Dakota Deluxe Hotel

Dakota Deluxe Hotel is a brand spanking new hotel in the centre of Leeds; and I for one, being a true Leeds girl have always yearned for a hotel that is central, luxurious and has a brilliant bar and area to work in if I am ever in the centre of town. Somehow, when I'm writing, I enjoy the comfort of a hotel over a coffee shop. I was delighted to check out the hotel, and it's moody lighting and stylish sultry decor did not disappoint. It immediately created a warmth and comfort that some hotels just cannot offer. The low mood lighting already made me feel cosy, and ready to crawl up into their comfy fluffy sheets.



The Hotel

Dakota hotel Leeds is the main new hotel outside of Scotland, and Leeds is the perfect place to bring Dakota! It is a 4 star luxury hotel, with great amenities, wonderful style and friendly staff. They call themselves the 'new modern classic'  and a 'luxury hotel that Leeds deserves' and I don't think there is a better phrase to use, that really resonated with me. It's taken Leeds a long time and effort to bring itself to be the brilliant city it now is, with brand new bars, and offices, it's truly the city of the moment. The hotel has a bar and restaurant, perfect for single business trips, couples or to visit with friends. The whole place has a chic vibe, almost masculine but didn't feel overdone, it was tasteful, and moody, dark but by no means dreary, and felt very homely. They have fast complimentary Wifi which is just a dream for people on the move!

On the first floor, the hotel has a beautiful bar area, which you can access straight from the street which is a brilliant idea, and makes it more welcoming to the people who find going into hotels a little imposing - always remember, the best bars and restaurants can sometimes be found inside hotels!  The bar is large, plenty of places to sit, and during the day it makes a great work space. The velvet chairs were big hit for me, makes everywhere feel much more lush, and the hotel is literally less than a ten minute walk to the train station so it makes it a brilliant pit stop for commuters.





The Room

The room was a generally good size. I personally prefer a medium sized room; it feels cosy and a true home away from home. They offer suites also, but I was in room 311; a standard double room that overlooked the city. The bed was very comfy and had a small work area and a separate table with two chairs. It also boasted two large full length mirrors which will be a big hit for any female! The TV screen was huge, wide screen with an extensive choice of Sky Channels. The colours of the rooms were muted greys, whites, browns, and wood and wool textures, that create a really luxurious vibe. The room comes with drinks facilities, an ironing board, hairdryer and slippers. Little added bonuses like this always make your stay so much easier.







The Bathroom

The bathroom was my ultimate favourite style. Modern, white, black, clean, and very easy to navigate. The shower has a rainfall effect, so soft on the skin, easy to turn on and off and the heat was very easy to alter also; there's nothing nicer than standing under a hot shower after a long day and battling the cold winter weather outside! The one thing I always look at is the toiletries, and here at Dakota they have their own bespoke toiletries which was super cool and smelled very good indeed. There was a ring light next to the vanity which was perfect for make-up touch ups!





Breakfast

After a lovely night's sleep, I was up and out early, definitely too early, but not before I headed down to the lower floor for some delicious food. Breakfast included a hot choice of food and a cold continental buffet with juices, yogurt, fruit, cheeses and gorgeous croissants! The restaurant itself is incredibly stylish, carrying on with the sultry theme, the art work is colourful and it's a nice welcome pop of colour. The staff are very friendly, and hot food is ordered by your waitress. I opted for the Eggs Florentine but there is a large choice of food, and most definitely something for everyone. I also chose some cranberry juice, an English breakfast tea and some delicious sweet pineapple; everything was fresh and delicious. This also becomes their main restaurant at night, and undoubtedly I will be back to test their restaurant food. I have high hopes!





Overall, I rated my stay very high. It is truly the hotel that Leeds did need and deserve, with a nice social vibe but also brilliant for businessmen and women, and really enhancing the city centre. Nearby are many of the trendy bars, next door there is Greek street, which is one of Leeds famous stretches for new restaurants and bars, and a short walk to the main shopping area of the city. It's made me see Leeds in a whole new light, and this for sure has given me a new found love of the city. To book your stay at Dakota Deluxe, click on the link here! It would make a lovely stop for mother's day, a long day of shopping and then a chic stay at Dakota!

*I was a guest at Dakota Deluxe Leeds however all views and opinions are my own.

Tidy Office, Tidy Mind

Wherever your mind is during the day, whether it's on work, coffee or the cute crazy cat videos that pop up on Facebook, your working space should be tidy. If you're the kind of person (like me I hate to admit it), that finds organisation and storing a serious task, then it's probably time for a rethink.  Keeping tidy and having a place for everything is the first step to achieving your goals, even daily tasks, keeping prioritised and being on top of everything you need to do. 

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay
Firstly, it's sometimes quite difficult to store all the things that you have accumulated over the years. From unwanted gifts, to old furniture that you desperately want but don't know what to do with, or perhaps it just doesn't quite fit into any decor scheme you have going at the moment. Here are some things you may have laying around the house that you may want to get tidied away.
  • Old furniture - tables, chairs, sofas, old bedroom furniture, spare mattress that nobody ever uses
  • Ornaments - precious ornaments or lamps, things you don't want to leave to rot in a damp attic
  • Bric-a-brac - old bits and bobs from over the years that you're too sentimental to get rid of but are cluttering the place up and you're in desperate need of housing them somewhere safe and out of the way 
  • Games/fun things - perhaps you have an old snooker table that you may want one day when you have hit the jackpot and have a bigger house but have nowhere to store it
All these things become tricky if you're living in a flat, or a small house, or even a house without a garage, spacious attic or basement. Here are some little tricks and tips that you can use to try and organise your life without too much hassle and stress! Perhaps you work from home and your home if your office; you have probably gathered far too much that needs to be stored and sorted. 

Sort Out The Items

You can sort through each section piece by piece, be thorough and ruthless if you want to declutter. Look at what you really want to keep and what is probably old tat that you're really not truly bothered about. Let's say you've come across an old filing cabinet, sift through and bin anything that's over three years old, there's probably a computer paper trail and keeping upto date files is easier. Alphabetise too! Once you have your items into neatly sorted boxes and a pile of junk on the other side for the tip then you can think about how you're going to keep your items safe and secure without the worry of them cluttering everywhere. 

Store The Items 

If you're lucky and you have a large house, then keep as much in storage there. Keeping any kind of furniture is tricky, boxes are much easier to keep in your attic or cupboards, but furniture is cumbersome and you could look at some kind of external self storage, where you can keep your things in a safe environment which expels that idea that your friends have that you're a serious hoarder who can't let things go! 



Once you've cleared out the things you need to, you can enjoy a more carefree, happy space, allowing your mind a little more clarity which can then allow you to think a little better about home improvements, new decor and all things fun interior design! Take a little look and have a think about what you could put into storage!   


Copenhagen Stays - Ibsens Hotel

During my stay in Copenhagen, I had the chance to stay at the Ibsens Hotel, part of the Arthur hotels chain. I was going to stay at their Kong Arthur Hotel, but they were undergoing restoration work. Ibsens Hotel is actually only a 3 star hotel. It is in a good location, central and within walking distance to the sights, and near to the river, which is a fantastic site to be seen! Especially in January when the river is frozen it looks incredible.



The Hotel

The hotel itself is very artsy, the entrance is artsy, modern, art-deco feel, small and intimate. Friendly and accomodating staff, and even though we checked in early, the room was ready. Based on a street, a lot of the rooms have street views, some have views into a small courtyard. Street rooms are great, but of course, naturally a little louder. The hotel offer a lovely service, known as Cosy Hour, which is in the evening and you can pop down to their bar and indulge in a free glass of wine! What a perfect idea! They have a little library/games area which is cute and nice to work in. It really brings the word Hygge to life!





The Room 

The room was a reasonable size, with large windows, and a comfy double bed. However it was lacking in a few of the mod cons, and the room was incredibly cold. Only a radiator that didn't quite cut it for the January sub zero temperatures. The bathroom was sadly quite outdated, with a wet room, and basic ameneities, but it would make very good value for money if you are wanting to have a stop in Copenhagen. The room had a lot of potential, pretty artwork on the walls, small mustard coloured bedside tables and long cream drapes. Staff were very hospitable which made things a little easier and were willing to give us another room, but we opted for the one we already had due to its size and view.







The Restaurant

The Italian restaurant attached to the hotel was very chic and stylish! It was named La Rocco. A little expensive but that is Copenhagen in general and for the quality of food it was worth it. I opted for a vegetarian pizza which was gorgeous! There are plenty of restaurants in the area if you wanted to try something else, nearby a sushi bar, but there is plenty of food inside the hotel and a bar area of the hotel which serve food, drink and coffee.



The Breakfast

The breakfast was traditionally Danish. It had a particularly Danish slant on all food, or known as a nordic buffet! Danish cheeses and pastries. There were no hot food options, but a good selection of hot teas, herbal with lemon and honey which warmed you up. Nice selections of yogurt, and cereal, including healthy seeds and nuts, which I sometimes find to be lacking in other hotels. Four selections of juices and smoothies, and a genral pleasant atmosphere!





I would say the friendly staff and location made it a lovely choice as it is only a 10 minute walk to Rosenborg Castle. I would like to thank Arthur Hotels for this stay. If you would like to book your stay here then click here!


*I was a guest at Ibsens Hotel but all views and thoughts are my own.


Copenhagen - Northern Chic

After spending 48 hours in Copenhagen, I have come to realise that I should have visited here much sooner than I have, considering how close it is to the UK and what an artsy European city it is. It has so many choices for food, coffee, including a few vegan cafes that were a nice little surprise. It almost has a London vibe to it in parts, with the cream buildings and brick buildings, I did not feel far from home and heard a lot of English spoken. It is very widely spoken, like most European cities. However it is a very expensive city. It can be done on a budget, however in my experience, most dishes average at about £17 and a coffee at around £4-5.





Things To Do

There are plenty of things to do in Copenhagen and although I didn't quite get chance to do them all with limited time and work to do, I did manage to compile a good list of what you can do, and the places I visited that I think are a must if you are in the city, to really truly feel the vibe of the city.

Tivoli Gardens

For the fun lovers, this place is a 19th century amusement park. I first saw it driving to my hotel, and it is such an interesting looking place! I've never known an amusement park in the centre of a city before but it seems to work, and it's a major tourist hotspot. Plenty of hotels in the area and bars, it feels like the more glamorous and party-ish end of town. It's also opposite the train station so if you're not staying in the centre, it is very easy to find. More information can be found here.

Nyhavn

This is the famous area of Copenhagen that distinguishes the city. Most photos you see of Copenhagen are from this area. The doorway to the harbour, with colourful buildings, and a row of restaurants and bars. It is of course a little more expensive in this area, but a walk around it really does give you the true feel of the city. On a good day, you could walk along the waterfront, but in the colder months, shielding inside with some mulled wine and log fire! There is also a lock bridge, which is far from full but is slowly filling up, and is reminscient of the famous bridge in Paris; it's such a cute idea, and really a vibrant area of the city.

Photo Courtesy: Pixabay
Rosenborg Castle

This dates back to the 1600's, and was inhabited by royals. It has so much history and its architecture is slightly gothic but also regal, almost like something you may expect to find in southern England. Inside you will find royal jewels and famous portraits! Although you do need to pay to enter the castle itself, the grounds are beautiful and set in a little park land, which would be perfect for summer! Take a stroll around and soak up the Danish culture here. More details on prices and tickets can be found here.





Wander Around & Shop

My favourite thing to do in any city is wander and see where it takes me. Tou just never know what you may find just by exploring! There is a famous food market here in Copenhagen, called Torvehallerne, which is situated on Romsersgade. So much food to feast your eyes on and plenty of fresh flowers; in fact there are many outdoor sellers and it is all so colourful and pretty. There is a large shopping area with the standard shops you may expect to find, such as H&M, Urban Outfitters, Sephora and more, as well as some designer brands, Gucci, Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton. In addition to this there is also some small Danish boutiques which look incredible.




Botanical Garden

These are very near the castle and they are quite large, you can't miss it from the roadside, and you can see a lot of the inside from the outside through the windows, but of course, it's worth a look inside if horticulture and botanics are something you're interested in. It contains over 13,000 species and is really well frequented. It's quiet early on a morning during the week, and overlooks some gorgeous grounds with a little fountain. Click here to read up about prices and opening times.

The Little Mermaid

This famous statue, on the waterside is a huge landmark in Copenhagen and Danish history. A small unassuming bronze mermaid sculpture, created by Edvard Eriksen, is in essence, a statue of a mermaid sitting on a rock, attracts many visitors, although I did not have the chance to get to it, and feel sad that I didn't get to tick that one of the Copenhagen list, however, this is what the statue looks like before you go, so if you're wandering exactly what this little statue looks like, here it is! The Langeline Park which is where the mermaid sits, has many little historical elements and plenty of cafes, and of course the major sightseeing tourist buses stop here (mermaid line).

Photo Courtesy: Pixabay
The Royal Stables At Christiansborg Palace

For those who love a little bit of history and culture, and are big castle fans, (I know I am), then this may prove to be very fascinating. Get a taste of Danish royalty and see the 20 horses in the royal stables. Prices are around 50DKK, or £6 ish.


Food

Because most people seem to love food (as do I), I thought this would be a good place to start. There are no shortages of places to stop and eat whilst in the city. Down in the main attraction, Nyhavn, the harbour, you'll find restaurant after restaurant. It didn't seem too busy (early January) but I imagine this place is crowded in summer. You'll find all cuisines here, and just like most European people, coffee is the hot topic on everyone's mind. You will find lots of good coffee shops, most look to be independent and beautifully decorated. I assume the competition is very high in this market, so making somewhere look and feel good is a must. The Danish Hygge (cosy homely feel) is in full force in most places. Find the smaller cafes, they are less commercialised and more traditional to the city.

Places I ate at: 

Feel Good Cafe (55 Norre Farimagsgade) - this all natural, mostly vegan cafe (chicken is available) was an absolute gem of a find! If only places like this existed in the UK! I chose a warming soup, pumpkin with kale and spices, and it was so wintry and perfect! I love healthy cafes and especailly when they go above and beyond to make their dishes look like little pieces of art. This dish was around £14 but it was huge, much bigger than it appears and just almost looks too good to eat! The design of this place was also stunning, very Pinterest worthy, and full of plants, rose gold and very intimate feeling.





La Rocca (23 Vendersgade - Ibsens Hotel) - La Rocca Italian restaurant was attached onto the hotel I was staying at. It is an independent restaurant but this restaurant was incredibly stylish, with a chic classy feel, a little bit of luxury, with the best Italian pizzas I've ever tried! The vegetarian pizza had pesto on it and plenty of tomatoes and veggies!



Noma (Strandgade) - this luxury Michelin star restaurant is the perfect place if you're wanting something a little lush during your stay. We all like a little bit of class and glam and this is the place. Boasts fresh seafood, it's speciality and an array of delicious delicassies to feast your eyes on!

Photo Courtesy: Business Insider
A good way to get the best deals for sightseeing is to purchase a Copenhagen Card. Sadly I found out about this a little too late, but it does allow free entry to 79 attractions, and you can read about how to pick one up here.

To read about where I stayed in Copenhagen with Arthur Hotels, click here.