Staying at the Hotel Bella Grande

Ahead of visiting Copenhagen, I looked around for local and sustainable hotels to stay at. I like to choose sustainable travel options where I can, and this led me to discover Coco Hotel, an eco-certified hotel, and its sister establishment, the Hotel Bella Grande. With its Wes Anderson-esque interiors and prime location, I was sold. The Bella had just opened its doors too, and so rates were relatively cheap – around £220 per night for a Superior Double – and I booked in. Here’s how the stay went…

My Review of The Hotel Bella Grande, Copenhagen

The Hotel Bella Grande really does live up to its name, with beautiful interiors from the minute you step into the building. It has a glass-door entrance that leads into the reception, with a mix of contemporary and vintage sofas, a mirrored reception desk, and traditional tasseled room keys. On arrival, I was greeted by Simone, who was incredibly welcoming, and she checked me in before showing me the Atrium – the main dining hall for guests – and the restaurant, Donna, with its plush pink and red interior. I was left to ascend in the lift and arrive at my Superior Room, and honestly, I might have let out an excited little squeak.

The Superior Double Room

After finding my room, I had trouble letting myself in. Instead of using key cards, the rooms actually did require the tasseled keys, and my door required pulling to before it would budge. Fortunately I was saved by a passing handyman who helped me in. Upon entering, I was so happy to find the room was just like its pictures. The double bed was plush, there was a side table and chair, and three large netted windows that looked out over a private courtyard. The bathroom was also very pretty and very clean.

I started to unpack, and found there was only a single wardrobe with six coat hangers and no other storage. Considering the room was billed as ‘perfect for extended getaways’, I found this a little lax. Then I realised there was no fridge in the room either. Now I don’t tend to buy from the minibar, but I had medication that needed to be refrigerated, and this was an issue. For water, I was informed by a little card above the sink that Copenhagen tap water is ‘among the World’s best – please enjoy’.

Is The Hotel Bella Grande Sustainable?

This leads me onto the question of service vs. sustainability. I’ve previously said that sustainability does require additional cost, time, or energy. However, I got the feeling that the Hotel Bella Grande was cutting corners to save on cost rather than save on its planetary impact. I’m cool with drinking tap water, but no fridge? No telephone? And where were the dressing gowns? I understand saving energy with laundry, but let guests make that decision.

I will say it was nice to see that the hotel only uses organic cotton linens, and they really were plush. And they gain an additional point for renewable energy use. Hotel Bella Grande’s parent company – the Copenhagen Food Collective, a.k.a. Cofoco – has its own solar farm that powers all their restaurants and hotels. Kudos.

Dining at Donna

On my first night at the hotel, I arranged to have dinner with a friend. Donna has great reviews, and was super convenient after a busy day of travelling and work events. We booked in for 9pm, and were offered a generous four-person table in the Atrium.

When checking me into the Hotel Bella Grande, Simone let me know that guests get a generous 15% off at all of Cofoco’s restaurants. This boded well for the meal at Donna! We decided to enjoy ourselves with a welcome drink before ordering. This was actually where the illusion started to drop. As much as nice interiors and a cool playlist create a good atmosphere, our server was quite pushy, approaching us multiple times to take our order before we were ready. This would have been fine if it hadn’t been followed up by our drinks being rushed out (slopping over the glass), but then the starters then took a while, and the main came very quickly after. The timings were off, and I could see a similar situation unfolding with the table across from us, who had chosen the Cacio e Pepe, which is made table-side, but took an excruciatingly long time to be served, resulting in six bowls of dry, sticky pasta.

That being said, with the 15% discount, the meal turned out to be good value, with starters, mains, and two drinks each coming to £38 per head.

My Overall Rating of Hotel Bella Grande: 8/10

I had such a good time staying at the Hotel Bella Grande. The service was faultless. The interiors are beautiful, even if there are signs of it being an old hotel with a facelift. The bed was clean, comfortable, and I slept like a baby. However, I felt the hotel was let down by the lack of regular amenities (fridge, telephone, dressing gowns, slippers, etc.) and the average dining experience at Donna. If you’re thinking of staying at the Bella, I’d recommend booking in directly to get a good rate, but dine elsewhere!

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