When you think of a spa hotel destination, Copenhagen probably doesn’t spring to the top of your list.
But winter is a perfect time to hunker down in Skodsborg, an affluent seaside suburb of the Danish capital, just a 15-minute train ride from the centre of town.
I was at the Kurhotel Skodsborg last week to train and swim in the midwinter sea – bracing!! – (see photos below) and experience saunagus: short but intense bouts of increasing heat in the sauna over the space of an hour, sometimes to rock music, sometimes to mediative tunes. Different aromatic oils are added, a sauna master twirls a towel or large fan to disperse the fierce heat around the room and it’s all interspersed with dips off the end of a private pier into the sea a hundred metres away. Invigorating!!! I suspect at some stage saunagus with will fill the pages of glossy mags and weekend newspaper sections in the UK as the next “big thing” when it comes to health.
The spa at the hotel is the largest in Denmark and there’s also a Crossfit training area, gym and massage rooms. Don’t be intimidated by tall, chiselled Danes; they’re a friendly bunch.
There are also two restaurants and paleo-inspired treats in the lobby.
The Danish concept of hygge (coziness) comes into its own around now, when long winter nights are made more bearable by flickering candles, log fires, warm blankets and soft sofas, and the hotel is fully hygge’ed up.
All in all it’s not outrageous to think of basing yourself here for a long weekend in Copenhagen. The Danes may think it’s out in the ‘burbs but to a Londoner, what’s 15 minutes on a train? And rather than run away from winter, Skodsborg is a lovely place to embrace it, sea bathing and all.