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Reviewed 10 March 2018 via mobile

Two years ago I was there for a work seminar, and gave the hotel four stars. Went back this week on the same occasion and sadly, I don't feel comfortable giving it all those stars now. I've been to two star motels with better comfort and overall quality.

Just like last time my colleague and I got one of the refurbished rooms with a balcony. Well, refurbished might be taking it a bit far... They've not painted the rooms since the 1990's, the dated border decor along the rim of the ceiling shows that, and the chair placed at the desk had holes in it. Two other chairs and a small table were of newer date, they hadn't even removed the plastic thing that held the price tag/producer label... But they've put in newer decor, such as a Hawaiian shortboard (!) on the wall, and nice historic black and white pictures from the grand days of the historic hotel.

The beds were of the most uncomfortable we've ever slept in. I doubt the management have tried those themselves before buying them. We were two slim grown up ladies staying in the room, with a normal weight and height, and when we laid down on our sides our hips hit the bottom of the hard mattresses... It's been months since our necks and shoulders hurt like they did when we woke up in the morning...

Furthermore, when you try to close the curtains, they are so stiff you need a hair clip or something to keep them from dividing in the middle with several cm. And even then, you're bound to get a 30-40 cm gap in one end of them, where the sunlight hits right in in the morning.

The bathrooms are tiny, and lacks shelfspace. There are none, and the sink is also tiny. They had however replaced the hideous shower curtains with mounted glass doors, a huge improvement. We'd expected a hotel with a spa to have tiny amenities in the bathroom, at the very least a shampoo and conditioner. All they had was a dispenser body wash and hand soap. And be aware; everything you do in the bathroom, your neighbors will hear you :p

Actually, most of what happens in the neighboring rooms can be heard. As well as conversations. So you won't get much privacy...

The refrigerators are of standard minibar size, without content, and they're not working properly. They weren't two years ago either, so we put our beverages outside on the balcony (third floor room, and snow/cold outside). Two years ago we put our wine bottle inside and left it there for three-four hours, it still wasn't cold... Didn't even try this time...

We were a group of about 120 people, and we were the only guests there that night. Upon arrival we got some dry sandwiches with sweaty cheese and ham, as we hadn't eaten since lunch time, arrived at about 4.30 in the afternoon and dinner was planned for 8 o' clock. The staff were not tentative at all, didn't fill up coffee pots, hot/cold water or remove empty trays. I had to have my dry sandwich without anything to drink, because I couldn't find any clean glasses/cups or staff....

Our three course dinner at night was a farse... First of all, it took three hours!! The only dinners I've been to that took so long were at weddings... We had very few speeches (two), and they were cut short due to the lack of a microphone and horrible acoustics in the big (and dated) restaurant. A place like this, with a stage in the bar area and a conference room should've been able to provide us with a microphone....

The food was so and so... Our starter was a very good asparagus soup, and they served a Tuscan red wine (!) next to that. A very strange combo, and poor quality wine. The main course was a single chicken breast, dry. A single potato, that was supposed to be gratinated, but it had the look and tasted more like a regular mash. On the side they had put on a tiny little broccoli of about 3 x 3 cm. They also put a mushroom sauce on the table, for us to put on ourselves, fair enough, but it was way too little, and they weren't able to refill in time before the rest of the food was cold. We got a white wine from the same producer as the red next to this, and it was way too sweet. At my table I heard several people complaining about the quality of the food and the fact that none were full... We went from a three hour dinner hungry... In general they need to do something about the routines during dinner. It took them up to 30 minutes from we had finished a meal until they removed the plates, and the water bottles were emptied all the time, without anyone refilling them unless we specifically asked them to. Most of the staff there were eastern European, and all though they were polite and professional, they barely spoke English, and didn't know a thing about what they were recommending or serving... Our dessert was a vanilla panna cotta, in which the head chef stated was the chefs speciality. It was tasty, but not all that...

After dinner, at about 11 o' clock, we went to the bar, where they didn't have live music like the last time we were there. It was replaced with an iPad (that we had to manage ourselves) and a single small loud speaker, that people on the dance floor had to shut up to hear. Really poor sound quality and volume for such a big room. They charge NOK 90,- (about $10) for a 0,4 L beer, quite expensive, and the bar was understaffed. They guys working there did so with a smile, and even though we had some difficulties due to a language barrier, they did as well as they could under the circumstances. Kudos to the guys working hard. I hope the hotel director appreciates them, and pays them fairly.

Breakfast and lunch the day after had everything you'd like for those meals, and it was tasty. After the dinner our expectations weren't that high, to be honest, but they raised the bar on those. Very good.

A historic hotel with a grand history has faded. They seem to think they can live off of their old reputation, without continuously improving. So sad. The place has a great potential, too bad they don't seem to have an overall attention to details and a red thread in their sporadically improvements. The walls in the toilets connected to the bar had brown ugly tiling from the 70's, holes and marks in the doors and walls around it, and the restaurant has a color scheme that was dated in the late 90's, and matches the maritime feel of the rooms and location poorly. There are three different styles of furniture in the bar, and the small restaurant between the bar and the main restaurant has a wrought iron art nouveau style... The lobby has a car from the beginning of the 20th century in it. The conference room has a noisy ventilation system, a poor loud speaker system and a general poor air quality. A detail we also laughed at was the lack of matching pens. One would think they'd have some with their logo on, but we found some from dentists, grocery stores, blank ones and even some from other (and better) hotels, among others. We had a laugh of it, but it shows they don't really care...

Considering the fact that Østfold county has gotten a lot of good hotels the last few years, I don't understand why the managers of this historic and potentially wonderful place has let it stagnate and be worn down like this... It truly is sad... They could've had a look towards Støtvig hotel, a short drive away, to get inspiration. I don't know how much Hankø charges it's guests, as it was a work paid seminar, but I actually wouldn't pay to stay there myself.... I hope my employer chooses somewhere else the next time around, unless Hankø rises to the occasion and gives the place it's pride back. I'm rooting for them, and I honestly hope they appreciate the place and gives it a major face lift. Sooner rather than later. I'd eagerly return for that.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled on business
2  Thank InaMP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shiona L, General Manager at Hanko Hotell & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 11 March 2018

Dear InaMP
Thank you so much for taking the time to give us your feedback. We take this seriously and will go through every element and improve some things right away, others will take a bit longer, but we promise that things will happen. We are glad you are rooting for us and hope that you will give us another chance.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2017 via mobile

Stayed here for three nights. Hankø is a beautiful island so the surroundings are top class. The hotel itself is fully OK. Rooms have two single beds, a desk and a sofa. There was a flatscreen TV. Some annoying things like there were only two hangers in the wardrobe, and the water kept running from the shower and out on the bathroom floor.

Service leaves a lot to wish for. The staff are inattentive. Small things like letting us wait a long to get our room keys when we returned to hotel, despite one of the staff standing right next to the counter, or returning to the room to find it cleaned but the two glasses in the room left uncleaned. If you are used to good service you will get annoyed.

Stayed: June 2017, travelled with friends
Thank Claes88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 3 July 2017

Dear guest
Thank you for taking the time to give us Your comments. We will bring this furter to Our staff to improve ourselves. Thank you for Your stay and hope to see you again some other time.

Best regards
Alexander Forsberg

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2017

Very good location just 20 minutes drive outside Fredrikstad.
after å short trip with a ferry boat you get on the island of Hankø.
The hotell has a mini buss for luggage and passengers.
Friendly staff. Good food and good facilities for Conference.

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank chefpeter61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2017

We just had a lovely weekend at this hotel, but I will still give the owner and management a few free advice on how to improve the overall experience.

I know it is winter and probably low season, so I'll take that into consideration when rating.

First - when we book spa treatment in advance, it would be nice if towels and bathrobes were in place in the room when we check in. It is sort of a nice touch to your customers. But if that is not done, it would at least be wise to have a stack of bathrobes and towels easily available when customers ask for them in the reception.
And where there are two people in the same room, they might want one bathrobe each. Even as a couple it is not really convenient to share a single bathrobe between us.

And speaking about couples. When someone orders a "duo massage" and they give you two names. Maybe you should expect two people to show up? So you could have _two_ therapists available. Just a tip.

I realize that the sticker on the bathroom wall about saving the planet by using the towels more than once, is probably just a hoax, but it would seem just _slightly_ more convincing if there were actually somewhere to hang the towels.

The dinner buffet was alright. I don't understand how you managed to get listed among "De Kulinariske", but I'll write that off as being because you have a different chef in the summer and winter, and they probably didn't bother to visit you in the winter.
The beer steamed mussels were really good. The entrecote was great cooked, but didn't really taste much, and the rest of the food was as expected from a cheap roadside cafe.

What you should also look into, is to try to agree on when the breakfast actually starts. Is it 9 as the guy in the reception will tell you? Is it 8 as the SIGN in the reception states? It seems like a good compromise that the people working in the restaurant actually opens it at 8:30, but this might be a little bit confusing to your customers.
- And just a little tip here. If you place an extra can of coffee and some cups outside the restaurant in the morning, like you do in the evening, it would probably help shortening the waiting time.

But let's get back to the rest of the facilities. I know we probably set our expectations too high after staying a few other "Spa Hotels", but one swimming pool with really cold water, a tiny indoor hot tub, and another tiny outdoor hot tub was a bit less than expected. At least we got to know the other few guests who could fit in the tubs pretty intimately...

But as I said, we will write of some of these things as being because you are in low season, you probably have your "best men" sent off to the main land for the winter. That's ok. We had each other, so the company was great.
But how you manage to fit all your guests in those pools and tubs when the place is full is more than I understand.
And one would think that in low season, there should be an abundance of towels, bath robes, employees trying to help you and give the best possible service when there are so few guests. But maybe not. It is probably much, much better when the place is really busy.

And don't mind the smell from the outdoor hot tub in the morning. It was fixed after we finally managed to explain to your staff what needed to be done, and they managed to locate the service man.

But what really convinced me to lower your score from 3 to 2 was the big ball of hair that my wife found in the shower in the spa area in the morning.
You probably did not have time to clean up during the day, with all your staff running around searching for missing towels, bathrobes, therapists, maintenance guys and probably something or someone the needed to be located for all the other guests as well.
But at some time, from the spa and pool area closed at 1900, and before it opened the morning after, you _really_ should find time to clean up the dressing rooms and showers.

Thanks for listening.

  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
9  Thank Olatho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2017 via mobile

We stayed one night here while touring the Southern Norway by car. The hotel was on an island and tou needed to take a small boat to cross the water. The boat wasn't included in the price. There was a longish walk from the harbor to the hotel. Luckily one of the guests helped by taking our luggage on his golf car.

Since we were with small kids we didn't want to get back to town for dinner and we ate at the hotel. There was extremely nice decor but it didn't hide the fact that the food was boring. We were accompanied with one other family so it cannot have been a financial success for the hotel as well.

Stayed: July 2016, travelled with family
Thank Kelokoivu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 13 March 2017

Dear guest.
Thank you for Your comments. Just want to correct one fact, that it was our staff that assisted you with the golfcar, as only hotel staff have access to viechles on the island. We always appresiate feedback and strive to improve our services at all times.

Best regards
Alexander Forsberg

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