Scandinavia


Travel clients with a more sophisticated (or simple) eye for design will likely feel at home in Scandinavia’s cosmopolitan cities, replete with chic, design-conscious hotels and attractions. What visitors won’t find in these various places of repose is hotel rooms swathed in velvet, or white-gloved butlers hovering surreptitiously in the background; that’s not the Scandinavian way. What they will find, conversely, is architecture and design (and service) that’s as forward-thinking, efficient, stylish and unfussy as the people who
created them.  

Denmark

The five-star Hotel d’Angleterre (www.remmen.dk/dangleterre) is the grande dame of Copenhagen hotels. It traces its heritage to the 18th century, and, though it sometimes shows its age compared to newer, more modern hotels, its VIP guest list includes everyone from Winston Churchill to the bandmates of Metallica (drummer Lars Ulrich is a native of Gentofte). The best room in the house is the Royal Suite, measuring 360 square feet and overlooking elegant Kongens Nytorv square; Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey and Steve Martin are among past occupants. If the Royal Suite more than exceeds your clients’ desires, opt for any of the four d’Angleterre suites, as Bill Gates once did. In addition to your VIPs’ more basic needs, Head Concierge Peter Berthelsen (dangleterre@remmen.dk) can arrange private limo tours or private canal boat tours through Copenhagen and up the coast.

DAngleterrSte1_REV

Hotel d’Angleterre’s heritage dates to the 18th century.

The slick and modern five-star Hotel Skt. Petri (www.hotelsktpetri.com) is Denmark’s only member of the Design Hotels group. Since its opening in 2003, the hotels has hosted international celebrities, but keeps its A-list guests’ identities under wraps. The Star Suite, measuring 330 square feet, is the biggest room available, but your clients might be just as happy in Room 628, classified as an XXL room, with two balconies that flood the space with sunlight. Contact Customer Relations Manager Camilla Larsson (camilla.larsson@hotelsktpetri.com) to make VIP arrangements.

Fans of mid-century modern design will enjoy a stay in Room 606 at the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel (www.radissonsas.com). Brief history: This 1960s-vintage hotel was the tour de force of architect Arne Jacobsen, who designed everything in the place, including the doorknobs on the rooms and the Georg Jensen-produced flatware in the restaurant. All rooms were renovated in 2001, but Room 606 was kept intact with all of Jacobsen’s original furnishings. Note: It’s not ultra-posh but it is one of a kind.

Modern-design fans will enjoy a VIP tour of the Fritz Hansen factory in Allerød, where they can see the production of Arne Jacobsen Egg and Ant chairs. Contact Gitte Maj Schrøder (gms@fritzhansen.com; 45-48-17-23-00) to arrange a visit. Those with classic style will prefer the Royal Copenhagen factory, where artists hand-paint precious Flora Danica porcelain (Oprah is a collector). Bente Baierby (bb@royalcopenhagen.com; 45-38-15-92-55), a former painter, now head of visitor services, can arrange private tours and close the main retail shop for VIP shopping sprees (but keep in mind that even the Queen of Denmark doesn’t require that much privacy).

Norway

Oslo is worth two days of sightseeing for places like Vigelands Park—a one-of-a-kind sculpture park in an elegant, quiet neighborhood—the Viking Ship Museum and the Munch Museum. Hotel Continental (www.hotel-continental.com), a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, is a classic—opened in 1900 and still run by the founding family—and its central location can’t be beat. Contact the hotel’s concierges directly (reception@hotel-continental.no; 47-22-82-40-30). The spacious Continental Suite is top-of-the-line here, at 360 square feet.

Tip: Treat your clients to Norwegian scenery that, one advisor tells us, “makes Alaska look anemic!” Norwegian Coastal Voyage (www.coastalvoyage.com) vessels, though not super-luxurious, take travelers as far north as Kirkenes and Nordkapp—the North Cape—well above the Arctic Circle. Though roomy, suites aren’t posh, and there’s no Broadway-style entertainment, but your clients just might see the Midnight Sun or the Northern Lights, and we say that’s not a bad trade-off. Tip: Kviknes Hotel (www.kviknes.no) in Balestrand on the Sognefjord is a choice place to overnight. Its suites are on the small side, but the views are enormous, reason enough for past guests Kaiser Wilhelm and Kofi Annan to stay here.

KviknesRoom3_REV

Kviknes Hotel is an ideal pick for cruise passengers. Views from its suites are among the best.


Another top spot almost equidistant between Oslo and the historic Hanseatic port city of Bergen is Harahorn (www.harahorn.no/eng) in Hemsedal. It offers historic private cottages or rooms in the main house. Both types are rustic, but refined.

For guests who want to venture up north at a less-than-leisurely pace, incoming tour operator ICC (www.icc.no) will tailor an itinerary to high-flyers with five-day jet tours to the arctic Svalbard and Lofoten islands. Each trip is unique (prices can soar into six-figure territory); contact Kjetil Ulveseter (iccno@online.no; 47-53-48-00-34) to discuss options.

Sweden

Top hotels in Sweden’s capital include the five-star Grand Hotel Stockholm (www.grandhotel.se), a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, where Nobel Laureates stay for the Nobel Prize ceremony each December. Note: The Grand, which opened in 1874, is currently under renovation. Slated for completion in July, the renovation will result in 77 new guest rooms and suites, including a 1,188-square-meter suite on the eighth floor that is set to be the largest in Sweden, with a private sauna and screening room.

H5K14H04_REV

Grand Hotel Stockholm (top) is a favorite among Nobel laureates.


Victory Hotel (www.victoryhotel.se) is an atmospheric five-star with a nautical theme in Stockholm’s Old Town. We loved the ceiling in the Captain Johansson Suite (room 109), which was painted in the 17th century. Insiders tell us that General Manager Rickard Bengtsson (rickard@victoryhotel.se; 46-8-506-400-01) welcomes contact from travel advisors for VIP bookings.

Scandinavian Destination Service (www.scandest.com) can book sky’s-the-limit VIP visits to Sweden, including renting an entire island in the Stockholm archipelago and traveling there by private speedboat, yacht, helicopter or seaplane. Talk to Anna-Karin Runmon (annakarin@scandest.com) for details. For VIP shopping tours that include store closings just for your client, check out Smart Cityshopping (www. smartcityshopping.se).

06_REV2

Stockholm’s scenery is among Europe’s most naturally breathtaking.


For a once-in-a-lifetime night, book your clients at the Icehotel (www.icehotel.com) in Jukkasjär-vi, Swedish Lapland, which is constructed entirely of ice. Clients who aren’t quite up to spending the night wrapped in a thermal sleeping bag atop an ice bed might be just as happy grabbing a drink at the Absolut Icebar in the lobby of the Nordic Sea Hotel (www.nordicseahotel.se) in Stockholm; everything’s made of ice there too, except the vodka.  

Read more on