Radisson SAS Royal, Copenhagen, Denmark ***

Radisson SAS Royal Copenhagen. The architect student’s wet dream
They called it the punch card tower. It was the first skyscraper in Denmark and the sign of things to come. The exterior, as well as everything inside, was designed by Arne Jacobsen.

Your sleeping place at the SAS Royal. Note the funky light installation.
I honestly don’t think that Jacobsen would have approved the funky light installation above the bed.

A little bit of Jacobsen modernism at the Radisson SAS Royal in Copenhagen.
The lobby will give you a little bit of Jacobsen modernism. The iconic Swan
chairs were designed for the hotel in 1958. They are still in production.

The Alberto K Restaurant on the top flor of the Radisson SAS Royal in Copenhagen.
Alberto Kappenberger, the hotel’s first manager, is smiling mildly from the walls of the Albert K restaurant on the top floor. I only had breakfast here, so please don’t ask me about the highlights of their Italian menu.

View from one of the suites at the SAS Royal Copenhagen.
This is the view. This is Copenhagen through the window of one of the suites.
Even a Swede would admit that from here the city looks quite fine.

I hate myself for not booking room 606.
It’s the one room that has been been preserved exactly as it looked like in 1960. And to fully enjoy the Radisson SAS Royal in Copenhagen, I think you’d better reserve that room, or you’ll regret it afterwards. Because it’s the design of Arne Jacobsen that makes this hotel worth the trip.
In this hotel, which is also Denmarks first skyscraper, Arne Jacobsen got the exclusive rights to design everything – yes, that’s everything. Jacobsen created the high-rise profile and exterior as well as the little balls at the end of the curtain cords. Originally, every object in the building worthy of a design was bearing his signature.

They claim it’s the world’s first designer hotel.
It’s probably true. And the Danes are extremely proud of it today. That wasn’t always the case. Jacobsen once said the following about the hotel: “Well, yes, they call it the punch card, and it’s funny, for that is actually what it looks like when the windows are open on a hot summer’s day. It has been called a lot of different things. (…) And many people thought it was a terribly ugly building, and many may still think so. At least, it came in first when they held a competition for the ugliest building in Copenhagen.”
And the Danish tourist authorities are certainly trying to make the most out of Jacobsen’s punch card tower. No surprise as two of the most recognizable examples of Danish design, the Egg and Swan chairs were designed by Jacobsen specifically with this project in mind.

Keep in mind; this is not a museum.
If you arrive to the hotel expecting to be blown away by having a total architectural overdose you’ll be disappointed. I booked myself into one of the suites, and it felt very much like any roomy, modern Scandinavian hotel room with furniture in light maple wood. To me, the most unique thing about the room was the windows stretching from wall to wall. Plus; to my surprise the view of Copenhagen was much better than expected.
Function and convenience has been the focus of some extensive renovation work lately, and that’s probably OK for the business traveler that remains the main target group of the Radisson chain.
But I wanted to be blown away by the Jacobsen experience and that didn’t happen this time. But the next trip I make to Copenhagen it’s room 606 or bust. And when I’ve stayed there, you’ll be the first to know.

Radisson SAS Royal Hotel
Hammerichsgade 1
København 1611

+45 38 15 65 00

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