Nordic cool, out-of-town style

Imagine my delight when I heard that the EuroFM conference 2012 was to be held in Copenhagen, a city I’ve visited numerous times and adore. And my ensuing disappointment when it turned out to be held at the out-of-town convention center, where they speak English as a matter of course and the hotel menu is more Subway than smørrebrød.

But first appearances are deceptive and the Bella Center Cromwell  (Scandinavia’s biggest hotel with more than 800 rooms) is something of a facilities management case study all of its own.  The two white connecting towers twist out of the ground leaning 15 degrees in each direction, like two reluctant dancers at a wedding pushing and pulling against each other, reminiscent of Pisa’s one leaning tower. The Danish are apparently suspicious of tall buildings according to the architects (or perhaps the planners are) hence the decision to go with two smaller towers rather than the Middle East ‘sky high’ route.

The building is infused with Nordic cool, from the blond, smiling receptionists to the Sky Bar on the top floor with its conversation-stopping views of Copenhagen. Inside the rooms (and yes Magenta has splashed out to stay at the conference venue rather than slugging it across town from some distance motel) the bedside lamps are an Arne Jacobsen design, the carpet specially designed by Danish fashion designer Camilla Staerk and external light infiltrates the room through the trapeze-shaped window sections seemingly slicing up the Copenhagen skyline.

The views over the green fields towards the spires of Copenhagen are cleverly brought inside the building with a green plant wall and trickling water in the lobby areas (though my FM head immediately ponders on its tricky maintenance). There’s promise of a sauna, spa and ice room downstairs and although I haven’t brought my cossie, Magenta’s Marianne reminds me that this is Scandinavia and maybe I won’t need one.

What’s even more impressive for someone used to working on the move, is that the lobby bar includes plug sockets at most tables and the guest WiFi is free to access without any pesky codes to input. I’m up and working less than 30 minutes after stepping off the plane with a Tuborg beer by my side.

If this is just the hotel, then the convention center and EuroFM conference tomorrow can hardly disappoint.

Cathy Hayward