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Great New Finds: Affordable Europe

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Photo: Frédéric Vasseur

Copenhagen, Denmark


While other new hotels have capitalized on Copenhagen’s reputation as a design city by embracing sleek functionalism to the point of folly, the Bertrams Hotel Guldsmeden (107 Vesterbrogade; 45-33/250-405; www.hotelguldsmeden.dk) remains resolutely inviting. It starts at the cheerful entryway, which feels like that of a private residence, and continues into the light-filled dining room and courtyard with its voluptuous breakfast spread. Here, you’ll find a buffet of charcuterie, thick wedges of Scandinavian cheese, crusty rolls and croissants from the nearby Emmery’s bakery. Upstairs, the 47 high-ceilinged rooms have breezy South of France-inspired interiors; downy four-poster beds are draped in white fabrics and accented with seashells. (Ask for a balcony overlooking the courtyard.) The bathrooms are small, but perks like complimentary breakfast and a vibrant location in the Vesterbro district make up for any shortcomings.

Brighton, England


At Blanch House (17 Atlingworth St.; 44-127/360-3504; www.blanchhouse.co.uk), a town house hotel right near the seafront, breakfast starts at a laid-back 9 a.m., and no one’s likely to ask whether you want a wake-up call. Each of the 12 themed rooms displays a sense of no-holds-barred fun. In one, the walls, windows, and bed appear swathed in the same green velvet that Scarlett O’Hara used to make her dress; another holds an impressive collection of snow globes. And if that’s not enough, there’s always the buzzy bar (try the strawberry-balsamic mojito), and the all-white restaurant, which serves creative modern European dishes.

Cheltenham, England


With its strategically placed flea-market finds (a velvet couch here, a ventriloquist’s dummy there), the 54-room Alias Hotel Kandinsky (Bayshill Rd., 44-124/252-7788; www.aliashotels.com) projects an air of boho gentility. Rooms in this Victorian-era former girls’-school dormitory overlook quiet side streets and have homey neutral color schemes and Art Deco-style black-and-white-tiled bathrooms. By night, the lobby absorbs spillover from the adjoining bar, as low lighting and lounge music transform the shabby-chic interior into one of Cheltenham’s hippest scenes. The hotel’s prime location in the center of the Cotswolds makes it the perfect jumping-off point for exploring the region.

London, England


These days, finding a place to stay in London for less than a small fortune can seem as improbable as locating a discount suit on Savile Row. Thankfully, Chelsea’s Sloane Square Hotel (Sloane Square; 44-20/7896-9988; www.sloanesquarehotel.co.uk) has opened its doors. Set on the landmark square that gives the hotel its name, the revamped 100-room property is a pared-down yet polished gem imbued with traditional British flair. Floral wallpaper by Neisha Crosland and Scottish-tartan wool bedspreads set the mood in the comfortable rooms. On the ground floor, the busy Chelsea Brasserie serves traditional French food. And come evening, the popular Kitt’s Club bar heats up with London’s glitterati.


Only the faintest signs of life outside can be heard from Montagu Place Hotel (2 Montagu Place; 44-20/7467-2777; www.montagu-place.co.uk), a secluded, 16-room Georgian town house in regal Marylebone. A narrow, winding staircase leads to three styles of bedroom (Comfy, Fancy, and Swanky), all with original stone fireplaces, large sash windows, and divinely plump beds covered in chenille blankets. Although the hotel doesn’t serve dinner, some of London’s best gastropubs are a short walk away.


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