Fodor's Expert Review Athens Center Square
Aristogeitonos 15, at Athinas avenue, Athens, 10552, Greece See on Map Fodor's Choice
The Athens Center Square hotel is located in a mostly pedestrianized and busy Athenian square, where street vendors sell their produce right outside, adding a colorful touch. Inside, it is clean and well-maintained, offering nice complimentary touches at a modest price level. These welcome touches include free refreshments, access to a computer and printing facilities in the lobby, and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. The area around the hotel is deemed fairly safe although the square at the front of the hotel is not the prettiest and may get somewhat noisy at night.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The location is very convenient for the main tourist attractions and this inner-city neighborhood has cleaned up in recent years.
All the basic room amenities are available in the smallish and simple rooms (including A/C and a mini-fridge). The decor will not win any points for high style and some walls may be brighter (rather than neutral) than some guests would like, but the room serves its purpose as a clean practical base.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The rooms on the top two floors and at the back of the hotel enjoy Acropolis views, while the 8th (top) floor rooms may get some noise from the rooftop bar in the summer months (closing time is 12 p.m.).
The bathroom in the standard rooms is fairly small and may feel a bit claustrophobic to some, however, the shower works well and the level of cleanliness is excellent.
The hotel entrance plays on the theme of its quirky location (in the middle of the fruit and vegetable market) by having printed life-size pictures of the market stalls on the windows of the facade. This sometimes makes it difficult to spot the hotel from the outside if you don’t know what to look for! The lobby interior has a comfortable setting for guests to sit down and plan their day, as well as a mini business center.
There is free coffee and tea available, and the front desk receptionists are happy to help with such travel essentials as booking your Athens hop on hop off bus tickets.
Breakfast is served on the mezzanine level and there is a good variety for a budget hotel of this caliber. Continental breakfast is available at 5 a.m., while the full buffet breakfast with warm and cold options starts at 7 a.m.
Apart from the complimentary tea and coffee in the lobby, there is a sympathetic rooftop bar. It is pretty basic with budget table and chair sets but does the job of offering a relaxing spot with city views after a hectic day of sightseeing.
The hotel is on a pedestrianized street full of vendors and stalls, so the taxi will leave you about 40 meters away. If you are arriving by metro, the most convenient stops are Monastiraki (5-minute walk) on the blue line or Omonia (7-minute walk) on the red line. The hotel is a short and manageable walk from both. There is no parking at the hotel, but there is a private parking lot on the market square. The hotel serves well as a practical base for doing everything on foot.
You are right across from Athens’ oldest and most inconspicuous tavern, Diporto (1-minute walk) serving traditional home-cooked dishes at low prices. Walk down the few steps and you will feel like you have time-traveled back to the '50s (lunch only). Taverna Klimataria serves traditional Greek fare. It is located on Plateia Theatrou (3-minute walk) and hosts regular Greek music nights in its intimate setting. Mama Roux (5-minute walk) has international cuisine and a relaxing setting. Agias Irinis square (7-minute walk) offers an array of dining possibilities such as School Pizza Bar which would be ideal for families and pizza-lovers.
There are endless choices for a nice drink along the 10-minute walk radius. Try tiny and cozy Key Bar (7-minute walk), or talk-of-the-town and manned by award-winning bartenders The Clumsies (10-minute walk). For a gay-friendly vibe you can go to Rooster (10-minute walk) while at Noel (7-minute walk) it always feels it's Christmas.
WHY WE LIKE IT
There is a consistency in the level of service and cleanliness in all three hotels owned by the same chain (also the Plaka and the Hermes hotel). Welcoming touches like free coffee and tea served throughout the day and a nice rooftop bar to take advantage of the view can make you feel like you are in a 4-star hotel. The location is convenient for visiting all the attractions, though the market square can get busy and noisy and some visitors may feel slightly uncomfortable at night (although there is no reason to).
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