Whenever I have an overnight layover, unless I’m arriving into a city in the morning or early afternoon, I will always look to book a hotel that’s close to the airport. If I know I’m not going to have time to explore a city I always look for the path of least resistance and, as on this trip I would have a 7:00am flight to catch the next day, I definitely wanted to book something within easy reach of the check-in desks.
The Marriott AC Hotel Bella Sky looked like it would work well for me. The hotel offers a shuttle to/from the airport, my Marriott status would get me a free breakfast and the hotel was cheaper than the Hilton (which is at the airport itself) and cheaper than the Crowne Plaza which appeared to be equally convenient.
Unusually for me I left it late to book my overnight accommodation in Copenhagen – I was waiting to see if any of the big chains would offer a decent early 2016 promotion – but I still managed to snag a reasonable rate. At 759 DKK ($110) it seemed an ok price to pay for a hotel that gets pretty decent TripAdvisor reviews:
The hotel shares a shuttle with the Crowne Plaza and a couple of other hotels and the pickup point is outside Copenhagen Airport Terminal 2. It’s not the most obvious place to catch a shuttle as the signs leading you to it run out half way there (not very helpful when you arrive at night) but, on the positive side, it’s only a 2 minute walk from the terminal once you know where you’re going.
The shuttle runs twice an hour a at xx:20 and xx:50, starting at 6:20am and ending at 10:50pm
First Impressions & Check-in
The shuttle from the airport took no longer than 10 minutes and, although I couldn’t see much of the hotel from the outside (it was past 10pm by the time I arrived) it was clearly a very modern building.
The reception area sits in an atrium with an incredibly high ceiling giving a definite feel of space:
And adjacent to the reception area is a bar with a large seating area:
There was a dedicated check-in desk for Marriott elites and, unsurprisingly considering the time, there was no line. I had taken up the option of checking in online via the Marriott iOS App beforehand so all I had to do was to confirm that the credit card on file was ok for incidentals and pick up my key. I was on my way to my room in under 5 minutes.
Everything about the hotel says “modern”, from the minimalist decor in the elevator lobbies and the hallways….
…through to the illuminated room numbers next to the doors:
And the minimalist feel continues into the room….
As you walk into what is a “deluxe King room (one up from the basic room), there’s a cupboard with refreshments, a mini bar, a safe and an ironing board on the left…..
The safe is a good size and should hold most laptops and hand held electronic devices:
There’s also an unusual clothes hanging area next to the main cupboard and it’s one of quite a few things that gives the room an “Ikea feel” to it.
I’m sure what they’re going for is “modern and cool” but, for me, it has the effect of feeling cheap and poorly thought through…why would I want my clothes hanging up in full view?
The main part of the room is straight ahead as you walk in and it’s here that you’ll find a small sofa and desk….
…and opposite these is the bed:
Sorry about the poor quality pictures but the lighting in the room was pretty dim and I never saw the room in daylight hours so it was hard to get decent pics with an iPhone.
The furniture didn’t seem particularly sturdy and this just exacerbated the “Ikea feel” I mentioned earlier. The bed was comfortable enough although, for a longer stay, I would probably have found it too soft.
The bathroom was probably the nicest part of the room and it looked pretty good….
….but even this had a serious flaw – you can see straight into the shower from the bed area:
I appreciate that this was a room with a double bed so perhaps other rooms don’t have this “feature”, but still….. Is this really something people want?
The hotel offers complimentary WiFi to Marriott Rewards customers and, for the short amount of time that I used it the speeds were fine – at least for web surfing and emails.
If you’re visiting from abroad make sure you have adapters for all your electronics because the in-room power outlets are for European plugs only:
Both sides of the bed had a power outlet – a good thing – but the desk was very poorly served.
In a hotel that appears to be set up for hosting conferences and large groups (they have a lot of meeting space here) you’d think that they’d make sure that the in-room desks had more than one power outlet and that they were closer to the desk than this:
In a hotel this new (it opened in 2011) there’s no excuse for a lack of power sockets or for having them poorly located in the room.
The hotel has a number of eateries….none of which I had time to try out. There’s a steak restaurant on the mezzanine floor which was still open when I arrived (past 10pm) and there’s a top-floor bar that was open too.
The only restaurant I managed to snap photos of was “The Library”….
….which is adjacent to the lobby and, although open for dinner, was closed when I arrived.
Full details of the dining options at the Marriott AC Bella Sky can be found here.
Other Hotel Amenities
As I’ve already mentioned, the hotel appears to be geared towards conventions, conferences and other large gatherings so there are a lot of meeting spaces and break-out areas throughout the property.
In addition there’s a spa and a well equipped gym (which is open 24 hours):
There’s also a “business center” which is a series of iMacs split either side of a printer/copier:
The staff were friendly and polite and, for an overnight stay the hotel is just fine….but if I was to stay any longer I think the cheapness of fixtures and fittings in the room (and the lack of decent power outlets) would annoy me.
You could argue that for $110/night I shouldn’t really expect much more than Ikea-style furnishings but that would be ignoring a few other factors:
The Marriott AC Bella Sky Copenhagen is a Category 7 hotel in Marriott’s portfolio and that’s not an entry-level grading. For 35,000 Marriott Rewards points I expect better in-room quality.
Marriott positions the AC Hotels as being part of a “lifestyle” brand and that implies something more than the quality of the furnishings in the rooms.
The rest of the hotel seemed to have been decorated just fine – it was the rooms that felt poorly put together and cheap.
Would I return? Possibly, if the price was right and if I was purely coming to Copenhagen to catch a flight early the next day. As a place to rest your head the hotel is fine but, as anything more than that, I think the rooms are lacking in too many areas for it to be a contender for a vacation visit.
Featured image courtesy of Marriott.