COPENHAGEN: The Absalon Hotel

By Carl and Jamie Dombek

The only thing wrong with our stay at Copenhagen’s Absalon Hotel is that it wasn’t long enough. We stayed at the Absalon for a single night following a Baltic cruise and were spoiled. Just. That. Quickly.

Located about two blocks from Copenhagen’s Central train station, the Absalon is convenient to many of the things the city has to offer. Most important to us at the time we booked was the hotel’s access to the modes of transportation that would take us home.

Departing our cruise ship, we grabbed a taxi that whisked us right to the front door. Once we checked in at the front desk, however, we found it had much more to offer than simply convenient access.

Entrance to the Absalon

The lobby was packed by many of our fellow cruisers who must have had the same idea. While the hotel guarantees availability as of 2 p.m., which is earlier than most hotels, 9:30 was pushing things quite a bit. Fortunately, there is a convivial little bar off the lobby where we sipped coffee, made conversation with some fellow travelers, and generally stayed out of the rain that was dripping on the city.

About an hour after we arrived, the front desk advised that our room was ready, so up we went to find what was essentially a studio apartment minus a kitchen.

Main sleeping area

Our room, No. 150, was a "triple room" with space that was more than ample. The main sleeping area was 12.5 feet square or about 150 square feet, with an adjacent 7-by-10 foot area that held a hide-a-bed sofa. Our room was equipped with an armoire' with iron, ironing board and safe; a 40-inch flat-screen TV; a small desk with a hot pot, coffee and tea, and a mini-fridge; and some of the fastest Wi-Fi I’ve seen in a hotel setting. Download speeds were nearly 60 Mbps and upload speeds about 47 Mbps, as measured by

Hide-a-bed sofa and desk workspace

On the desk was a rare but very welcome amenity: a free Travel Buddy. An Android-based Smartphone, it provided unlimited local and international calls, free Internet access, the latest travel finds, exclusive brands and promotions, and speed dial to hotel services.

Cozy bathroom

Off the bedroom was a 6-by-7 foot bath with a tub/shower combination, hair dryer, a magnifying mirror for those of us who have achieved “a certain age,” bulk amenities, and drinking glasses topped by a note advising that, “In Denmark the tap water is perfectly clean.” I can attest it tasted just fine indeed.

"Drink up!"

The room’s triple-glazed windows opened to an interior courtyard, allowing for fresh air but also keeping the noise at bay when closed.

As experienced travelers know, customer service is where the rubber meets the road. Great service can help travelers overlook minor flaws while lackluster service can make even the best property seem substandard.

The service at the Absalon was outstanding.

From the desk clerk who welcomed us warmly despite being overwhelmed by early arriving guests to the breakfast room attendant and server who made us feel at home sipping coffee in the lounge while we waited for our room to the customer service representative who came to our room to ensure all was well, we were made to feel like welcome guests instead of merely paying customers.

Irish Coffee in the lounge

As an extension of that excellent service, the Absalon offers a feature called CONCEPT24, a practice that allows guests to occupy their room for 24 hours, no matter the time of their arrival. The policy allows for early check-in or late departure at no additional cost.

The hotel, which was totally refurbished in 2015, offers 161 rooms suites decorated with textiles and wallpapers that create a homey atmosphere in keeping with the Danish art of “hygge” or coziness. It is run by the third generation of the Nedergaard family, which founded it more than 75 years ago.

Named for Bishop Absalon, the counsellor to King Valdemar who founded Copenhagen in 1167, the Absalon is easy walking distance to the city’s main train station as well as the world-famous Tivoli Gardens. The property has complimentary luggage storage and umbrellas, rental bicycles, and a shared computer terminal fitted into in an antique call box in the lobby. A lounge and breakfast rooms are just off the lobby, and there is a seating area in the open-air courtyard between the hotel and adjacent apartments.

Should our travels bring us to the capital of Denmark again, we will definitely be staying at the Absalson. While there are no doubt other fine hotels in town, we will be looking no further. We have found our home in Copenhagen.

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Photos by Carl Dombek
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