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Four new design-conscious hotels in Aarhus, Denmark

Denmark’s second city is renowned for its cutting-edge design, and its hotel scene is following suit.

Published 31 Oct 2020, 08:00 GMT
Radisson Red is one of a clutch of new design-minded hotels in the Danish city.

Radisson Red is one of a clutch of new design-minded hotels in the Danish city.

Photograph by Roar Paaske Fotografi

Book1 Design Hostel 

Forget your idea of a conventional hostel — Book1 is a designer ‘poshtel’ located in a former library that dates back to the 1930s, in a plum spot beside the ARoS art museum. It comes courtesy of swish Danish chain Brøchner Hotels, and you can see its slick, minimalist style in the details. It’s as stylish a place as you’d expect for Denmark’s second, design-forward city, with an urban, monochrome aesthetic, an is full of all kinds of savvy touches, including touches like dimmed under-bed lighting for dorm sleepers who need to get up in the night and queen-sized beds in the ‘pod dorms’, based on Japanese pod hotels, where your private box comes with a privacy curtain.

Not that dorms are the only option here. Chances are you’re here for the private rooms — and even suites — where, although space might have been sacrificed, style certainly hasn’t; there are smart parquet floors and neat, if a little tight, bathrooms.

The signature tipple is whatever you fancy at the lobby bar, where there’s a happy hour each evening from 5pm. Gym bunnies can break a sweat in the on-site gym and sauna or, if you fancy curling up with a book, there’s also a reading area, in a nod to the building’s origins.

Brøchner has kept its signature organic breakfast, which is best enjoyed on the terrace, but the real draw is the restaurant offering, which includes a bakery, barbecue and smørrebrød (open sandwich) stand. There’s little need to venture outside, although if you do, you’ll find a welcoming and thoroughly modern city embracing its love of cutting-edge design. From £89 for private doubles. 

Zleep Hotel Aarhus Viby

Affordable but stylish? Not an oxymoron at this, the second Zleep for Aarhus, located an easy train ride from the city centre in the business district. Minimalist, exposed concrete walls are paired with Scandi-simple furniture and it’s ideal for families, with triple- and four-bed family rooms. From £75. 

Radisson Red

The business chain’s funky, millennial-aimed brand made its debut in Aarhus this year with an enormous lobby designed for socialising and rooms based around a trendy grey-on-darker-grey palette. It looks well set to grow into the ‘vibrant urban social hub’ it aims to be. From £115. 

Villa Provence

If you’re into traditional rather than Scandi chic, head for this French outpost, complete with cobbled atrium, wrought-iron bedsteads and Gallic posters all over the walls. Even the baguette-heavy breakfast is French-influenced. You’ll be in good company, too — it’s a hit with A-listers. From £139, B&B. 

Published in the Sept/Oct 2020 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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