Villa Copenhagen: From Post Office to Posh Oasis


© Villa Copenhagen

The Central Post Building was quickly dubbed ‘Toilet Castle’ by the public after its completion in 1912. It earned this nickname due to its many conveniences – electricity, central heating, and seemingly an excessive number of toilets. The extravagance and convenience have been preserved in the building’s transformation into the luxury hotel Villa Copenhagen.

Today, it’s room keys, not letters, that are exchanged, but originally, the Central Post Building was constructed as the headquarters for the Postal and Telegraph Service. For 100 years, it served as the headquarters of the Danish postal service. The building was designed by the architect Heinrich Wenck (1851-1936), who also designed Copenhagen Central Station. The two buildings are closely located, which was important for transporting letters by train to the post building for further distribution.

Extensive Transformation

In 2014, the Central Post Building was put up for sale and later purchased by the property company Strawberry Group, owned by the Norwegian billionaire Petter Stordalen. The dream of a luxury hotel was realized in 2020, and it was crucial in the transformation to preserve the building’s appearance and historical qualities.

Although the red brick building has undergone a dramatic transformation, it is still recognizable. The facade with sandstone reliefs remains the same, and even though the roof and windows are new, they are made in the original style to resemble their former selves. This means that all the panes are loose, making them opaque, and that the roof has been restored to resemble the original with copper details. The abundance of details is attributed to the building’s original French-inspired neo-baroque architectural style, known for its grandeur and intricate detailing.

Luxury with a Green Focus

If you’ve booked a stay, you can also get access to the hotel’s pool, located on the building’s only flat roof with a view of Tivoli across the street. The pool is heated using surplus energy from the building. In general, there is a focus on avoiding waste, and you won’t encounter disposable products as a guest. Something else you may encounter is an original Per Kirkeby or artworks by Olafur Eliasson. It’s the private collection of the owner, Petter Stordalen, you’ll find in the hotel.

Near Villa Copenhagen

If you stand outside Villa Copenhagen on Tietgensgade, you can see the sister building, Copenhagen Central Station. You can also see Tivoli, and if you head in that direction, it’s worth making a detour to the magnificent Glyptotek museum. If you’re not in the mood for a museum visit, it’s also lovely to sit for a while in the Glyptotek garden and enjoy the museum’s symmetry from the outside.