Tried & Tested

Hotel check: First Hotel Skt Petri

17 Oct 2007 by Mark Caswell

What’s it like? Opened in 2003, the Hotel Skt (pronounced “saint”) Petri is one of Denmark’s leading design hotels. Its modest frontage once belonged to a department store, founded in 1910, but the building has been extended several times, including a soaring lobby area with floor-to-ceiling windows and glass roof. With room decor by Per Arnoldi, furniture by Milimeter Arkitekterne and lobby art by Erik Jorgensen, the hotel acts as a showcase for some of the best in Danish design. However, in the finest local tradition, it is as practical as it is elegant, and business travellers are well catered for with meeting and work facilties. Owner First Hotels is best known for its three and four-star properties across Scandinavia, including the Vesterbro in Copenhagen, but is also opening another Design Hotel in Oslo, the Grims Grenka, opening early 2008). The Skt Petri is a member of Epoque Hotels, a grouping of designer and boutique properties which also includes the popular Golden Apple in Moscow.

Where is it? Tucked in behind the main shopping drag of Strøget, in the university quarter. The main train station is about a 15-minute walk away, on the other side of the Tivoli Gardens.

How many rooms? 268 in seven size categories, from Small (average 24 sqm) to the Star Suite (90 sqm).

Room facilities The rooms are divided up by size, but this is only an approximate guide as to what you’ll get. Many have decked balconies with beautiful views over low-rise Copenhagen, but the Small rooms which face into the lobby are best avoided, particularly at the weekend when Bar Rouge is thumping down below (the higher floors are insulated from the noise by huge metal fire doors). The pristine décor, however, is consistent throughout the hotel, with wood floors, plump duvets, coloured panels over the bed and amazing cube lights which double as bedside tables (at present these are made exclusively for the Skt Petri, but should soon be available to buy on its website along with other popular pieces from the rooms). The bathrooms are similarly well-designed – all have underfloor heating, many have double sinks and separate loos, and the shower stalls are slightly sunken, so you don’t end up with a flooded floor. Other nice touches are huge towels, which have small and highly visible red loops for hanging them on the handily provided hooks, and the organic REN toiletries. All rooms are equipped with workdesk, dressing gowns, slippers, minibar, TV, air-conditioning and laptop-sized safe, but sadly not tea and coffee facilities.

Restaurants and bars The hotel’s main restaurant, Bleu, is a pleasant open-plan area to the right of the lobby, opposite reception. Breakfast is served here  (6.30-10.30am Monday to Friday, 7-11am weekends), and it is a relaxed venue for lunch and offers Asian fusion fine-dining in the evening. Café Blanc on the ground floor also serves drinks and light meals from 9am-9pm, while Bar Rouge has DJs during the week and is invitation-only on Fridays and Saturdays (except for guests).

Business and meeting facilities The Skt Petri is deservedly popular with Copenhagen’s creative industries for meetings and events, thanks to its extensive and flexible facilities. There are eight boardroom-style meeting rooms and five larger spaces, as well as the huge Centre Stage. This has floor to ceiling windows at one end, and is equipped with an LCD projector and a touch-screen system for microphones and lighting. Also available for smaller meetings is the Star Suite, which has a 90 sqm terrace, plasma screen TV, table for six, and a private sauna. Finally, there is a bright, light business centre open 24 hours, and wired internet access is available in the rooms, charged at DKR175 (£16.30) for 24 hours, and wifi in the public areas (DKR1 per minute).

Leisure facilities A small fitness centre is located on the sixth floor, with a couple of cardio machines, a boxing bag, and plenty of natural light and fresh air. Two Biomega bikes are also available for rent to guests.

Verdict If you’ve always wondered why Danish designers have conquered the world, the Skt Petri provides an answer. The design is so beautifully conceived and exquisitely functional that it can make you want to live a cleaner and better life – or at least go home and redecorate. As usual in Copenhagen, the service is relaxed but efficient, and the business facilities are excellent.

Prices Internet rates for a midweek stay in early November, room-only, started from DKR1,795 (£168) for a Small room.

Contact Hotel Skt Petri, Krystalgade 22, Copenhagen; tel +45 3355 9100. For more information on the hotel, go to hotelsktpetri.com. Bookable through epoquehotels.com.

Lucy Fitzgeorge-Parker

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