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Hotels in Greece

Hotels and Rooms On many islands and cities there will be both hotels and rooms for rent. The latter will be in someone's house. You'll see references to pensions, which are supposed to refer to rooms for rent, but I've seen the name applied to low scale hotels as well. Compared to hotels, rooms are much cheaper, may actually be bigger, and sometimes with kitchen facilities as well, but can be awkward to get at, not so private, or have less facilities and services. Since Greek hotels are so inexpensive, I've seldom stayed in rooms, so I know less about them.

Hotel classes Greek hotels are rated. The classes, from best to worst, are Luxury, A, B, C, D, and E. My experience is exclusively with C, D and an occasional B. The classes are generally accurate, allowing that a given grade of hotel in the rural area will be less well equipped than the same class in Athens.

A typical C class hotel. A C class hotel will be simple, clean, neat, safe. Despite what the guidebooks say, I've found them to have bathrooms in suite. They typically do not have air conditioning, sometimes will have in room phones and TVs. Breakfast will be simple, cost extra or not be available. The bathroom will be very small, the floor often doubling as the floor of the shower. Rooms may only have a view of an interior air shaft. On the other hand, I've had them with a balcony and a view of the waterfront. The two beds will be small, the sheets and pillow minimal or slightly rough. The desk may not be staffed other than during day time hours. In the rural areas, the English of the staff may be basic.

I keep using the words "simple" and "basic." But for the prices you'll pay (off peak), not bad at all. Especially since you never run into a tour group staying in one of these.

Class B Hotels A class B hotel will have (typically) air conditioning, better staffing on the desk (can help you with various arrangements), bigger rooms, TV, phones in the rooms, and sometimes better locations and views. B class hotels will have tour groups in them.

Class D Hotels Here you're more likely to have to walk down the hall to the bathroom, and encounter the backpacking culture.

Getting a place to stay. People meet most ferry boats with offers of lodging. Some will have albums of photos to give you an idea of what it is like. There is some pressure, but nothing too heavy. There are usually some hotels within sight of a ferry dock. You can also ask the tourist police for a list of hotels, but don't expect them to get on the phone and call around to ten places for you. Once you get to a hotel, you are expected to inspect the room before you agree to stay there.

The price. Conversion to the Euro led to price increases, check. Prices are higher in July and August, lower on either side of that. Prices for stays of two or three nights will also be lower than for a single night.

Things you might not like The Bathroom. I don't need gold plated fixtures, but bathrooms where you have to turn sideways to slide past the sink to get to the toilet, or have your knees (or your forehead) bang the far wall when you're on the toilet are somehow annoying to me. (Admittedly, I am 6'1") Equally annoying is that you can never put toilet paper down the toilet. Greece has not yet discovered the face cloth either.

Noise. That conveniently located hotel right on the waterfront also has a road right under your window. Greeks do not go to bed early. Anyway, it's the south of Europe, there will be noise. Trash trucks in the morning, motorbikes at midnight, chicken crowing, music from the disco, etc. If you have to leave your window open for cooler air this can be a problem.

Practicalities. Breakfast is usually included in the price of a room, but ask. When you check in you will be asked for your passport, you can get it later. Hotels will often keep your luggage for you while you explore on the last day after you check out.

Last modified 2/17/12; posted 8/8/00; original content © 2012, 2000 John P. Nordin

Last modified 1/28/07; posted 8/8/00; © 2004 John P. Nordin