“One of those words that we pride ourselves of in Denmark…”
When I first heard the word “hygge” in Copenhagen years ago, I had to ask to hear it two more times before I realized I would never be able to pronounce it correctly. The Danish meaning is complex too, as evidenced by VisitDenmark’s video above where a variety of well-meaning Danes make the attempt. Our vote for the best definition goes to the last guy.
So we’re going to give it a go:
Hygge is that warm fuzzy feeling when you’re with a group of people and everyone’s vibe is in sync with each other without any sense of tension or conflict. Good food, drink and a connection with the outdoors are often part of the equation.
For meeting planers, hygge is the most awesome word in the universe because it’s what we all hope to experience during any type of program anywhere in the world. It happens all the time in Copenhagen during meetings, incentives and events, and perhaps that’s why Danes are consistently voted the Happiest People in the World.
Here are some more videos about Danish people and places where you and your group can feel hyygelig. Which one is your favorite?
We’ve written about noma restaurant often, which has maintained the title of World’s Best Restaurant for three years running, as voted by hundreds of foodie types during the annual San Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurant Awards. This is the first time we’ve heard from chef/owner René Redzepi. Today’s global love affair for Scandinavian food by everyone from Food & Wine to Saveur started here. They also just freshened up the place.
CARGO BIKE CULTURE
Cargo bikes are all over the place in Copenhagen, which is regarded as the world’s most bike-friendly city in the world. Danes transfer around town almost anything in those boxes up front: groceries, flowers, furniture, lumber and often a surprisingly large number of children. We write all the time about renting bikes in urban cities. This is the one city where we always, always do it.
VisitDenmark’s “Meetovation” concept is revolutionary. Instead of starting with all of the many different physical, logistical, personnel, F&B, hotel, air, meeting space, CSR, green and entertainment requirements, they start with the purpose of the meeting. Why are you meeting? What are you trying to accomplish? And where is the Return on Meeting Investment? The concept revolves around four pillars: Active Involvement, Responsible Thinking, Creative Setup, Local Inspiration. The world’s first earth-friendly, carbon neutral beer is in there somewhere too.
This video provides a thorough postcard-y overview of Copenhagen by journalist Ralph Grizzle, who enunciates incredibly well. Ralph needs to lose the jacket but he does a great job of peeling back the many layers of Denmark’s capital within a respectable time frame.
WORLD’S FIRST DESIGNER HOTEL
This video might not be for everyone except Prevue editors and architecture/hotel/design groupies. The centrally located, 260-room Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Copenhagen is considered the world’s very first designer hotel, dreamed up by legendary local architect, Arne Jacobsen. We consider it one of our top 10 mid-size urban hotels on the planet. A lot of the interviews in the video take place in room #606, which has been preserved in its original state. Total meeting space is 10,000 sf, and definitely schedule cocktails in the swanky Mid-Century Modern lobby.
We love the Copenhagen Admiral Hotel something fierce. It’s sooo Danish. Built in 1787, the landmark hotel overlooks the main harbor with a spectacular dockside dining space in one of the city’s best settings. The 366 rooms, meeting space and grand lobby are supported by massive exposed beams, and most come with airy views of the buzzing harborfront. If you don’t book the Admiral, make sure you pop in for some Carlsberg and smørrebrød.
For more information about meetings and incentive travel programs in Denmark, email: Christina Andersen, sales/marketing manager, meeting industry, for VisitDenmark: firstname.lastname@example.org.