As soon as you cross the threshold of this unique inn, you are immediately at peace with the world. Fanø Krogaard is a place you’ve always looked for, not only on the Danish coast. Beautiful design, creaking parquet, the scent of wood, guests chatting in hushed voices, young waiters serving food, the crackling of the fireplace in front of the reception. In the small library someone is lounging and browsing through one of the many interesting books. In every corner there are special objects, family memories or treasures from the region. And it dawns on you right away: Fanø Krogaard is the ideal place to wind down.
The lady who guides us through the house is as charming as the property itself: Mette Hyttel grew up on the other side of Fanø, on the mainland in her parents’ hotel. For a long time, she worked away and abroad as a fashion and furniture buyer only to return back to her roots a few years ago and turned this historic inn into a hidden gem. “For me, it’s a dream come true,” she says over coffee in the restaurant. “Well, a dream that of course also requires a lot of work.“
As the name suggests, this property is a “Kro”, as Danish village inns used to be called. Hospitality has always been at the heart of this place. For centuries. The exterior is inspired by the ever-present beach houses typical of the island. In fact, they all look like something out of a picture book. Everything is very well kept and charming. Fanø Krogaard is on the East side of the island, facing the Wadden Sea. The beaches and holiday homes are a mere 15 minutes’ walk to the West.
Mette’s philosophy: Hospitality meets authenticity. She wants her guests to feel like they are at home with friends. Except that Mette’s home just looks very very beautiful and there are probably few who live like that.
In addition to the restaurant space, she also planned an area for larger events. It’s a so-called “Folkestuen”, a room meant for family or friend gatherings. You can also eat outside here, in the glass conservatory, which is heated by another fireplace and has a view of the sea.
Fanø Krogaard has a total of twenty-five rooms. Four of them are in the wing formerly used for banquets. All rooms have their own terrace with a sea view and a whirlpool. Ten rooms are on the first floor of the main building, which was built in 1664. From the large windows you can admire the breathtaking horizon of the North Sea and sometimes you can see seals playing in the sand. There are also six other spartan yet meticulously maintained rooms. They are located at the back of the hotel and are called “maid’s rooms”, not because they lack charm, but because they are so tiny. They are equipped only with a bed, a wardrobe and a private bathroom, ideal for those who are planning more of an exploration trip.
In 2022 they added another 5 rooms to the property. They are in a separate house called ‘Skomagerens Hus’ and inspired by the houses here on Fanø with wallpaper, small artifacts, heavy curtains and larger beds with lots of pillows. The style is very British due to the early days when people were sailing to England.
The restaurant is, of course, the heart of the house. Everything is lovingly decorated, the crockery, the napkins, the glasses. It is all off the charts. The menu is a treat — everything is seasonal, but the chef also serves dishes with Italian and French influences. Quality is the common thread that runs through all the courses. Many patrons arrive for the excellent dinner only. For breakfast, there is a selection of á la carte dishes: a veritable triumph of Nordic delicacies, quality salmon, various types of bread, perfect eggs, cheese, cold cuts, yoghurt and Danish pastries. Always in front of windows framing the picturesque expanse of sand and waves.
Fanø lies only 50 kilometers north of Sylt and is correspondingly similar in terms of geography (well, in terms of the visitors not so much). The whole island is 15 kilometers long and 5 kilometers wide. The hotel is located in the small village of Nordby Sogn with a few other restaurants and cafés. (There is also another village called ‘Sønderho’, which is in the south).
In the summer, of course, a perfect place to spend a week on the beach in Denmark. In the low seasons as well as in winter, the house is transformed into a romantic villa from one of those Andersen novels. A real experience.
Small rooms around 130 euro per night, the bigger ones are around 260 euro including breakfast, depending on the season.
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