Plaka Hotel is part of a family-owned chain which includes the hotels Hermes and Athens Center Square. The Plaka is the one of the three that really flourishes in its super central Plaka location. Most everything in an Athens visitor’s To-Do list is within easy reach, the service is impeccable and even though there are no standard hotel amenities like a spa or a gym, there is a wonderful rooftop bar which comes as standard requirement for some of the best Athens boltholes and where (weather permitting) you can sip an evening drink as you take in that coveted Acropolis view.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Some street noise is unavoidable here as you are in a busy part of Athens with shops, attractions and crowds! But it will never be too much so as to disrupt your sleep.
Rooms at the Plaka range between 15sqm2 and 22 sqm2 depending on the type, so for some guests they may be on the smallish side. Your best option are the (pricier) Acropolis deluxe rooms where on top of the more generous space allocation, you also get picture perfect Acropolis views. Beds are comfortable and a mini-fridge is provided.
Some connecting rooms—ideal for families—are available, these also have two bathrooms and showers. These are the first to go so book early to avoid disappointment.
Modern, dimly-lit and clean, with grey or brown marble tiles and satisfactory water pressure, the bathrooms at Plaka have been brought up to a discerning travelers' standard.
The lobby is small and done up is an ‘classic elegant’ style, with a tasteful wooden reception desk, a small sitting area and dark grey and white floor tiling. If you need to wait for your check in you will be directed to the second floor sitting area, where free coffee, tea and biscuits are provided.
There is only one lift and it is quite small, so there might be an occasional queue.
Breakfast is included in the hotel booking and the buffet is ample with international and Greek fare (try the spinach and cheese pie in filo pastry). A continental breakfast is available upon demand if you are departing early in the morning. No further main meals are served during the day at the hotel (some light snacks are served in the rooftop bar).
During breakfast a member of staff is at hand to answer questions about your day’s sightseeing and travel plans, which is a nice personal touch.
The hotel is two blocks away from Monastiraki square, so you can get off the metro at the Monastiraki station if you are arriving straight from the airport. There is also a taxi rank and since taxis are fairly affordable in Athens it makes sense to use them. Otherwise you can really go to most places on foot, Plaka is an ideal neighborhood to explore with many pedestrianized streets and beautiful restored neoclassical buildings. There is no parking at the hotel and if you bring your own car, expect to pay around 25 euros per day at the nearest private parking lot. For the Athens hop on hop off bus, you can buy the tickets at the hotel reception and get on the bus at Syntagma square which is a 5-minute walk.
Mitropoleos street has been undergoing a regeneration in recent years with some good new restaurants and bars to explore. Just across the street from the Plaka, towards the Kapnikarea church, is Collage (3-minute walk) serving tasty salads and Greek and international dishes with a twist in a stylish setting, conducive to people watching. Even closer is Osaka Sushi Bar (1-minute walk) with an excellent wakame (seaweed) salad and good quality sushi in decent prices. And just down the road you will find some of the most tasty souvlaki in town in touristy but still traditional Bairaktaris (5-minute walk).
The Vintage Wine Bar & Bistro (1-minute walk) will be your first stop. You can admire the extensive wine cellar while sitting at the bar and the sommelier provides you with a Greek wine-tasting experience by serving different wines by the glass. City Zen (5-minute walk) provides a dining menu, but people also come here for the cocktails and the coffee as this rooftop bar restaurant has great views. Fouar restaurant and bar (3-minute walk) has an art gallery, serves drinks and fingerfood in a beautiful, tucked-away setting and hosts lively music parties every weekend.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Ιt is all about the location of course, but it is also about being comfortable while on location. The Plaka is staffed by hospitality professionals who try to compensate the lack of amenities with a more personal service touch – and at most times succeed! The rooms are good-sized (especially the superior rooms) and done up in a timeless style. Cleanliness prevails. Prices are competitive though not budget, and you may get some good off-season deals. The breakfast is ample and the Acropolis view from the rooftop bar - when open - is a feast to the eyes.