Ibsens Hotel

Nansensgade, Copenhagen, Denmark Book from DKK770

A cool, colourful city base with friendly service and a central location
For some hotels, a street address is nothing more than data for customers to plug into their SatNav for directions. For Ibsens, however, it’s an important part of its personality: the rich life of Nansensgade (a gallery-, bookshop- and café-lined thoroughfare in central Copenhagen) filters through the eclectic spaces of this former guesthouse. Fabrics and sculptures are by local designers Krestine Kjaerholm and Pia Hutters, the safe boxes in the lobby are daubed in graffiti-style art, and the leather luggage tags used as key fobs come from nearby boutique The Last Bag.

All this design could make a hotel stuffy, but not Ibsens (witness the record player in the lounge, complete with some cool old vinyl to spin at your leisure). The overall vibe is casual, funky and warm - helped along by smiling staff and simple, cosy rooms with a hint of retro. And, when the weather’s fine, large floor-to-ceiling windows open to the let the bustle outside flow in. The result is a hotel where the hospitality of its guesthouse pedigree is still very much alive, but brought up to date with modern touches (WiFi, snazzy TVs) and wonderful splashes of colour.

Highs

  • A fantastic location between the downtown area and the beautiful lakes
  • Good availability
  • The laid-back ambiance make it ideal for solo travellers, families and friends. There are plenty of communal areas for mingling - we loved the lounge with its fireplace and record player
  • Quirky details - maps of Copenhagen on carpets and walls, shaggy throws on chairs, blackboards showing the weather forecast in the lobby
  • There’s a choice of 2 eateries serving tasty Spanish and Italian fare

Lows

  • Some feel it is overpriced for what you get, and breakfast is expensive (but good)
  • The Small Rooms are small - and the Medium Rooms aren’t much bigger (both have small double beds but are best for solo travellers). They are fairly basic and lack amenities
  • Bathrooms in all except the Junior Suites are tiny (though squeaky clean)
  • Noise from outside can be a problem, and if you close the windows, you get far too hot
  • With 118 rooms, it’s larger than most i-escape hotels but it makes a great city base

Best time to go

Summer brings long days and short nights, and is the best time to visit Copenhagen - a city known for its notoriously moody weather. But winter is the best time to dodge the tourists and discover the uniquely Danish concept of hygge - something that loosely translates as the cosy and warm feeling that comes from intimate surroundings, good friends and good food.

Our top tips

If you want to have a real local experience and listen to some astoundingly good jazz, check out Hvide Lam at nearby Kultorvet 5. It's smoky, small and filled with friendly locals. On most nights, you'll find a collection of old Dutch guys whose gruff exteriors belie the smoothness of the jazz they produce.

Great for...

Eco
Family
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 118
  • 2 restaurants and a bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

The overhaul of Ibsens has created a blend of old and new: fittings are modern, but the original character of the 1906 building has been beautifully preserved. None of the 118 rooms are alike, so you might find exposed wooden beams, nooks beneath dormer windows, sunken bedrooms, or quirky alcoves. The décor is Scando-simple, with clean lines, retro-style wooden furniture and anglepoise lamps. Dashes of colour are provided by bedspreads, cushions and chairs in silver-blue, purple, orange or lime green.

The carpet patterns are scaled up or down according to the size of the rooms, which come in Small, Medium, Large and Extra-Large (where we stayed). None are particularly big - the Small Rooms are tiny - but the design makes the best use of the compact space: hangers and wall hooks are provided for clothes, and there’s room for suitcases under the bed (a French double in the Small Rooms, a double in the Medium Rooms and a kingsize in all others). All feature large flat-screen TVs, desks, free WiFi and small ensuite shower rooms.

The Junior Suites occupy the largest corner rooms and have space and light aplenty, along with big bathrooms with tubs. They also feature a grandness that only architects in days gone by seemed able to capture - soaring ceilings, chandeliers, bay windows and, in some, French balconies.

Extra beds can be added to all rooms from Medium upwards, and some Extra-Large Rooms come with 3 single beds - ideal for groups of friends.

Features include:

  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Phone
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

Breakfast (not included) is a buffet laid out by the check-in desk. First up is a variety of loose teas and coffee, as well as oatmeal porridge (authentic to Denmark), locally baked bread, fresh fruit and a choice of fresh juices. Guests can have their meal in the art-bedecked lounge or, if the weather’s co-operating, outside in the courtyard.

For other meals there are 2 restaurants leading off the main lobby. La Rocca dishes up divine Italian fare proffered by a mostly Italian staff. Don’t miss the mouth-watering truffled pasta served inside a giant carved-out wheel of parmesan cheese - if it's not on the menu, a very nice per favore might persuade the chef to make it for you. The other restaurant, Pinxtos, serves traditional Spanish tapas plus tasty fish and meat dishes.

There’s plenty of choice on your doorstep if you'd prefer to eat out. A great lunch option is Café Bankeråt, set further down Nansensgade. You get large portions of tasty pub fare like burgers and nachos in a setting whose décor is the very definition of eclectic (note the taxidermy work).

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating: Breakfast
Activity:

Activities

  • Wander along the city’s pretty pedestrian paths. Just beyond the Nørreport metro station (10 minutes away) is the pedestrian walkway of Kultorvet, leading to Strøget - the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe
  • Spend an afternoon soaking up the famous colourful houses and equally colourful street life in Nyhavn, once home to Hans Christian Andersen. After you've enjoyed a pint or 2 at a canalside bar, hop on a boat to visit the world-famous Little Mermaid statue
  • Take a guided bicycle tour of the city with Bike Mike. Mike is a charming local whose love for Copenhagen is clear, and a portion of his profits goes to Lance Armstrong's Livestrong Cancer Foundation. Tours start at 10.30am every day and the departure point is on Turesensgade, a 5-minute walk from the hotel (staff can provide directions)
  • If you'd prefer to go it alone, hop on one of the hotel's unreserved rental bicycles to explore. When you tire of the bustle, you'll find peace among old military barracks, lakes and nature trails in the star-shaped Kastellet area
  • Check out the Rundetårn ('Round Tower'). Just a 15-minute walk from the hotel, this impressive structure was built in the 1600s and is the oldest working observatory in Europe
  • Visit Tivoli Gardens, the amusement park that helped to inspire Walt Disney. Go at night and not only will you get to see the fireworks (if you're there on a weekend), you’ll also experience the romantic atmosphere created by hundreds of glowing fairy lights
  • If all the sightseeing gets too much, head to the Helle Thorup Spa at Ibsens' sister hotel Kong Arthur. Ibsens guests get a discount on treatments and use of the facilities

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome. Copenhagen is a very safe city for families to visit with bike lanes everywhere and it is easy to walk around Vesterbro and Christiana.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra beds and baby cots can be added to all rooms except Small Rooms (though the Medium Rooms would be a squeeze with any more than 2 people). Junior Suites have plenty of space for families and can take 2 additional beds or 2 baby cots.

Babysitting:

Babysitting can be arranged on request.

Kids Activities nearby:

Dyrehaven, just outside Copenhagen is an 'animal garden', with deer & rabbits roaming free and you can walk amongst them

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

8/
Rooms
8/
Food
9/
Service
8/
Value
8/
Overall

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