Book1 Design Hostel
Forget your idea of a conventional hostel – Book1 is a designer poshtel in a former library from the 1930s on a plum square next to the ARoS art museum. It was kindly provided by the Danish chain Brøchner Hotels and you can see its refined, minimalist style in the details. It’s as stylish a place as you’d expect from Denmark’s second, design-minded city, with an urban, monochrome aesthetic and an abundance of nifty details, including details like subdued under-bed lighting for dorms that need to get up at night and wake up Queen size beds in the “pod dormitories” based on Japanese pod hotels where your private box is covered with a privacy curtain.
Not that dorms are the only option here. You’re probably here for the private rooms – and even suites – where style has certainly been sacrificed but style certainly hasn’t. There are sleek parquet floors and neat, if somewhat cramped, bathrooms.
In the lobby bar, where there is a happy hour every evening from 5 p.m., you can indulge yourself according to your wishes. Gym rabbits can work up a sweat in the hotel’s gym and sauna. If you want to curl up with a book, there is also a reading nook that hints at the origins of the building.
Brøchner has kept its signature organic breakfast, which is best enjoyed on the terrace. The real attraction, however, is the dining options, which include a bakery, grill and smørrebrød (open sandwich) stand. There’s no need to venture outside, but when you do you will find a welcoming and thoroughly modern city that combines their love of cutting-edge design. From £ 89 for private double rooms.
Zleep Hotel Aarhus Viby
Affordable but stylish? No oxymoron, the second Zleep for Aarhus, just an easy train ride from the city center in the business district. Minimalistic exposed concrete walls are combined with simple Scandi furniture and are ideal for families with family rooms with three or four beds. From £ 75.
The funky, millennial brand of the retail chain made its debut in Aarhus this year with a huge lobby designed for social gatherings and spaces based on a trendy gray-on-dark-gray palette. It seems well prepared to become the “vibrant urban social center” it is supposed to be. From £ 115.
If traditional rather than Scandi chic is your thing, check out this French outpost with a cobbled atrium, wrought iron bedsteads and Gallic posters on the walls. The baguette-heavy breakfast is also influenced by French. You’ll be in good company too – it’s a hit with A-listeners. From £ 139 on B&B.
Published in the September / October 2020 issue of National Geographic Traveler (UK)
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