42. Picture perfect - Issue 140 - Magazine | Monocle

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Single-occupancy guesthouses, or single-room hotels, are a timely response to the current challenges faced by the hospitality industry. They offer a professionalised version of Airbnb; a hotel just for you and without the stress of other guests. But the latest arrival on Copenhagen’s increasingly diverse hotel scene will have a special appeal for those well-disposed to Danish design.


Office and relaxation area




View of the dining room from the living room 

Living room minibar

In a large second-floor apartment located in a charmingly wonky 18th-century townhouse along Strøget, the city’s main pedestrian shopping street, The Darling is full of pieces by some of Denmark’s much-admired furniture masters, including Finn Juhl, Poul Kjaerholm, Hans Wegner, Børge Mogensen and Arne Jacobsen.

“This is the first time that anyone has opened a design-oriented hotel that encompasses so many different classic brands,” says The Darling’s co-owner Jens Løkke. The apartment now functions as an ad hoc Danish design museum, with even the tableware (Royal Copenhagen), silverware (Georg Jensen) and glassware (Holmegaard) made by homegrown brands.

“This is the first time that anyone has opened a design-oriented hotel that encompasses so many different classic brands”

To bring things a little more up to date, furniture-makers Københavns Møbelsnedkeri created a bespoke kitchen from smoked oak, the bed is by dux, and all the art is contemporary, sourced in collaboration with a handful of Copenhagen galleries. You can probably guess who made the television and sound system.

“We realised that it was important to give it a little edge so that it didn’t feel like a museum but more like a home”, says Løkke. To this end, designer Helene Blanche has provided bespoke wallpaper, Copenhagen interiors company File Under Pop have mixed a new shade for the walls inspired by the verdegris of Copenhagen’s church spires, and tea merchants Sing Tehus created a special blend for breakfast.

Private terrace at the entrance to the hotel

Løkke and his business partner Uffe Buchard have borrowed all the furniture directly from the brands, many of whom the pair have collaborated with in the past through their branding company Darling Creative Studio; all of these pieces are available for purchase. Most of the represented companies have their flagship shops within 500 metres of the apartment, in what is sometimes referred to as Copenhagen’s design district.

The cost of the apartment includes a pre-arrival concierge service for help with reservations and entertainment: a private chef can also be arranged should you prefer to stay in. And who could blame you if you took advantage? 

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