Having a son at Ohio University we have spent many nights at the area hotels. The Hampton Inn is usually our first choice but it was sold out this past weekend so we got a room at the Holiday Inn Express. It was nicer than I remembered having spend one night there last year. Comfy beds, big bathroom, quiet rooms though it was crowded, nice newer shower. They don't have a min-fridge like the Hampton does. The Holiday Inn Express is closer to the university and you are able to walk across the parking lot to a CVS and Applebees which is nice. We took off early in the morning so we didn't take part in the breakfast but these "free" breakfasts are never good for more than the coffee anyway in my opinion. The room had a coffeemaker.
Like others have said, the choices are limited in Athens especially on weekends with university events. This hotel should be one of your top choices.