Copenhagen Gallery

Cph Living

Copenhagen’s first floating hotel is moored in the inner harbour basin of the port of Copenhagen. An old transport barge has been converted into an exclusive hotel with twelve rooms.

In the innermost part of the Port of Copenhagen, close to Kalvebod Bastion and the Langebro bridge, is Copenhagen's first floating hotel. A former transport barge has been transformed into an exclusive hotel with twelve rooms, all of which benefit from the soft background music of lapping waves and fantastic views of the harbour and the city.

CPH LIVING is the name of the hotel, which is also extremely sustainable in terms of energy consumption, as it uses energy from the water in the harbour to heat the hotel facilities.

Long process to introduce new houseboats

It is certainly not every day that there is a new houseboat in the harbour of Copenhagen. The debate on whether more houseboats should be allowed in the large harbour basin has raged for several years, with differing opinions issued from political quarters, the owners of the port and the many different private and public owners of the quay areas along the harbour basins.

According to Klaus Antons of Waterliving, the architectural practice and contractor behind the CPH LIVING project, the entire process was long and sometimes complicated, with several encounters with red tape. The uncertain conditions regarding houseboats in the harbour meant that it took between three and four years to obtain a permit from the City of Copenhagen to site the hotel at the Langebro bridge - and the permit is a temporary one, issued for a period of only five years.

CPH LIVING is now moored along the quay at the Langebro bridge, which is a public area zoned for commercial activities aimed at the general public. Its only neighbour is the LIVA restaurant ship.

New hotel on old barge

The houseboat regulations applying to the location in the port of Copenhagen also excluded a hotel built on a new houseboat. Consequently, Waterliving had to find and convert an old transport barge, even though it would have been easier to build a new hotel boat from scratch.


A special energy feature is concealed in the hotel boat structure: the hotel uses the heat energy of the water around the boat to heat water on board the boat. This water is used to provide hot water for guests and to heat the floors of the hotel rooms.

A 300 metre long hose and a Danfoss heat pump are built into the bottom of the hull. The heat from the harbour water penetrates the hull and heats the bathwater that runs in the hose, and the heat pump then increases the temperature to 65-70 degrees. The system enables energy savings of 65%, according to Antons.

Fully automatic hotel

CPH LIVING is a fully automatic hotel, which in practice means that guests book and pay for rooms online and then receive a PIN code to use for checking in and out of the hotel. In other words, apart from cleaning staff, there is no one to disturb hotel guests. Breakfast is provided by the LIVA restaurant ship that is very conveniently berthed next to CPH LIVING.

The barge hotel is the first of its kind in Copenhagen. Hotel co-owner Henrik Smith believes that the hotel rooms will appeal to people who want romance, comfort and a special harbour atmosphere.

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014