If the stress of opening a brand new luxurious resort within the midst of a worldwide pandemic weighs on Peter Høgh Pedersen, it doesn’t present. Sitting within the gleaming new atrium of Villa Copenhagen earlier this month, the manging director of the property is filled with boundless enthusiasm for the undertaking and what it means for the Danish capital. Regardless of the dismal outlook for a lot of the hospitality sector in Europe, it has been an thrilling few months he explains. “We opened on July 1st, having taken the choice to maneuver forward whatever the state of affairs with Covid-19 – and we had a blast. The primary seven weeks we welcomed a number of Danish vacationers, as much as 90 per cent of our friends have been Danes, whereas the remaining have been from Norway. So we had a beautiful summer season.”
He provides: “We have been a bit shocked, as we had ready in any other case, so we have been calling a number of the workers again who we had stored on maintain. I can not say it has not been a bumpy summer season, as a result of it has, however individuals have been impressed with what now we have achieved with the constructing and what we need to create right here.”
When you’ve got a undertaking as grand as Villa Copenhagen, nonetheless, it’s straightforward to be excited. Positioned subsequent to the central prepare station within the coronary heart of town, the brand new enterprise is housed within the former headquarters of the Danish Publish & Telegraph Workplace. Initially designed in 1912 by architect Heinrich Wench in a neo-Baroque model, it has been fully reimagined inside whereas the imposing façade stays. At present, modern Scandinavian design is juxtaposed with the unique structure to create an inspiring and playful atmosphere. Stroll by means of the primary entrance and the sensation is extra like that of a non-public members membership than a luxurious resort, with an off-the-cuff, however cultured, ambiance.
“We wished to supply one thing totally different to the market and I’m very proud of what we achieved right here,” Pedersen tells Breaking Journey Information. “Very early on we determined to create a number of public areas. This has been tried by the Hoxton or Ace Lodge, for instance, creating area to ask individuals in, however that is new in Copenhagen. We now have been very verbal, sharing this, educating the market about what it’s we provide. This was the central put up workplace, and we’re looking for to take care of that connection, however in a contemporary context. We would like individuals to return in, to speak and to create an environment.”
With the work full, Villa Copenhagen is comprised of 390-guestrooms and suites, every embodying the perfect of each conventional and modern Scandinavian luxurious. There are excessive ceilings, herringbone flooring and gold accents, whereas the unique window designs from 1912 have been given a brand new lease of life. All guestrooms are geared up with flat-screen HDTVs with streaming entry, complimentary espresso machines, totally stocked minibars and the opposite facilities anticipated of a resort on this bracket. Rooms are centred round the primary lobby – generally known as the Sq. – whereas the Kontrast Brasserie supplies a hyperlink to the surface world.
Pedersen continues: “The themes are the identical with the restaurant, now we have an area outdoors proper over the railway tracks – you would possibly assume there could be issues over the noise, but it surely has gone down effectively. We try to create a move of individuals, a social area – it isn’t just like the Savoy in London when a stiff doorman asks if he might help you whereas he’s checking you out. We would like native Copenhageners to return in and benefit from the area.”
As with every hospitality undertaking on this scale – Pedersen reveals the constructing price an preliminary €100 million, with the identical once more spent on the renovations – sustainability is to the fore at Villa Copenhagen. Underneath the phrase ‘conscience luxurious,’ the workforce seeks to make smart decisions that take the atmosphere and communities into consideration. It’s hoped friends will acquire an understanding that this model of luxurious is about having fun with all the pieces from grand experiences and sudden encounters to high quality meals and galvanizing environment.
Pedersen elaborates: “We wished to redefine luxurious for Copenhagen – there are in fact high motels right here, however nothing like this. Everyone expects motels to take these steps nowadays, however Copenhagen is seen as a pacesetter on this space, so the resort needed to be seen to be the perfect. Once we started to speak about what we have been doing right here, companions have been very within the pioneering steps we have been taking. For instance, the pool makes use of a centralised cooling system, taking extra warmth from the resort to heat it, whereas there may be additionally a BioTrans system, which grinds our meals waste to be transformed into gasoline.”
He provides: “We took away the plastic wrapped slippers supplied to friends, as an alternative providing flipflops you should buy – we can not inform you probably have used them, so now we have to throw them away, which doesn’t make sense and is an incredible waste. On the subsequent degree, we labored with Copenhagen-based Earth Studio to design our convention chairs, taking out kilograms of recycled plastic from the ocean to create 1,000 seats – the resort is stuffed with concepts corresponding to these. The constructing itself is a sustainability story, with large quantities of carbon saved by changing an present construction versus constructing a brand new one.”
After all, even with such a fascinating asset, not all the pieces will likely be plain crusing for Villa Copenhagen. Denmark seems to be getting into a second section of its Covid-19 pandemic, with restrictions on journey being re-imposed. There additionally issues distinctive to town.
“In Copenhagen, coming into 2020-21, we have been already seeing an overcapacity of resort beds. On the identical time, tourism development is slowing, and the curve isn’t matching the rise in capability. We have been subsequently already on our toes, competing extra intensely with different properties out there are these which can be making ready to open. In comparison with someplace like London, it isn’t a big market right here, however individuals have totally different agendas, totally different homeowners and landlords – so there will likely be anyone who’s a little bit hungrier than anyone else and we may even see charges fall. We noticed that even earlier than Covid-19, with charges not reaching the same old will increase.”
However, with these caveats, Pedersen and his workforce have created one thing new in Copenhagen, one thing sturdy that can doubtless final out the present storm to develop into an establishment in its personal proper.
Villa Copenhagen is part of Nordic Lodges & Resorts, a curated assortment of 25 impartial properties unfold throughout Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Based by Petter Stordalen, every property within the assortment displays its robust impartial identification by means of distinctive locations and cultural authenticity, in addition to thought-provoking design, structure and artwork.
The resort can also be a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, which represents famend properties that function the best lodging coupled with attentive, participating and unique private service.
Discover out extra about Villa Copenhagen on the official website.