Hygge is such an interesting word – it first appeared in 18th century Danish writing and loosely translates as “well-being”. But as Denmark’s official tourism board explains: “it means so much more. In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people.”
My husband and I were in Copenhagen for an extended weekend late summer, and instantly fell in love with the city. The warm atmosphere and the ‘good things in life with good people’ philosophy is generously embraced by the locals. For Copenhagen is mercifully not about long queues at attractions, but a slow exploration of its fantastic neighbourhoods, restaurants, bars, cafes and the overall vibe. The quality of food and drink is excellent, and the cultural scene is vibrant and dynamic.
Our happiness quotient was also significantly upped by our stay at the luxurious Skt Petri hotel, located in the heart of Copenhagen’s Latin Quarter. In Copenhagen, it’s evident that a lot of thought goes into the experiences on offer, and nowhere is this more evident than with our stay.
Skt Petri is located in architect Vilhelm Lauritzen’s heritage-listed building from 1928 in the Latin Quarter. This building was home to the Daells Varehus department store which was among the first companies offering to buy products through post order. The department store closed in 1998.
Now the hotel stands here, within easy walking distance to some of the city’s attractions and vibrant bylanes with their colourful architecture. The area is abuzz with trendy bars, restaurants and cafes. The friendly and knowledgeable concierge mapped out a couple of different routes for us to take to see different sides of the city. And it was fantastic advice.
The location is enviable – it’s just a three-minute walk to 17th century Round Tower, the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. The Copenhagen cathedral and Sankt Petri church is a similar walk away.
We are able to walk to Nyhavn, famous for its post-card pretty colorful houses by the river, from the hotel. We walked via the main shopping street, Strøget, one of Europe’s longest pedestrian streets. The Strøget street vibe is electric.
As pretty as it is, Nvhavn is my idea of tourist hell, but that’s just a random aside. But we loved the view of the design marvel, The Royal Danish Opera House, and walked to Amalienbourg Palace where the Danish royal family still resides. It did make us really happy to be back in our hotel by the end of the day!
Laidback and stylish, the hotel design is in keeping with Scandi-style with international flourishes. From an impressive lobby to plush, warmly designed rooms, it’s easy to just feel welcomed and settle in nicely.
The hotel was fully refurbed with extensions and the works in 2017, with a fully transformed sky-bridging atrium lobby to feature a restaurant and lounge and the plant-filled hotel courtyard (our favourite spot). The lobby with its signature large green, plant-covered ceiling lamp, is perfect to start day in with a lovely, sumptuous breakfast, and perhaps end with a late-afternoon cocktail in the courtyard.
We had a room on one of the top floors with a lovely view of the city’s architecture. The room is spacious, unlike other Copenhagen hotels we stayed in. Warm-toned furnishings and thoughtful design touches make it a very welcoming space. Add to this a welcoming sauna and steam bath in the hotel, and it’s pure bliss.
Skt Petri lives up to the Danish tradition of making a conscious effort to be as green as possible. For example, they turn off the lights every year during Earth Hour – which is a tough choice for a hotel to make while catering to its many guests.
The hotel also runs on 100 per cent offshore wind energy and has replaced 95 per cent of its light sources are LED or energy-saving bulbs. Half the lights are turned off at night in the hallways.
The food waste is used for biogas, while they have firmly said no to palm oil and only serves MSC certified fish.
But hotel guests can partner with Skt Petri for a more powerful impact – every time you say no to housekeeping, the hotel donates 50 DKK to UNICEF and support their fight against trafficking of children.
You can also rent a bike at reception – which we highly recommend as Copenhagen is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world. And of course, it’s a fantastic way to explore.
We’d highly recommend Skt Petri for your choice of a Copenhagen hotel – for their extremely warm and professional service, attention to detail, green initiatives, location and style. We definitely felt all hygged-up here! Good times with good people… what more can you ask for?