The Relais rendezvous would not have been possible without its host hotel, VILLA COPENHAGEN. Its name implies a wee chalet or something but in fact it is a 390-room, massive five-floor brick construction which was the Danish capital’s main post office and sorting station from 1912 to 2015. Think of a giant T-extension added to an open square. That square is now glassed over, above, to give what is a giant sculpted Courtyard. It’s amazing versatile – its front desk and bar, and lobby lounge with a glass upside-down periscope that gives a fascinating view to the working kitchen below. There are pop ups (right now it’s jewellery). And as the image shows, a turntable in a tower at the entrance end of the Courtyard is ready for music to be made, whenever.
Thinking of its previous role, it is no surprise that Villa Copenhagen has massive lower-level event space. There are several spaces, in fact. One is the permanent breakfast room, about 125 metres long with baked-here warm croissants, fabulous healthy buffets and a working kitchen at the far end. Order an omelette and it comes decorated with wisps of pea tendrils, so much more stylish than the automatic hash browns and tomato many nation seem obliged to put with eggs.
What else about the Villa? Its integral RUG coffeeshop is busy day long because of the rail and subway stations less than three minutes’ walk away. Its 25-metre, first floor, outside pool is heated to 30° year-round by over-heat from the hotel’s cooling systems. And, more than anything, this Preferred hotel is memorable for its people. All vetted personally by the boss, Peter Høgh Pedersen, the 230-strong team are actually jolly good, and jolly.