We arrived at the Athena Palace in the middle of the afternoon to find the hotel locked. (Check in is advertised from 12pm to 10pm).
The doorbell brought a woman who seemed reluctant to admit us but she showed us to a room and left us with no information on mealtimes, hotel facilities or local amenities. As Alpirsbach is a very pretty town in the Black Forest, this seemed remiss.
Come the evening and we went downstairs to be met by Lavendris, the young front-of-house manager. Lavendris was a breath of fresh air, his English was astounding, his local knowledge encyclopaedic and his concern for his guests, total. Lavendris is a star and we are at a loss to understand how the hotel survives when he is off duty.
The family who own the hotel are Greek and the food is Greek. This is fine but they obviously prefer not to associate with the guests, whereas Lavendris, also Greek, seems to speak every known language and communicates readily with everybody. He is very professional and a total asset to this establishment.
The rooms are pleasant, the food is good (if you like Greek) and the prices are reasonable. The Athena Palace is very conveniently sited in the middle of the town and is in the beautiful Kinzig valley. It badly needs a stock of local information from the tourist office to give guests.
Thank you Lavendris for being such a great guy.
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