Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Palace Hotel {Copenhagen} : A Hotel Review

Before I get into the review of our hotel in Copenhagen today, you'll notice that I've changed up my layout for reviews on True Colours, both for hotels and other travel related reviews like my review of Iceland Air last week.  Hopefully this will be a better and more efficient way of outlining the good and the bad of each place I review and help you as readers see these properties as places you'd like to look into!

Hotel Review Guide

If you've been following along on my Europe trip posts so far, you'll remember that we had a hell of a time (excuse my language) getting to Copenhagen to begin our trip.  Flight delays, booking new tickets, etc., really put a damper on our first few days, so much that actually ended up missing out on a whole day and night in Denmark because of it.  So what should have been 2 nights at the Palace Hotel in Copenhagen, ended up being only 1 and while the hotel was fine for our short stay, I wasn't blown away by it.  I initially chose it for the central location, which was great, but there were shortcomings too.  See my review of it below!

Copenhagen, Denmark


When we stayed: October 2014  |  Price Range: $200/night | Website: Scandic Palace Hotel

What I Loved
Location - The central location of this hotel really can't be beat.  It's across the street from Tivoli Gardens, a quick 15 minute cab ride from the airport and only about a 20 minute walk to Nyhavn.  We found the location really convenient for a couple days in Copenhagen.

Room Size - For Europe, our room was really large based on local standards.  But we were upgraded, so that potentially could be the reason for the size.  The layout however was strange and for all the space we had, there were hardly any places for our luggage.

Free Wifi - It's really a let down for us when we travel when we have to pay for wifi at hotels.  So we were happy to enjoy reliable and free wifi at the Palace Hotel during our stay.

View looking toward our balcony from the room.
What I Didn't Love
Run Down - The hotel looks like 10 years ago it would have been beautiful, but it desperately needs an upgrade.  Even a fresh coat of paint would go a long way in the rooms, and everything just felt really old and run down, which for the price, I expected more.

Overpriced - While Copenhagen is incredibly expensive, I still felt this hotel was overpriced for the condition it's in.

Notes to Keep in Mind
Upgrade to a room with a balcony if possible - I contacted the manager before we traveled to see if there was any way for us to be upgraded to a room with a good view and they did come through for us on this.  We had a great room with a balcony overlooking Copenhagen City Hall and the square adjacent which made a nice spot.

Take advantage of free breakfast - While we actually didn't do this on our only morning there (we opted for Danish pastries from the local bakery a block away instead), we passed by the breakfast buffet and it looked pretty good.  

View from our room.
Thanks to the hotel for our complimentary upgrade upon arrival!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Day 2 : Copenhagen

Our second day in Copenhagen, we slept in (after much needed missed sleep the previous days) and spent a quiet morning at our hotel.  Venturing out only for Danish cinnamon pastries, which were amazing, and eating them in bed in our hotel was the perfect way to get going on the first full day of our trip.  We spent the rest of the day wandering the city, starting first with Tivoli Gardens (which unfortunately was closed on Sunday), then venturing over toward Nyhavn once again, stopping for lunch on the way and then spending the afternoon wandering the waterfront and the Grand Palace.  We had gorgeous weather in Copenhagen, with blue skies the whole time and weather that was chilly, but still pleasant.  Eventually we made our way back to our hotel and headed to the airport for our flight to Amsterdam that evening.  We really enjoyed our time in Copenhagen over all and while it’s not a city I would immediately rush back to, it was really enjoyable and interesting to experience Scandinavia for the first time. 

Tips for Copenhagen:  
-Lots of stores and restaurants are closed on Sunday, so work that into your schedule.
-Everything is so much more expensive than you think.  I was prepared for the high cost of everything and was still blown away by how much money we spent while there.  Bring more than you think you’ll need.

Photos courtesy of Nick Nieto Photography

Other Day by Day posts from this trip:

Monday, October 20, 2014

Day 1 : Copenhagen

Today we're starting into all of our day by day travel posts from Europe, so grab a cup of coffee or tea and join me on your very own journey through Europe, starting today in Scandinavia!

When we arrived in Copenhagen mid-day after our flight debacles, we were exhausted.  We grabbed a quick cab (though expensive, like everything in Copenhagen) to our hotel and spent a couple hours getting situated and napping.  We headed out after a while and walked the 15 minute walk to the Nyhavn area of the city, the area that is the most photographed in Copenhagen and perhaps the most identifiable image most people know of the city.  This charming little street centered around a canal, with colorful buildings up and down it is filled with cafes and restaurants and boats along the canal.  We had dinner at one of the outdoor cafes and just spent a leisurely meal chatting and watching everything around us.

After dinner, we headed back to our hotel in the City Hall area near Tivoli Gardens and took the long way back, stopping at little side streets as the sun set over the city and finding hidden canals along our route.  We wandered for an hour heading in the general direction of the hotel and got to see a lot of the city that way, at golden hour as the sun was setting.  It was a lovely first evening in Copenhagen and so enjoyable just wandering the city and exploring.

Photos courtesy of Nick Nieto Photography

Other Day by Day posts from this trip:
Day 2: Copenhagen 

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Case for Home

I'm taking a quick break from trip posts today to talk about something I think is worth saying, to explore the concept of being home versus traveling.  To say that my last month was hectic would be an understatement.  The last month seemed to fly by in a jet lagged blur, from Denver to South Korea to Europe, I was on 15 different flights, 10 different cities and who knows how many different beds throughout the month.  And while my travel schedule isn't normally that crazy, this past month has definitely made a good case for being home.  While I whole heartedly believe that travel is amazing for the soul and each of our trips were great, I'll be honest, I'm totally worn out.

It's probably no surprise that the day we flew home from Paris, I got a sore throat, which has turned into a cold throughout this week.  I think my body finally knew it was time to stop, time to rest and time to recover.  I love traveling and I love seeing new places and keeping myself busy, but there are also moments in my life (particularly lately) when all I want to do is curl up on my couch with a blanket and a cup of tea or to sleep in my own (really comfortable) bed for a while without interruption.

Over the years I've called a lot of places home, but no where has ever felt as right and as much my own home as this apartment that Nick and I call home in Portland.  Our furniture, our pictures on the wall, our memories, this place is the place that I dream of coming home to at the end of a long day, the place that I'm always ready to get home to after a trip.  And while I won't be stopping traveling anytime soon and it will always be a passion in my life, we will be taking a break for a bit, only doing small and nearby trips for the next few months.  We happen to be in Seattle today while Nick is up here for work, but we're both very much looking forward to getting home this weekend and just soaking up Fall in Portland and having some down time at home.

One of the amazing things about traveling is that is makes you really contemplate what you have, it makes you look at other places and experience them and take them in, but at the end of the day, for me, there is nothing like being home either.  Traveling the world is nothing without a place on this planet that you call home, plane after plane is nothing if you can't think about that place that is all yours.  Wherever it is and whoever it's with, home is something that shouldn't be taken for granted.  And so for the next month, I plan on spending my free time curled up on my couch, with tea in hand, surrounded by this home that Nick and I have built, a place that no where in the world can quite compare to.