Review: Nimb Hotel, Copenhagen, Denmark
At night, the grand Moorish facade of the Nimb Hotel, with its bulbous and minarets, is lit up with colored lights, accentuating the fairytale aspect of its unique architecture. It’s an enchanting Instagram-worthy scene, as if the building is dressed in a thousand luminous jewels, bringing the hotel’s story to life, originally inspired by the colors and character of a Middle Eastern bazaar.
World famous for its opulence on the outside and elegance on the inside, the Nimb remains the grand dame of Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens. Home to one of the oldest amusement gardens in the world, Tivoli Gardens is said to have influenced Walt Disney when he was planning Disneyland in California. Like the park, the building was created by director and architect Tivoli Knud Arne Petersen and the hotel has been located there since 1909.
Unlike some historic hotels that have fallen on hard times at one time or another, the Nimb has maintained its standard of excellence over the decades. In 2008, the hotel underwent its first complete renovation. Its exterior was restored in Italian marble stucco, while inside, fresh décor championed Danish design and its connection to cozy Scandinavian living or “hygge”. Fall 2017 marked another milestone with the opening of a new 2,000 sqm wing designed by New York architects Pei Cobb Freed & Partners expanding the hotel from 17 to 38 luxurious rooms and suites.
Having only used this new space for just over a year before the pandemic hit and forced the hotel to close, the Nimb is enjoying something of a second unveiling as it invites guests to experience a host of updates, including 20 new luxury suites, plus an expansive rooftop terrace with a heated pool decorated with Italian mosaics, surrounded by lounge chairs and serviced by a beach-style cocktail bar.
In the basement, the dark lacquered walls are matched by a beautiful piece of water the size of a small pond equipped with a decorative antique canoe and surrounded by exotic flowers. Here you’ll find a small gym with state-of-the-art Technogym machines (also used in Warner Bros. studios in the UK by stuntmen too!) and a wellness area, for massages, a steam bath or the full haman experience. .
All rooms have a view of Tivoli, so you can people watch during the day and see the gardens magically sparkle when the sun goes down – thankfully the screams emanating from the roller coasters and other adrenaline rides are barely audible . Unsurprisingly, the suites are the Nimb’s pieces de resistance, most with their own balconies and fireplaces. All rooms boast a contemporary Nordic style that is both luxurious and comfortable, and benefit from a knowledgeable curatorial touch in the form of handpicked 17th-19th century antiques from China and the Far East. The palette is sumptuous with velvet textures and brightly colored fabrics bringing warmth to the neutral tones of larger furnishings. The whitest part of the room is the bespoke four-poster bed, upholstered in rich hand-woven Egyptian cotton from exclusive Danish textile company Geismars.
In terms of technology and finer frills, no expense has been spared: all 38 rooms have Bang & Olufsen TVs and sound systems, large built-in wardrobes, and work desks. The spacious bathrooms have both showers and bathtubs, as well as double sinks. If you want the ultimate bath, ask for the Executive Suite, which has a huge, state-of-the-art tub that looks like one of Anish Kapoor’s hollowed-out sculptures. Apparently that’s where Kate Moss likes to stay.
What sets it apart
As with all five-star establishments – although officially considered a boutique hotel – the devil is in the detail. For starters, the service is exemplary with no customer queries considered too complicated. We asked for information on the best game shops in Copenhagen (four were recommended, all off the beaten track) as well as a recommendation for a special teatime treat – it just so happened to be from Cakenhagen, the Nimb’s luxury patisserie in Tivoli Gardens, a paradise of small macaroons and artistic confectionery.
The concierge will also be happy to arrange city tours, personal shopping, limos, private yoga classes, and a free pass to a larger fitness center if you want more space. to whet your appetite. By the way, the Nimb uses renewable energy provided by the Avedøre Holme wind farm off Copenhagen.
Eat and drink
The Nimb has a total of five restaurants and two bars — one by the pool, the other, more sophisticated, is on the first floor. Located in the hotel’s former ballroom, the latter is a step back in time, complete with an enormous glass chandelier and a six-foot fireplace. The space has a fresh contemporary feel thanks to large figurative murals by artist Cathrine Raben Davidsen who has a Danish knighthood (otherwise known as the Order of the Dannebrog).
Eating is a Nordic-inspired art form with as much local produce as possible to suit all tastes through a variety of cuisines. For easy meals, there’s Fru Nimb who specializes in the most patrician of open sandwiches. Think dill artfully placed on a succulent gravlax on a bed of fan-sliced avocado.
Gemyse, located in the park itself but run by the hotel, is an inventive vegetarian restaurant that pushes the boundaries of green and root vegetables. On the menu at the time of writing: royal trumpets with garlic and candied asparagus accompanied by corn with crispy polenta and Karamelsten, a delicious caramelized local cheese.
Brasserie Nimb in the hotel’s original wing specializes in French specialties, including excellent steak frites, but there’s also a nod to Nordic traditions. When in season, try the juicy, fully sustainable Vilsund blue mussels from a mussel aquaculture farm in Limfjorden Cove, North Jutland, apparently the only one in the world to be certified by the MSC, which recognizes and rewards the sustainable fishing. The Nimb Brasserie is also the breakfast area. Sometimes it also serves as a reception area for a star-studded evening: 2022 Tour de France winner, Danish cyclist Jonas Vingaard, celebrated his triumph at the brasserie with his friends and family, as well as around 20,000 proud Danes saluting the lawns of Tivoli.
What to do
What not to do in Copenhagen?! Hire a bike – a vintage Velorbis from the hotel – and do as the locals do. If you have kids, you’ll want to take full advantage of your free pass to Tivoli Gardens with its many roller coasters, old-fashioned arcade games, shops, cafes and aperitif spots. The garden also hosts a full program of events each summer, from fish feedings at the park’s jewel aquarium to jazz concerts on the main stage. Ballet performances – some world premieres – take place at the historic open-air Pantomime Theater (Pantomimeteateret). Erected in 1874 in an ornate Chinese style, it is the oldest building in Tivoli and counts Queen Margrethe II of Denmark as its in-house decorator and costume designer.
Book a stay well in advance. Deluxe and standard rooms are particularly sought after, sometimes up to three months before arrival.
The Nimb, Bernstorffsgade 5, 1577 København, Copenhagen, Denmark. Rooms start at £340 per night; nimb.dk