Spanning three refurbished townhouses in Copenhagen’s historic quarter lies Hotel Sanders, a recent addition to the Denmark capital’s recently flourishing hotel scene.
This article originally featured in The Journal Issue No.12. View online here.
Labelled as Scandinavia’s first real luxury boutique hotel, Hotel Sanders focuses on a tailored and personable service as well as creating an ‘at home’ feeling for its guests. The hotel is the realised vision of celebrated Danish ballet dancer Alexander Kølpin, who unsurprisingly compares the guest experience to that of a member of the audience at the ballet. When asked where the similarities lie, Alexander says “Entering Sanders is like stepping into a theatre where the scenography and interiors will exceed the expectations of form and façade. Guests will always remain centre stage, but the carefully curated interiors will be the elegant and exquisite backdrop for their experience.”
It isn’t by chance that Sanders is located across the street from the Royal Danish Theatre where Mr Kølpin spent years performing as a ballet dancer. “The Theatre holds a very special place in my heart. Besides the location in a quiet, residential neighbourhood, it’s my favourite part of the city,” he says. Positioned within the historic and creative hub of the city, Hotel Sanders is just minutes away from the picturesque Nyhavn and cultural institutions such as The Opera House, Kunsthal Charlottenborg and Amalienborg Palace. This focus on the creative community is evident in and around the hotel, both by way of visiting guests and in the display of locally sourced and commissioned artwork from emerging artists, “It is our essential goal to inspire our guests creatively whilst tending to their individual needs” says Alexander.
When entering the hotel into a non-traditional reception area aptly named The Living Room, you are met with an eclectic mix of luxury décor emulating grand theatres of the past combined with a Danish mid-century undertone and injections of inspiration from both England and France. This was executed by London-based Lind + Almond, a recently established studio led by Pernille Lind and Richy Almond. The relationship between the trio arose when Alexander approached Pernille after admiring her background in hospitality design with the likes of Soho House & Co, Conran + Partners and Anouska Hempel. “‘Picking up my phone on an August Monday morning, I was bombarded with Alexander’s characteristic energy, charm and enthusiasm as he explained his grand plans for the hotel he was about to buy,” Pernille recalls. Once they agreed that their visions aligned, Pernille got in touch with former colleague Richy, whose abundant experience in luxury residential and hotel design was an obvious choice to start this adventure together. Richy says, “With our combined background in architecture, interiors and furniture design we felt well-equipped and more confident as a duo to take on the exciting challenge of the project”, and at that, the duo teamed up, and Lind + Almond was established.
On digesting the exquisite mix of design elements you begin to notice the attention to detail at every corner of the hotel. Alexander’s passion for the importance of detail–across the service, aesthetics and everything in between–is unmissable. Describing how integral he was to the design process, Richy says “Alexander was very involved throughout. This was an incredibly personal project for him, he put his heart, his name and his money on the line to create it”; he wanted the hotel “to be about a holistic experience, about stepping into another world for a short time, a world which is both familiar and enchanting. The spaces are the theatre and the staff are the performers.” The 54 rooms at Sanders are no exception to this detailed and bespoke approach. From the standard Coupé room to the Sanders Apartment, each has been designed with their specific and individual features in mind, right down to the furniture. “For Sanders, simply specifying off the shelf products would not cut the mustard, the furniture needed to identify as being part of the brand as much as the logo or the level of service did. As such, we needed to create many pieces from scratch,” Richy explains.
Beyond the rooms and at the heart of Sanders is The Kitchen. It boasts the atmosphere and intimacy of a private dining party, and offers a menu that is simple yet undoubtedly tasty with items such as lobster linguini, baby zucchini madras curry, and oysters with mignonette. Food can be enjoyed throughout the hotel; outside and in front of the fire in the Courtyard, on the rooftop in the colonial, bamboo-inspired Conservatory, or in the comfort of your room. Pair it with drinks from the decadent TATA Bar, a space exuding vintage charm with a menu featuring classic cocktails, a small selection of handpicked wines and Sanders’ own beer.
Denmark, and Copenhagen in particular, are hubs in the world of design but both are still in the early stages of hotel development. With Hotel Sanders, Alexander is not just paving the way for a new generation of luxury hotels, but rewriting the paradigm entirely, “the definition of luxury for me and the team is actually the musicality and tone of the people who work and enter Sanders.” So while the design and attention to detail is hard to ignore and not be in awe of, the true value lies in the bespoke and curated personable service you receive throughout. Because the ‘Essence of Sanders ’of course, lies with the people. “We have hired people from all over the world in order for our guests to feel completely at home when they come visit us. Our goal has always been to be one of the first real boutique hotels in Scandinavia, as we offer guests and visitors a stylish, curated, comfortable and, above all, personal space with all the first-class servicing one would expect from a top international hotel.”
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