Friday, November 19, 2010

Review: Hotel Hermes, Athens, Greece

After a LOT of Internet research, I decided on the Hotel Hermes for our stay in Athens. The Internet rate was 135 Euros per night which included all taxes and hot buffet breakfast.

I have to admit, when the taxi pulled into this very small dark side street I began to have second thoughts. But that didn't last long. The hotel lobby was clean and well lit. The young lady behind the desk was friendly, spoke excellent English and had all of our arrangements ready. She even gave us the message that 'our friends' had inquired if we had checked in yet.

Five couples out of the 14 people in our group would be joining us at Hotel Hermes. All had booked based upon my booking there and I was holding my breath that the hotel would be satisfactory to all. (It was...phew!)

We made our way to our room on the 6th floor in a VERY tiny elevator....so tiny that, as light as we travel, we had to make two trips because of the luggage.

We then opened the door to our spotlessly clean room. The room had two twin beds pushed together. Each side had a nightstand. One side was the nightstand width from the closet but the other side had open floor space to the window, a small desk attached to the wall and a desk chair. Having no problem living out of our suitcase for a few days, we simply laid one on the luggage rack and laid the other on the floor, leaving plenty of room to maneuver in that area.

The bathroom was small, as expected. One strange thing was a shower with walls on two sides, glass on a third and nothing on the fourth. After taking a shower and thoroughly soaking the bathroom, I figured out how to use the hand held shower head and managed to, later, keep most of the water inside the shower.

As is typical of non-US hotel rooms, we had to put a key card in a slot by the door to activate the electricity. Control for the A/C was a remote and it took us a while to figure that out. Once set, our room was quiet and comfortable.

Buffet breakfast included eggs, beans, bacon, pastries, cold cereals, yogurt, bread and rolls, jams, cheeses and meats. I loved the machine that let me make my own cappuccino. And my husband said it made great hot chocolate.

I do need to mention that while the photos of the hotel lobby on the website are very accurate, our room was smaller than those shown in the website images. That said, I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel.

The location turned out to be excellent, within easy walking distance of the Plaka pedestrian streets and all of the major sights, including a splendid view of the Acropolis at night. The hotel was always clean and appeared to be very well maintained.

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