Review: Athens Crowne Plaza Hotel
IHG operates three properties in Athens, two of which are in the city center. One is the Intercontinental Atheaneum and the other, our hotel of choice was the Crowne Plaza. Why did we choose it? It was cheaper, of course!
The paid rates were running around 170€ and around 190€ for the Intercontinental. The points rates, however, were 25,000 for the Crowne Plaza and 30,000 for the Atheanium. Since we racked up about 67,000 points in the promotion that IHG just ran not too long ago, spending 25,000 was a no brainer.
Uber service just launched a few months back in Athens, but the service is still spotty. The flat rate from the airport to the city using a taxi was 38 euros, and the uber was quoting around 22 euros. So we waited for about 10 minutes and finally one uber showed up. He was around 8-9 minutes away, so we went outside and just waited for him to roll up… in his Mercedes 12 passenger van. Hey, I’m not complaining – plenty of space to stretch out!
We got to the city center in a quick 20 minutes, and proceeded to the checkin counter. It was fast, efficient, and we were in our room in about 2 minutes. The hallway made it feel like we were in some cheap Vegas hotel with the neon lighting and the lit signs on the door…
But the room itself was well appointed and looked sharp. Our room had two beds, and the décor was a great red and dark brown. The beds, however, were what I call “hot dog” beds. You know those beds, right? When you get in and you feel that the mattress wraps around you like a hot dog bun? This wasn’t quite as bad, but the bed was still way too soft for us.
There was also a seating area with table and chair, and our welcome gift of a fruit tray. Is a whole fruit tray really ever enticing after a long trip? Nice gesture, but we only ate the banana ☹.
There was a desk for working, which when you’re blogging on the go, is a welcome sight. A lot of hotels are eliminating this (I’m looking at you Marriott) and I’m glad to see that the desks are still around for some chains.
There was a small seating area, small TV (which we didn’t use since most the channels were in Greek) and a place to store your luggage.
The bathroom shower was spacious and had both a rainforest shower and a shower wand. It was unique in that the whole apparatus was in the middle of the tub, including the drain, which I found myself stepping on constantly.
Breakfast was not provided, even as Platinum guests, as the IHG chain is very stingy with its elite members. So we headed out on the street to find some good breakfast the next day. We stopped off at a local restaurant called Fillo and had AMAZING coffee, a spinach pie, and a cheese pie. It’s a shame they were closed on Sunday when we went back, because it was the best Spanakopita we had on the entire trip.
What we wanted from this hotel stay was cheap or free, centrally located, and clean. The Crowne Plaza checked off all three for us. If we were to head back to the area, and had the means to make the stay free, and the prices for surrounding hotels were high, sure we’d come back here again. However, I think what you’re going to see with our next hotel reservation is that there are some amazing properties to be had if you know where to look. This one seemed a little too cookie-cutter for us, and coming from guys who like to stay in chains when we travel, that says a lot.
Come to Athens, stay here for a short stay, but don’t stay at this hotel for too long. Get out, explore the city, and find some awesome properties to stay in.