Walk down one of Copenhagen’s narrow, cobbled streets and it’s easy to imagine yourself in a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. Add in castles, an amusement park as nostalgic as a vintage toy train set, museums filled with Viking artifacts and bog mummies, a modern royal family, and a tinier-than-expected Little Mermaid statue best viewed by boat, – plus open-faced sandwiches as tall as towers, and Copenhagen takes on near mythic qualities. If Denmark’s capital is a storybook, then the boutique Nimb hotel is the page you turn to plot adventures with city characters.
My spacious terrace in one of its new suites stands one floor above Tivoli Gardens, the second oldest amusement park in the world. From here, you feel part of the merry crowd, connected to their joy as if flying above them on a park-approved, magic carpet. Adored by visitors of all ages and dispositions, the park brings people together in all seasons. It’s a place of palpable gaiety, built in folly-style architecture, that has changed little since it opened in 1843. Today, there are heart-churning rides, manicured gardens, bakeries, cafes, bars, puppet shows, games of chance, and distractions of infinite variety. I lean over my balcony, and take it all in, a welcomed escape from reality. Or, perhaps it’s life as Andersen termed it, “the most wonderful fairy tale.”
Nimb adjoins Tivoli, as it has for more than a century, operating as both a culinary outpost, a luxury hotel, and a portal to the park. Constructed as a lavish, Moorish-style castle (complete with unexpected Taj Mahal turrets and a Venetian marble facade), the circa-1909 hotel fuses seamlessly with the park – a beguiling home base set for all the fun.
While a recent addition doubled its number of suites, the hotel remains intimate with 38 guest rooms, all but one overlooking Tivoli. Textures, treasures, and accoutrements complement the garden’s dreamscape mood with features such as pinewood floors and Øland granite. At the same time, it pays homage to design-centric Danish sensibilities – bold, bright contemporary art and edgy accessories such as Moooi’s desk lamps. For a splurge, book the Executive Suite Vilhelm, which has a terrace large enough for a dinner party, complete with a private chef.
Where to Eat:
Chef Rene Redzepi’s newest concept, Noma 2.0, reimagines his original restaurant as an urban farm. Spreading out amid the artsy haven of Christiana, the restaurant goes global, with unexpected techniques gleaned from around the world, while the Nordic-centric menu changes seasonally.
Showcasing products and ingredients from chef Nicolai Norregaard’s home island, Bornholm, Kadeau takes the practice of field-to-table to innovative levels. A 20-course tasting menu ensures you taste everything in small bites.
A Meatpacking District icon, this restored butcher’s hall does seafood the Danish way – fresh and creative. Share plates at the bar and multicourse dinners in the restaurant – casual dishes take on a modern, regional focus.
See + Do
Nimb employs a superstar food concierge, Rasmus Palsgård. A Danish television personality he guides you on a food crawl through Tivoli Gardens or Copenhagen. As a local celebrity, he knows everyone. Soon, you will, too. Plan to eat your weight in Danish fare.
It’s not just for kids: Tivoli Gardens is the essence of Copenhagen. Don’t like the crowds? The park has a VIP program, which allows you to rent the whole park, take over a specific ride, get dance lessons from the ballet master or – wait for it – be picked up at the airport by the park’s mascot, Pierrot.
SMK, The National Gallery of Denmark
Have the Rubens and Titians to yourself with SMK’s nights at the museum programPrivate after-hours tours can be arranged by your travel advisor for small or large groups.
Top photo: The entrance to Tivoli Gardens. (Photo by Christoffer Sandager)