I've stayed in IC hotels before and been very pleased with pretty much everything, and this is what influenced my decision to stay at the Athenaeum. However, it was a disappointing experience of several levels from reception staff that were just not particularly welcoming to a room that was in desperate need of modernisation - tired carpets and what seemed to be a very fragile electrical system.
IC must still be about the only hotel that still charges for its WIFI connectivity. I wonder when they will adopt a free standard across the board? In the meantime you are subject to hourly charges. The minibar was locked! despite my lack of need for items from the minibar, I do find it useful at least having access to some cold space to store my own stuff without the hassle of getting keys off reception to do so. Similarly the TV system is now very dated and difficult to navigate, with pay-to-view items mixed in with free view channels. What happened to just normal TV with the need to navigate a menu system with a hardly working remote control? All the same, I would expect more from a hotel group with a top reputation.
On the plus side the breakfast buffet was not bad, not the greatest. It was a limited variety but what was available was fresh and tasty.
The location of the hotel may put off some people but actually we had no problem walking the 20 mins or so up the road to Hadrian's Arch/Botanical gardens and nearby entrance to the Acropolis (I walked it with my 3 young kids aged 4, 8 and 10). Despite this there is also the hourly shuttle bus service that takes you to the main square opposite the parliament building. Be warned, the patrons of this bus service have as much a concept of queuing as the worst of people and if you are expecting to make it onto the bus at either end you will need to ensure you show up early and get to the front of the queue when the bus opens its doors otherwise you will not get on. I think the IC needs to install a proper bus stop and queuing area at both ends to enforce this - otherwise it will remain a "free for all".
The pool was nice and enjoyable but that is pretty much all there is to keep the kids entertained and there is no shop on site for just small snacks and drinks - if you want that sort of stuff you either have to swallow the minibar prices (and call down to get someone to unlock it for you) or you can walk out of the back of the hotel and patronise the small kiosk run by a friendly local lady.
When our day for checkout came, despite us securing a late 2pm checkout, we had staff knocking on our door to check on the minibar and to clean the room several hours before our time to leave. I just found it a little inconsiderate.
All in all, very disappointed with the standard of service and in-room facilities and certainly not on the same level as the IC hotels I have used in Asia.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- No wonder the Athenaeum InterContinental has been named Greece s leading hotel time and again. Athens largest guestrooms, award winning fine dining venues and a central location appeal to business and leisure travellers alike. Within a few kilometres are the Acropolis, the Parthenon, the Temple of Apollo and the PlÃ¡ka. Metro and tram stations are also nearby. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Athenaeum Hotel Athens
- Intercontinental Hotel Athens
- Intercontinental Hotel Athenaeum