4 Copenhagen Hotels That Combine Good Design and Green Sensibility

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By Gemma Price / Published by Dwell
Tour a crop of Copenhagen hotels that are making a strong case for eco-friendly design.

While luxury hospitality is more often associated with extravagance rather than mindful living, Denmark’s sustainable, eco-conscious focus is also integral to the day-to-day operations of the Copenhagen’s design hotels.

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Hotel Alexandra features bright, graphic rooms. It earned its Green Key in the 90s, making it the longest-running accommodations in the city to be eco-certified. Suites are inspired by renowned Danish designers; pictured is the Verner Panton suite.

In 1973 Denmark was the first country in the world to implement an environmental law. It received the INDEX: Award 2013 in recognition of its climate plan, which includes a pro-active framework for sustainable design solutions in the future. Copenhagen was also named European Green Capital for 2014 by the European Environment Commission.

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In 2013, the hotel renovated half its rooms to evoke Danish design in the 50s. Last year, the hotel refreshed the rest of its rooms to epitomize the country’s iconic 60s aesthetic.

In fact, the city plans to become the world’s first carbon dioxide neutral capital by 2015. Sixty-three per cent of all hotel rooms in Copenhagen eco-certified.

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Key green initiatives include smart light switches in public spaces, garbage that’s sorted into seven recycling categories, and a voucher to the ground-floor Vietnamese restaurant Le Le for guests that opt not to have their rooms cleaned every day.

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“Hotels usually have to refurbish rooms every 10 years or so when they look dated. The vintage furniture we use here has lasted 60 years already, and will last another 60 years—the worn-in look is part of their charm,” says general manager Jeppe Muhlhausen.

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At Hotel SP34, a boutique hotel which opened in Copenhagen’s Latin Quarter in 2014, designer Morten Hedegaard placed sustainability at the core of his design concept. “Everything had to be minimalistic, Scandinavian, high-quality, and convenient, but without using the obvious Danish design options,” says Jacob Jensen of Brochner Hotels. For instance, lamps used throughout the rooms and public spaces were reclaimed from an old barn in Sweden.

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Hotel SP34 carries the Green Key for its energy-saving procedures. Central air-cooling systems regulate heat by recycling air throughout conference rooms and corridors. Breakfast served in the basement restaurant is all organic, so even an extra-indulgent start to the day is (almost) guilt-free.

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The 73-room Andersen Hotel earned a Green-Key in 2013. “Many of our employees live in our company-owned apartments next to the hotel—saving transportation—and we rent bikes to our guests,” says Sales Manager Anne-Mette Bendix.

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All kitchen waste at the newly refurbished Hotel D’Angleterre—an 18th-century property that reopened following three years of renovations in 2014—is converted into biofuel energy.

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