Fodor's Expert Review Phidias Hotel
39 Apostolou Pavlou, Thissio, Athens, 11851, Greece See on Map
Simply put, there's no better spot to stay, location-wise, on Athens's most beautiful pedestrian walkway that unites all the main archaeological sites. By night, Thissio and Plaka cafés and restaurants are within walking distance, so you'll want to join all the happy Athenians strolling up and down cobblestoned Apostolou Pavlou under a floodlit Acropolis. The hotel is housed in a typical 70s apartment building, so not particularly attractive, but what a location for exploring the heart of Athens!
YOU SHOULD KNOW This is a popular hotel and in the past they have had some issues with overbooking, where they have had to redirect guests to their sister hotel in a less attractive part of town. Make sure you are in touch with them ahead of your stay to confirm all is good with your booking.
The old-style guest rooms on the first floor feature brightly colored curtains against a neutral cream beige background and mustard-colored bedspreads. Most of the rooms, however, have been renovated in a modern, functional style that makes them look light and airy. If you are traveling as a family, you will find particularly attractive the four-bed family rooms featuring one double bed and two singles. Basement rooms are small so for a happier stay make sure you ask to stay on the 2nd or 3rd floors, where the rooms are more spacious and fully renovated.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Rooms have satellite TV, mini fridge and free Wifi, some of them overlook Apostolou Pavlou and the archaeological digs across the street (not the Acropolis), while some of them overlook the internal courtyard.
Bathrooms have been modernized in white and grey tones, with walk-in shower cubicles. Generally on the small side though.
The lobby is gleaming as it has also been fully renovated in white marble and neutral tones. The small elevator is nevertheless effective for carrying luggage upstairs. There is a small and cozy separate breakfast area in warm wooden tones and another elegant seating area at the front of the hotel with large vintage mirrors and grey patterned wallpaper. The front of the hotel is also part of the hotel cafe, which opens up to the pedestrianized walkway with attractive wrought iron furniture, additional seating under a large tent and good quality coffee. The Phidias cafe is understandably popular with passerby.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The wifi is very fast and reliable in the lobby and breakfast area, a bit less so in the rooms upstairs.
The breakfast area is compact but comfortable with ample seating and the breakfast served is excellent for a hotel of this size, with scrambled eggs, cold meats and freshly-squeezed orange juice gearing you to power through the day. There are no other formal meals served at the hotel but you can have a snack, a salad and a drink at the Phidias cafe until late in the evening.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The first floor rooms are placed directly over the cafe's outdoor seating, so with windows open expect to have some chatterings coming in the room.
The hotel cafe is your destination, and its helpful staff will guide you through a wide range of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages.
5-minute walk to the Acropolis.
7-minute walk to the Acropolis museum.
10-minute walk to Adrianou street and its cafes
15-minute walk to Monastiraki square
The vibrant night life of Thissio is at your doorstep but you can also venture out towards Monastiraki or Plaka. For a relaxed all-day brunch in a post-industrial setting try The Underdog (3-minute walk), with artisanal sandwiches and burgers. For a truly Greek taverna experience with excellent barbequed meats you will enjoy the low-key To Steki tou Ilia (5-minute walk). Do try the lamp chops. Walking around the archaeological sites, and up Adrianou street you will have excellent Greek food with a modern take at Kuzina (10-minute walk). For a more slightly formal ambiance head to Dionysus Zonar's (5-minute walk) with its awe-inspiring views of the Acropolis.
In Thissio there are many bars to choose from and the nightlife extends out onto the pedestrianized streets on warm nights (and there are many of those in Greece!). Divino Wine Case (5-minute walk) is a perfect option in the vicinity for tasting different Greek wines. At Chocolat Royale (3-minute walk) you will build on the wine tasting theme with some interesting wine and chocolate pairings. Feeling a bit homesick? Then head to the James Joyce Irish Bar (15 minutes) with its many English-speaking patrons. If you are a film buff, why don't you go to Thissio Open Air Cinema (5-minute walk) where you can have your beer and nachos while watching a good film, a unique Greek summer experience.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The location is truly blessed, as you are in the heart of Athens, next to all the sites, with beautiful walks and a choice of nightlife. The renovated rooms of the 2nd and 3rd floors are attractive and good value for money. The first floor rooms are still acceptable but will look even better when the dated red carpet goes. As long as you ensure that you get the right room then your stay here will be a pleasure, surrounded by friendly staff and with some good basic amenities. The on-site cafe comes in handy, with well-priced good quality coffee and some light snacks as well.
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