Hotels in Greece
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Hotels in Greece

Greek hotel ratings are based on a letter system which has been due for demolition for several years now. The letters will eventually give way to stars more in keeping with the international system, but until it happens it would be a mistake to think that the two are equivalent. The Greek system is more reliably an indication of how many guests a hotel can hold and how prominent it is in the eyes of the local tourist authorities than of the quality of service or individual rooms. But on the up-side hoteliers are required by law to keep within their price range.

Every holiday can be made or broken by where you stay, and it's certainly worth thinking carefully about this if you are planning to visit Greece. Off-season, many of the more individual places will be shut; in season, hotels are often very expensive. But all is not lost. Below is a small selection of places to stay in Greece, designed to be broadly representative of the possibilities for every budget. And if you're booking directly it's always worth seeing if you can knock the room price down(a good tour operator should do this anyway, so check their quote against the hotel's).

There are plenty of hotels all over mainland Greece and the larger islands. Let's take as a example Lefkada, a favourite haunt of watersports enthusiasts. On the waterfront in Lefkada Town accommodation varies from the smart and expensive Ionian Star hotel to the clean but simple Byzantio. At Lefkada's windsurfing resort, Vassiliki, accommodation also varies to suit all budgets. There are relatively pricey affairs such as the Vassiliki Bay hotel in the middle of the town and the Ponti Beach and Nefeli hotels at nearby Pondi. You can also stay in more basic apartments along the bay, or get a windsurfing tuition and accommodation all-in deal at Club Vassiliki. You can even camp on the beach.

Another cheap and idiosyncratically Greek option are the many private rooms available - they will vary in amenities and size but because they are licensed they are almost invariably very well-kept. In season, their owners will approach newly-arriving tourists.

Thessaloniki is Greece 's second city and if you don't fly into Athens, chances are it will be your first port of call. As well as being the northern gateway to the country it's also an interesting place to visit in itself. At the top end of the accommodation range are hotels such as the Hyatt Regency, which is considered to be one of the best places to stay in this region of Europe. It's also near the airport. Cheaper but still smart is the Egnatia Palace - among other amenities, it has a spa. Options for visitors on a lower budget include the Ilios, also in the Egnatia area(a good, if noisy, place to look for moderately priced accommodation) - one of few in its price range with all-ensuite bathrooms. High season in Thessaloniki is autumn.


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