No swimming pool, full restaurant, or fitness center
The 16-room AVA Hotel Athens is a small and sophisticated boutique in the Plaka neighborhood of Athens. The location is particularly convenient -- it's near the Acropolis and is a three-minute walk from the Temple of Zeus. All rooms are suites that look more like elegant apartments than hotel rooms (though only the higher priced suites have Acropolis views from private balconies). There is an on-site snack bar, but no full restaurant and breakfast isn't free. Another option at a similar price point is the Electra Palace Hotel Athens -- unlike AVA, it has a pool, fitness center, and restaurant.
AVA Hotel Athens mainly attracts American tourists, but a range of business services and luxurious suites draw a fair amount of business travelers as well. The wood-paneled lobby has a white circular recessed ceiling and curved reception desk. Star-decorated mirrors add light to the space. There's a gold upholstered chaise lounge near the entrance and a small nook with computers for guests to use. Potted olive trees flank the exterior front door and international flags hang from the balcony on the third floor. The overall vibe is quiet and welcoming.
Convenient, central location in walkable, historic Plaka
Most of Plaka is closed off to vehicles, meaning the neighborhood surrounding the hotel is very walkable and free of traffic noises. Plaka is teeming with historical sites; everything from the Acropolis to Zeus's Temple to the Panathenaic Stadium is within walking distance from the AVA Hotel Athens. Restaurants and souvenir shops are plentiful, though they cater more towards tourists than Greeks, so the quality can vary.
There are three levels of suites (renovated in 2010) and each suite has a stocked kitchen and elegant furnishings. The biggest difference between the varying levels, other than price, is the size and views from the private balconies. Unlike a lot of hotel room kitchens, these come with dishes and cookware, along with stainless steel appliances. Flat-screen TVs with DVD players, fleur de lis wallpaper, and contemporary headboards make the suites feel like stylish apartments. The blue tiled bathrooms are on the smaller side, with single sinks and shower stalls. For the best view in the house, book the AVA exclusive suite -- from the furnished balcony you can see the Acropolis, Hadrian's Arch, and Zeus' Temple. From the cheapest suite, you get views of the street.
Like a lot of boutique hotels, the AVA Hotel Athens doesn't have much space for public features. There's a snack bar where breakfast is served for a fee and coffee is available throughout the day. Free Wi-Fi and a little reading room with two desktop computers are available for guests to use. A large conference and meeting room attracts business travelers. If location is less important than an on-site restaurant, swimming pool, and fitness center, try comparing rates at Electra Palace Hotel Athens.