For my first visit to Copenhagen, I knew I wanted the experience to be special. Since it was also my first vacation in a long time, I felt added pressure to make sure every detail was perfect. A big part of the perfect trip for me is always rooted in the hotel, and in Copenhagen I made the best choice possible when I booked a room at the incomparable Nimb Hotel. I wish I could say that it was a brilliant decision on my part, and while it sort of was I also didn’t fully understand the importance of the Nimb until I spent a few days there. I now have a go-to hotel in Copenhagen and today I want to share why it was such a special experience for me.
Tivoli Gardens first opened in 1843, making it the 2nd oldest amusement park in the world and a fixture in Copenhagen for generations. Located in Tivoli, the building that is now the Nimb Hotel has also been an important landmark, its Moorish design instantly recognizable. Originally a bazaar with arts and crafts, it was also home to one of the city’s most popular restaurants, run by Wilhelm and Louise Nimb. The Nimbs were the first to feature what is now Copenhagen’s signature dish, an open-faced sandwich on rye bread, and over the years the establishment became more and more entrenched into the lives of not only locals, but visitors as well. Since then this remarkable building has undergone many changes and lived many lives, morphing into what it is today, one of the world’s most remarkable luxury hotels. A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection, as soon as I entered the fantasy world of Nimb and Tivoli I was immediately entranced.
With just 38 rooms, the Nimb Hotel is about as intimate as you can get, and that feeling of exclusivity radiates in every corner of the property, but especially in the guest rooms. As soon as I walked into my room I knew I was in for a treat. It’s important for the Nimb to stay true to their roots and honor the design that guests have come to expect over the years, but they do so with classic Danish flair and a quiet type of modern design. Each room features a four-poster bed, fireplace, views of Tivoli, luxurious bedding and bath products and so much more. Every detail is seen to in a way that only truly great luxury hotels can manage. For three nights this was my haven while exploring Copenhagen, and I couldn’t have selected a better sanctuary.
Since food is at the heart of the Nimb Hotel story, it shouldn’t come as a surprise then to learn that it’s still an important aspect to the experience today. With several restaurants both inside the hotel and in Tivoli Gardens, the Nimb is staying true to its roots by offering some of the best food in town. Starting my mornings at the refined yet casual Nimb Brasserie soon became a favorite part of the day, the expertly crafted dishes as beautiful as they were delicious. Whether it’s a great steak or a casual drink with friends, there are several options throughout Nimb for just about any occasion. Given my sweet tooth though, I was especially excited to enjoy an afternoon snack at Cakenhagen, located inside Tivoli. Featuring small cakes, cookies and other dessert fantasies, it’s the perfect spot to unwind or just catch up with friends.
Location, Location, Location
A key reason why staying at the Nimb Hotel was so important was thanks to its incredible location. When Tivoli was built in the 19th century, this area was outside the center city, but today it’s at the heart of the Copenhagen experience. Literally across the street from the main train station, getting to the Nimb couldn’t be easier, with quick and convenient trains to/from the airport running every 15-minutes or so throughout the day. Once there, it’s an easy walk to the city’s main tourist attractions from the colorful Nyhavn to the city’s palaces and more. Even better, it’s adjacent to Tivoli Gardens, making this fun amusement park an important aspect of any stay.
I honestly never expected Tivoli to be as important to my trip as it was, but by the time I left Copenhagen it was one of my favorite spots. Always intended to be a relaxing escape for the city’s citizens, it has been thoughtfully updated and modernized throughout the years but still preserves the old-fashioned features that have endeared it to millions. You can ride a state of the art looping roller coaster, but then you can sit under a flowering dogwood as you admire the pond. It’s a mix of old and new and it completely won me over. Strolling around the easy to manage park, I also understood how it influenced Walt Disney. He visited Tivoli and it greatly affected how he designed Disneyland. Comparing the two, I see visions of Tivoli in Disneyland, from the pastoral feel to the attention to detail that has defined both parks. There was also an unexpected perk to staying at the Nimb Hotel. Adjacent to Tivoli, the Hotel offers the best access and even provides its guests with both complimentary admission and a pass to ride as many rides as they want. I made full use of these passes and found myself spending at least a little time in Tivoli every day. Nimb guests also enjoy incredible access to special events at the park, such as their summer music series. I was there for one such performance, enjoying a vantage point for the concert that the thousands of attendees would have loved to enjoy. Yes, Tivoli is an important aspect of any Nimb experience, and I think that is a big reason why I enjoyed my visit so very much.
While I love the extra touches I find at great hotels, ultimately what makes a luxury experience aren’t the pillows, it’s the service. Throughout my stay at the Nimb Hotel, it was this kind and warm-hearted hospitality that defined my experience. It was more than just smiles and quick responses to requests, it was a genuine caring for my well-being. One morning I went to the front desk to ask where I could find the closest pharmacy; I had forgotten something I needed. Once I received the directions I was walking away to head back to my room when the staff member asked, “But I could go for you if you want.” I’ve never had a hotel staff member volunteer to help me with an errand and it immediately struck a chord. Naturally, I didn’t take him up on his kind offer, but it meant a lot and stuck with me. That’s what I mean by hospitality, it’s something that is nearly impossible to teach, it just has to exist.
I knew I would love my time in Copenhagen before I left home, I just didn’t realize how much. The city and I clicked almost immediately, and I have to think that the Nimb Hotel played a big role in that relationship. Where we stay matters and selecting the perfect hotel, for me at least, is an important aspect of any trip. In Copenhagen I can’t imagine a better experience than including the Nimb Hotel in one’s plans.