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Many of the old towns and villages remain relatively the same year after year, but we've noted some updates and changes below. Of course, in cosmopolitan Copenhagen, the pulse always beats faster, so there's lots to report. Here are some of the newest developments in various categories.

Copenhagen

Accommodations -- Massive renovations have returned Le Meridien Palace Hotel, at Rådhuspladsen 57 (tel. 800/543-4300 or 33-14-40-50), to its former glory. Long a celebrity favorite, it completed restoration work in January 2009, when it was granted a five-star rating by the government. Our favorite wing is called "The Night Wing," inspired by the mystical hues of the night; each accommodation here is individually designed.

Sharing the Rådhuspladsen with the above-recommended Palace is the elegant hotel The Square, Rådhuspladsen 14 (tel. 33-38-12-00), a modern property overlooking the Town Hall. Minimalist lines characterize this exquisitely designed hotel, where bedrooms open onto panoramic views of Copenhagen. The furnishings are tastefully and stylishly modern, and there are imaginative Danish design touches throughout, including Arne Jacobsen's famous circular chair, "The Egg."

AXEL Hotel Guldsmeden, Helgolandsgade 11 (tel. 33-31-32-66), is the latest member of the Guldsmeden family chain to open in Copenhagen in the Vesterbro district near the Central Station behind the Tivoli Gardens. Bedrooms are attractively decorated in a Balinese style, with original paintings, Persian carpets, and wooden floors; some of the most luxurious and elegant accommodations -- also the most expensive -- are penthouse suites.

Scandinavia's only floating hotel, CPH Living, has opened at 570 Langebrogade Kaj (tel. 30-41-02-11), with 12 rooms furnished with the best of Scandinavian design, each room definitely nautical, with steel and hardwood deck materials used throughout. This is elegant houseboat living, a novelty and a marvelous change of pace for those wishing to experience the pulsating harbor life of Copenhagen. All rooms are equipped with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Restaurants -- In the increasingly trendy district of Vesterbro, Kiin Kiin, at Guldbergsgade 21 (tel. 35-35-75-55), reigns as Copenhagen's finest Thai dining room, serving only a fixed-price menu nightly that is sublime but very expensive. For those who can afford it, it's worth it. This bastion of modern Thai cooking feeds you one delectable dish after another, with some surprise ingredients in certain cases, including fresh orchids for you to eat. Try such delights as red coconut curry with litchi nuts and fresh shellfish.

Also in the Vesterbro district, a Danish and Asian restaurant, Karriere, is now serving delectable food at Flaesketorvet 57-67 (tel. 33-21-55-09). The skilled chefs feature set menus of 2 to 10 courses, the latter a treat for gourmets and gourmands. The kitchen makes great use of organic produce, and the restaurant is owned by a famous Danish artist, Jeppe Hein, who naturally decorates his dining room in the meat-packing district of Copenhagen with paintings, not just his own, but those of other international artists.

In another emerging district, Langebro, you can dine on seafood as well as both Danish and Mediterranean specialties at VIVA, Langebrok Kaj 570 (tel. 27-25-05-05). The dining room is on a remodeled barge opening onto a view of the Royal Library. In summer, guests prefer to dine on the sun deck, where the music from a DJ fills the night. The chefs provide an elegant ambience for a quality cuisine. An evening menu is based on tapas, allowing you to enjoy several different taste sensations.

In the Copenhagen Admiral Hotel, Salt, Toldbodgade 24-28 (tel. 33-74-14-44), is the creation of British designer Sir Terence Conran. Enjoying a waterside setting, it serves a superb international cuisine. The chefs use some of the most high-quality and market-fresh ingredients, which are reflected in their constantly changing fixed-price menus.

Geranium, Kronprinsessegade 13 (tel. 33-11-13-04), near the Nørreport Station, is a bastion of gourmet food and the home base for two of the most brilliant and talented chefs in Copenhagen, Rasmus Kofoed and Soren Ledet. In 2008, they were awarded "Restaurant of the Year" accolades by several Danish gourmet societies. An inventiveness and precision with regional products characterize their sublime cuisine.

In the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel, Albert K, Hammerichsgade 1 (tel. 38-15-65-00), is one of the most successful fusions of Danish raw materials with the culinary techniques of the new Italian kitchen. A great emphasis on freshness characterizes the kitchen, and you can order every item from North Sea cod and oysters to just-caught lobster. The restaurant is panoramic, lying on the 20th floor of this elegant hotel.

Shopping -- There are more and more showcases of Danish design opening in Copenhagen, including The House, Nyhavn 11 (tel. 32-95-00-24), which is a virtual museum of Danish designers, both the golden oldies and the most futuristic of today. There's everything here from Arne Jacobsen's celebrated Swan Chair to the most avant-garde designs of artisans today.

After Dark -- Hailed as the best bar in Copenhagen, Ruby, Nybrogade 10 (tel. 33-93-12-03), turns out the most original cocktails in the city. The demimonde flock to its door, which looks like the entrance to a private home. The bar was created from a restored warehouse from the 18th century.

Aalborg

One of the most exclusive and finest seafood restaurants in Jutland, Rosdahls, at Strandvejen 6 (tel. 98-12-05-80), is housed today in an old converted sugar warehouse along the banks of the Limfjord River. The fresh fish is purchased each day by the chefs at a nearby auction. In spite of its rustic setting, this is one of the most elegant restaurants in the area, with a kitchen that is a fusion of the best of Danish flavors with Mediterranean recipes.

In hotel dining, the best news is coming from the opening of a first-rate Danish restaurant, Kong Richard, in the Radisson SAS Hotel at Ved Stranden 14-16 (tel. 98-12-39-99). The skilled chefs produce five- and six-course menus that are changed nightly, featuring some of the best of Danish regional produce, such as fresh game dishes in the autumn.

Århus

Accommodations -- A small boutique hotel, Villa Provence, Fredens Torv 12 (tel. 86-18-24-00), opens onto a tranquil square in the city. This designer hotel evokes an inn in the south of France. Each room is individually designed and furnished in a typical Provençal style. In the rear is a cobblestone courtyard graced with tall lime trees. Wrought-iron beds sit on wide-planked oak floors.

Restaurants -- Thorsten Schmidt reigns today as the most inventive chef on Jutland at his Malling & Schmidt, Jægergårdsgade 81 (tel. 86-17-70-88), specializing in Scandinavian cuisine. All of his raw ingredients come from the Nordic countries, ranging from rapeseed oil to dehydrated pumpkin to pickled cloudberries and seaweed. He attempts to create a taste sensation with every dish, and his combinations of flavors shock some first-timers; yet the result is almost always harmonious.

To break from the Nordic kitchen, Forlaens & Baglaens has opened at Jægergårdsgade 23 (tel. 86-76-00-70), serving the best and most authentic tapas in Jutland. In the center of town, the chefs nightly prepare a fine array of varied tapas -- meat, vegetable, or seafood. You can also order one of the tastiest fixed-price menus in Århus.

Helsingør

It's only appropriate that a Hotel Hamlet, Bramstrasse 5 (tel. 49-21-05-91), would exist in this town made famous by the Shakespeare play. The hotel has been around for some time but was getting a bit battered until a major renovation made it one of the most acceptable and affordable choices in town. Located near the harbor, it is also a good choice for those arriving by ferryboat from Sweden and seeking a desirable address for the night.

Naestved

In the largest town of South Zealand, lying 80km (50 miles) southwest of Copenhagen, sits Mogenstrup Kro, at Praestø Landevej 25 (tel. 55-76-11-30), which has been putting up wayfarers for 200 years. It was certainly beginning to show its age until 2008, when it underwent a much-needed renovation, with a spa added to keep up with the demands of modern travelers. Slated for reopening in 2009, it will make one of the best centers for exploring South Zealand. Danish country cooking will still be a feature of the inn.

Ribe

In a city long known for its storks, Danhostel Ribe has opened at Ribehallen, Skt. Peders Gade 16 (tel. 75-42-06-20), with 152 beds. Rooms with private bathroom can also be rented, and many standard bedrooms can also be booked by families -- up to five guests. This brick-built hostel is one of the finest in Denmark, and there is a cafeteria on-site, as well as a kitchen set aside for the use of guests.

Svendborg

On the Hans Christian Andersen island of Funen, Hotel Ærø, Brogade 1, Ærøfaergen (tel. 62-21-07-60), is the oldest hotel in this port city. After a major restoration, it is now an acceptable and affordable choice for overnighting. Even if you don't stay here, consider it for dinner. Locals claim it serves the most authentic Danish cuisine in Svendborg.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.