Advantages Good, if basic, accommodation in an expensive town
Disadvantages Not luxurious if that's what you like, could do with some tlc, breakfast only in peak season
|Value for Money|
|Quality of Rooms|
|Standard of Service|
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|Quality of Facilities|
When you read about the idea for the theme of this bed and breakfast in the town of Hanko on Finland's Baltic coast, it does sound pretty exciting. The reality is a little different but all things considered this isn't a bad little place to stay. According to the guidebook we had, the place had a "golden age of Hollywood" theme - this turned out to be mostly photocopied black and white pictures of old movie stars on the doors of the rooms and a few dog eared ones in the room too. I don't like to sound mean but it would perhaps be better if they hadn't bothered.The location is not bad, five minutes from the bus and train station, another five minutes walk brings you to the town centre and another five to the harbour and beach. There is a supermarket and a pizza joint close by.
The house is attractive - a pleasant white washed building with lots of little balconies and add-ons. It sits in a lovely garden and there's a barbecue for the use of guests. There is plenty of parking available.There was nobody in when we turned up; admittedly it was the off season and we'd not booked in advance. There were some business cards on the door and the waitress in the pizza place let us use her mobile - there are no public phones in Finland it seems (well it is the home of Nokia!). The owner arranged for his friend who was staying there to let us in; a few minutes later we were checked in and had been shown to our room. This sizeable double was accessed not through the front door but through a side door. In this annex were several other rooms, a living room with a TV and fridge and a shared bathroom. It was all clean if a little run down and dated. The layout seems pretty good so that there are rooms in different parts of the building which I would think, when the place is quite busy, would reduce noise.
Our double cost around 50 Euro per night and did not include breakfast which is only available in the high season. When available, breakfast is served in the main part of the house. If that price seems high for this type of accommodation, remember that this is Scandinavia where prices tend to be higher for almost everything.Our room contained a big double bed, a dressing table and wardrobe and a sofa that could have done with being reupholstered as it was a little hard in parts and too squishy in others. There was no "colour scheme" and everything had the look of being thrown together more from convenience than design. The bedspread was made of a pseudo-satin fabric and when I sat on the bed to fasten my shoe laces I promptly slid off onto the floor. I thought this was a shame as the exterior was so appealing that it really deserved a little better inside.
The weather was quiet cold but the heating was on and the room was lovely and cosy. There was always hot water and the bathroom was fine except a little dingy even with the light on over the mirror.In the hope of watching a weather report we did try the ancient television in the sitting area but we weren't able to get a decent picture on any of the channels.
Pensionat Garbo is a good option but don't get carried away by the prospect of the Hollywood theme. This is a comfortable but slightly down at heel pension that offers decent accommodation at a good price for Hanko.
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