Bella Sky Review
“With unique architecture and boutique rooms, AC Hotel Bella Sky Copenhagen is a stylish destination for business or leisure. Explore the many attractions in nearby Copenhagen city center and enjoy convenient shuttle service to and from the airport. Relax in spacious rooms, featuring premium amenities, floor-to-ceiling windows and authentic Danish design elements. Release your tension at our 4-star spa and sip specialty cocktails. Start your morning with a hot buffet breakfast at BM Restaurant and punctuate an eventful day with delicious, locally-sourced fare at BASALT. Host intimate meetings and large events in the adjacent Bella Center and tackle timely projects in our on-site business center. With a gym, Aqua Spa and complimentary Wi-Fi, our hotel offers an exceptional lodging experience, amid the very best of Copenhagen. Come see for yourself and make your Denmark experience unforgettable.”
I have the good fortune of staying the next six months at AC Bella Sky hotel in Copenhagen. My stays are work-related, meaning that I go to work during the day and spend most of my evenings and all my nights at the hotel. I stay from Sunday until Friday every week. This review is based on the first 4 weeks.
Bella Sky is a 4-star hotel close to the centre of Copenhagen. The hotel sports two towers with 23 floors, a combined 811 rooms from which 29 of them are suites. A Marriott rewards category 6 with the price of 30,000 points for a stay. It will be a rank 5 from August where the points required for a free night will increase to 35,000 points.
I took contact by calling their booking department where I requested a room from Sunday till Friday every week for the rest of the year. Due to the many nights, they asked me to write them an email with my request and they would do their best to accommodate my bookings. As a pleasant surprise, this resulted in a personal call from their sales department a few days later where a very kind Norwegian woman, Elisabeth, graciously thanked me for choosing their hotel for my stays in Copenhagen. She not only confirmed my request for all the nights but also asked me about my previous stay, what I thought about the hotel, the surrounding area, etc.
Already now I felt very welcome, and I looked forward to raking up points and elite status as the weeks would go by but a few days later, I was contacted by their booking department. This time it was Isabella, who also thanked for choosing their hotel for my stays. To show their appreciation she told me she would note in my bookings that I was to be treated as a platinum member from day one. Experiencing the extra services that a platinum member receives at a Marriott establishment was my main reason for choosing a Marriott hotel to begin with, so I was very pleased with this unexpected gesture. Naturally, the platinum status would only apply for this specific Marriott hotel.
Additionally, Isabella made sure that I got a deluxe room (3 steps up in room categories) for my first 8 weeks even though I only booked a standard guest room. The arrival gift at Bella Sky is usually a voucher for a drink at the bar but Isabella was kind enough to change it to a fruit basket with both fruits and a small amount of delicious chocolate. I couldn’t be more pleased.
I usually arrive around 4 pm Sunday and check out Friday morning. At one time did I request a late check out and the best they could do was 2 pm which suited me perfectly. Bella Sky is a convention hotel, so I did not necessarily expect them to offer me a 4 pm check out.
I leave a suitcase for long-term storage so that I don’t have to bother with transporting personal items like family pictures or my workout supplements. The service itself can contain a lot of waiting as you have to use their Guest Relations counter which sometimes have a long queue. I tried asking the regular clerk for assistance, but she sent me off to the (queued) Guest Relations counter.
The deluxe room is great. Kingsize bed, spacious bathroom, plenty of mirrors and sockets, windows from floor to ceiling, a great view (if not into the adjacent tower), a well-stocked minibar with red wine, white wine, organic Carlsberg beer, spirits, sodas, energy drinks, and water as well as a Snickers and a Danish múslibar. I especially appreciate the small sofa and table. It made me realise how much more pleasant it is to have different segments of the room for different purposes, contrary to the standard room where you practically eat, sleep and live in the bed. The door connecting to the hallway is heavy and really does a great job of keeping noise out.
The hotel employs a minimalistic design and it has the unfortunate disadvantage that there is a remarkable lack of shelves. Both for clothing but also for your personal hygiene items in the bathroom. A minimalistic design is great but in this case it has become an unpractical annoyance.
Bella Sky also uses beautiful interior and furniture by Danish designers and strong Danish Brands. It looks great! Most rooms have a TV produced by Danish Bang & Olufsen which is both sturdy and tasteful, but it is not a smartTV and you cannot connect your tablet or PC to it. It quite simply doesn’t have a HDMI port. It looks to me like they did a miscalculated investment in these 800+ B&O televisions.
I once read a review of Bella Sky that the hotel’s furniture, doorframes and such has a lot of wear and scrapes. I have noticed it and I have also noticed some of the closets’ click-open doesn’t work but it is nothing overwhelming.
Note that the deluxe rooms vary in design. My room during the first week was as shown in the picture although it was right next to three of the elevator shafts. I could always hear when they were in use. My room the following week had a better view, no elevator shafts but an inclined outer wall and a 1x1 foot pillar in the middle of the room. This current week, the room is significantly smaller and there is not sofa or table,there’s a much smaller Samsung TV hanging on the opposite wall of the bed, and the three elevator shafts are my neighbours again. So your mileage may vary when you book a deluxe room.
I visit the hotel’s gym 4-5 times per week and it is open 24/7. Perhaps ‘fitness center’ is a more appropriate name for it as it is well supplied with machines for cardiovascular exercise like tread mills, rowing machine, cross fit, and biking.
It also has a few machines for lifting weights, a utility rack for training using your own bodyweight and a rack with dumbbells ranging from 1 to 10 kilos (approximately 2 to 20 in freedom units), 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 kilos (24-44 pounds) and then... 30 and 35 kilos (60 and 70 pounds)? That is quite a steep advancement from 22 to 30 kilos.
The gym also has two benches which can be adjusted so that you can do incline exercises. There is no barbell so squatting, bench press, deadlift, overhead press etc. has to be done with dumbbells. There’s always clean towels and plenty of both cold and lukewarm water.
The hotel is pet friendly (for a small fee), has an airport shuttle (2 dollars), bike rental, a small boutique, and a spa with a range of spa treatments. I haven’t tried any of it, but I have heard the spa consists of a warm water basin and a cold-water basin. Perhaps there’s a sauna as well.
The hotel has wireless internet with perfect coverage in all rooms, the gym, and even in the elevators. There is only one connection strength so no enhanced internet connection for elite members. All guests can connect to the internet, which is cool, because it’s 2018 and a hotel without internet for its guests is just silly.
There are four restaurants in the hotel. The BM hotel is where I eat my breakfast, and I think it is only open for breakfast. Actually, I recently stopped eating my breakfast there, as the morning buffet is absolutely gorgeous with everything your heart (stomach) could desire. Unfortunately, you can’t spell gorgeous without also spelling gorge and my primitive brain can’t say no to chocolate cake before 8 am.
I have only seen the Library Restaurant open once or twice. Apparently, the hotel must have a certain number of guests before they open this place.
BASALT is a “New Nordic” restaurant on the mezzanine. I tried it twice and it was a disappointment on both occasions. The food is great but overpriced.
Finally, there’s the new restaurant on the 23th level called Sukaiba. The concept is an amalgamation between the Japanese and the Nordic kitchens added with a panoramic view of Copenhagen. It doesn’t open until somewhere mid-August 2018. I am going to check it out but the prospect of another gourmet restaurant when they already have BASALT does not really excite me. We’ll just have to see.
Bella Sky is a convention hotel. Its closest neighbour is the Bella Center – a large conference-, congress-, and exhibition centre in Copenhagen. As such, the hotel is not located in the middle of a historical part of the city, and it does not have restaurants, shops, cafes or similar across the street. There are parking lots (15 dollars per day) and the congress venue.
There is a 2 minutes’ walk to the nearest metro station which will take you to the city centre in an almost just as short a time. Within walking distance is also the Field’s shopping centre with both shops and restaurants. The city centre is within biking range.
My interactions with the hotel’s staff are an absolute delight. They are always friendly and eager to help. They even have this thing where they go to your side of the counter if their computer isn’t needed, just to make the situation and conversation more relaxed and friendly.
However, it seems to me like they have some issues with conveying special requests to all their staff. I asked for an extra pillow one day and had it delivered but housekeeping removed it the following day. The minibar wasn’t restocked, and I had to request it two days in a row. During my requests, as I asked for Pepsi Max instead of regular Pepsi during my stay and got it those two days, but on the third day it was back to regular Pepsi.
I generally don’t want to make a big fuss out of my platinum membership as it was given to me as a gesture. As such, every benefit I humbly receive is an extra service that they were not obligated to provide, but I do know that many of you find a great interest in how to well hotels honour the membership obligations.
Bella Sky is an AC hotel. Any elite guest should therefor investigate what that means for the benefits. For example, I only receive points for the room and not for any extras I spend money on. The hotel does not have the lounge or the continental breakfast.
I once tried not being offered my arrival gift upon check in. It is one of the few benefits that I am very adamant about as it for me is a fruit basked and I really need something quick to eat after the long journey. So I mentioned it at the reception and I expected that they would deliver it as soon as possible but to my delight, they also offered me free access to the minibar during my 5 nights stay. All on their own initiative. Such a wonderful service!
They tried to charge me for the minibar when I checked out, however, asking for any documentation for my claim that I had free access to it. Fortunately, the clerk who gave me the free access was also present that morning, but it is another example of how communication between the employees is shifty. For that reason alone, I don’t use the express check out anymore as I want to hear what they are going to charge me.
I have never experienced a further upgrade than the one received by Isabella during my booking. The room categories go like this: Standard Room, Large Standard, Large Standard City View (because that apparently deserves its own category), Deluxe, Executive Corner, Junior Corner Suite, and the Suite. I have been told that it is the hotel’s policy to upgrade gold members one category and platinum members two categories. For gold members it is upon availability while platinum members always receive an upgrade.
I have met at least three couples who have received an upgrade to one of the top floors (where the rooms better than Deluxe are) without even being a Marriott member and without receiving it as compensation or asking for an upgrade. I personally think it is a generous gesture from the hotel, but I understand if other guests who have worked their way to platinum would see it as unfair. But then again, if I actually asked for an even better room on one of the slow business days, I wouldn’t be surprised if they gave it to me right on the spot.
I have received an extraordinary service at Bella Sky and I would recommend it to everyone wanting to visit Copenhagen. I do not travel much and I use hotels even less but I presume that most of the less good experiences that I have experienced at Bella Sky are misunderstandings and errors that could have occurred at any hotel. I only meet friendly faces who all take pride in their work. The staff at the reception and guest relations is always helpful, the bartender in the bar, Lazlo from Hungary, is passionate about drinks and beverages (especially gin) and very easy-going, and even the maids are ready to help you with a smile even though they are on a very tight schedule. I am very pleased with my choice of hotel.