuff, however cultured, ambiance. “We wished to supply one thing completely different to the market and I’m very pleased with what we achieved right here,” Pedersen tells Breaking Journey Information. “Very early on we determined to create loads of public areas. This has been tried by the Hoxton or Ace Resort, for instance, creating area to ask individuals in, however that is new in Copenhagen. We now have been very verbal, sharing this, educating the market about what it’s we provide. This was once the central publish workplace, and we’re looking for to take care of that connection, however in a contemporary context. We wish individuals to come back in, to talk and to create an environment.”

With the work full, Villa Copenhagen is comprised of 390-guestrooms and suites, every embodying the most effective of each conventional and up to date Scandinavian luxurious. There are excessive ceilings, herringbone flooring and gold accents, whereas the unique window designs from 1912 have been given a brand new lease of life. All guestrooms are outfitted with flat-screen HDTVs with streaming entry, complimentary espresso machines, totally stocked minibars and the opposite facilities anticipated of a lodge on this bracket. Rooms are centred round the principle lobby – often called the Sq. – whereas the Kontrast Brasserie gives a hyperlink to the skin world.
Pedersen continues: “The themes are the identical with the restaurant, we’ve got an area exterior proper over the railway tracks – you would possibly suppose there can be issues over the noise, however it has gone down properly. We try to create a circulation of individuals, a social area – it isn’t just like the Savoy in London when a stiff doorman asks if he might help you whereas he’s checking you out. We wish native Copenhageners to come back in and benefit from the area.”

As with every hospitality undertaking on this scale – Pedersen reveals the constructing price an preliminary €100 million, with the identical once more spent on the renovations – sustainability is to the fore at Villa Copenhagen. Beneath the phrase ‘conscience luxurious,’ the staff seeks to make smart selections that take the surroundings and communities into consideration. It’s hoped friends will acquire an understanding that this model of luxurious is about having fun with every part from grand experiences and surprising encounters to high quality meals and galvanizing environment.
Pedersen elaborates: “We wished to redefine luxurious for Copenhagen – there are after all high accommodations right here, however nothing like this. All people expects accommodations to take these steps nowadays, however Copenhagen is seen as a frontrunner on this space, so the lodge needed to be seen to be the most effective. After we started to speak about what we have been doing right here, companions have been very within the pioneering steps we have been taking. For instance, the pool makes use of a centralised cooling system, taking extra warmth from the lodge to heat it, whereas there may be additionally a BioTrans system, which grinds our meals waste to be transformed into gasoline.”
He provides: “We took away the plastic wrapped slippers supplied to friends, as a substitute providing flipflops you should buy – we can’t inform if in case you have used them, so we’ve got to throw them away, which doesn’t make sense and is an amazing waste. On the following degree, we labored with Copenhagen-based Earth Studio to design our convention chairs, taking out kilograms of recycled plastic from the ocean to create 1,000 seats – the lodge is stuffed with concepts similar to these. The constructing itself is a sustainability story, with large quantities of carbon saved by changing an present construction versus constructing a brand new one.”

After all, even with such a fascinating asset, not every part can be plain crusing for Villa Copenhagen. Denmark seems to be getting into a second section of its Covid-19 pandemic, with restrictions on journey being re-imposed. There additionally issues distinctive to the town.
“In Copenhagen, coming into 2020-21, we have been already seeing an overcapacity of lodge beds. On the similar time, tourism progress is slowing, and the curve shouldn’t be matching the rise in capability. We have been subsequently already on our toes, competing extra intensely with different properties available in the market are these which can be making ready to open. In comparison with someplace like London, it isn’t a big market right here, however individuals have completely different agendas, completely different house owners and landlords – so there can be any individual who’s somewhat hungrier than any individual else and we may even see charges fall. We noticed that even earlier than Covid-19, with charges not attaining the same old will increase.”
However, with these caveats, Pedersen and his staff have created one thing new in Copenhagen, one thing sturdy that may possible final out the present storm to develop into an establishment in its personal proper.

Extra Info
Villa Copenhagen is part of Nordic Inns & Resorts, a curated assortment of 25 unbiased properties unfold throughout Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Based by Petter Stordalen, every property within the assortment displays its sturdy unbiased id by means of distinctive locations and cultural authenticity, in addition to thought-provoking design, structure and artwork.
The lodge can be a member of Most popular Inns & Resorts, which represents famend properties that function the best lodging coupled with attentive, participating and unique private service.
Discover out extra about Villa Copenhagen on the official web site.
Chris O’Toole

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