Staying With a Dog at The Acropolis Hill Hotel in Athens, Greece
We regret not having more time at this hotel; or Athens for that matter. Due to major delays caused by storms we lost a day and night in Athens; our time thus limited to a single quick evening on the town and one night at the Acropolis Hill Hotel.
We were already impressed with the hotel before we even arrived. We had come across it on Trip Advisor when doing a search for “Pet friendly hotels in Athens”. When we contacted them directly they always responded quickly and politely; reassuring us that indeed they had a pet friendly room (yes ONE room). We booked a non-refundable rate for our stay in order to save money – and that ended up costing us – but when we emailed them to tell them that we would miss that first night they confirmed quickly that, although we would loose the cost of a nights stay, they would make sure to hold the room for us until we arrived; no matter what hour that might be. They even thanked us for letting them know about our misadventures.
When we walked into the lobby far later than we had hoped for, we right away liked the décor. The place has a modern vibe with the black and white tiles on the floor and a lot of angular furniture. But it’s still welcoming. A deep red velvet chair right in the center of the lobby just makes you want to sit down and stay a while. It’s clean and unusually, the reception desk is around the corner to the left of the main entrance and not the first thing you see in the standard “smack dab in the middle” approach. The gentleman working at the front desk was kind, and smiled as we dropped our backpack on the marble floor. After checking passports (as they do in Europe) he then said, “Where is the dog?” … That is when I made my appearance.
“Please… please …let him out of the bag, he must be sick of being in there!” He said. And so, on my leash, I walked like any other guest to our room.
The Acropolis Hill Hotel is a funny place, built as the name suggests, on a hill. So our room was actually a few floors down from the reception area on the ground floor. The pool is one (or two) floor down as well! As the receptionist walked us to our room, he showed us where everything was along the way including the breakfast area.
The bipeds were smiling. The place was really nice.
Our room was the very last one at the bottom of the hotel, quite literally. And it would be easy to get a little nervous as you walk the dark hallway towards it. You start to feel like you’re being treated as a second rate client. But when the door to our room opened, we soon understood what they have done. You see Dear Reader, in a place where every inch costs money; the Acropolis Hill Hotel has a room with a little yard for their guests with dogs! A YARD!! Now, it could use some grass, flowers and maybe some paving stones because the dirt made it seem un-finished; but OH the luxury! What made it even better? The yard had its own private stairway to the pool area! SWEET people!! SWEET I tell you!
After a quick pee in my private dirt, I quickly made myself at home around the pool. I found a Chair to call my own. I ran after the bipeds as they went for a swim. No one cared that I was off-leash or even that I barked my enthusiasm for the place a little bit before curling up in a towel and catching a power nap. We lingered until the pool closed and then returned to our room.
The bipeds showered in the large slate tiled space (very large by European standards), changed into some fresh “don’t smell of airport” clothes and we wondered to the roof top where we had been told the most beautiful view of the Acropolis and the city of Athens awaited. They did not lie. We sat on the chairs and soaked it all in. We talked to some of the other guests and then, finally went out for some dinner. The receptionist gave us easy directions to where we could find some cheap but good Greek food with a relaxed ambiance.
He did not lead us astray.
We enjoyed the short walk down some steps flanked by blooming trees, and found the restaurant easily enough on a corner of a relatively quiet street. There the bipeds shared a beer, ordered a mix of tapas and finally we all just… breathed. We had made it. The trek had been long, filled with delays and frustrations, but we had made it. As I started to dose off after some lamb kebobs I noticed my first Greek stray cat but I was too tired to do much about it other than try and stare it down. I failed miserably.
Later once the sun had set, we went back to the rooftop of our hotel to see the view by night.
That was when the bipeds knew … we were on vacation.
They lingered but not too long. With a 4:30 a.m. wake up call in order to make our 7:15 a.m. ferry departure and our terrible trip to get where we were; fatigue overwhelmed us and we all went to our room, curled up in the big comfy bed with white soft cotton sheets, good pillows and drifted away in the arms of Hypnos.
The only small “ick” in our experience was a dead cockroach by our door the next morning. But having stayed in many large European cities Mom told me this is unfortunately, almost to be expected. It was funny, she didn’t even blink and neither did Dad. Apparently you can’t travel the world and be too squeamish about these little things. I heard Mom say that at least it wasn’t like London or Paris where you had to worry about bed bugs. No matter how many stars a hotel may hold, when buildings are stacked so closely to one another little can be done about these tiny unwanted visitors.
Unfortunately, we were leaving far too early for us to enjoy breakfast, but there were enough goodies already out that we managed to put together a mini picnic of snacks and gulp down a glass of fresh orange juice (water in my case). Check out was smooth, our driver to the ferry waited patiently outside (amazingly the hotel has a parking spot out front for pick-up and drop off!) … And so did the rest of our adventure!
All and all the hotel was pleasant and a positive experience. We would recommend it to anyone that has to travel to Athens with a dog. The size of the little private yard indicates that they could easily accommodate a larger canine than myself (all of 3.5 pounds – 1.3 kilo) although I was informed a larger dog would not be allowed off leash like I was. Tiny has its perks! Hopefully they will plant a little grass in the dirt courtyard since so many dogs need grass to feel comfortable doing their business! The room location was certainly excellent, very quiet considering the near deafening hustle and bustle of Athens and the view… the view was truly spectacular and worth the price. If you are traveling without a dog, perhaps you can splurge for a room with a view.
In review: Hotels in most Capital cities of the world claim all sorts of things that don’t quite match up to the reality of the visit. There are however, some places that do provide what they promise. The room was modern, crisp, and complete with everything you would require for a comfortable stay: good mattresses, cotton linen, hair dryer, spotless bathroom, mini bar, TV and air-conditioning. All in working order. The staff is well trained and very accommodating. By international standards this hotel with its lovely pool is really more a four star hotel than a three star. It’s small without being too small. Hip without being too cold and pretentious. It’s a good fit for almost anyone and conveniently situated on the edge of the historical Plaka district.