Deciding where to stay is one of the best parts of planning a trip. I prefer the quirky, the colourful, the local experience. So sometimes it’s places like the Airbnb Art House in Amsterdam. Other times it’s places like the fun and somewhat bizarre Marilyn Monroe themed Platine Hotel in Paris. This time, on our latest adventures in Copenhagen, we set up our base at the creative Hotel Fox.
It’s a quick 15 minute zip down the metro from the airport to Nørreport and just a five minute walk from there. The location couldn’t have been more perfect. It was central and we discovered two amazing restaurants, BROR and Oliver and the Black Circus, right around the corner. More on those later! We also tried the Japanese street kitchen, Hero, that’s attached to the hotel. The food was good, but the service was pretty terrible, as was the table where they put us so we probably wouldn’t go back there. There are better options nearby.
Hotel Fox is slightly past its prime. It’s a bit shabby and could do with a touch up, a fresh lick of paint, a few new screws here and there. Maybe some updated mattresses and fluffier pillows. A closet space with some hangers might bring things up a notch as well as a bit of counter space in the bathrooms.
It’s an inviting place though, with free wine during a happy hour in the colourful lounge every evening. The staff are welcoming and full of great local knowledge and recommendations. It’s reasonably priced. The breakfast bar in the morning has the most delicious soft boiled eggs with perfect runny yoke and rågbrød bread that I’m still thinking about weeks later. And, very importantly, it’s something a bit different. We really enjoyed it and would stay there again.
There’s 61 rooms in the hotel, each decorated differently by one of 21 international artists – from illustrators to graphic designers to graffiti writers – who worked on the space. You can choose which room you’d like to stay in, provided it’s available when you arrive. If you feel so inclined, you can even stay in a different room every night, but we chose to stay put in one.
Jorge and I browsed the photos on their website looking for our favourite. Room 409 is a scene from the popular children’s story Heidi, with checked red and white curtains, a mountain painted on the wall and antlers at the foot of the bed. Room 414 is all white with random facts about hotel decor written in black letters, like “77% of all hotel rooms in Denmark have white walls.” Room 206 is all white with black illustrations of a woman with wild hair who is quite possibly mid-orgasm. Room 504 is full of boxing memorabilia and comes compete with your own duct taped yellow punching bag.
There are rooms made of camouflage, rooms featuring monsters, rooms in monochrome and rooms where you sleep under a tent-like canopy. There are rooms painted with cows and rainbows, rooms with race cars, rooms with geometric shapes and rooms with bright red and blue walls and ceilings.
A writer for the New York Times described his room in an article just after the hotel opened. “My room was No. 510, a small room designed by a German illustrator, Birgit Amadori, and nicknamed King’s Court 2. Lining the walls were pictures of regally attired humanoid creatures with playfully monstrous heads — Medusa-esque, squidlike, flame-engulfed. Like a 19th-century dollhouse, its furniture included tufted armchairs and Gothic electric candelabras. According to the plaque on the door, the room was “designed to soothe thoughts.”
We stayed in room 302. The front door of the room is painted back with a yellow bull’s head in the middle and lines of connecting yellow diamonds lining the edges.
Inside, the walls and the floor are made entirely of blue, white and yellow tiles, as is a raised platform on which the bed is placed like a throne.
The best part was the crazy golden bull’s head between the windows and beneath it, the secret golden bell hidden in a box.
The room is called “Harmony’s Helm” and was designed by a team of artists called Friendswithyou from Miami. Of the bell, they explain, “This room’s ultimate soul is revealed once the sacred ‘harmony bell’ is used – that is if you can find it. This is a place where secrets can be revealed.” Whether secrets were revealed or not, I am not at liberty to say. But we did find, and happily rang, the loud clanging bell – probably to the annoyance of our neighbours.
Apart from being cold on the feet in the morning with all the tiles, it was a cool place to return to each night after exploring the city.
We also spent a bit of time relaxing in the lounge area on the ground floor. As I said, staff were friendly and they are worth speaking to if you’re looking for some local advice or are just in the mood for a chat. The walls are, of course, painted by an artist. There are are lounge chairs, comfy furs and some magazines – all in Danish, but it was fun to page through the Scandinavian designs they featured nonetheless.
Even the hallways and staircases have character. Plus, they rent bikes at reception so take advantage of that if the weather is nice!