In this review we will stay at the Kimon Hotel in the heart of the Plaka neighbourhood in the Greek capital of Athens.
One night in Athens
After an unremarkable Aegean flight from Bucharest to Athens I found myself again in the Greek capital. Given the uncertainties about the sample COVID-19 testing on arrival, I decided to book one night in Athens before travelling onward to the islands.
If I would be picked out for sample testing, I would have been required to self isolate for up to 24 hours until the test results were in, so one night in Athens to break up the journey seemed to be a wise decision.
Fortunately, I was one of the few passengers on my plane who wasn’t picked out for a sample corona test and could therefore immediately make my way from the airport to Syntagma square by metro. Instead of being confined to my room, I could freely roam the streets of Athens and meet some old friends again during my short Athens stopover.
For my one night stay in Athens, I opted for the Kimon Hotel. My decision was purely based on two factors. First of all, the hotel’s excellent location in the central, lively Plaka neighbourhood, and second, the cheap rate I got.
I paid just 39.20 euro for my room at the hotel, which I thought was great value for money as normally you can only expect such rates at subpar hotels far away from the city centre of Athens. For sure the lacklustre summer bookings due to the corona crisis must have played a role.
As I walked the short distance through Plaka’s narrow streets from the Syntagma metro station to the hotel, I started to get curious what I would experience on arrival as I literally had zero expectations.
The reception of the Kimon Hotel is a few steps up from the main entrance on street level. The small reception desk was nicely decorated with a few old-fashioned suitcases.
The entire check-in process was smooth and fast, with the friendly receptionist explaining me how to make sure to properly unlock and lock the front door at night when nobody is around at the desk.
From the reception, a staircase leads up to the hotel rooms on the upper floors. There are no elevators in the building, so if you have a lot of luggage to carry or might not be the most mobile, this could definitely be something to keep in mind.
I thought all the public areas of the hotel were looking great. It felt bright and airy, and the paintings and objects such as old typewriters and book cabinets gave it some class and made it feel more like a small boutique hotel than a cheap pension.
My actual twin room was fairly simple, although it was certainly clean and well-equipped. It had air-conditioning (unmissable in the Greek summer), a small flat screen TV mounted on the wall, a fridge and a desk. Above the fridge was a wardrobe with plenty of storage space.
Large windows opened straight to the street outside, allowing some fresh air to get into the room as well. Thanks to the high ceiling, the room felt certainly spacious enough as well.
Power sockets were plentiful throughout the room and could be found both at the bedside tables and the desk – one vital detail which is often overlooked in cheaper hotels. The WiFi internet connection was fast and reliable.
Overall the room was spotlessly clean and the beds certainly comfortable enough to get a good night of sleep. Perhaps the only negative aspect I could think about was that it could do with some more colour or design elements, as it felt a bland due to the white walls and white tile floor.
Given the money I paid, I however had absolutely no reason to complain.
I was similarly impressed with the bathroom. Although there is plenty of great (budget) accommodation in Greece, frequent travellers to Greece surely know that the bathrooms of budget hotels often pose problems.
First and foremost, this means the lack of proper shower screens and bathroom floors being prone to overflooding after taking a shower.
The bathroom of my room at the Kimon Hotel was surely one of the best I encountered of any lower to mid-end accommodation (and I’ve stayed at plenty in Greece!).
The shower had proper screens to prevent flooding and the shower head itself was new. It certainly made for a refreshing shower!
The location of the Kimon Hotel was simply great too. Syntagma square (which is also the nearest metro station) is just a ten minute walk away.
Monastiraki square, at the other end of Plaka, is about 15 minutes away on foot. In the direct environment of the Kimon Hotel there are plenty of cafes and restaurants catering to all kinds of tastes and budgets.
The area around the hotel is certainly safe as well. The only possible issue you could face is when going the hotel with your own (rental) car, as the hotel is located on a narrow street with no parking options, an issue which extends to the wider Plaka area of Athens.
I was impressed with the quality the Kimon Hotel offered. For a budget hotel in the central Plaka neighbourhood Athens, it certainly offered tremendous value for money.
Although fairly basic, my room was clean and comfortable and had all the main amenities such as air-con, a desk and a fridge. The hotel in general looked bright and neat, with the public areas being nicely designed and taken care after.
With bathrooms often being neglected by Greek budget hotels, I was certainly impressed as well with the shower at the Kimon Hotel.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the Kimon Hotel and can certainly recommend it as a top budget pick for the city of Athens. I certainly wouldn’t mind staying again in the hotel if the price is right.
Trip report index
This article is part of the ‘A Dodecanese Dream: Summer Island Hopping in Greece‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:
1. Back in the Skies – My First International Flight in the Age of Corona
2. Review: Kimon Hotel, Athens, Greece (current chapter)
3. Exploring Plaka: Through the Winding Streets of the Old Town of Athens
4. Climbing up the Acropolis: Visiting Athens’ Most Famous Sight
5. Review: Skyserv Melina Merkouri Lounge Athens Airport
6. Review: Sky Express Athens to Naxos (ATR 42)
7. Review: Studios Zafiri, Naxos Town, Greece
8. Naxos Town: The Gorgeous Historic Heart of the Cyclades
9. Review: Blue Star Ferries Naxos to Astypalaia
10. Review: Belvedere Studios, Astypalaia Town, Greece
11. Astypalea Town: The Unknown Crown Jewel of the Aegean Sea
12. Astypalea Island Guide: Exploring the Butterfly of the Aegean
13. On a Night Boat in Greece – Astypalea to Kastellorizo With Blue Star Ferries
14. Review: Traditional Apartments Alexandra, Kastellorizo, Greece
15. Kastellorizo: A Look Around Greece’s Easternmost Island
16. Hiking on Kastellorizo: Two Sunset Hikes Detailed
17. Review: Olympic Air Kastellorizo to Rhodes (Dash 8-100)
** rest of the chapters to follow soon **