I stumbled along with my 22kg suitcase sure that it was a right turn out of Skodsborg train station, but not super definitely sure.
I asked a local if they knew where the Kurhotel was and when she gestured behind her, and I saw the huge white building I realised how stupid it was of me to think she didn’t. The Kurhotel Skodsborg is huge.
– Big old place hey?
Once an 18th century palace, and now the location of Denmark’s premier health spa the Kurhotel building was definitely impressive. White pillars, white walls, huge glass windows and the name proudly emblazoned on front, this is a place to be proud of.
And I had two glorious nights to explore.
After I’d checked in and investigated my double room, which had a balcony overlooking the water, I headed straight for the spa. Swimsuit on with Kurhotel-emblazoned dressing gown over the top I ambled off in my Kurhotel issue flip flops in search of the spa playground.
One lift later and I found it.
– Love getting to a hotel room and finding treats!
I delved straight into the soothing pool to sit back and work the place out. I could see there were quite a few different spa rooms but obviously didn’t want to look a fool mooching about in my swimmers so I kept an eye on my fellow spa-goers to see how it all worked.
As I did I made my way round the pool, from the jets where you lie just below the water’s surface on your back or front for a jet massage, to the dark room where the water falls at such a force if you stand there too long they’ll cross that fine line between a good, strong massage and pain. And then, of course, there was a bubbling jacuzzi too.
I took my time, until my curiosity won over and I got out to sample the spa rooms.
The first one was a cold shower tunnel – one dip in the water gathered on the stones at the bottom and there was no way I could run through there (although it was welcome the next day after my spa dip, more on that to come) – so I went in search of a warmer experience.
I found the ‘season room’ where there were four buttons on the wall, describing the seasons and with each push you got a different shower experience. For example, summer was bright lights and warm rain, while for winter the room went dark and a cold forceful shower came from jets on every side. Different birdsong played through the speakers too.
There were a range of saunas and steam rooms to try, all of varying heats. I was so relaxed in one of the saunas I actually fell asleep. I woke up, probably only a few minutes later, parched and thinking I’d fallen asleep on a beach.
After a good hour or more trying out the different rooms – with refereshing teas and cold waters from the taps along the way – I went back to the pool. I lay on my back and looked up to the skylight window, mesmerised by the coloured panels and wondering why they’d been designed that way, and realising I enjoyed them like that, which was probably why.
That first night I was invited to try the cuisine in the top floor restaurant. Head Chef, Erik Kroun Nielsen, and Assistant Head Chef, Chris Ladegaard Jensen have created a mix of new Nordic food, healthy options and hearty meals to reenergise after all the exercise at the Kurhotel.
They use organic and local ingredients and work with select suppliers, including their own herb gardeners. And they bake their own bread, dangerous, for me.
I had lemon sole followed by the apparently traditional Danish dessert of strawberries in buttermilk. My friendly waiter kept me in white wine throughout, and paired up a dessert wine for me, which I finished on the roof terrace. The food was so good.
I definitely slept well that night, with my window open to welcome in the sound of the waves.
Breakfast was an inspiring mix of health and energy – definitely not the carb overload of a standard hotel breakfast around the world. On both days I had a variety of eggs, avocado, cottage cheese, of course a strip or two of Danish bacon and more smoked salmon than I’ve ever eaten in one sitting, and a herring or two on the side. A feast, but a healthy one.
I was expecting cucumber sandwiches and Victoria sponge but as I found out just before, the Kurhotel Afternoon Tea is a paleo one. Intriguing. Main course was smoked salmon (mmmore) on rye bread followed by 5 little cakes, which I’m led to believe we’re all good for you but seeing as they were so delicious I’d be scared of the confirmation. I reckon if I could make cakes like that I could be paleo too.
For my dinner the next night I had the traditional Scandinavian yogurt Skyr, from the spa café. I love yogurt, and although my favourite still stands with Bulgarian, followed by Greek, naturally, I can definitely put Skyr in third place. In this case they’d soaked oats and put them on top, with a lemony jus. Oo I could eat one now.
If I’m going to do exercise, the Kurhotel is where I want to do it. The sun was out, it was warm but not scorching (end of August) and the air was crisp and fresh.
Rent a bike
As is standard in bike-friendly Denmark, the Kurhotel is located next to a cycle route so I rented a bike for an hour from the front desk and went off to explore.
I went down to the beach, found MY house (great views, huge, plenty of land, by the beach) and followed the totally safe and well worn cycle paths around the hotel. It was brilliant. Life was good.
I was tempted to cycle the 15km along the cycle paths to Copenhagen, just to do it, but I didn’t.
One of the coolest things I did at Kurhotel, that I’ve always wanted to try, was crossfit. I joined a class on the gym’s roof terrace and under our instructor Ole’s watch we burpeed, star jumped and lunged our way to Crossfitness. I really enjoyed it, at the time.
Five days later in Copenhagen when I still couldn’t get up without thinking ‘oo me legs’ maybe not so much.
7am sauna dip
I agreed to a 7am spa dip, which at 6:45am became one of the biggest regrets of my life, but at 8am I was buzzing. Scandinavians love their sauna / plunge pool experiences, and so did I. Blog post on this to come!
The popular British Travel Blogger @vickyflipflop took advantage of the glorious Danish summer with SaunaGus (mist sauna), ocean swimming and some fun exercise on our new SUP Boards. Even though Vicky commented on the water being on the chilly side we have a feeling she will be back for more ;-)) #sup #supboards #danishsummer #summerincopenhagen #funtraining #outdoorsports #personaltraining #visitdenmarkno @govisitdenmark #visitcopenhagen #kurhotelskodsborg Photo by @olecosmus
The 7am stand up paddle boarding on the second morning was another mind over matter experience. Ole was a great teacher – full of encouragement and laughter every time I fell off.
The waves were pretty strong that day so I never did quite make it upright but I had a great time kneeling while paddling off into the sunrise. If everyone could start every day like this we’d be a jolly world, no wonder the Danes are known as some of the happiest in the world.
Paleo crossfit workshops
I learnt all about the hotel’s celebrity chef Thomas Rode. Once a bigger guy, cooking with creams and butters and all those good things, he discovered paleo, got fit and gets his top off for the front of all his cookbooks.
The point of this story is that he’s also now a trained crossfit instructor and runs classes at Kurhotel. Afterwards you’re invited into his custom-designed kitchen on site and he’ll teach you how to cook paleo, together, and then you’ll sit and feast. Love that idea.
The Kurhotel would be perfect for…
While I was swirling away in the jacuzzi I decided the Kurhotel would be perfect for a mini-moon after a wedding as it’s just so relaxing, fresh and stunning, or for a romantic break at some point in your life, or just for friends who want to get away from it all.
Two nights was definitely a good amount of time, but if you can go for longer, I’d recommend it. One of the best things about the Kurhotel is that even though it’s super swanky, slick and fancy the staff are all super friendly and it’s a happy and relaxing place to unwind.
I was a guest of the Kurhotel Skodsborg and Visit Denmark. Loved it. You can get a double room with breakfast and spa from 2,100 DKK / £210 per night. It’s just 15 minutes on the train from Copenhagen and I will definitely be back one day. See you there!