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Travel Blogs from Athens
... This is partially out of interest and also to be able to read some of the signs, although to be fair many are bilingual. This morning I even picked up a free Greek paper, to try and familiarize myself with reading the alphabet.
Sipping the last dregs of our coffees, Nathan and I set out for our days adventures. Our first stop of the day was all the way across town on the North side of Athens. On our way we passed by the University of Athens, which has several ...
... bite to eat before getting back on the coach at 4:30. When we got back to the hotel, we started packing up all our bags as this was our last night with this Topdeck tour :( I had a nap from 7:30-8:30 and by that time the Goodies we had ordered had arrived. Goodies is like Greek maccas but better! They had actual proper burgers, and amazing scoopy chips. So we headed up to the terrace when that arrived and had our last meal together, not everyone was there, ...
... for the duration of our trip. The cocktails are fantastic and the bar tenders know so many drink combinations! The ship isn't all that big, but it is ok. The pools are small and the water rocks with the ocean, so I decided probably best for me to steer clear of these to avoid sickness! Sarah and I killed the afternoon by getting a buffet lunch on deck and then playing roulette in the casino. ...
... 8217;s choice –at 17.00. Certainly count this in –I highly recommend it. I cannot remember tasting something similar! We also tried the Grilled Cuttlefish for 12.00 euros. It was so juicy and tender!
We had a glass each of Sauvignon Blanc Escapades for 10.50. You should certainly try this wine. We have had it back in a winery in South Africa where I spent one and a half months and instantly recalled memories. It is one of my favourite, characterized ...
... jandles and no helmet – crazy I know but in Greece it is not law to wear a helmet and so many people choose not too! We were both a little lost so thankfully we had found each other. We rode a little further then we finally found the tyre shop. The man was very helpful and could replace both tyre’s today, we left the bike in his capable hands and made our way to the train station. 5.30euro for 2 return tickets into the heart of Athens! ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Hera Hotel Athens
You should stay here! Trust me!!!!
As a person that relies heavily on the reviews of Tripadvisor.com and the forums that we have at our disposal here on this website, i wanted to make sure that i wrote a detailed review of the hotels we visited on our honeymoon just a few weeks ago (I apologize ahead of time for the lengthy review). This is information about the Hotel Hera and i hope it helps you all with your decision making!
In deciding where to stay on our honeymoon, i had done months of planning and researching on the different hotels here in Athens. There are so many to choose from, it is nerve racking at first. Like any tourist, we wanted a nice hotel that didn't cost us too much (we can afford nice rooms but don't see the point in spending $500 a night for a room when you're going to be out of it most of the time). We also wanted a hotel that was close to "the sites" ~ Acropolis, Plaka, Good food! One thing i had to consider also was the fact that my new wife had never traveled out of the USA before. I wanted to find that perfect mixture of western conveinences (bigger rooms that were more modernized, room service, air conditioning, etc) to be able to make her feel comfortable, but at the same time be close to local taverns & eateries, be able to see the Acroplis from my window, and not have Marriott on my hotel stationary! Basically, we wanted the best of the USA and the authenticity of Greece all in the same package. The Hotel Hera was EXACTLY what i was was looking for.
We (I) made the mistake of trying to take public transportation from the airport to the hotel when we first arrived in Athens. TRUST ME, after traveling 10 hours non-stop from JFK, do not make the mistake of thinking you should try to save a few bucks and take the bus and then the metro to the hotel. Carrying luggage in a crouded bus and then on the Metro for 1 1/2 hours before you get to the hotel is not the way to start a honeymoon is not worth saving $20. Realistically, you will spend anywhere from 25 to 40 Euro to get to the front door of the hotel depending on which cab driver you get (go to exit 3 out of the airport for the cab station). It is worth it!
The hotel has been beautifully remodeled just last year for the Olympics. The lobby is not large, but it is gorgeous. I wish i got the name of the young gentleman at the front desk. He was such a big help to us during our stay with directions, places to eat, and making wake up calls were done, cabs called, etc. Based on prior reviews, i knew that i wanted to stay on the 5th floor (only floor with large terraces and clear views of the Acropolis). I stayed in two different rooms on the 5th floor, rooms #502 and #501 (i stayed there one final night after going to islands for a week before i returned home). Room 502 is definitely the best one. Request it when you book. I won't describe the room too much because i have included plenty of pictures to show what the room is like. The bed was very big, room was very nicely decorated (as you can see), and the bathroom was nice enough and we NEVER ran out of hot water (and we take long showers). The patio was very nice to relax on as well. If you are going to get tore up about some construction cranes being around the area, then Athens is not the place for you. Construction is a lot of places & it is something you should learn to accept. It did not dampen our mood at all.
The restaurant on the 6th floor is very cool! Although i did not have a sit down meal there, i did hang out at the bar with the bartender a couple of times and we had the best time talking with him, sipping on Ouzo and other local drinks, eating appetizers, and just taking in the view. The Peacock (the name of the restaurant) is listed in several magazines as a dining destination, and it was crowded each evening when we went up there to see our buddies. I would recommend you go and check it out. Tell the bartender that Jason & Tracy from KY say hello!
To let you know, our room was 170 Euro a night for the hotel, taxes included. To some that might be expensive & others not. To me, for the location (5 minute walk to the pedestrian path for the Acropolis ~ i am NOT exaggerating on this), the quality of the hotel and it staff, the peace & quiet you get from being on a side road (this is important to people from KY who aren't used to traffic noise :)), the price and the hotel is PERFECT, as i said. I hope that more people stay at this wonderful hotel and it moves up in the ranking on this site. People like the previous reviewer giving this hotel a bad rap is wrong, and don't let one rotten apple spoil what is a wonderful find in the Hotel Hera. Have fun!
Stayed five nights at the Hera Hotel in September 2005. We booked a standard double room. If you want a view of the Acropolis, you MUST request it in advance. The fifth floor is the floor of preference. Our room was modern and adequate. The hotel has a convenient location, within easy walking distance of the Acropolis, the Plaka and Metro station. The breakfast was very good. The hotel staff, although friendly, did not go out of their way to accommodate. The Roof Garden staff, on the other hand, were exceptionally friendly.
We took a metered cab to the Airport for 24 Euro.
This is worth the long reading if you have any intention of reserving a room here.
Prior to reserving the Hera in Athens for Sept 21-24 I read my reviews on Trip Advisor as I always do and was satisfied to book three nights with the so called Acropolis view room for $150 Euros per night. Management must have changed since those reviews so read on.
Prior to departing from the states I inquired about shuttle service from the airport and was advised a cab would be $20 Euros. It was double. We usually use public transit as much as possible during our travels and were aware of the new airport metro transit service but we were tired after two weeks of touring and just wanted to get to our room. What an experience as the cab driver made his own lane the whole way and nearly clipped cars I could not look as I feared for my life. This would be the only time I would be caught in an Athens cab. When we arrived alive at the Hera the hotel seemed very nice only to find later it was surface only. We checked in and I inquired about the internet (listed on web site) and the front desk clerk said if connection does not work in my room as is a regular occurrence I could use the conference room 24 hours a day no problem and no mention of a charge. Well of course the connection in my room did not work so I used the conference room. Once we arrived to our room I immediately noticed the view out our window was that of distressed concrete buildings, I then went out our balcony with and turned my head 45 degrees to see the Acropolis along with three construction cranes in site. To make matters worse there was NO outdoor furniture to sit and take in the so called view. What a waste.
I then proceeded to unpack and noticed the toilet was not clean and a hair pin lying on the floor which should have been easily removed if thoroughly cleaned. The hair pin remained our entire 3 night stay as I was curious if the maid would ever discard it. As we were tired from traveling we just retired for the night. The next morning I got up to take a shower only to find NO hot water. It then gets worse as the toilet then fell apart after running all night. This was it! I then went down to the front desk to inform them of our problems and asked to be moved to another room with no view as this was deceiving description for the extra money. The clerk said they were sold out and the technician should be arriving to fix the hot water No concern we could not use our toilet. She wrote down all the issues and said she would talk to the manager. The plumber arrived around noon and replaced the faulty toilet system. We never heard a thing from anyone and went on with our vacation and decided to see what would be done upon checkout if no call from manager. No call!
On our second night after sightseeing all day we thought we would go to the rooftop garden restaurant to have a drink and truly have a view of the Acropolis. It was very nice and worth the price of the drinks. It looked like it was going to storm so we decided to stay and have dinner rather than getting caught in the rain on the streets. We ordered and by the time we were just done with our salads it had turned into a major thunder and lightning storm which we thought was pretty neat UNTIL the roof started leaking badly and flooded the restaurant. The server said we could take our meals to our room even though I said it was so cramped I did not know where we would sit. It ended to be the only solution so we paid our $138 check and she helped us to our room with the food. We ate our cold filet mignon and thought surely they would not charge us for the full amount. The next morning when I went down for coffee as the breakfast was so bad we wouldn't eat it I ran into another couple that had been in the restaurant the night before and they said their meal was cold and not good either and she would be surprised if they charged for it. Well, when we checked out they had made NO adjustments and charged us fully along with internet charges that were never advised to us. When I asked the clerk we just received the same response, no big deal or concern. The only time we ever heard an apology was from the server and bartender that did a great job during the restaurant fiasco with no fault of theirs as I told them. I have traveled the world extensively and this is the worst hotel I have encountered especially for the money. The only good thing about this mismanaged hotel is the location as it is easy walking to most sights and the metro is three blocks away that by the way takes you to the airport for .70 and is pretty much the same as the London underground. But don't ask the front desk as we did they don't have a clue how to assist you. You just have to figure it out for yourself as we did.
Disappointing and overpriced
The hotel is nice (brand new and clean rooms) and the location is good (close to Acropolis, Plaka, and other major attractions, and it is a quiet street). Staff is courteous and very professional (international style: 'Greek flavor' is missing).
But I was a bit disappointed when I got my room there. I had reserved a room on a major travel website that said "Superior double room queen sized bed with Acropolis view", for 160 euros.
The room was nice, with luxury furniture, thick carpet and a green marble bathroom, but it was a bit small (once they put a queen size bed inside, there is little room left...).
More disappointing was the lack of Acropolis view from the room's balcony. Indeed only the two upper floors have a view on the Acropolis. Below, the only thing you see is the street and rather ugly concrete buildings. Then I understood that "Acropolis view" on the room description either meant that you can see it if you go up to the roof garden and restaurant, or maybe just that your room is on the same side than those that have an actual Acropolis view, but you happen not to be high enough to see it... My room was on the 2nd floor, and I guess only luxury suites on the 5th floor can show you a piece of Parthenon. So no room labelled 'standard' or 'superior' have an actual Acropolis view, contrary to what is written on some rooms descriptions on the web.
On the website where I made the reservation, I had a choice between the 'superior room with Acropolis view' I took for 160 Euros, and a 'superior room' for 140 euros. I guess it wouldn't have made any difference if I had taken the 'no view' room. I considered the 20 euro difference a kind of rip-off.
OK, I may be a bit obsessive about this missed 'Acropolis view', but how can you not be disappointed when you expect that kind of detail and pay an extra 20 euros especially for it... I expected a nice room (I had it, although a bit small), in a nice location (that was OK although the street where the hotel is located is not exactly gorgeous), with a nice and romantic view (which I did not have at all). Too bad.
You cannot even really enjoy the view from the 'roof garden and restaurant'. Actually 90 percent of the surface is the restaurant, so you cannot just come up there, sit, relax and enjoy the view: you have to order drinks and food, and the 10 remaining percent is a narrow balcony which is not extremely friendly and where you cannot sit.
One week earlier, I went to a nicer hotel on Lycabettus hill (bigger room, pool on the roof with a breathtaking view over the whole city, nicer view from my room) for a cheaper price (145 E). So I would not recommend Hotel Hera unless nothing else is available in the area. Globally, it is overpriced. The bottom line is: you can easily get better for a cheaper price in Athens.
Wonderful hotel in a perfect location!
Like many hotels in Athens, Hotel Hera was renovated for the 2004 Olympic games. They did an excellent job. For about $140 (US) a night, we got a hotel that appears brand new. The rooms are spotless, slightly bigger than the average Euro room and feature king-sized beds if you want one. The decor is beautiful and the bathrooms are roomy with marble all over. There's a rooftop bar that offers a great view of the Acropolis and a nice taverna that offers a complimentary full breakfast. The best thing about the hotel, however, might be the location. Not only are the Plaka and the Acropolis within walking distance, but the Akropoli Metro station is literally a two minute walk. We would stay there again without hesitation.
Very nice surprise
What a nice surprise the Hotel Hera was. My cousin who lives in Athens suggested that we stay there. She knew it had been remodeled for the Olympics and that it was the first venture into the hotel business for the owners. The people at the desk couldn't have been more pleasant. We arrived at 1:00 am due to plane delays and they were waiting for us with open arms. We had two double connecting rooms because we have two children and they were able to accomodate this. As you may well know, many european hotels do not have connecting rooms. Although the rooms were very small, we did have a nice view of the Acropolis. A room with a view is not necessary here because the rooftop restaurant has a lovely view as well. We had booked a cruise with an early morning departure and they had two taxis waiting for us just as we had requested the night before. I would definately stay here again. For the price in Athens, you can't beat it. We had to stay near the airport for one night and we paid 100 euros more for that room which wasn't any bigger or nicer at the Sofitel. Take my word for it. I've been to Greece 5 times and I know what's out there.
Wonderful Hotel--Outstanding Location
The Hotel Hera is newly renovated (June 2004) and is an extremely modern hotel. We stayed in room 502 which had a private balcony with a view of the Parthenon on the Acropolis.
The hotel was comfortable, clean, and away from the hub-bub and noise of the main tourist spots of Athens. That is not to say that the Hera is in a bad location. It is in a great location, just 150 yds from the Akropoli Metro Stop and within walking distance of all the major sites. It is just that the Hera is in residential area vice your typical touristy area.
The included breakfast was outstanding with a mixture of European and American items to choose from. The breakfast staff was extremely accommodating and brought out special request items like Nutella. My kids love Nutella.
Our favorite thing about the Hera was the balcony. We had a great view of the Acropolis and spent several evenings sipping coffee and reminiscing about the day's adventure while gazing on the Acropolis. This alone was worth the price of admission. One evening we even ordered some souvlakis from Thannis and brought them back for dinner on our balcony.
However, no need to bring back food from somewhere else. The Hotel Hera has a restaurant and bar with, as you can imagine, a beautiful view of the Acropolis. We enjoyed desserts and cappucinos up there one evening.
Just down the street from the Hotel is God's Restaurant. This was our favorite restaurant in all of Athens. The food was outstanding and the owner and staff are extremely outgoing and friendly.
Overall, Hotel Hera is an excellent hotel that I highly recommend. Stay there and make sure to request a room on the 5th floor with a balcony view of the Acropolis. You won't regret it!
Fabulous Hotel, certainly not a scam!
My mother and myself have just arrived back from a 4 night break at this wonderful Athens Hotel. The staff were friendly and welcoming, the room was excellent, beautifully furnished and spotlessly clean. We would not hesitate to recommend this hotel. Excellent location for the Acropolis and Plaka Area.
Newly renovated hotel just outside of Plaka with view of Acropolis. Due to low tourist activity during the olympic, we were able to get a double room for 100 euro (typical rates are 400 euro/night). Only hotel I know of that doesn't charge for internet use. Staff were courtesy and accomandating.
Hotel Hera is a SCAM!
Please beware - if you are considering booking at the Hotel Hera in Athens via an internet booking site such as (commercial URL) (as we did) DON'T, as this is an internet scam. We arrived in Athens just after midnight and made our way from the airport to the Hera hotel - the hotel does exist, but it is not the 2 star, 65 Euro a night hotel promised on the net, but rather a 5 star, 300 Euro per night hotel that will have no record of your booking. The man at the front desk told us that this happens quite often - people come in with a bogus confirmation number, having paid between 40 and 80 Euros per night. In fact, he said that the while the hotel was closed last year for renovations, people were still showing up with so called confirmation numbers. It took emails with our credit card company, and a report to the Athens tourist police to get our $$ back - you have been warned!!
Also, please note that the review provided below on this site (trip advisor) by frommers is also out of date - it is a review of the hotel before they renovated in 2002. For a better alternative, check out Hotel Central in Plaka - spotless rooms, air conditioned, great location, full breakfast, and helpful English speaking staff.