Holiday Inn Thessaloniki
After a long and hot day on Mt Olympus, we headed up to Thessaloniki for some exploring and a good night’s rest. Or so we thought…
Before I go on with the post, I wanted to start with an apology. When we get to a hotel and we run into a problem, our number one concern is to get that problem resolved ASAP. Sometimes in the interest the comfort of our stay (and our own mental health) it takes priority. We ran into a couple of problems with this stay, and I forgot to take pictures. In fact, I only got pictures of the bathroom before we had to move to the new room. When it was all done, we were so tired we went right to bed. Onward to the review…
We drove up to the hotel only to find that the entrance was blocked by construction. In true Greek fashion, we drove onto the sidewalk since we couldn’t figure where else to go. Once we got the attention from the front desk agent, we found out we actually have to drive around to the back of the hotel to park in the parking deck. Why the construction? Turns out that they unearthed RUINS!
Smoking rooms in hotels really piss me off, especially from chain hotels like Marriott, IHG, Starwood, etc. I understand that it’s a cultural difference, because it seems that in Greece everyone smokes. But in a building, inside where there are other people, where people have to share rooms night after night, it really should be banned.
We booked the Holiday Inn Thessaloniki hotel with 10,000 points a night, and I confirmed that we booked a non smoking room. When we arrived at the hotel, the agent confirmed our upgrade to a suite and we were assisted to the room by the bellman. As soon as we entered the room we could smell the smoke, and how it was trying to be covered up by fragrances. Inside the room (and in the hallway) there were ashtrays.
We asked the bellman if this was a non smoking room on a non smoking floor, as we already knew the answer. He said that it was not but, according to him, “it doesn’t bother me because I smoke and I can not tell a difference.” We told him that it was not acceptable that we booked a non smoking room and were upgraded to a smoking suite.
After a quick call down to the front desk, we were confirmed onto the Non-Smoking third floor (as floors 3 and 6 are non smoking) and the same suite was available.
We needed some fresh air so we headed to go walk around the waterfront. The day was gorgeous and the “White Tower” was in the distance.
The room itself at the Holiday Inn Thessaloniki was dated, with the décor needing a serious refresh. The Golden Girls would have felt right at home.
Here’s those sought after bathroom pics I mentioned to you before. Nothing too special to write home about however…
I love how in Greece, not only does the feta come in GIGANTIC tins, but they are easily repurposed into tree pots.
We chose as our amenity the drink at the bar and opted to try a local cognac, Metaxa. Apparently there are several varieties (including3, 5, and 7 star) but our free drink only allowed us a *** variety. Not bad, but not something I’d seek out at a bar if I was to go back there.
For 10,000 points a night, the Holiday Inn Thessaloniki was a good deal. Again, when we do trips like these, we try and spend as little as possible on the accommodations so that we can spend our money doing things that we actually enjoy (like boat tours, eating local delicacies, or hiking through ancient ruins). For that reason and that reason alone, the hotel was a steal. It should be noted that there was also a Hyatt Thessaloniki that has more of a resort feel, and its only 12,000 points a night. Like we mentioned in a previous post, we have a bunch of free points courtesy of a previous IHG promotion, so this one just made sense. Again, clean, cheap and well located. All three boxes checked.
Now onto the west coast of Greece and Parga!