Venetian palazzo informs "elegant and unexpected" interiors of Hotel Bella Grande

Bold red-and-white checkerboard tiles and colourful upholstered banquettes lend an Italian feel to the atrium of this Copenhagen hotel designed by local studio Tonen.

Malene Bech-Pedersen and Mette Bonavent of Tonen oversaw the design of Hotel Bella Grande, which occupies a historic building close to Copenhagen City Hall.

Constructed in 1899, the five-storey building retained many characterful features but was in need of refurbishment to maximise its potential and bring it up to modern standards.

Tonen has refurbished a hotel informed by a Venetian palazzo

Tonen aimed to create interiors for the 109-room hotel that are timeless yet contemporary and combine a sense of nostalgic charm with modern sophistication.

“For the interior of Hotel Bella Grande we had two important pointers,” said the designers. “First of all to create a design hotel that is a true treat to the eye, and second to highlight the historic and very classic architecture of the building.”

“The hotel rooms should be luxurious, with high-quality materials and references to midcentury Italian design,” they added. “The interior design plays with a nostalgia that is utterly elegant, but also unexpected.”

Interior view of hotel by Tonen
The hotel occupies a historic building close to Copenhagen City Hall

Inspiration for the project came from a trip to Italy, where Bech-Pedersen and Bonavent were impressed by a Venetian palazzo with an open-air central courtyard and peach-coloured walls.

The atrium at Hotel Bella Grande has a roof light that allows natural light to flood into a bright and welcoming space containing colourful furnishings, floral arrangements and marble-tiled floors that enhance the al-fresco feel.

Atrium within Hotel Bella Grande by Tonen
Marble tiled floors feature in the bright atrium

“We went for ‘wow’,” said the designers of their approach to the interiors, and particularly the reception and courtyard areas that are the first guests encounter upon entering the building.

“This should be a very one-of-a-kind experience, and nothing like you would normally experience in the centre of Copenhagen.”

The atrium was previously a dark and underused space that required significant upgrades to become a prominent focal point within the scheme.

Soundproof windows were added to all the rooms that overlook the courtyard. All four internal walls were covered in acoustic foam which, along with the soft furnishings, helps to reduce sound reverberation within the space.

Tonen looked to give the hotel’s rooms and suites a calming atmosphere through the use of muted colours and sophisticated details, such as the coordinated upholstered armchairs and fabric lampshades from Danish brand Oi soi oi.

Internal courtyard at Hotel Bella Grande
The hotel also contains a restaurant

The hotel also contains an Italian restaurant called Donna, with a lively and vibrant interior defined by its use of moody red and pink hues.

The dining room’s dark red ceiling is complemented by blood-red couches and pink curtains that were designed to create an atmosphere of romance, but have a touch of mystery for the space to take on a nightclub vibe later in the evenings.

Guests can choose to dine in the main restaurant or in the atrium space, while a laid-back cocktail lounge provides a cosy spot for pre-dinner drinks or late-night conversations.

Donna restaurant by Tonen
An internal courtyard is overlooked by the hotel bedrooms

Tonen was involved in every detail of the hotel’s interior fit-out, sourcing vintage objects and artworks to sit alongside contemporary pieces including furniture from &Tradition, bedside lamps by Tom Dixon, side tables from Polspotten and bespoke vanities made by by Københavns Møbelsnedkeri.

“Both Bella and Donna are very much unmistakable expressions of our style,” claimed Bech-Pedersen and Bonavent. “We love the historic references, mixing vintage with new design and the use of materials that age beautifully.”

Interior view of Donna restaurant by Tonen
The restaurant interior is defined by red and pink hues

Hotel Bella Grande is owned by Copenhagen Food Collective, a Copenhagen-based group operating 18 restaurants around the city. Tonen has worked on interiors for several of Cofoco’s properties, including Coco Hotel and Restaurant Delphine.

Other recent restaurant interiors on Dezeen include a steel-and-mirror space in London’s Mayfair area and a Frankfurt restaurant with lime-wash walls.

The photography is courtesy of Tonen.

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