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Help me choose/rank hotels (list and likes)

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Help me choose/rank hotels (list and likes)

Hi. I'm sure this question is asked a lot but given that I have never been to Athens please help me out. It will be three of us traveling (couple and 3 yr old boy). We like to be located where we can walk to restaurants, museums, acropolis (will have stroller if needed). Want a clean, nice, friendly hotel with some luxury. Does not have to be 5 star if service is great and rooms nice. Here is my list so far to choose from. Additional suggestions also well received :)

King George

Grand Bretagne

Electra

Athens Gate

Thanks!

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1. Re: Help me choose/rank hotels (list and likes)

a. Is it Electra or Electra Palace?

Electra is located on Syundagma Sq., Electra Palace is in Plaka, overall a better location.

b. When are you are arriving? August? winter? some more data would probably help on decision.

All in your list are good options ( i guess it IS Electra Palace and not Electra, which is also a good option but ranks a little bit lower ).

King George and Grande Bretagne relate directly to each other. They are aside to each other and ranked in the best hotels of Athens. I slightly lean towards Grande Bretagne since rooms are bigger and also offers an outsdoor pool which KG does not offer. Both share a good location which offers a 5' - 15' walking distance to Plaka where the mostly pedestrianized area and most of your walks will be. They are both on the Syndagma Sq. which is the very center of the city with the Parliament Building and a major subway / transportation hub. Subway is 1' distance, tram also, airport bus also etc.

Electra Palace is in Plaka which would offer a really great location and greatest proximity to restaurants. Also offers an outdoor pool. My main concern would be their room size, since most of the visitors do complaina bit on it. If you are going for an upgraded room which is bigger n higher floors, this is a very very good option location wise. It will be a 10' walk from Syndagma on arrival (well, if you take a taxi, it is of course 0' walk ) but it's in Plaka so this is the option with the shortest proximity to Plaka.

Athens Gate also offers a good location. 10' walking distance from Syndagma ( this is one subway stop walk ) and 3' to the nearest subway stop ( this is Acropolis station ). It is located on an avenue at the outer limit of Plaka, nearest possible to Acropolis. No outdoor pool, still new rooms, great proximity to Plaka, restaurants and so. Facade rooms have really great views but may be a little bit noisy, so inner or side rooms will be quieter.

----------------------------------------------------

If arriving on a hot month ( till let's say September ) i would pick Electra Place as a first choice, only on an upgraded room though. Space may be a little bit tight for 3 persons in their normal rooms. Second choice would be either Athens Gate or Grande Bretagne.

If don't care for a pool, i would pick Athens gate or Electra Palace again or Grande Bretagne again. Reason i leave KG outside is that you can find similar accomodation next door ( GB ) with more spacious rooms and overall somewhat better service imho.

Wantng to make the list broader and having in mind central good hotels with short access to pedestrian areas, near Plaka and Acropolis, i would probably add http://www.herahotel.gr/ and http://www.avahotel.gr/index.htm

Hera is 3' walk from Acropolis Museum. No pool but good location / nicely decorated rooms. AVA is apartments hotel. In Plaka, as an apartment option, may be an option giving some more space needed. Both do not offer pool though.

My major concern overall would be space in all cases. Normal rooms are a bit smaller in Europe anyway. Being 2 adults and a kid, space may be a factor in all choices, so search on upgraded room types which offer a little bit more space. You will not spend eons in your rooms, still you need some more space :)

Welcome in Greece forum :)

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2. Re: Help me choose/rank hotels (list and likes)

Thank you for such a detailed and informative response. I will look at all of them again and your additional suggestions. We are looking at arriving the first week of Sept. and spending a couple days in Athens and around before moving on to the islands (Cyclades, but not sure which ones yet). This whole planning thing has been a bit overwhelming. We have traveled a lot to Europe (Germany, France, Spain...) but never to Greece. For whatever reason, maybe so much to do, Greece seems harder to plan.

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3. Re: Help me choose/rank hotels (list and likes)

It is :)

Greece is tiny in strict geographical terms and in the same time vast in cultural context and diversity / number of options. Complexity of natural plateau / number of islands / options in the mainland too, well this ends up a lil' overwhelming for many first time planners.

Look at it as being a good thing : ) You really don' want a destination with not many things to offer, lol :))

Forum here is really active and can help you organize a lot of things or advise on travelling / eating and in general help you refine what you seek to do.

It is simply not possible to cover all of the country in one trip. Many visitors do this a return trip many times to do so. All in all try to keep it simple, sticking in a "wishlist" and a "each place at least 3 nights" general rule. Overnights or day trips are of course an option, just don't do it a sequence of overnights to see more :).

So, keep it simple and stick to a "wishlist" of things that may have caught your attention.

One decision to make early is how you will overall plan your trip combining the Athens part of it:

A timesaving way to do it ( having in mind that it is always a good idea to be in Athens at least one night before your intl' flight back to the States ) is to fly to an island imediatelly after your landing in Athens. You are already in the airport and a 40' extra flight can get you to an island to un-wind and de-lag.

Other visitors prefer to spend one - two nights at the start in Athens to get to the spirit and then proceed to the islands. It is your option how to do it.

Domestic flights are often on offer on http://www.aegeanair.com/ to get you a descent fare, so as soon as you have some basic wishlist explre the possibility of flying to an island first leaving Athens at the end.

By the time you are arriving ( September ) Airport metro in Athens which is ( the specific airport connecion only ) currently out of use due to upgrading works, will be again most probably running, making coming in the city a really easy way.

All in all you have started with a good hotel list in Athens. Stick to it and work on the wish-list regardind the rest of the trip. The whole thing needs a bit of homework to unlock the beauty of the country :)

Trust me, this exact homework will make the trip much more memorable and fulfilling at the end. It is a splendid country :)

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4. Re: Help me choose/rank hotels (list and likes)

e to the Greece Forums, busyUSmom!

You said, "Want a clean, nice, friendly hotel with some luxury. Does not have to be 5 star if service is great and rooms nice."

I think you will find that, except for the "luxury" part, most hotels in Greece will tick your other boxes. To include "luxury," you will have to look for the higher-end accommodations. But you may not want to limit your choices so much! You may miss some great hotels in searching for luxury accommodations... especially if you only look at the ratings.

I have always found the hotel ratings system in Greece confusing... some places you'll see the stars, but mostly it's an A-B-C-D thing. Maybe a travel profressional can explain how this works, because I've found C-Category hotels that are much, much nicer than A-Category/5-star places. I suspect it has to do with a formula that includes a bunch of factors like lobby size, number of rooms, on-site facilities, and so on.

Anyway, my point is, that since you'll be traveling with a small child, maybe the "luxury" factor will be less important than the "clean, nice, friendly" part!

You'll find that 99% of Greeks are fond of children, and the people in hotels and restaurants will treat your son like one of their own. So if I were you, I'd look for child-friendly hotels first. I am sure you can find some in the TA reviews and forums. You should have lots of choices.

A bigger problem when travelling with a very small child is that in most of Greece pushing a stroller is very hard work! Uneven and broken sidewalks or no sidewalks, lots of stairs, and lots of cars, motorcycles and scooters who are all in too big a hurry, and park where ever they can find a tiny space, all makes for an exhausting task!

I'll share this article which was written some years ago, and although I think Athens is improved, it's still true to a large extent! Also quite amusing, especially to one who has "been there; done that."

http://www.greektravel.com/stroller.html

Well, I apologize for the length and rambling quality of this post! (Just bored at work, and wasting time on trip Advisor...)

Happy Travels!

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Beaumont, Texas USA
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5. Re: Help me choose/rank hotels (list and likes)

WHY, or why does Travel Advisor not have an edit function???

You'd think while killing time here, I would have re-read before submitting that post.

It should have started out:

"WELCOME TO THE Greece Forums..."

Sorry... and Happy Travels!

Philadelphia
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6. Re: Help me choose/rank hotels (list and likes)

At that level (waaay beyond my budget!), all those seem very satisfactory. Grand Bretagne & K. George are right on Syntagma Square which is handy but also horrendous traffic. Electra has a rooftop pool I believe, which may be important... I don't know if they have a shallow end for 3 year old. You also fail to say when you are coming, which can make a big difference. Athens Gate has nice rooms -- probably roomier than the others, a consideration if you are bringing in a cot for the boy. Also a nice rooftop view.

Have you considered AVA Hotel? It is small, quiet, excellent service, has suites and is away from traffic, and is IDEALLY located ... price is no more than the others you listed, actually less some people say when u use certain booking agencies. check it out. PS: right now on TA it is ranked #1 of 500+ Athens hotels.

http://www.avahotel.gr/

Philadelphia
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7. Re: Help me choose/rank hotels (list and likes)

Whoops! I was called away from the computer with my answer half-written and others have beat me to it with good advice especially about AVA -- and a request for important data, i.e. WHEN you are coming.

People always get better faster answers when we don't have to come back to them asking for key information... now, I see, you have provided it.

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8. Re: Help me choose/rank hotels (list and likes)

As an ex stroller pusher, I can assure you that the wonderful pedestrianized path, Dionysiou Arephagitou is a great advantage in the heart of Athens. Not only does it link you to the historical centre {and at the base of the Acropolis,} but the Acropolis metro will take you in 1 minute {official time} to the next stop, Syndagma, commercial hub of Athens if need be.

Athens Gate, Royal Olympic {great Athenian panorama suites, very roomy, great views ..and good sized pool..worth a peep}, and Ava hotel mentioned, are good choices.

Personally E.Palace's narrow street location is a disadvantage IMO - a view and light is a challenge in its standard rooms [you need to upgrade}..nevertheless..

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9. Re: Help me choose/rank hotels (list and likes)

Hey and welcome busyUSmom:-) From your list, I'd say head to the Grand Bretagne hands down..it's got it all from location to rooftop pool and if you've got starwood Amex, some great deals to be had although Sept is a busy time you can always inquire! It will also be hot so having a pool is not a bad amenity to have on call;-) Having said that, think the Electra Palace would also fit the bill (except for the location in Plaka..superb but definetely NOT stoller friendly) and Royal Olympic as well! AVA gets rave reviews and offers efficiency-type apartments with kitchenette facilities..so something to consider if important to you! Let us know how it goes..Enjoy!

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Electra Palace Athens
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10. Re: Help me choose/rank hotels (list and likes)

Hello......I've been where you are, trying to make choices, on hotels, islands, etc., for the "perfect" Greek vacation, all so overwhelming. You're doing the right thing asking questions here, so much great info. I've finally booked my reservations for Sept.,(flights, hotels, ferries) & feel really good about my selections. TA has been a wonderful, fun to read all the feed back, it's doing the homework, & you will have a great trip. Enjoy!