Hermes Hotel

Plaka, Athens, Greece Book from

A clean, comfy and well-placed hotel on the edge of Plaka, perfect for a quick visit to the Acropolis
Plaka is the historic centre of Athens, a hotch-potch of neoclassical tiled houses that tumble down (and tumble is the word) below the Acropolis. Strict conservation laws make hotel conversions practically impossible, which means that you are obliged to stay in a modern purpose-built hotel on the edge of the pedestrian area. But that need not be a hardship: this one, like so many of its neighbours, received a total refurb in the run-up to the 2004 Olympics.

It may not have ground-breaking design or historic charm, but it’s spotlessly clean, stylishly furnished and perfectly placed for a quick raid on the Acropolis and Plaka. Some of the 45 rooms have balconies looking down on narrow Apollonos street or up to the Acropolis. (The higher the floor, the better the view, of course.) Mini in-room refrigerators (so you can BYO drinks) and backgammon boards in the lounge are welcome touches. Air-con and soundproofing ensure you'll sleep well. The generous breakfast buffet is designed to fortify you for the sightseeing plan designed by the multilingual staff.

Highs

  • Surprisingly peaceful for such a central location - on the edge of Plaka, and 3 blocks from Syntagma Square (metro and airport bus)
  • Lovely roof terrace, and a stylish bar in the lobby
  • Breakfasts are better than average - and plentiful
  • Reasonable rates (Nov-March)
  • 'PR' staff approach guests during breakfast each day to distribute city maps and help organise personalised sightseeing itineraries

Lows

    Prices displayed are a guide only and will depend on the date of your stay; you will get an exact quote when you enquire but note that some rooms may be significantly more expensive
  • Most rooms are small, with little storage space, and double rooms have twin beds pushed together
  • The lift is even smaller - one person at a time
  • When we revisited in 2013, we felt the décor was looking a bit tired
  • PLAKA HOTEL: If the Hermes is full, they will offer you a room at the same price at sister Plaka Hotel a few blocks away; rather characterless bedrooms, but a great view of the Parthenon

Best time to go

The best times to visit Athens are either over Greek holidays when everyone is away (Greek Easter, Pentecost or any time in August if you can stand the heat); or in the winter when it is cool (sometimes downright cold) and tourist-free; January often has ‘halcyon’ days (mild weather when the kingfishers proverbially build their nests on the calm sea), February adds some carnival colour.

Our top tips

Look for the multilingual 'concierges' who make the rounds during breakfast. They'll mark up city maps for you, noting everything from hours of operation to ticket prices. If you miss them, check signs posted near the elevator for useful details.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
City Style
Family
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 45
  • Breakfast only (restaurants nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

A tiny lift transports you to the guest bedrooms, which stretch up to the 6th floor. None are huge and some are extremely small, but all are cheerful, comfortable and clean, with chunky modern furniture, shiny hardwood floors and marble bathrooms. Some even have balconies looking down on narrow Apollonos street or up to the Acropolis. (The higher the floor, the better the view.)

Beds are dressed in crisp white with pomegranate spreads and wood headboards. Full-length mirrors and mini-fridges to store your own drinks and food are nice touches. You can set the air-con via remote control. If the weather is hot, ask for 2 key cards and leave one in the wall slot to keep the electricity on so you'll return to a cool room. When we revisited in 2013, we discovered another benefit of the air con: it generates 'white noise', making which made our room surprisingly peaceful at night, despite its central location.

Bathrooms are sleekly all-marble, most with showers and tubs. The hand-held showers and the half-screens may result in wet floors. Some rooms interconnect; the triple rooms are ideal for families. Non-smoking rooms are available on request.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Hairdryer
  • Magnifying mirror
  • Mini fridges (BYO drinks)
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

A breakfast buffet runs from 7am in a small dining room on the mezzanine. Fill up on breads, cheeses, cold meats, eggs, cakes, yoghurt and honey; not much fruit, but very decent coffee. (Hermes will arrange breakfast for guests with early flights.)

Complimentary coffee, tea and cookies are available in the lobby throughout the day and you can store snacks and beverages in the mini fridge in your room.

From this central location, you are steps from authentic Greek tavernas in the Plaka area. Platanos (4, Diogenous St.) has a nice patio and Thanassis in Monastiraki Square is known for its souvlaki. Geros tou Moria (27, Mnisikleous St.) features traditional Greek music. Dionyssos (43 Rovertou Galli St.) is pricier, but has a bigger menu and great view.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Visit the world-famous Acropolis citadel (a 15-minute walk away), with its Parthenon, ancient fortifications, beautiful Caryatid statues and museum
  • Explore the ancient theatres, ancient agora (marketplace and Byzantine chapels; stoas, Roman temples and monumental arches
  • Wander through the pedestrian Plaka district (a 5-minute walk away) where you'll find flea markets, souvenirs, leather goods, pottery, tavernas, cafés
  • Or buy herbs, honey, sweetmeats, nuts and wines from the food stores along Athinas street
  • Spend a morning at the National Museum, Greece’s most important collection of ancient statues, pottery and fragments
  • Catch an evening concert at the Roman outdoor theatre of Herod Atticus (during Athens' Summer Festival) or at the excellent Megaron Concert Hall (all year)
  • Walk up Filopappos Hill for excellent views over Athens and across to the Acropolis; or take the funicular train up the unmissable Mount Lykavittos
  • Take a taxi to Kaisariani or Daphne monasteries (both about 30 minutes away), on the slopes of Hymettus / Aigaleo hills
  • Take an early train to Piraeus and hydrofoil to Aegina for a day visiting the island’s elegant town, its temple at Afea and its beaches

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Museums / galleries
    • Shopping / markets
    • Swimming
    • Traditional cultures
  • Kids

    Children of all ages are welcome, and there is a small playroom with some toys and a Wendy house. Baby cots can be provided for an extra cost.

    Family friendly accommodation:

    There's a dedicated Family room (2 adults and 2 children) made up of interconnecting rooms. You can also book a Triple room with 1 double and 1 single (some of these are rather cramped for anything longer than 1 night).

    Babysitting:

    Babysitting available by arrangement.

    Kid Friendly:

    Our guests' ratings...

    8/
    Rooms
    7/
    Food
    8/
    Service
    9/
    Value
    8/
    Overall

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