250 years in the company of Hotel d’Angleterre
The tentative beginnings
The most important thing in life is love, which is also the ideological foundation for d’Angleterre as it was created on the basis of a love affair between two young people.
The young hairdresser and makeup artist, Jean Marchal, came to Copenhagen in the middle of the 1700s, in company with a theatre troupe. Jean Marchal’s fascination with Copenhagen was so great that he chose to settle in the Danish capital when the theatre troupe performances in Copenhagen were over. He swapped scissors and makeup with a job as a valet at Count Conrad Danneskiold Laurvig, who not only had a prestigious title, but also a reputation as the era’s most famous womanizer. As valet Jean Marchal was a regular part of the Royal court’s inner circle, which got him introduced to the Royal chef’s daughter, Maria Coppy. The two fell in love and complimented each other perfectly – she was a genius at cooking while he knew everything there was to know about servicing the aristocracy. This perfect match was the launch of the hotel’s history.
In 1755 the before mentioned couple now share the same surname, and Mr. and Mrs. Marchal settle down by the lakes of Copenhagen, where they open the restaurant “The Strong Man’s Garden”, and in the autumn of the same year the couple moves the establishment from the lakes to the King’s Square at the corner of Vingårdsstræde. It is from this year that the official founding of the Hotel d’Angleterre is marked, although the name only becomes a reality some 30 years later.
The couple’s staff consisted of two maids and a yard laborer besides themselves. The first-class travellers of that time always brought their own service staff, so there was no need for further employees. On the other hand awaiting the guests were grand bedrooms and distinguished stables to both horses and carriages, when the elite checked in with the Marchal couple. Unfortunately the happiness didn’t last as Maria Marchal died at the age of 32. Jean Marchal remarries a couple of years later, but unfortunately passes away shortly afterwards the age of 44, leaving the establishment to be run by his widowed wife for a further 11 years.
In 1787, the restaurant was sold to the visionary restaurateur, Gottfried Rau, who hosted The English Club in Copenhagen. The club laws were passed on to his new property, while the name was changed to Hotel d’Angletere because of the English Club guesting the hotel. The following years were turbulent – in 1795 the hotel burnt almost to the ground, and Gottfried Rau believed that it was too costly to rebuild it. Instead, it was the building of Rau Grams Gård a stone’s throw from the ruined hotel who took over the role of Hotel d’Angleterre – and this is the current building and location of the hotel.
A milestone in the history of the hotel is the 11th February 1840, where the now famous Danish composer and conductor H.C. Lumbye gave his debut concert à la Strauss, and thus the Hotel d’Angleterre became synonymous with the city’s new concert hall and music scene in general. When other music lovers with money in their pockets began to build concert halls in Copenhagen, the Hotel d’Angleterre’s status as a music pivotal dimmed – but quickly made up for it, by becoming the place where the better citizenship of Copenhagen held their grandiose celebrations.
The inevitable expansion
In 1872 the hotel changes owner once again – this time it’s “Det Kjøbenhavnske Byggeselskab” headed by the “king of trading” C.F. Tietgen, who took over the hotel with a large portion of visions on the drawing board. The new owners were ready to challenge the other European luxury hotels by refurbishing Hotel d’Angleterre. The main building was extended 10 meters, a new wing along Hovedvagtsgade became a reality and “The White Hall” (now known as Palmehaven) saw the light in a new two-floor wing. New interior and hand-pickings by the city’s most successful restaurateur Alexander Vincent who became General Manager at the new hotel, and you had the recipe for sure success at that time.
A massive wine cellar, an oven that could keep a 1000 plates warm, chefs and Maitre d’s made it possible for Mr. and Mrs. Vincent to host a daily banquet in the hotel’s main restaurant; the “Table d’Hôte” salon, where the hosts were seated at the main table. Although it was a very solemn event, it was more like visiting a stately home than a hotel. For DKK 3, you could enjoy a dinner of soup, fish, a green dish, roast and dessert – and the price also included live music from a small orchestra.
At the end of the 1800′s another important change was made; A new café was added on the corner, where you now find the existing restaurant of the Hotel d’Angleterre; Marchal. The hotel had long had a café on the opposite corner by Hovedvagtsgade, but predicted greater success by moving the café. And it was true. With the humorous name; Golden Cure (named after an American method of curing alcoholism), guests were competing for a seat in the new café, in particular the table at the corner window where there was a clear view of life on the popular square; Kongens Nytorv. The success abruptly came to an end, when the hotel once again burned to the ground shortly before the First World War. The fire was followed by a rebuilding and yet another conversion of the building, where an additional floor and a beautiful glass roof covering the courtyard was installed. It was with great inspiration from hotter climates that the name Palmehaven (The Palm Court) was chosen and exotic palm trees and marble sculptures made the room an ultra-trendy hub for the Danish elite who could enjoy afternoon high-tea and dance to the music of the best orchestras of the time.
The war years
The First World War put a spoke in the wheel for the Hotel d’Angleterre. Not only did the curfew result in limitations for the elite’s excesses, but a number of Russian refugees also took up residence at the hotel and made a spectacle of themselves, for as long as their Rubles lasted. During the Second World War the German High Command selected the Hotel d’Angleterre as residential headquarters, and guards now flanked the hotel’s main entrance. The Danes were not pleased with the German occupation of neither country nor hotel, and chose to boycott the hotel.
Faith in the future
The war years not only put a severe mark on the Danish population, but unfortunately also on the hotel. The war had taken it’s toll on the Hotel d’Angleterre, and more than a coat of paint was needed to bring the hotel back to it’s former glory. In November 1945 the management was given the go ahead by the owners to begin restoration – one simply could not imagine Copenhagen without the Hotel d’Angleterre, and obviously guests had to be impressed. Ten years later the refurbishment had not been completed yet, but it was nevertheless a very important year; The hotel had it’s 200 year jubilee in 1955 – and the following decades brought a lot of changing owners to the hotel.
At the end of the 1980′s and early 1990′s times were hard for the hotel and catering industry in Denmark. Several establishments turned the key, and the crisis had also left it’s mark on the Hotel d’Angleterre, which the hotel’s present owners had taken over in December 1993. The vision and optimism of the new owners however, was far more brilliant than the spirit of that time: The White Lady should once again emerge as one of the most exclusive hotels in the world – and as the most prestigious hotel in Copenhagen.
And the plan held. The owners invested hundreds of millions of Danish Kroner in the hotel and the famous Danish artist Bjørn Wiinblad was involved in decorating the hotel restaurant, which also bore his name until the spring of 2005, the famous Christmas decoration with thousands of lights has been a fixed element on the façade of the hotel since 1995 and in 1996 the hotel had it’s own spa and fitness center with Scandinavia’s largest indoor hotel swimming pool installed and in addition; Europe’s largest glass mosaic roof was installed in the Palm Court in 2005.
The new d’Angleterre
The present owners closed down the hotel at the end of May 2011, in order to begin the most ambitious hotel restoration in Danish history. Reopening on May 1st 2013 as a revitalized grand palace balancing legacy and style with intuitive and tailored services, the d’Angleterre complements the desires of today’s refined travelers with the following services:
The hotel features 90 rooms including 60 suites – all with spacious bathrooms as well the latest technology and individually controlled climate systems. As the first Scandinavian hotel it offers douche toilets in all categories.
The stunning 250 square-meter Royal Suite features a grand balcony overlooking Kongens Nytorv Square and The Royal Theater, it has a dining room for 10 guests and a spectacular fireplace.
Dining and Champagne Bar
The contemporary restaurant Marchal features a walk-in wine room and an open display kitchen. Furthermore there it includes a bar which is designed to create a dynamic and high-energy environment for both residents and Copenhageners alike. The additional Champagne bar “Balthazar” which opened in October 2012 offers a selection of more than 200 Champagnes. Also on offer are tapas-style cuisine and Caviar and on weekends live DJ’s.
Meetings and Events
The Hotel d’Angleterre has hosted countless historic events including formal galas, weddings, diplomatic assemblies and royal occasions. The hotel’s refurbished private function rooms offer the ultimate setting for tailor-made meetings, events and celebrations all with state of the art technology. The historic Palm Court and Louis XVI Ballroom continue to be the most desired venue in Copenhagen.
Spa, Fitness Centre and Swimming Pool
The new 400 sqm Spa; “Amazing Space by d’Angleterre” features an expansive menu of signature treatments as well as wet areas, fully equipped fitness studio and a ten by twelve meter indoor swimming pool (Will open December 1st 2013).
An important step in strengthening the environmental profile of Hotel d´Angleterre has been to install district cooling, delivered from Copenhagen Energy’s large district cooling central in Adelgade in the center of town. By changing the old uninsulated windows and replacing them with triple glazed windows as well as establishing a completely new roof, the entire building has become energy efficient.
Furthermore all windows are equipped with automatic canopies that drives out when the sun is shining directly on the building, meaning the need for cooling the building is hugely decreased.
In the kitchen at Hotel d´Angleterre three1500 liter bio tanks converts all food waste to biogas which decreases the hotel’s C02 with 11 ton per year and is equivalent to 26.5 thousand kw hours.
All light bulbs at the hotel are gradually being replaced with LED bulbs and sensors in the hall ways and offices turns off lights when no movement is detected.