The Danish capital is fuelling its reputation as one of, if not the greenest city on the planet and the happiest places to live; the Kurhotel Skodsborg, on the outskirts of Copenhagen, fuses mental and physical health with luxury and hospitality. It is a hotel ready to put a smile back on your face.
With a matador-like swipe of the towel, our ‘GusMester’ (Mist Master) Matthias, directs a blast of hot, scented air towards our perspiring limbs within the confines of the sauna cabin. This form of aromatherapy is followed by a dip in the cold waters of the Oresund Strait between Denmark and Sweden, sending the endorphins into overdrive, giving an almost instantaneous feeling of elation and renewed vitality. This is ‘SaunaGus’, just one of the signature activities available at Denmark’s leading Spa hotel and part of a holistic approach towards health, well-being and luxury.
The sauna is part of a minimalist spa and fitness centre designed by Henning Larsen Architects. From the foyer of the spa, a picture window looks onto the swimming pool, hydrospa, salt grotto forming blocks of colour and angular shapes that create a cubist-like design. This interchange of light and soothing hues is the beginning of one’s health and well-being journey at the Kurhotel Skodsborg.
Integrating well-being into a vacation itinerary, has been an area of increasing focus over the last few years. People are taking much better care of their health and are happy to explore places that offer such experiences to rejuvenate, rebalance and de-stress from their everyday routine. Thus finding the right place, with the right pedigree and atmosphere is particularly important.
The Danes are often voted as the happiest people on the planet. So it should come as no surprise, that the Kurhotel Skodsborg, just 20 minutes outside central Copenhagen, has fused the age-old principles of exercise, nutrition, nature, light, air and overall well-being, alongside luxury hospitality. The hotel sits between the ocean and forest (‘Dyrehaven’ - the former royal deer hunting grounds became an UNESCO Heritage site in 2015) allowing guests to swim, cycle, run and walk or simply admire from the hotel’s duo of top floor decks; one used for yoga above the Spa & Fitness Centre and the other atop the hotel, ideal for relaxing with a cocktail.
The hotel’s grand white façade and colonnades, opens out to a complex of buildings that have a strong historical narrative. From 1852, it became the summer retreat of King Frederik VII, before Dr Carl Ottosen founded a Sanatorium in 1898, with his ethos and philosophy at the heart of the hotel to this day. Next to the main body of the hotel is ‘Villa Rex’, a neo-classical building that oozes old-world regal charm where the King held banquets and State meetings. The highlight being the roundel room called the ‘King’s Hall’. Restored to its 19th century splendour, it is popular for food and wine tasting workshops, especially with ‘Kitchen Rex’ below stairs ready to cater for all; the show kitchen has room for 16 participants as a cooking school.
If there is one thing not to be missed, it is a fitness and cooking workshop with the hotel’s ‘Functional Lifestyle Mentor’ Thomas Rode. The Michelin-starred Chef cum health guru (innovator and observer of the Paleo diet) encapsulates the hotel’s modern focus towards meetings, fitness and nutrition. Following in the footsteps of his weekly group of high powered executives benefitting from Rode’s techniques, we walk into the cold ocean waters carrying 12kg Kettle bell weights and SUP’s (Stand-up Paddleboards). The water’s Resistance against the bells, mixed with swimming and push-ups balanced on the boards, works up a hearty appetite. Thomas then, with our help, cooks a hearty, healthy and Paleo orientated dish, providing key knowledge of how to sustain this lifestyle beyond our stay.
Whilst the spa and fitness centre’s 120 plus weekly programme of classes, is but a key fob and corridor away from the main areas of the hotel, the guest can find much luxury, relaxation and reward within the elegantly appointed and spacious bedrooms. As they will, within the Michelin starred ‘Restaurant by Kroun’ and a chic yet comfortable lounge with heavy coffee table tomes that allow you to sink a little deeper into the velvet sofas. Every Friday, the bar and lounge resonate to the soothing tunes of live Jazz courtesy of musicians from the Rhythmic Music Conservatory.
The Kurhotel Skodsborg has been recognised for excellence; amongst a raft of awards received by the hotel, it includes “one of the 7 best spas in the world for 2018” Tatler Magazine Spa Guide and first place in the Danish annual Confectioner’s Championship, “Cake of the year”. In fact the top four positions went to the hotel pastry team, showing that the hotel believes in exercise and reward.
Dr Carl Ottosen stated “Man has more endurance when work is interchanged with rest,” more than a century ago and today his quote is even more relevant. The millennial generation are much more aware of their health and wellbeing and organisers of meetings and events are taking note of this growing trend.
For more information go to http://skodsborg.dk/en/