We were visiting family in Athens, Ohio over the summer, and needed a place to stay for two adults and two small children. We spent a week at the Hampton Inn in Athens and very much enjoyed our time there. This was during the third week of July and it was hot. I’m not familiar with the weather in Ohio, but I’m guessing we were close to the peak of the hot season, but several aspects of the Hampton Inn made it not only bearable, but pleasant.
The Hampton Inn is in a great location along the main strip of Athens, putting it close proximity to most shopping and dining, not to mention our family’s house. The hotel is on the main drag of the city, which is bigger than most people probably realize. As a consequence, however, there is a lot of traffic and noise, which was not in any way an issue because the hotel is set back from the road on a hill. We could walk to restaurants, of which there are plenty, or any one of several big stores, including Walmart and Krogers.
Our room was located toward the back, opposite the road, so as I mentioned, it was quiet. The room was clean and appeared to be newly decorated. The staff was friendly and courteous. Plus, the air conditioning saved us, because it was hot. Now I hate to be such a whiny baby, but I don’t do well in the heat, and the discomfort at this time of year was at times excruciating. Coming back to the cool hotel room was a welcome respite from the heat, and best of all, they had a really nice indoor pool which was the perfect size for the kids, along with a jacuzzi. The pool made the stay that much more enjoyable, and since it rained a few of the days we were there, we took advantage of it.
Breakfast was included with our room, and that’s always a bonus. The food was not that remarkable, but good enough. I’ve noticed that when you stay in budget hotels in the U.S. that include breakfast, the food tends to be all the same: round prefabricated scrambled eggs, sausage and English muffins, make-your-own waffles, yogurt, muffins, and cold cereal. Mind you, I’m not complaining. It’s great to have breakfast included with the room, especially with the kids, and I really enjoy having a meal to start the day, but it makes you wonder if there’s some big factory churning out all this food.
Now most of the people I talk to have never even heard of Athens, OH, and until I met my wife, neither had I, but it’s actually a pretty nice town, and bigger than you’d think. It’s located at the base of the Appalachian mountains, about two hours from the West Virginia border. However, there is a fairly big state university there, Ohio U, the Bobcats. It’s been voted one of the top ten party schools in the country. The school is located in the downtown section, which I think is nice. It’s very much like many college towns, with interesting shops and restaurants, and plenty of bars. I’ve been told the partying can get out of hand, especially on Halloween, but the times I’ve been there, I’ve enjoyed it. Plus, the school brings in a large number of international students, so the town is an interesting and eclectic mix of Europeans, Asians, Africans, and local people from the area.
The University is a good source of entertainment in terms of the arts and sports, including a reputable theater/music department and a nationally recognized football team, as well as a hockey and basketball teams. They have an indoor pool that is open to the public, but it’s mainly for swimming laps and not a great place to kids. You’re much better off swimming at the recreation center, which is located closer to the hotel.
Since it was so hot, we pretty much lived at the rec center during the day, which has a big pool complete with a slide, diving board (it was broken when we were there), and a climbing wall, which I thought was pretty cool. The pool made our stay bearable, because it not only cooled us off, but we all had a blast swimming there. It made the days go by quickly.
One last note about the Hampton Inn is that it is right next to a really nice farmer’s market that takes place twice a week in the parking lot of the strip mall. Now we live in Vermont and know all about farmer’s markets, and this one was just a nice as any market I’ve been to up here, which makes sense when you think about how much agriculture goes on in Ohio. What makes it so interesting is that the local and organic movement is alive and well in Athens. This, in turn, gives you some sense that the people who live there care about these things.
Our stay at the Hampton Inn made our family visit most enjoyable, and if you’re looking for a reasonably priced hotel that is clean and has a friendly atmosphere, the Hampton Inn is a good choice.
Check out the farmer's market on Wednesday and Saturday in the parking lot next door.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.