In 1956, the Danish design maestro Arne Jacobsen was given the coveted opportunity to design the world’s “first designer hotel”. The result is a stunning piece of modernist architecture celebrated the world over as the SAS Royal Hotel, the first skyscraper in Copenhagen. Built for the airline Scandinavian Airlines System (“SAS”), Jacobsen’s influences permeated every detail of the twenty-two storey masterpiece, from exterior design to interiors and furnishings. It was for this building that Jacobsen designed his iconic Egg, Swan, Drop and Pot chairs, which earned him critical acclaim in the fields of building and furniture design.
As an aficionado of Danish design, the hotel beckoned every time I visited the city. Well-located in Copenhagen’s city centre and a mere 3 minutes from Tivoli amusement park and Central Station, it was an unmissable landmark. Learning of its timely refurbishment in early 2018, we eventually decided to part with the hefty A$400 / night price tag (circa US$300 / night equivalent) and opened our eyes to the opulence of Scandinavian design.
Today, the SAS Royal Hotel (now rebranded as Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Copenhagen) is still testament to the style icon’s aesthetic endurance. Whilst the redesign sought to modernise the interiors, it continued to celebrate its pre-existing character and soul.
The suspended spiral staircase, one of the most recognised features of the original design, has been artfully restored, allowing it to regain its rightful prominence as a seamless connection between the lobby and mezzanine space. Ultimately, in Jacobsen’s hotel, it will always be the furniture that takes pride of place and cements its position at the apex of Scandinavian luxury.
The writer stayed at Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Copenhagen on 3 April 2018 as a full fee paying patron.