Rooms include mini-bars and flat-screen TVs; some have balconies
Small meeting room and business center
A little bit out of the way, in a less populated neighborhood
Decor is bland and dated
Fee for mediocre breakfast
Wi-Fi can be spotty
No fitness center
The 91-room Ilissos Hotel is a basic, three-pearl, well-priced hotel in the central Koukaki neighborhood of Athens, not far from attractions like the Acropolis and the Parthenon. The surrounding area isn't as tourist-heavy, but the location is still convenient, and the Sygrou tram and metro station is a short walk away. Rooms are large, if bland and chain-inspired in their style, and many have private balconies. There's a bar that serves food, as well as an à la carte restaurant that serves three meals day, in addition to room service. The rooftop patio with panoramic city views is especially popular.
Large, bright, and nondescript, with a 1980s aesthetic
The Ilissos Hotel has a plain, 1980s aesthetic. A squat white building with lots of windows, the hotel could just as easily be an office building. The lobby is bright (thanks to all those windows) and simple, yet welcoming. A series of two-tone brown couches make for meeting and lounging areas by the windows, and a spacious bar area, with egg-shaped chairs, is a popular spot to grab a drink and an afternoon snack, and there's sometimes live music. The bar and reception area are both lined with wood countertops, which reflect the light from outside and create a warmer atmosphere. There are colorful prints of the Acropolis at the back of the bar.
In contrast, the buffet restaurant, which serves breakfast and dinner, is blander and less welcoming. The furniture -- blonde wood with green cushioning -- feels corporate, and the scattering of prints on the walls does little to make the space less generic.
In the quieter Koukaki neighborhood, 20 minutes from the historic sights
The Ilissos Hotel is in the Koukaki neighborhood of Athens, a quieter and less populated area not far from the city center, with a handful of shops and restaurants. While the area is safe, the hotel does lock up at night, and guests need their keys in order to get in after hours. The Sygrou tram and metro station is about 10 minutes away, making it easy to get around the city. The historic center -- home to such attractions as the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the Plaka -- takes about 20 minutes to get to either on foot or by public transportation. The hotel offers free parking.
Spacious and dorm-like, with a dated style, some with private balconies
Rooms at the Ilissos are large but uninteresting, channeling the same 1980s style found throughout the hotel. The decor is on par with a dorm room, with boxy blonde wood furniture and bland bedding (usually beige toned, too). The carpet, typically red, is a little worn, but the rooms are generally clean. Family Rooms and Junior Suites feel a little more updated, which a slightly cheerier, cherry-colored wood, but are not especially different in style. The simple marble-tile bathrooms are bright, but still dated, and can feel a bit cramped. Some guests have complained about mildew on the curtain or in the grout. All rooms have wall-mounted flat-screen TVs, minibars, and shampoo and shower gel. Some rooms have private balconies, and some are large enough to accommodate families and groups.
Rooftop patio, lobby bar, buffet restaurant, meeting space, and free Wi-Fi
The Ilissos Hotel offers free Wi-Fi, but it can be spotty, and the Internet point in the lobby is more reliable. There's a meeting room for business-oriented guests as well. The hotel has a large bar, which serves food and drinks, and there's a large buffet restaurant that offers adequate, inexpensive meals. The buffet breakfast is not included in all rates, and is mediocre at best. The rooftop patio is especially popular; it's advertised as a garden despite a lack of greenery, but there are tables and couches, as well as panoramic views of Athens and the nearby ancient ruins. It's a great place to bring some drinks and relax, although there is no bar service up there. The hotel also offers free parking.