A 2019 Gallup World Poll World Happiness Report reveals that Denmark is one of the top five happiest countries in the world. This high level of happiness among the Danes is perhaps a result of the value they place on creating cosy, nurturing living environments that help foster a strong sense of well-being.
In Denmark, this precious quality of cosy contentment is referred to as hygge. Pronounced “hoo-ga”, it is a feeling you may have experienced when curling up by a fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa on a wintery night or the state of mind you were in the last time you eased yourself into a warm, bubbly bath with a good book and a glass of wine.
According to Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, the concept of hygge is so important to the Danes that it’s considered “a defining feature of [their] cultural identity and an integral part of the national DNA”.
Most succinctly expressed in thoughtful Danish interior design, hygge eschews ostentatious decor and instead embraces muted neutral colours and earthy, texturally-engaging materials such as wood, stone and linen. On your next visit to Copenhagen, stay at one these stylish and incredibly snug hotels to experience the joy of hygge.
Located in the historic citadel of Frederiksstad and named after its residential street, Sankt Annæ Plads, the interiors of Hotel SKT Annæ are inspired by the shades of black, white and brown – a common theme among the portraits and interior paintings done by the late Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi. Its deluxe rooms, all designed and furnished by design studio SPACE Copenhagen, exude a sense of calmness that flows through all of the hotel’s bathrooms with their handmade Italian tiled floors and fine brass and gold fixtures that encourage leisurely showers or baths.
Located inside the former Carlsberg brewery in the lively Carlsberg City district, the industrial bones of Hotel Ottilia are made appealing with lots of soothing, tactile details. Here, social spaces and 156 guest rooms follow a colour scheme of soft pastels and muted greys that cleverly complement the original concrete walls. Uncluttered and streamlined, with beautifully grained wooden floors or carpets and carefully planned mood lighting, any of the rooms and suites of Hotel Ottilia will quickly make you feel at home.
Founded by renowned former Royal Danish Ballet dancer Alexander Kølpin, Hotel Sanders distils the essence of Danish comfort into an atmospheric, vintage-inspired oasis where every detail tells a story. Located in the heart of Old Town Copenhagen and close to the city’s main cultural attractions, this 54-key boutique hotel harmonises hygge with the golden age of travel. Shades of ochre and muted olive are used liberally, and finishes are high end with bespoke furnishings that include mid-century modern sofas and loads of candles.
Between the city centre and Vesterbro, the former home of the historic Royal Danish Conservatory of Music is now the 75-room Nobis Hotel Copenhagen. Designed by Swedish superstar architect Gert Wingårdh, this elegant hotel is a celebration of sophisticated Danish classicism with elements drawn from Sainte Marie de La Tourette, a Dominican priory and the final, most important building of French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier from the late 1950s. Retaining the buildings historical architectural details, Wingårdh created an ensconcing and convivial abode with exquisite touches of natural stones, marble, wood and refreshing green accents.
Set in the heart of the city, and close to the National Museum, Thorvaldsens Museum and Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek ancient and modern art museum, Hotel Danmark offers budget-friendly but stylish bunk-style bedrooms ideal for solo travellers or families with kids. Besides the bunk-style guest rooms, the hotel also has standard and superior rooms with regular or four-poster beds – perfect for couples who want to enjoy a romantic weekend with lazy sleep-ins. All the rooms are bright and thoughtfully designed with marble floors and walls that resemble soft velvet.
6. Vipp Hotel
Not a hotel in the conventional sense, Vipp Hotel by Danish luxury kitchen and furniture brand Vipp is a collection of three self-catering holiday properties – two in Copenhagen and another in Lake Immlen in Sweden – that marries minimalist modernism with homely, country-inspired elements to create a warm and alluring holiday oasis. The two Copenhagen properties – Vipp Loft in the industrial neighbourhood of Islands Brygge, and Vipp Chimney House, near the harbour in the north of the city – have interiors designed by David Thulstrup, the Danish architect best known for his work on Noma, Copenhagen’s No. 1 restaurant, and include Vipp kitchens and fixtures, as well as plush linens from Danish brand Aiayu. All the properties are stocked with a bottle of champagne, Aèsop toiletries and organic cotton towels to ensure you can hunker down and enjoy the magic of hygge as soon as you check in.
*For more information on when the hotels are receiving bookings, please check their individual websites.