I’ve always enjoyed my visits to Copenhagen, which is a clean and civilized city with fine architecture and some notable restaurants, but until my recent trip I’d not ventured far into Denmark itself, aside from stays at Falsled Kro, an exceptional retreat a two-hour drive to the west of the capital on the island of Funen. Further exploration was clearly long overdue, so I drew up an itinerary for a 10-day circular tour around the country’s two main islands of Zealand and Jutland.
The standard of the hotels proved to be a revelation: There were no serious disappointments, and four of the six properties were outstanding. The food was also a consistent pleasure of our journey, with delicious fish, lobster, pork and ham, as well as Denmark’s famous smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches), complemented by surprisingly excellent local wines and, of course, shots of aquavit, the signature Scandinavian spirit. (Both the castle hotel Dragsholm Slot and the 18th-century inn Henne Kirkeby Kro now boast restaurants with Michelin stars.) It was also a joy to visit pretty salt-sprayed villages such as Gilleleje and Skagen and to wander along beaches with only the seagulls for company. Eventually we were forced to trade the flower-flecked fields of the countryside for the lively streets of Copenhagen, where we spent a few days at one of our favorite European hotels, the elegant and recently renovated Hotel d’Angleterre.
In the past few months, I’ve made several trips to Texas. Despite zealous research in the booming city of Austin, I failed to discover anywhere new of particular note. And a recent hotel debut in the West Texas town of Marfa also left me underwhelmed. However, I was extremely impressed by Hotel Emma in San Antonio, housed within the former Pearl Brewery building on the city’s colorful River Walk, and I also relished a brief stay at The Inn at Dos Brisas, a serene rural sanctuary with a fine restaurant and a magnificent equestrian center, located a little more than an hour’s drive northwest of Houston.