11 Jul2008


“It sounds like an upscale brothel,” is what my sister said when we told her where we would be staying in Athens. Not quite. In fact, it is probably rated among the top 3 hotels in the Plaka district. But I wouldn’t agree that it was a five-star property. The other hotel we looked into was the Hotel Grande Bretagne, one of the oldest, and today one of the ritziest of hotels in that part of town. But the Grande Bretagne was prohibitively expensive, so we settled for a room at the Hotel Electra Palace. The location was good, the lobby was spacious, the hallways narrow and the rooms unbelievably small for the price paid. Of course, all these comments must be taken in perspective… european hotel rooms in general are much smaller and costlier than in many parts of the world…


I am a fairly large person, so I prefer larger room proportions, and that particularly applies to the bathroom. And here, the Electra Palace just simply sucked. With a shower area so small and no curtains, rather just a slim piece of glass to shield the bathroom from the shower spray, the bathroom looked like a battle zone when I was done with it. It was really just a question of value for money, and while this hotel would probably barely eek into a four star category in my book, the rooms (ours at close to $420 a night for 3 people) were just so darned expensive. I suspect other hotels in the area likewise charge an arm and a leg for the same quality of room that we had, but it still seems like a relative rip-off. At least we had a pretty good view of the acropolis from our tiny balcony… There was also a rooftop pool, but nary bigger than a large bathtub; and with at least a dozen “low skin elasticity, several skin fold” folks vying for sun on the deck, slathered in coconut oil, the first thought that came to our minds when looking at the pool was… “I don’t think so.” :)




  1. nonymous says:

    I stayed there as well. It’s Convenient, Cheap and in the Center of Plaka district. A few steps away from the Parliament Building.


    Jul 11, 2008 | 5:40 pm


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  3. Bubut says:

    the place looks nice, and you mention its cheap. How cheap is cheap? Can you give us an idea how much per night costs?

    Jul 11, 2008 | 5:51 pm

  4. Marketman says:

    nonymous, Electra Hotel, in your photo, is a sister property with the same owners. It is different from the Electra Palace Hotel. Electra is a four-star and and Electra Palace, a supposed five-star. I didn’t find our rooms cheap in price, at roughly $420 per night for 3 people. Trip advisor quotes the Electra Palace average room rate at about $340 while the electra Hotel at $228. Frankly, the Electra Hotel might have been better value…

    Jul 11, 2008 | 6:26 pm

  5. Apicio says:

    Choosing a hotel from afar and far in advance is a hundred-fold easier now thanks to the internet. Just remember, star rating is a rubber ruler, yours show five in their well-polished name plate. Above everything else you really need only three things: clean (linens changed everyday but not from one room to the next), secure (your locked luggage is not forced opened) and quiet air-conditioning (at least not as noisy as inside a B54). Oh, avoid the ones called Hotel Paradiso.

    Jul 11, 2008 | 6:55 pm

  6. openonymous says:

    when travelling abroad, we really get what we paid for, even over there in the Phil. I checked in at this bargain hotel at Greenbelt, $50 per night booked from the internet, and I wish i can complain about it but of course we get what we paid for.
    This is my experience when travelling in europe, but the best tip is, booking a hotel room near the train station or transportation area, this is where the bargain rates are but the best feature of all is, these are where the good and inexpensive restaurants are located. But of course these areas are magnet for other low lifes also.
    One time, in Paris, the room I checked in to was so small, there was almost no room for my luggage and the bathroom, man o man, like marketman, I am not an average size guy so the bath was so tight, I had to shower out of the stall, remidned me of an apartment that I rented in bacolod during my Detailman days, the bathroom in that apartment was so small, that it was easier to do two things at the same time when in the bath, u know like seat on the toilet while taking a shower! Same story when we go on cruises, we go cheap on accomodations, so we can splurge on meals and shopping and sightseeing. I have to be realistic and stick with my budget, not all of us can be Imeldas or Glorias. Basta enjoy lang tayo sa trip, que se joda ba na malaki ang hotel room mo or maliit?

    Jul 11, 2008 | 7:08 pm

  7. rianne says:

    Try http://www.booking.com. Their rates are cheap.

    Jul 12, 2008 | 3:43 am

  8. Mangaranon says:

    We usually stay at the Grande Bretange right across the square.

    Jul 12, 2008 | 5:58 am

  9. bambinawrites says:

    I stayed at the Grande Bretagne in the summer of 1991. It was supposed to be the grande dame of Athens hotels and one could see how stunning it must have been during its glory days. But when I was there it was tired and in dire need of renovation. And the bathrooms weren’t that much bigger either. The biggest shock for me were the sachets of shampoo and soap in the bathroom! Not what you’d expect from a luxury hotel! I’ve heard it’s been renovated since…

    Jul 13, 2008 | 2:47 pm


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