A weekend well spent means making travel plans, especially with winter approaching. Many are starting to plan their winter sun escapes to warmer locations but for us here at YCB, we will be looking for hotspots around the world that will bring us Christmas cheer and get us in the Holiday spirit! As well as a place where we can recharge and re-energise ahead of the busy Holiday season.
It can be hard to decide where to go first, so we are here to help! A country at the top of our list this year is Denmark. The home to Copenhagen, HC Andersen, Hamlet, The Little Mermaid statue and ‘Smørrebrød’. However, this year we are journeying outside the country’s busy capital where one can find Helsingør, a cosy quaint Danish town located just one hour’s drive from Copenhagen airport, neighbouring Sweden and Helsingborg, which is only a short journey away on the ferry.
Whilst Copenhagen never fails to amaze us, there is something particularly Danish about Helsingør, with its cobblestones and half-timbered houses.
When visiting Helsingør you’ll soon feel a calm wash over you. Perhaps this is due to its oceanfront surroundings? (A gentle breeze from the sea caresses your cheek as soon as you step off the train.) Or the realm of small-town life? Offering a welcoming haven from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Grabbing a quick coffee and then getting into one of the black taxis waiting outside the train station, the cab driver wasn’t surprised when we asked him to drive us to Marienlyst. This is the buzz of the town; one of the reasons in fact, why many come to Helsingør – and the people here are more than used to the tourists flocking to the hotel.
Located just north of Kronoborg Castle, Marienlyst is a hotel & spa like no other, with panoramic views over Øresund and the restorative power of the surrounding lush nature and oceanfront views, offering a discreet hideaway for hotel guests.
Truly a once-in-a-lifetime escape, the hotel is ideal for both couples/a group of friends or as a weekend retreat for families looking to treat themselves and spend some quality time together. Guests will have the exceptional opportunity to relax and unwind, get pampered and enjoy the calming views over Øresund, in heated infinity pools or one of their outdoor Jacuzzis.
What makes the hotel & spa stand out from other similar destinations is its roots in history. In the second half of the 19th century, the Øresund coast became a popular summer destination for royals and the wealthy citizens from Copenhagen. J.S. Nathanson, a broker from Helsingør rented Marienlyst House from Helsingør Municipality intending to open a spa – profiting from nearby Kronoborg Castle’s reputation as the home of Hamlet.
We were in awe when we found out that the history of the hotel dates all the way back to 1861, when it was built on June 22 with J. W. Briggs as operator. Marienlyst takes its name after Marienlyst House, a neighbouring former royal summer retreat, which was part of its foundation from 1859 until 1896.
It’s easy to see that the hotel has history at its heart. The oceanfront hotel exudes traditional grandeur and the rooms have a beautifully old-school vibe to them. Our room was homely and thoughtfully designed with a majestic king-size bed with plush cushions and a gorgeous en suite bathroom.
The room was fitted with luxury amenities and a flat-screen TV. There was also a mini bar and a cheeky bottle of red wine waiting for us which we enjoyed whilst unpacking, feeling the breeze of the sea on this misty Friday afternoon in the second week of October.
Many of the rooms, including ours, have sea views and upon checking in, we found our bathrobes and slippers to match, perfectly laid out on the king-size bed, ready for an afternoon spent in the spa. But first, we were invited to retreat to one of the hotel’s many lounge areas, located near its restaurants and gorgeous bars.
Here, we enjoyed an elegant and calming atmosphere, overlooking the crackling fire whilst listening to the soothing sounds of one of the live bands that play here in the afternoons. Later in the evening, you can enjoy the sounds of a male pianist playing classic and nostalgic music on his grandiose piano, only adding to the blissful experience. Yes, the hotel certainly offers every feature, service and amenity guests could need to guarantee a comfortable stay.
A visit to one of the hotel’s restaurants promises curated gastronomic delights, and a luxury dining experience like no other. With an ocean backdrop and views over Sweden – even on a cold and bleak day with a slight fog rolling in – we could choose between the Restaurant Isabell or Rory’s Bistro & Bar. Both restaurants are a delight to the eye (and taste buds). We found it perfect to have two restaurants to choose from when we were staying two nights.
Dining at Rory’s, food connoisseurs will have the opportunity to savour world-class caviar and exquisite seafood or meat options, all whilst soaking in the luxurious atmosphere of this historic hotel. The luxurious and inviting atmosphere made us feel like we were in a dining scene in the movie Titanic at times.
We had the Deluxe Oysters, Black Label Caviar with brioche, creme fraiche and red onion. This was followed by Lobster and Rory’s Poisson du jour with new green asparagus, carrots, peas & mussel fumes separated with parsley oil & trout roe. Which was exquisite! For dessert, on the first evening, we had to sample their delicious Cheese trolley with seasonal accessories.
For children they have a Build-it-yourself Ice Cream party plate!
The second evening for dessert, we had Restaurant Isabell’s unforgettable Snickers Ice Cream option. With peanut butter parfait, salted caramel ice cream and caramelised popcorn, this was an absolute dream!
Earlier on the second evening, I started with Restaurant Isabell’s Fresh Oysters, and this was something of the best I’ve ever had – with a Lovage Mignonette, Red Wine Vinaigrette and Tomato Salsa.
What I labelled ‘an explosion of different tastes in the mouth’ – The Beef Tartare with Chive Cream, Crisp potato and ‘Gammelknas’ cheese was nothing but a delight! Dishes were first accompanied by chilled glasses of champagne and then we were handed an impressive wine menu – with both old-world and new-world wines, sweet Rislings and delightful Chablis to choose from.
The hotel also hosts a third restaurant – 1861. This is a restaurant where Nordic and French cuisine merge in a unique location – on the edge of the Øresund. As the website states, ‘The inspiration comes from the sea, the beach, the forest, and the field near the hotel. As a guest, you will be spoiled with the best ingredients, prepared with respect for the season and local origin. A dining experience that leaves you with a complete sensory impression.’
Weekends are for escaping so discover your next getaway for an unforgettable experience at Marienlyst Hotel & Spa. With an already esteemed reputation among Copenhagen professionals and tourists alike, you shouldn’t wait too long to book your stay as the hotel gets busy fairly quickly, especially on weekends.
Whilst visiting Marienlyst, you are only a short car/train journey away from the bustling city of Copenhagen and a ferry ride from Sweden, so why not stay a few extra days and make your trip a true adventure? If you are travelling with children, we can recommend the indoor Street Food Market in Helsingor and the town’s Aquarium where you can get a close-up of the ocean wildlife that is Øresund.
With a huge spa to enjoy your afternoons (the spa even has a bar where you can order drinks, sandwiches and nibbles), it makes total sense if you prefer a less full itinerary, especially as you can go for long walks along the sea, and around the hotel, enjoying the views and landscape, after a sturdy breakfast and a long hot shower. Only to change back into your bathrobe and go back for a foot or steam bath, a visit to one of their Jacuzzis or many saunas. There are also several rejuvenating treatments to choose from so this is your chance to truly pamper yourself and return re-energised ahead of the Holidays!
To book your stay or for further information, please visit www.marienlyst.dk. If you’re coming from overseas just select the English language option, and you’ll find it quick and efficient to make your booking.
Trust us, this is too good of an experience not to explore further!