Let the rhythmic lapping of the waves rock you to sleep when you spend a night in this floating hotel moored in Copenhagen Harbour. ‘Kaj’ meaning ‘quay’ in Danish, Kaj Hotel is named after its unique location on the harbour front and has just one room. What it lacks in scale it more than makes up for in hygge.
Step inside this Scandinavian miniature hotel, which tells a fascinating story of sustainability and presence in the moment.
Hotel – Copenhagen, Denmark
Karl Smith Meyer
Photographer: Jonas Dansholt
Recycled Douglas wood from Genbyg
NB! The photos represent the time when they were taken. Deviations due to subsequent natural patina, wear or inadequate maintenance may occur.
The story of the beautiful floating Kaj Hotel began in 2020, when Barbara von Haffner and Toke Larsen opened a one-room hotel on the water. The couple’s initiative was inspired by their own houseboat nearby, and the result is a fascinating space, rich on Danish culture and design and with a cosy, unique and intimate atmosphere.
The hotel is built almost entirely of reused and surplus materials and rises from the water’s surface like a little wooden house, centrally located in Copenhagen Harbour.
The timber exterior is constructed of reused patio planks, while the stairs and gangway are constructed of reused objects from ships. The foundation is made of old iron railroad poles.
The hotel guests can enjoy the panoramic view through historic windows from the former Danish defence command station Kuglegården, just a stone’s throw away. Small round windows in the end and side walls are reminiscent of traditional portholes on a ship and complete the maritime storytelling. The ‘portholes’ and the hotel door come from Genbyg, a local shop for recycled building materials.
The modest 16-m2 interior offers a homely atmosphere with a muted colour scale and rich materials such as brass and wood. The floor was laid with recycled Dinesen Douglas planks from Genbyg. Douglas timber was also used for a custom-designed bench, a bed frame and a dedicated wall, whose natural knots complement the white interior and multi-pane windows.