Copenhagen, Denmark

The Darling

Price per night from$813.52

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR760.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Eye Scandi

Setting

Window-dressed Strøget Street

The Darling, a boutique stay with two self-contained pieds-à-terre in Copenhagen old town’s shopping district – will inspire many more declarations of affection as you take in its iconic Danish furnishings (a Who’s Who of Scandi design: Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, Børge Mogensen) and delicious wall-candy. It’s a labour of love by the arbiters of taste who published Dansk Magazine and founded Darling Creative Studio, and they’ve also slyly made it a dangerous zone for impulse buyers, as pretty much all you see is available to purchase too. But, it’s no lifeless show-home – with mixologists, butlers and chefs on call and a beautiful backdrop for – genteel – gatherings, this darling is a charismatic character.

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A bottle of champagne

Facilities

Photos The Darling facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Two elegantly kitted-out residences.

Check–Out

Noon, but flexible, subject to availability and on request. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Prices

Double rooms from £801.69 (€950), including tax at 25 per cent. The Darling is unable to accept payment by credit card.

More details

Rates don’t include breakfast.

Also

We’re afraid these design dens aren’t accessible for guests with mobility issues.

At the hotel

Pre-arrival concierge service and free WiFi. In rooms: housekeeping every two days (for bookings over two nights), maxibar, Aiayu bathrobes and custom slippers, hairdryer and straightening irons, clothes steamer, teas from Sing-Tehus, Nespresso coffee machine, and organic Rudolph Care bath products.

Our favourite rooms

There are only two, the Grand and the Classic, but they’re both the stuff of design dreams. Furniture nerds, eat your heart out – all the gang are here: Hans Wenger, Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl, Børge Mogensen… It’s like flipping through the pages of the owners’ (Jens Løkke and Uffe Buchard) former project, oh-so cool Dansk Magazine. But – even though you can buy these statement pieces, these are homes as well as showrooms, with a custom Københavns Møbelsnedkeri kitchen, fully stocked larder and very considered touches, including a steamer, straighteners and more. It’s hard to favour one over the other, but the Grand is that little bit bigger.

Spa

The Darling has a connection with local cosmetologist Sultana, renowned for facials that leave you radiant. Or if it’s your back that’s in need of attention – easy – ask for masseur Alexander. The hotel also has partnerships with Arndal Spa & Fitness, Amazing Space and Aire Ancient Baths.

Packing tips

However many Euros you think you’ll need, double it – not only will you be inspired to start collecting iconic Danish furniture (an expensive hobby, trust us) but many of the artworks – by established local artists such as Jørgen Haugen Sørensen and Peter Bonde, and ones to watch – are available to buy too. And, nearby shopping district Amagertorv is lined with luxury-label boutiques. Bring a large suitcase, because you may need to live in it when you return home… If you need any help packing, your own personal Jeeves is one of the Darling’s add-on services.

Also

You’ll need to supply your shoe sizes in advance so your slippers can be tailored to you – how darling, indeed. And pre-arrival, a florist can be called on to add more colour (in Tage Andersen ‘folding vases’, of course, because no detail is spared here).

Children

To reduce the risk of scratched surfaces, toppling vases and crayon-scribbled artworks, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Darling is usually for over-18s only (from 15 and up if accompanied by parents).

Food and Drink

Photos The Darling food and drink

Top Table

If you’re staying in the Classic, sit up at Børge Mogensen’s Library table, and if you’re in the Grand, dine at Poul Kjærholm’s PK54 table – and whatever else you do, use coasters, please.

Dress Code

While this is your own private home for the stay, the calibre of the design on display may make you feel underdressed if you don’t make some effort.

Hotel restaurant

There’s no restaurant, but each residence has its own custom-made kitchen from Københavns Møbelsnedkeri (in smoked or oiled oak), which has all you need for giving Nordic gastronomy a go; and the concierge can arrange for food deliveries before your stay. A breakfast of eggs, granola, cheese, berries and Skyr can be purchased too. Or, you could have a chef do it for you (for an extra charge): private dinners can be arranged (in advance) for up to eight guests, at a table arranged like a design studio window, with tableware from Royal Copenhagen, Holmegaard and Georg Jensen, and arrangements of seasonal flowers. Or, if there’s a restaurant you’re particularly fond of nearby, your hosts can help arrange a delivery. 

Hotel bar

Raid your maxibar for pre-mixed cocktails, or spirits, mixers and garnishes. Or if you’d prefer a kicky soirée – this is a very photogenic setting, after all – the concierge has the number of a skilled mixologist (must be arranged before arrival). 

Last orders

You’re the boss here, so go nuts for midnight snacking or lock-in snifters.

Room service

The concierge can arrange delivery for a formal meal, otherwise, try the Wolt app.

Location

Photos The Darling location
Address
The Darling
Niels Hemmingsens Gade 1, 2nd floor
Copenhagen
1153
Denmark

The Darling is a divinely dressed stay in Copenhagen’s old city, set along shopping thoroughfare Strøget Street.

Planes

Copenhagen Airport is about a 25-minute drive from the hotel. House driver Micheal can be called upon to pick you up in a Mercedes-Benz EQS (for a charge), if you want to arrive in style.

Trains

You’re very close to two Metro stations: Gammel Strand, a five-minute walk away, and Kongens-Nytorv, a 10-minute walk away. And Copenhagen Central Station is a 10-minute drive away.

Automobiles

It’s unlikely you’ll need a car in the hotel’s very central setting – walking and the Metro will get you where you need to go, and a driver can be hired for longer excursions. But, if you do bring a car, there’s street parking on Niels Hemmingsens Gade and a carpark at Silkegade.

Worth getting out of bed for

The Darling’s location really does make it feel more like a ‘dahling’, set by Amagertorv and along Strøget Street, both major shopping enclaves in Copenhagen. Its boutiques range from high-street to splurge (Prada, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Jimmy Choo are all within a credit-card swipe of one another), but also stop by Ilums Bolighus, Royal Copenhagen, Normann and Ditte Fischer for hip homewares; and Mads Nørgaard and Birger Christensen for elegant wearables. And divert down Hyskenstræde for time-worn treasures at Palette26 and Audrey Vintage. Round off your tour of Copenhagen aesthetics with visits to GL Strand, YellowKorner and Nikolaj art galleries, and swing by waterfront Nyhavn for a snap of its colourful historic townhouses. Then cross over the canal into free-spirited self-governed creative commune Freetown Christiania, where the paintings get more psychedelic. Within walking distance there’s the 17th-century Round Tower, Christiansborg Palace, the National Museum, old City Hall, and Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek for more classical artwork (yes, it houses the collection of the famous brewer). Further north is fairy-tale Rosenborg Castle and its breathtakingly landscaped botanical gardens; and maybe even more Disney-fied is 19th-century theme park Tivoli Gardens. The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art warrants securing the hotel’s car service for a day-trip, with 4,000 pieces by the likes of Picasso, Giacometti and Henry Moore. And come nighttime, there’s plenty to do nearby, with the Grand Theatre, stand-up at the Comedy Zoo, and live music at Hotel Cecil and Den Grå Hal.

Local restaurants

You don’t want to get that gorgeous custom kitchen all messy now, do you… Fortuitously, there’s a multitude of meals as delicious as the Darling’s design to be had close by. Esmeé Restaurant is an elegant space where the likes of brioche topped with fjord shrimp, dill and mayonnaise, gougères filled with truffled Comté or wagyu tomahawk in a Szechuan-pepper Béarnaise are brought to your marble-topped table. The Market Italian has a tasteful old-school feel (albeit with some rather racy photos on the walls), with all the old-country classics on the menu, while sister eatery the Market Asian has – you guessed it – pan-continental dishes. And for another prime primi to dolci feast, Restaurant Fiat has tempting piatti such as scallop risotto in turbot stock with brown butter and wild garlic; or dorade with salsa verde, courgette and a squeeze of lemon.  

Local cafés

The ‘danish’ might actually be an Austrian invention, brought in with Viennese bakers while those in Denmark were striking), but Danish café culture is strong. Take Cafe Europa, for example, where you can add a lobster tail to your avo on rye in the morning; have a locally flavoured lunch of herring with sour cream, red onions and a boiled egg; and a light meal. The coffee’s commendable, too, or wash it all down with a Nørrebro Bryghus IPA. For oysters, caviar and yet more herring – or a plateful of North Sea catches – try Gallic-leaning Café Victor. And Kronberg serves traditional smørrebrød (with herring).

Local bars

Named after a twelve-litre bottle of champagne – and perhaps a premonition of the night ahead of you – Balthazar is a long, sleek, black-and-white bar where you can chug scandalous amounts of fizz (there’s a dedicated menu) or signature cocktails such as the Bohemian Sour: gin, rose, yuzu, hibiscus, honey and more champagne. Or try the unique concoctions shaken up at Ruby’s marble-backed bar, such as the Fairground, a wild ride of rye, rum, quince wine, toffee-apple, miso, and clarified milk. 

Reviews

Photos The Darling reviews
Audrey Ward

Anonymous review

By Audrey Ward, Hotel-loving editor

I had a trip to Copenhagen booked in with Mr Smith, who is accustomed to being the designated plus one whenever I plan a weekend escape. Together we have visited some classy hotels; Palazzo Avino on the Amalfi Coast, Le Roch in Paris, Akelarre in San Sebastian… They’re the sort of places you’ll be reminiscing about forever after, so having Mr Smith who, on a random Sunday evening apropos of nothing, is available to vouch for the fact that yes, the sea view was sublime and the biscotti really was the best you’ve ever tasted, has come in handy.

But recently I had to abandon him because, well, there was the small issue of childcare for our two children. He didn’t take it well, but I was far more preoccupied with finding a suitable substitute for a weekend at the Darling. As I read about the stylish pied-à-terre, which is a showcase for iconic Danish art and design, inspiration struck. One of my oldest friends, Anne-Marie – an award-winning architect, fluent Danish speaker, wife of a Dane and mother to three little Vikings (all born in Copenhagen) – would be the ideal plus one. It took all of five seconds to persuade her to wave ‘farvel’ to her family in Dublin.

‘What shall we do for the weekend?’ I asked the expert, ahead of the trip. ‘Let’s ask the concierge for a recommendation?’ Anne-Marie sensibly replied. And so I did. Within hours, I had a list of suggestions grouped under art, green spaces, shopping and restaurants. Helpfully, the concierge also sent instructions for getting from the airport to the apartment. The direct journey by metro turned out to be so straightforward and speedy, I couldn’t stop gabbling on about it to Jens Lokke, one of the artistic co-owners of the Darling and its eponymous architecture studio, who met me at the door.

He listened politely and then showed me around the Classic, one of two apartments in the building. As I poked my head around the doors of the study, bedroom and bathroom, jazz played in the background and ice clinked in the champagne bucket. 

I was swapping my shoes for the Darling’s custom slippers – mine to keep – when Anne-Marie arrived. And after eyeing up the artwork and cooing over the furnishings, we got started on the plate of chocolates left out to accompany our champagne.

The art and furniture isn’t just there for guests to admire. You can take them home – for a price, of course. The furniture is from the likes of Borge Mogensen and Arne Jacobsen, and the artworks are from established artists such as Jorgen Haugen Sorensen and Peter Bonde, as well as new talents making a splash on the Danish art scene. My favourites were a pair of glossy high heels and a photorealist tin of Leyland paint by the artist Rose Ecken, made from glazed paper clay (each will set you back a sum just north of £2,000).

Man cannot live on champagne and chocolate alone – or indeed on the contents of the kitchenette, which included crispbreads, jams and spreads – but they kept hunger at bay until evening when we ventured out to one of the concierge’s recommendations, Paté Paté, the oldest restaurant in Kodbyen, otherwise known as the Meatpacking District. We decided on the ‘Patéexperience’ – nine dishes over three courses – and the waiter was soon loading our table with plates of burrata and sorrel, crab salad and terrine, mashed potato and beef. And although the restaurant describes itself as shabby chic, it is definitely more chic than shabby, with an intimate bistro-y feel. Once it started emptying out, we finished up and made the short journey by bus back to the Darling.

The following morning, we lounged around in fluffy robes in anticipation of our concierge-arranged facials with Sultana, a local cosmetologist who works with the Darling. She came to the apartment and took our skin in hand, literally and metaphorically. Anne-Marie chatted away in Danish, and by the end of her treatment, she had secured Sultana’s phone number, with the promise of a treatment the next time she was in the city. As I was being pampered, Anne-Marie set off to source breakfast. She returned with pastries, including a Danish, which apparently isn’t Danish after all. Here, they are known as ‘Viennerbrod’ (meaning Viennese bread) in honour of the Viennese bakers who created them long before the Danes adapted the recipe.

Afterwards we hit the shops by Amagertorv and Strøget Street, a few paces from the apartment. We bypassed the high-end designer stores (including Prada, with its obligatory queue) in favour of chic department store Magasin, and Danish fashion-favourite, Stina Goya. After making a few purchases and dropping off our bags, we ambled along the harbour, past the colourful townhouses, to the King’s Garden (officially ‘Kongens Have’), where Anne-Marie had spent many days of her maternity leave. 

Saturday evening rolled in and although we could have availed of the Darling’s private chef, the concierge had worked more magic to secure us a table at in-demand eatery Esmée, a favourite of the Danish royal family. The place was buzzing and we enjoyed artichoke with whipped truffle butter and sea-bass on a bed of spinach. On Sunday morning, we hit the roof top terrace of Illum, the local luxury department store, for breakfast. Although it was October, the sun was beating down as I counted dozens of bicycles lined up in racks in the square below. It was a chilled morning where all we had to do was make our return to the airport.

The only downside of the Darling? That I can never reminisce over it with Mr Smith. I had to scrimp on the details and play down the whole trip, so I hope he never gets around to reading this…

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Price per night from $813.52