“ 10 Achilleos str. / 10436 Athens / Greece „
Recently (June 2011) I went on holiday with some friends. We were on a budget, but most of us, including me, were not willing to stay at anything less than a 3 star hotel. We knew we wouldn't be in our rooms for long, but we still wanted a clean room and a clean bathroom. I was responsible for booking hotels and after doing a lot of research, I booked the Apollo Hotel in Athens for 2 nights. This was the first city we visited on our trip.
Booking this hotel was very straightforward. I compared room prices across a number of websites, and found the cheapest deal on Expedia.
The hotel is located 2 minutes away from the Metaxourgio metro station. It is quite easy to get there from the airport, and the hotel is centrally located so the Acropolis, and other major tourist attractions are only a short metro ride away or you could even easily walk to some. In fact, on our first evening we had dinner near the Acropolis and then walked home. Some people have complained that the area is a little dodgy, but we were travelling in a group and never felt unsafe.
Check in was quite smooth. The man at the reception had a look at my booking and handed us the keys straight away. He also gave us some maps and told us that we could ask him if we needed anything else. There was unrest in Athens at the time so he told us to stay away from certain areas. However, the unrest did not really affect any of our plans and we were still able to see everything we wanted.
Apollo Hotel is a 3 star hotel. The lobby was clean and basic. There was a massage chair there which hotel guests could use free of charge. There was also lots of sitting space and a TV. Wifi was provided free of charge, but there was also a computer with internet access in the lobby which hotel guests could use. I used this computer to access my email and it worked just fine. The elevator was a little old fashioned but functional, and seemed completely safe.
We booked a single room, a double room and a triple room. I stayed in the double room, so that is the one I will be focusing on. When we walked into our room we were pleasantly surprised. It was quite spacious and not cramped at all. There was enough space to walk all around the room. Opposite the entrance door was a sliding door that led to the bathroom. The bed was along one wall of the room, and opposite this wall was a large dressing table with a mirror above it. Next to the dressing table was a small table under which there was a mini fridge which was empty and on top of the table was a small TV. We didn't really get to watch the TV at all because we didn't have any time. On either side of the bed were 2 small bedside tables. There was a cupboard built into one of the walls with a number of clothes hangers inside. There was enough space inside to fit a few days worth of clothes. There was also a large window in the room but I kept the curtains drawn.
To get the electricity in the room to work, we had to insert a card into a slot next to the door. The key to our room and the card were both in the same key ring so I actually liked this because this way we couldn't misplace the key. There was air conditioning in the room, which we kept at the lowest temperature (16 degrees) on the first night and woke up the next morning freezing! The next night we kept the temperature at 24 degrees and were fine in the morning. We slept well both nights though. The beds were comfortable enough, and there wasn't really any street noise coming in (our windows were closed) which is great as I am a light sleeper. The air conditioning works really well, so if you're visiting in the hot summer months like we were, you don't have to worry.
Our towels were changed everyday, but our sheets weren't. This was ok with me as we were only staying for 2 days. The bed sheet was white and on top of the bed sheet was another cream coloured sheet which we used as a blanket. I would have preferred a duvet as I find them more comfortable. The bed was meant to be a double bed, but it was actually 2 single beds pushed together. This did annoy me a little. The bathroom was a little cramped and consisted of a toilet, a sink and a shower stall. The stall had sliding doors and was spacious, although it was more long than wide. The shower pressure was great, and there was always plenty of hot water. The usual complimentary toiletries were provided, but I used my own. The room and bathroom were both completely spotless, and for me, that is the most important thing. Both were cleaned every day.
There was a complimentary buffet breakfast included in our stay. It was quite basic-lots of bread, Greek yoghurt, jams, cheese, hard boiled eggs and tinned fruit. Tea, coffee and juice was also available. I just had lots of warm bread, yoghurt and cheese, and it was lovely.
The hotel does have a restaurant/cafe which is located on the rooftop. We went there on our last evening to get a quick bite to eat and to enjoy the beautiful views of the Acropolis from up there. There was only one staff member there who would serve as well as make the food (mostly sandwiches and pastas as well as a few simple Greek dishes). It wasn't really busy though so this wasn't a problem. The server/cook was very friendly and we had a nice chat with him. The food was cheap, and while it was not something to write home about, it was decent enough. The views were spectacular though, so we were really glad we chose to eat there.
The staff was very friendly. We would often ask the day and night receptionists for advice about where to eat and what to see, and they were always more than happy to have a chat with us. They spoke English quite well and never seemed to get annoyed by our questions.
We booked through Expedia and paid £36.60 per night for a standard double room. I thought that was quite a decent price for what we got.
I would definitely stay here again if I was to come back to Athens. The room wasn't luxurious but for £36.60 a night I wasn't expecting luxury. It was very clean and the shower (something I'm very fussy about) was lovely. The location was excellent and the staff was very friendly. I was very satisfied with my stay here.
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