By Catherine Tsounis
Budget wise travelers want a good deal. The Amalia and Parthenon Hotels are in the best area of Athens, the Acropolis. Great service, capable administrators in the Reception desk made out 2017 Greece stay enjoyable. We are reserving rooms in the same hotels for our late Spring 2018 trip.
The Amalia Hotel at Leoforos Vasilisis Amalias 10, near Syntagma Square has a great location to shopping and museums. The staff helped us sightsee and solve cell phone issues. Remarkable in all our requests. The breakfast was great. Thanos, Panagiota, George, Nikos, Chris and Julia spent time to help us. This is unusual in an Athens Hotel. They were courteous to us as Americans and New Yorkers, not making nasty comments as a higher price hotel (Royal Olympic) in in 2016. I was able to shop for items I left in the USA easily. We had a dinner, with quality, made to our order, in an enjoyable hotel restaurant.
The “Parthenon Hotel”, in the heart of the Acropolis. This is an outstanding hotel. I have been trying to get a reservation for two years. Each time it was booked. Mr. Koursaris, Yiota and staff were exceptional. Yiota for two days tried to arrange problems with my return Delta flight. She accomplished it. They have a wonderful breakfast. The location is great to explore the Acropolis and restaurants. We walked to the subway station for touring. No need for taxis. Public transportation right there. We stayed for six weeks in 2007. We returned in 2015, and 2017. Enjoy the hospitality. Ask the reception for help. They are a hidden treasure. Mr. Koursaris’ expertise and professionalism are unique.
Hara Armeni of Charitos Travel Agency of Corfu arranged a stay at the Cavalieri Hotel. A beach was opposite the hotel. The rooms were clean. Great Television and Wi-Fi. The staff courteous. I was able to go swimming for two days, when it wasn’t raining. the location was near all the major sights and shopping area. The coastline could be seen from the front door. I took great photos. The staff was always courteous. The breakfast was exceptional, with Nona’s donuts, homemade bread, yogurt and great pastries. Above all the location near all was great. Enjoyed every minute here. The price was reasonable.
We stayed at Asteri Metsovo at Mihali, Tositsa 58, Metsovo, Greece through Maria of Kapogiannis Tours, Tripoli. I had a balcony, single room overlooking the Pindos mountains. Early dawn from the balcony gave me an incredible impression. Ouranea and Aristotelis are the owners. They were working long hours, with humility and a smile. Metsovo has stone houses with grey slate roofs. My room had a balcony with an incredible view of the Pindos mountains. The city was immaculate, devoid of all graffiti. It looked like Swiss alps skiing center. Epirotes are known for their pites, strudel leave pies with different fillings. The breakfast was unique. Great local pites. All their rooms are comfortable.
Maria of Kapogiannis Tours in Tripoli, Greece arranged a budget stay at the El Greco Hotel,1821 4, Iraklio, Crete. It is in the heart of Heraklion close to all attractions. The custodial, cafeteria and reception staff gave me great advice. The staff became my family, helping me in all my travelling. A pleasant breakfast was served. This cost me only 35 euros. The air conditioning and television channels were great. The local Cretan staff kept the rooms were very clean. I saved at least 250 to 400 euros on transportation to sites and airport by using public transportation. Situated in the center of the city, it is the best way to visit Heraklion sites. Everything is located around the hotel. My major economical saving was going to the archaeological site of Knossos. The bus #2 stop to Knossos Palace was next to the hotel. I spent only 1.25 euros each way compared to a $56 travel tour.
We rented a room in Mainalon Hotel, overlooking Areos Square for 17 days. We are returning for another prolonged stay in 2018. The hospitality was unique. The staff made us feel “this was our home”. Our mornings in Tripoli opened with a country breakfast in Mainalon Hotel, at Areos Square. Arcadian honey, village yogurt, homemade spanakopites, tiropites and bougatsa began our day. Every day, there was room service. The custodial staff cleaned the room well. The reception staff helped us in all our inquiries. The manager had a gracious welcome and farewell for all. We are planning to return in 2017. How does a traveler avoid taxi and tour group expenses? Pick a hotel the locals stay at in the heart of a city. Enjoy Greece in 2018.