On the Jutland peninsula, Denmark’s second-largest city, Aarhus, has long been a popular destination for visitors from all over the world. From the charming old town, showcasing the urban history of Denmark, to the vibrant Latin Quarter and a tempting foodie scene, historic timber houses and the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, there’s plenty to explore in the City of Smiles. Here’s our pick of the best places to rest your head during a visit.
Set in a picturesque part of central Aarhus by the riverside, this boutique hotel has a selection of studios with balconies and suites. Attention to detail is key here – all rooms have toiletries from Swedish brand La Bruket and Nespresso coffee machines. For more independence, opt for a studio with a full kitchen and laundry facilities. Don’t miss the on-site, Michelin-recommended restaurant and its tasting menu.
At Comwell Aarhus, all 240 comfortable rooms – decorated by Danish design firm HAY – have impressive vistas. Upon checking in, choose between fibre, foam or natural pillows, and hit the 24-hour gym for a late-night workout. The hotel also offers bike rentals. For access to the 12th-floor lounge, stocked with drinks and snacks, book a business room.
With a blend of high-end hotel rooms with a cosy, homely atmosphere, the Hotel GuestApart offers a proper home away from home. Enjoy the Bang & Olufsen entertainment systems, Jensen mattresses, organic toiletries and kitchens fitted out with high-spec equipment. Tuck into seasonal cuisine at the highly regarded restaurant – the chefs collect the mushrooms, berries and herbs from the nearby forest and serve sustainably caught fish.
The first in what is now a group of hotels in several European cities (as well as Bali), Guldsmeden – meaning “goldsmith” – is named after the street it sits on, which used to be the home of several goldsmiths. The 26 individually decorated rooms here, each with a unique character, feature original artworks and organic toiletries. In the centre of Aarhus’s hip Latin Quarter, it’s a 10-minute walk from the train station.
Dating back to 1838, the Hotel Royal has everything you might expect from a luxury hotel with a history, including stained-glass windows, glass chandeliers and unique art from its private collection. There are also modern conveniences to make your stay comfortable, such as wifi, flat-screen TVs and coffee machines in the art deco-inspired rooms. The hotel is also home to arguably Denmark’s most beautiful casino – make sure you order a martini at the bar, shaken not stirred.
Part of a popular Scandinavian hotel chain, this Scandic outpost sits in the city centre near shopping areas and numerous restaurants. For a large chain hotel, there’s an impressive focus on sustainability – rooftop solar panels supply 90 percent of its electricity, and in the summer months, the breakfast table honey is from on-site beehives. Scandic also offers 25 accessible rooms.
This sister property to the popular Wakeup hotels in Copenhagen has 315 functional rooms designed with classic Danish minimalist details. Wakeup is close to the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum (with its famous rainbow tunnel), and Aarhus Street Food is a short walk away.
Get a taste of the South of France at Villa Provence – you’ll even receive a pastis aperitif at check-in. All 39 rooms and suites in this cosy four-star hotel are decorated in Provençal style. Standard rooms include Molton Brown bath products, free wifi and a flat-screen TV. There are handmade French tiles in the bathrooms, and some of the superior rooms include free-standing bathtubs. Breakfast unsurprisingly comprises Mediterranean and French delicacies.
Nordic design is the focus of this quiet hotel, with Hästens beds, armchairs from Theselius and Kjærholm, and Bang & Olufsen TVs. Join the free wine hour every Monday and Thursday or an Aperol spritz in the hotel bar any other evening. Free organic tea and coffee are available throughout your stay, and there is a fitness centre for gym buffs.
These recommendations were updated on December 23, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.