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Behind the Curtain: A Former Ballet Dancer’s Romantic Hotel in Copenhagen

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Behind the Curtain: A Former Ballet Dancer’s Romantic Hotel in Copenhagen

December 13, 2017

“I think the thing that struck me the most was the sense of intimacy,” Francesca, one of our Remodelista cofounders, told us when she got back from a recent stay at Hotel Sanders, a new hotel in Copenhagen by Alexander Kølpin—a former principal dancer with the esteemed Royal Danish Ballet—across from the Royal Danish Theater. Kølpin (whose father is an architect, and whose family runs the Helenekilde Badehotel and Tisvildeleje Strandhotel on northern coast of Denmark) worked with London-based design duo Lind & Almond to transform what was originally three private homes built in the late 1800s, then another hotel, into a Danish-inflected space that evokes all the intimacy and romance of the ballet or a night at the theater.

“Every detail is considered: the lamps, the subtle color palette, and of course the lighting,” Francesca says; even the elegant uniforms that the staff wear were custom-designed, by Older Paris. “Candles are burning at breakfast, throughout the day and into the night. The overall effect is of a European home of humble elegance,” she adds. Here’s a look inside.

Photography courtesy of Hotel Sanders.

The Hotel, After

A sumptuous area for lounging, in hushed warm velvets that evoke a theater curtain.
Above: A sumptuous area for lounging, in hushed warm velvets that evoke a theater curtain.
The hotel restaurant, Sanders Kitchen. “The dining room is small, tiled to the ceiling, and has a freestanding marble counter with cupboards behind, making it feel more like a home kitchen than a restaurant,” Francesca says.
Above: The hotel restaurant, Sanders Kitchen. “The dining room is small, tiled to the ceiling, and has a freestanding marble counter with cupboards behind, making it feel more like a home kitchen than a restaurant,” Francesca says.
Glassware stocked behind the bar, and a backsplash of oversized white tile.
Above: Glassware stocked behind the bar, and a backsplash of oversized white tile.
Guests are welcome to eat in Sanders Kitchen or, should they prefer, “under the stars in our rooftop Conservatory, in front of a fireplace on our outdoor terrace, or in your room. Pair it with drinks from Tata , our own beer, or some of the handpicked treasures from our wine cellar.” Here, leather straps affix cushions to the banquette.
Above: Guests are welcome to eat in Sanders Kitchen or, should they prefer, “under the stars in our rooftop Conservatory, in front of a fireplace on our outdoor terrace, or in your room. Pair it with drinks from Tata [the hotel bar, named for the red velvet curtain at the nearby Royal Danish Theater], our own beer, or some of the handpicked treasures from our wine cellar.” Here, leather straps affix cushions to the banquette.
A guest room, in hues of gray and ochre. “I love the paint detail in the guest rooms, a smokey blue painted to the chair rail with a narrow gray stripe to cap it off,” Francesca says. “The floors, the paneled doors, the hinges—everything is perfect.” Each guest room features custom touches, such as a caned headboard and velvet armchairs.
Above: A guest room, in hues of gray and ochre. “I love the paint detail in the guest rooms, a smokey blue painted to the chair rail with a narrow gray stripe to cap it off,” Francesca says. “The floors, the paneled doors, the hinges—everything is perfect.” Each guest room features custom touches, such as a caned headboard and velvet armchairs.
An adjacent sitting room.
Above: An adjacent sitting room.
The stately windows are framed in dark green metal.
Above: The stately windows are framed in dark green metal.
A guest room with olive velvet chair and a clawfoot bath.
Above: A guest room with olive velvet chair and a clawfoot bath.
Inside a guest bath, vintage-style vanity and plaster walls included.
Above: Inside a guest bath, vintage-style vanity and plaster walls included.
Another guest room, in warmer tones.
Above: Another guest room, in warmer tones.
A bedside vignette.
Above: A bedside vignette.
“We spent hours in the ‘living room’ by the fire,” Francesca says; the small fireplace is tiled, with wood stacked beneath.
Above: “We spent hours in the ‘living room’ by the fire,” Francesca says; the small fireplace is tiled, with wood stacked beneath.
Candles and caned furniture.
Above: Candles and caned furniture.
A candlelit dinner on eclectic plates at Sanders Kitchen.
Above: A candlelit dinner on eclectic plates at Sanders Kitchen.
Single brass candlesticks adorn each table—an idea to copy at home.
Above: Single brass candlesticks adorn each table—an idea to copy at home.
A festive feast.
Above: A festive feast.
The vintage-style rooftop conservatory, for getting some air.
Above: The vintage-style rooftop conservatory, for getting some air.

The hotel’s priority is to make guests feel at home. Among the personalized services they offer: a behind-the-curtain tour of the Royal Danish Ballet (or a front-row seat to a rehearsal), “a day of drawing with the art students in the baroque sculptor garden behind the Art Academy,” an after-hours look at the Royal Danish Opera House, or a ringside seat in the kitchens of Copenhagen’s best restaurants. (And, should you forget something at home or the need arise, the hotel stocks “ties, cufflinks, white shirts, stockings, nail polish, hair spray, perfume, chargers, converters, and sunglasses in-house.”)

The Hotel, Before

The remnants of the former Hotel Opera, before the renovation.
Above: The remnants of the former Hotel Opera, before the renovation.

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