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October 05, 2012

Worth the trip: Room 606.

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Egg and Swan chairs in Room 606.

It’s been a seven-year journey for me to get to Room 606, so when the hotel manager opened the door, then immediately shut it and blushed, I was worried. Fortunately, the scene inside was a lot less scandalous than I’d first imagined. In fact, it was fabulous.

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Drop chairs by Arne Jacobsen

A brewery had held a beer launch party in Room 606 the night before, and housekeeping had not yet cleaned the room. As sunlight filtered through half-full glasses (seen as half-empty in the eyes of the manager) of amber liquid, there was a personality to the room that I would not have found if it had been pristine.

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Room 606 is on the sixth floor of the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. Completed in 1960, architect Arne Jacobsen designed the entire hotel, from the building to the furniture to the soap dishes. Now operated by Radisson, the hotel has been fully renovated and most of Jacobsen’s work altered beyond recognition. That is, with the exception of Room 606, which has been preserved as an unparalleled example of 20th-century Nordic design.

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Fortunately, as the beer party demonstrated, Room 606 is not a precious time capsule to be viewed from behind a velvet rope. The room is available for rent by the night, at a higher rate than other rooms in the hotel, and the hotel manager said that it’s often booked months in advance.

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Soap dish by Arne Jacobsen. After removing these from the rooms, the hotel piled them up in the basement and used to give them to journalists. "Used to" being the key words. Sad me.

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Swan chairs in the lobby.

For a fabulous and comprehensive history of Jacobsen and his hotel, check out Room 606: The SAS House and the Work of Arne Jacobsen by Michael Sheridan, published by Phaidon.

Even better, go to Copenhagen and stay in the room. 

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Egg chairs in the lobby.

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Comments

Way to go Arne! Too bad rooms not true to original form. New old hip cool....sweet?

What a treat!! Copenhagen here we come...Loved the photos and tender text. Hope you get that soap dish! You've earned it--Look forward to getting more glimpses into your travels--good eye! Thanks for sharing

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