Svinkløv Badehotel: Redesigning History
The seaside hotel Svinkløv Badehotel is a piece of Danish cultural history. Set by the rugged coast of the North Sea in the north of Jutland, the hotel is a stress-free environment surrounded by windswept dunes. The famous and historic hotel sadly burnt down to the ground in 2016 but was rebuilt in its original form, looking as it did before and gently modernized where it made sense. The rebuild aimed to maintain the look and feel of a summer residence – both indoors and out – in the laid-back atmosphere that has always been the DNA of Svinkløv Badehotel.
Great food and fresh air
Svinkløv Badehotel is a place where TV and wi-fi are nonexistent. The whole point of staying here is to rewind, relax and enjoy the scenic surroundings and the exquisite meals, made from the best organic and local produce under the leadership of the renowned chef Kenneth Toft-Hansen. The food at Svinkløv Badehotel is top quality made from scratch with passion, knowledge and skill, and the fish on the plate is likely to have been pulled out of the sea that same morning.
The couple behind Svinkløv Badehotel, Louise and Kenneth Toft-Hansen, have made the journey together – through the fire, the rebuild, a newborn baby and the world-famous chef's competition Bocuse D'or, which Kenneth won in 2019. Challenges often come in bundles, they say – and for Kenneth and Louise Toft-Hansen, the saying certainly holds. No doubt, the couple can look back and think, how on earth did we manage all that? But they did, and in the spring of 2019, the hotel reopened for a fully booked season.
The food at Svinkløv Badehotel is top quality made from scratch with passion, knowledge and skill. The fish on the plate is likely to have been pulled out of the sea that same morning.
Authentic summer feel
The interiors of Svinkløv Badehotel are in a summery white, grey and light blue colour palette with wooden panels as a recurring detail throughout the hotel. Louise Toft-Hansen and designer Chris L. Halstrøm collaborated on creating the easy, simple and Scandinavian vibe as a homage to Svinkløv Badehotel the way it was before the fire. Louise and Chris agreed on a ‘less is more’ approach to emphasize nature as an active part of the interiors. The former bright colours of the dining- and living rooms have been toned down, and the tables are dressed with white table cloths, decorated with flowers picked fresh outside the hotel and complemented by the Vester Chair, the new custom-designed dining chair created by Chris L. Halstrøm and Skagerak.
Designing Vester Chair
The Vester Chair was a bespoke task for the designer, and the brief was quite specific: design a dining chair that incarnates Svinkløv Badehotel, and which is formal and informal at the same time. Chris L. Halstrøm took on the assignment with equal degrees of awe and energy. The result is a beautiful and well-proportioned chair in oak that is so comfortable it encourages you to linger over dinner.
‘When you design a dining chair for a restaurant, you have to consider rhythm and number, as you interpret the chairs as a whole at first glance. I have dedicated a great deal of attention to the back of the chair, as that’s the part you see, and I have also sought to integrate a certain functionality into the design. For instance, the legs continue into the backrest and end in a small hook where you can hang your bag, while the transverse brass rod on the backrest indicates where you can grip the chair to pull it out,’ Halstrøm explains.
"We are proud of the successful collaboration between Chris L. Halstrøm, Svinkløv Badehotel and Skagerak. Vester Chair is beautiful and harmonious, and we see a great international future for it" – Ditte Buus Nielsen, Design Director of Skagerak.
The 36 rooms of the hotel strike a minimalist theme, based on the quintessential question, What do you need? A bed, a lamp and a place to hang your clothes. In one of the few modifications to the original building, all the rooms now have a private bathroom. Still, Svinkløv Badehotel is designed as a summer residence with no extra insulation, and it still only stays open six months a year – from April to October.
‘It was a conscious decision,’ says Louise Toft-Hansen, ‘since the two of us, the staff and the house all need a break after a full season with long hours and a large number of guests. We need some family time, and the house needs maintaining – both inside and out.’
Svinkløv Badehotel is a living proof that quality matters – at all levels. The seaside hotel is a reminder of how important it is to unwind and relax in close proximity to nature and to enjoy the simple pleasures of the sea, sun, great food and the people you love.