Famed Royal Danish Ballet dancer and globe-trotter Alexander Kolpin is the owner and visionary behind Copenhagen’s newest and most stylish boutique hotel, Hotel Sanders. He tells Indagare about the inspiration for Hotel Sanders, his favorite restaurants in Copenhagen and what’s on his bucket list.
Can you tell us about your background and interests?
My mother is a designer and my father is an architect and theatre producer. All my childhood I observed my creative parents working on their passion. I started dancing when I was 11 years old. When I saw ballet for the first time, I fell in love with the fact that it is a combination of strength, grace, coordination, elegance and athleticism and, somehow, drama.
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What was the conception of your hotel collection (which includes Helenekilde Badehotel and Tisvildeleje Strandhotel in Tisvildelege), and Sanders in particular?
The approach is to deliver high end, yet low-key luxury. We aim to offer a laid-back, relaxed feeling that evokes a private home rather than a business or corporate output. The definition of luxury for me and the team at Sanders is the musicality and tone of the people who work at and enter Sanders. We like to be informal, present, prepared and personal, and at the same time be very professional and authentic in our interaction with each other and put the guest first.
Copenhagen is front and center on the world’s stage at the moment. Why do you think this is?
I think we have a strong cultural tradition and profile. We are standing on the shoulders of history and heritage with culture, art and design. We are somehow an interesting mix of Scandinavian thoroughness, and though we are a small country, we have an international outlook. Of course, our culinary scene is essential and has created momentum and inspired some local talents and resources to really come out of their shells and believe that we can contribute on an international level.
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Copenhagen is a city of creatives. Who else is doing cool things?
Many designers such as Julie Fagerholt, Britt Sisseck and Martin Bjørn are really cool. Wonderful music is coming out with Scarlett Pleasure, Lukas Graham and Mads Langer (who I have worked with several times). Film is inspiring and some Danish actors, such as Pilou Asbæk and Mads Mikkelsen, are doing amazing things.
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What would you call your most “transformative travel experience?”
Exploring India’s Thar Desert on camelback was an eye-opener. It was wonderful, breathtaking, poor and rich at the same time. It is still very vivid in my mind even though it was 10 years ago. For cities, I love London where I have been staying in different, inspiring hotels. I especially adore Chiltern Firehouse, which is beautiful, cool, sexy and laid-back in a decadent way.
Where are you dying to visit?
I really want to go to Punte del Este in Uruguay. I would also love to take my kids on a boat trip down the Amazon and end up in Manaus to visit their beautiful theatre in the jungle, which is a replica of Opera Garnier in Paris.