Royal Olympic Hotel
Travel Blogs from Athens
From Marseille, we flew direct to Athens. We stayed in a large hotel opposite the ancient Greek ruins “Temple of Zeus" and the “Acropolis”.
Within walking distance of our hotel was a fabulous strip of restaurants, cafes and bars. After big days exploring this amazing city and visiting the Acropolis, the new Acropolis …
... church. Went back to the studio and the boss went past the printers on the way and collected the prints from earlier in the week. Had a quick rundown of everything we went over during the week, checked out our prints, said my goodbyes and went back to the hotel. Andy headed home for the weekend so that left Simon and me to have a few beers to celebrate. After dinner we went and had a few more at a local Irish bar before going to bed.
... city Athens.
We passed the stadium where the 1896 Olympic Games were held and then moved on to the Acropolis Museum, which was pretty cool. There were so many statues and there's alot of stuff from the Parthenon been moved to the Museum. There's a heap of restoration work being done at the Acropolis - the problem is though, in my view, it seems that they're trying to re-create it to its former glory, not just letting it be a ruin. So ...
... sizes of bells outside the monastery parking lots. Somehow the shepherd managed to make the group of goats take a very sharp left hand turn and head toward Agia Trias. I’ll probably never forget that sight. I could hear those bells when they were far away.
Have I mentioned there are cats all over the place in Greece? Everywhere you look, a cat is looking back. I love cats but Mom loves them more. She walks up to every cat. ...
... s really strange bescause all around the area, there are archeologists digging up ancient ruins. So we literally sat down to dinner and a couple metres away there is a deep hole and inside you can see old walls and pillars, some old broken pots, etc. We are sitting on ancient ruins!!
Dinner was great, and we sat and watched the world cup final, with my support going to Spain and therefore obviously fizz felt she needed to go ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
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TravelPod Member ReviewsRoyal Olympic Hotel Athens
The hotel is very big and caters for large tourist groups. The panoramic viewing area has a superb view of the Temple of Zeus ruins.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Royal Olympic Hotel Athens
While the room and location were fine with the Royal Olympic, I had issues with noise. Firstly, the next room's bathroom was "in" my room. The air-conditioning duct ran above it, so whenever somebody next door used the bathroom I could not only hear them, but the light would reflect into my room through the grill. As 2 out of my 3 nights I had neighbours who were in tour groups, they were up at 4am to catch ferries. On the other night, a Saturday, there were 2 weddings on as I returned to the hotel at 12. I could hear the music pumping through the building.
I was disappointed with the bathroom amenities which were just sachets. Not 5 star level. There were no extras, just foam bath gel, shampoo and a bar of soap. Breakfast was ok, but if you went at the wrong time after a tour group has been, expect to find little remaining and gaps while the trays are refilled. There was a small selection of cereals, breads, fruits, cakes, hot food and cold meats. The waiting staff were very prompt in resetting tables and coming round with tea or coffee.
Their websites advertises gym, sauna, internet lounge, and pool, but due to the building works, only the pool was available. Also there are no in room safes (at least not in room I was in). You had to go to reception and be taken to an office were you had access to an individual lock up safe. There was also a promotion saying that certain airline frequent flyer programs would be honoured, but the staff weren't aware of it. If you pay a discounted rate you are liable to get not one of the better rooms, but one with a view of the alley behind the hotel. Considering the rack rate was €360 a night and I paid €120 I suppose it wasn't bad. If I had paid €360 I would have been livid though!
The location is a plus as it is very close to the Acropolis and Plaka districts. The metro is only 3 minutes walk a way. Syntagma is about a 15 minute walk, but some of it is uphill so easier to take the metro or bus or tram. The room was clean, although housekeeping failed to notice a dirty wine glass the previous occupier had left in the fridge. This was rectified by the supervisor who also noted that the mini bar hadn't been restocked correctly and assured me I wouldn't be charged. English TV is limited to BBC World and CNN, but the local Greek stations would often show English programmes. It was a bit difficult to work out what Pay TV movies were showing without going into the Pay TV screen. You could accidentally go into a screen and then have to pay for it.
Overall the room was clean as was the bathroom and the service from the staff was excellent. Perhaps once the renovations are totally finished the other items will make this place a 4 star property.
We had a wonderful stay in Athens, and this hotel helped.
Getting there was a snap, even with no English language maps of the Metro. Ten Euro paid for two tickets from the Airport to our stop. Change at the Syntagma Square for Metro 2, get off at the Acropolis stop. Find the Diakou street exit and just keep going straight down the alley you come up. It is about a five minute walk. Beware of dog droppings, though. (Wild dogs inhabit the city.) You will need to cross one major intersection, but keep going straight. Pay attention to the corners of buildings - they indicate the street names in many cases. --BE CAREFUL. We were warned before hand and saw it live - cars/scooters/buses do not always stop when and where they should.
Staff at front desk spoke English well and were helpful, though aloof as mentioned. Bell hop was VERY helpful and FAST. Maid service was unbelievable, even getting the door for us on one trip when all our hands were full. The room was average size and not as nice as American hotels can be - but as for European standards about the right type. It was CLEAN and COOL after a hard, hot day hoofing it around Athens.
The Plaka is nearby. Turn towards the Temple of the Olympian Zeus after heading back towards that main intersection and right about when you reach Hadrian's Arch you can turn left towards the Acropolis and the Plaka. Again, only about five minutes. The entrance to the Temple of Zeus is a few minutes past Hadrian's Arch. If you keep walking, you can get to Syntagma Square. Or, if you are tired, hitch the Metro from the Acropolis station to the Syntagma Square station.
Either way, you are near many exciting things to see! We had not realized how centrally located we were, and it was a pleasant surprise.
Renovations only dampened the roof top terrace (sigh). The pool was beautfiul and clean and the staff at the pool's bar were very courteous.
Breakfast was to die for. Plentiful and varied. We also were extremely tired our first night and dined in the hotel's restaurant that night. WONDERFUL. I thought I wimped out by getting a hamburger... Oh, no. It was the BEST hamburger with cheese I have ever had. The seasoning in it was stupendous.
Many tours apparently leave from it's lobby. We had pre-booked with another company and had to leave from a different hotel lobby, but they ended up dropping us off at our hotel when the tour was over. Again, awesome.
There is a cool little cafe nearby where we had the BEST souvlaki dinner... at the main intersection that we keep mentioning, cross the street and turn left, walking down the main road. It is about two blocks down on the right hand side - with big Coca-Cola canopies. It is the Smile cafe. WONDERFUL service. The chicken souvlaki practically melted in our mouths it was so tender. We ended up going back the next day for the souvlaki pita sandwich. Divine as well, and again AWESOME service. Prices were also reasonable and no padding of the bill.
When the renovations are done on the hotel it will be well worth a luxury description. As it was, those stairs to the basement were marble-esque and spiral and rather beautiful.
Location, location, location
Just steps from the Plaka, metro station and the Acropolis, the location can't be beat. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Before arrival I was able to arrange a pick up at the airport and was given excellent advice for arranging day tours, all through email! While there the front desk was very friendly and more then willing to give directions or arrange a reservation. The rooms were rather small by American standards but not European, but well appointed and nicely decorated. Included breakfast was well above average, offering Greek favorites as well as traditional American and European dishes. I found the renovation to be a very slight inconvenience.
Well located, but probably better after renovation is over
Hotel is very well located, about a five minute walk from the Acropolis Metro station, and also only about five minutes walk from the Plaka area of restaurants and shops. Syntagma Square is about a fifteen minute walk. We received bad directions from several people in Athens in trying to find this hotel. It is owned by same people who own Olympic Palace which is about two blocks off Syntagma Square, which apparently caused some of the confusion. We were told repeatedly by several different people that this hotel was at or near Syntagma Square. Only after several failed attempts to find it were we able to locate it, all the while dragging a bunch of bags from the Syntagma Metro station. Once we located it, we discovered the hotel is undergoing a major renovation, which should be completed by the end of September 2005. When this renovation is completed, the hotel will be quite luxurious. Strangely, you have to walk down a flight of stairs from the street to get to the lobby, which is not particularly fun with bags in tow. Breakfast, which was included in our triple room price of 140 Euros per night, is quite nice. Breakfast is in a large room with many different foods to choose from. We ran into several service problems - TV did not work in one room (they fixed it), TV CNN had no sound (this was true in different rooms, so it was a hotel problem), A/C had minimal cooling capability, hairdryer in bathroom didn't work, elevator got stuck, and only Internet broadband access is through wireless network where charge is exorbitant at 5 Euros per hour and access is cumbersome to obtain a login through hotel front desk. Laundry charges were high enough (several Euros per item) to cause us to decide to buy new clothes rather than pay rates to launder our dirty laundry. Hotel charged us a daily fee of 2 Euros per bag to store some bags between stays, as we traveled through other parts of Greece. Staff is pleasant, but aloof.
3 or 4 star?
This hotel can only be rated 3 star due to the ongoing renovation/construction at the hotel; however we felt the hotel staff should be rated at least 4 star for their friendliness, cooperation and helpfulness.
The hotel is in a great location downtown, convenient for bus lines, taxis, etc. Also a short walk to the Plaka for shopping or dinner or the Acropolis. But the major renovations have caused the lobby to be moved to the basement - never fear, bellman are waiting by the front door to sieze your bags and haul them to the elevator. The staff speaks English well and all were most accomodating and responsive to the inconvenience of the construction. The morning breakfast buffett is extensive and well done.
This is a tourist hotel with a lot of groups checking in and out and was one of the meeting hotels for our conference. Granted the hotel restaurant and bar are now very abbreviated, so what? Walk up the street to the Athens Gate hotel, go to its rooftop restaurant for dinner. The sunset view of the Acropolis is super, the food is good and reasonably priced. Likewise the alleys of the Plaka are only 5 minutes away.
Our room was large and clean. There is wi-fi available in the rooms and an internet cafe around the corner, along with a small grocery and bank.
All in all we would stay here again; hopefully the renovation will be done by the end of summer '05 as advertised, but ya never know...
The location of this hotel (near the Acropolis and Plaka) is excellent. However, the apparent indifference of some of the staff (especially at the front desk) and the noise from ongoing renovations within the hotel made my experience here less than perfect. (I should note that my room was quite clean and adequately appointed.)
A hotel in need of an update
While the hotel location was great, our room left a lot to be desired. It hadn't been updated since sometime in the 1970s and there was some raw sheetrock in the hallway. We had a nice view of the Temple of Zeus, but it was too loud to keep the windows open so we could admire it (and we are from NYC so we are used to a little city noise!)
The Royal Olympic is situation in the PERFECT location to see all the sites of Athens. I've stayed there twice over the past two years. Rates are a good value, even though the rooms are just a little tired if you're into high style and decor. But hey, who spends much time in the hotel room when in Athens? Be sure to stop in the bar any evening and meet and talk to the original owners. They ALWAYS sit at the table by the window right by the bar. Wonderful, interesting people who can fill you in on the off the beaten path sites of Athens.
Perfect Place To Stay!
With it's view of Hadrien's Arch, the Royal Olympic Hotel offers the most spacious of hotel rooms and pleasant service. I've been to seven hotels on the mainland and can think of nothing poor to say about the Royal Olympic. It is close to La Plaka, the Acropolis and many great resteraunts and night spots (not to mention an ATM). With the city renovating many hotels for the 2004 Olympics, the Royal Olympic remains open and offering wonderful hotel rooms at reasonable prices, a warm atmosphere, and a comfortable ease into your stay in Greece. Just be careful crossing the streets around there, as you'll find the driving a bit erratic in Athens!
Great Location in Athens
This is a great hotel in a wonderful location. While on vacation I like to walk to the different attractions and sites to get a feel for the city and the people. This hotel could not have been in a better location. The staff was wonderful and upgraded me to one of the Front Rooms with the most glorious view of the Acropolis, Lycabettus Hill and Olympian Zeus Temple, if you can reserve one of these rooms. An easy walk to the Platka and Acropolis makes this hotel perfect. I cannot wait to return to Athens and stay at this wonderful European hotel.