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Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Copenhagen
Tuesday, August 26, 2014  
When we booked our Junior Suite at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, we had no idea about the hotel's history. When the hotel opened in 1960, it was the tallest building in the Nordic area and the largest hotel in Scandinavia. The hotel was the creation of Danish architect Arne Jacobsen and is a prominent example of Danish modernist architecture. Unlike many architects, Jacobson had his hand in nearly every detail of the building, including the furnishings. From the outside, you would not even give the hotel a second look today, but during the era when it was built, this hotel was a big deal, and is even enrolled in the book of fame of international architecture.

We arrived at The Royal around 12:00 noon for a one-night stay before boarding Royal Princess for an 11-night cruise. As soon as you step into the lobby, you can see that every effort has been made to preserve the historic 60's decor. The "Egg" and "Swan" chairs, both Jacobsen designs, are used throughout the lobby and adjacent bar. Walking into The Royal is like stepping into a scene from Mad Men. A cluster of check-in kiosks replaces the traditional long reception desk. Check-in was fast and efficient. Within minutes, we were on our way to the 18th floor and to our corner Junior Suite.

Comfortable bed and flat-screen TV show modern upgrades

The 60's decor has been preserved in the hotel's rooms as well. When we entered our room, the shades of blue and green get our attention. The light Danish wood accents are highlighted by the colored plexiglass panels behind the king-sized bed. The only thing missing is the Lava Lamp! The 60's decor and furnishings are carefully maintained so that the hotel continues to look as close to the way it did in 1960 when it opened. The hotel has a proud history, and Radisson intends on maintaining it. After all, the hotel has been host to famous figures such as The Beatles, Nelson Mandela, Lyndon Johnson, Dwight Eisenhower, Ray Charles, Bill Clinton, and many more.

 Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Copenhagen
Arne Jacobsen
Of course, there are some breaks with tradition. Our room had a modern, flat-screen television, new bathroom fixtures, and a very comfortable bed with quality linens that probably were not part of the hotel's original bedding. The large desk made for a perfect workplace, and the hotel offers guests complimentary Wi-Fi, which was quite fast. Our corner suite was surrounded by windows, some of which could be opened partially to allow in some fresh air. The air conditioning system worked perfectly; however, our room had a leak in the ceiling that dripped on one of the 60's-style tables, causing a stain. We reported this to the front desk, so hopefully that will be addressed. The main bathroom was large and we also had a second bathroom that had a sink and shower.

Perhaps one of the best features of The Royal is location. The hotel is right across the street from Tivoli Gardens and the Hard Rock Cafe. You can easily walk to the city's popular pedestrian shopping street  or take one of the Red Buses Hop-On/Hop-Off buses that stop right in front of the hotel's restaurant. You won't find a hotel with a better location in Copenhagen.

Overall, we were very impressed with the staff and the experience at The Royal. At the end of our cruise, we spent one night at the nearby Scandic Copenhagen Hotel. The two hotels are often part of a cruise line's pre-/post-cruise programs. In our opinion, The Royal is the better choice, hands down. The rooms are much nicer, the service is better and it has the superior location. The Royal would definitely be Don Draper's choice!

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