Which hotel services require the payment of extra fees?

Among the fears and questions that arise in the mind of the not-so-frequent traveller, whether they will be charged unexpected extras and surcharges by the hotel they stay at is one of the most common. Obviously, it is in the hands of the managers and owners of the hostel, guest house, apartment, boutique hotel or hospitality chain to determine which services and amenities are included in the nightly rate and which ones must be paid for separately. In general, the wisest thing to do is asking them directly or consulting the reservation receipt, where a thorough description of everything that is included in the price is mandatory. That being said, we are about to outline the hotel features that are frequently offered for free alongside with those which normally entail additional costs.

Hotel services and amenities that are always complimentary

Whenever you book a hotel room, a bed in a hostel dormitory or a bungalow in a holiday resort, there are features that almost invariably come for free. For instance, it is safe to say that everything inside the room can be used at no extra charge: you will never be charged for water supply or energy, so you can enjoy the shower, lighting, ironing facilities, coffee and tea amenities and TV as much as you like. Take into account, however, that pay-per-view movies or channels might appear on your TV set, but you will always be warned with a message before you accept this paid service.

If you ask for a wake-up call, that is, to be woken up in the morning with a telephone call, you won’t have to pay for it. Also, the toiletries provided in the bathroom, even the luxury ones, are available for you to use and take away with you as a souvenir; what is more, they are refilled or replaced should you need more products during your stay. Using the towels and bathrobe if offered has no additional cost, but contrary to what some people think, you cannot take them home; some pairs of hotel slippers, though -particularly those with the name of the hotel chain on them-, have been conceived as a gift for guests to keep. The hair dryer is normally in the bathroom or can be borrowed from the reception at no extra charge.

Furthermore, some hotels make sure their guests are given a warm welcome in the form of free bottled water, chocolates or fruit awaiting them on the hotel bed; others offer this service for a surcharge. Storing your valuables inside the safety deposit box provided should not be charged for either. Activities like reading papers and magazines in the lobby, working out in the gym and accessing public areas of the establishment such as the gym, the pool or the terrace do not commonly entail paying any extra fee, and the arrangement of services by the staff at the front desk such as shuttle transfers, tickets for tours and attractions, directions and advice, meeting rooms and conference spaces should not generate any costs other than those of the service itself exclusively.

Hotel services you will sometimes have to pay for

Breakfast is always included in the nightly rate of B&Bs, guest houses, hostels and many hotels; other establishments will either give you the option to select a “breakfast included” rate during the process of making your reservation or have it available as an extra in their dining facilities or restaurant. Access to spa centres may come in an already planned “holiday package”, be considered as complimentary to your room category (especially in superior and deluxe ones) or be free for all guests.

Parking spaces and conference rooms are usually a complimentary amenity for executive travellers and company delegations; we recommend you address this question to the hotel managers before arriving to make clear whether they can be used for free or not. Another issue you are advised to ask about beforehand is if you will be allowed to add a cradle for your baby or an auxiliary bed for an extra guest without incurring costs. And lastly, regarding eating and drinking inside the premises of the hotel, we recommend reading the fine print of your half-board, full-board or all-inclusive reservation.

Hospitality chains and establishment across the world differ in their policies regarding the WiFi and airport transfers. Wireless internet is being increasingly offered at no cost both inside hotel rooms and in the communal areas, yet do not be surprised if some resorts charge for WiFi by the hour. Airport shuttle services and transfers to convention centres are courtesy in the majority of transit hotels (those located near airport terminals) and business hotels, yet it may be the case that the establishment where you are staying does charge a nominal fee for them.

Hotel services that are not complimentary

What you can be sure of is that every item inside your shiny mini bar by the hotel bed will be charged for; the price list next to it is there for you to tick off each consumption, although maids also check if something is missing every day when they come to clean the room. Likewise, every order to the room service entails the payment of a fee: it may be added to your total invoice or requested upon delivery; note that the price of meals delivered to your room is always listed by them on the menu. And finally, every extra service you order while staying in a hotel –laundry, dry-cleaning, ironing, babysitting, massages and beauty treatments, for example- will imply the addition of charges to your final invoice.

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Planning your Hawaiian holiday: accommodation and airports in Hawaii, USA

Is the US state of Hawaii still pending on your travel bucket list? Provided that it will be your first time vacationing in the Hawaiian archipelago, you may be wondering which the best places to stay are, how to get to the different islands in Hawaii and what to do during your trip. Such tips and information will surely be helpful no matter if you travel solo, plan to go on a honeymoon escape or want to spend your time there with friends and family. Likewise, take into account that a stay in Hawaii always has something to suit all tastes, and so adventurers, nature lovers, beach addicts and those who just want to enjoy everything their luxury resorts have to offer will all see their needs satisfied even if they choose the very same Hawaiian destination.

Airports in Hawaii

Hawaii is an archipelago of volcanic origin located in the Pacific Ocean; its capital state is Honolulu, which is located in Oahu, its third largest island. Oahu is home to Honolulu International airport (also known as Daniel K. Inouye airport), from which daily operations are handled to and from cities across the USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, South Korea and other Hawaiian islands. While international flights to Hawaii are operated by major airlines, most interisland flights are handled by Hawaiian Airlines. Thanks to this carrier it is possible to fly to airports in Hawaii such as Lanai, Lihue, Hilo, Molokai and Kahului airport (Maui), among others. In some cases, you can commute between islands by ferry boat. Continue reading below to find out more about the different Hawaiian Islands and how to get there.

Plan your trip to Oahu island in Hawaii

In spite of not being Hawaii’s largest island, Oahu comprises many iconic sites and landmarks that include the capital city Honolulu, the Chinatown District, the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, Hanauma Bay and the Aviation Museum. However, Honololu is a favourite for the great majority of holiday goers, who are attracted by the luxury hotels on Waikiki Beach, the upscale shops scattered along Kalakaua Avenue, the Komodo Dragons at the local zoo, its surf life and the seaside bars and restaurants.

There are many ways to go from Honololu airport to Waikiki Beach, namely by taxi, shared shuttle, Uber, hired car. While the taxi is arguably the fastest and most convenient option to cover the 14-kilometre distance that separates the airport from the beach area, those who do not mind the more than thirty stops along the way that public buses make can save a considerable amount of money.

The Big Island of Hawaii

If you decide to take a trip to the Big Island, or simply Hawaii, you are probably an adventure traveller who loves to explore, go on hiking outings and soak in the views of dramatic landscapes. As a matter of fact, Hawaii is home to the highest peak in the archipelago, the inactive volcano known as Mauna Kea; there are two active volcanoes in this island, and visitors often choose to find accommodation close to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in order to make the most of their stay.

The easiest way to reach the Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii is by flying to Hilo airport, then hiring a car to commute to the area.

Holiday in Maui, Hawaii

Worldwide renowned for its luxury beach resorts, among which we count establishments by international hospitality chains like Four Seasons, Marriott and Waldorf Astoria, Maui primarily appeals to travellers who look for a nice stay in a suite with ocean views, breakfasts by the pool, dinners with views and long hours being pampered at the spa. However, aside from high-end vacations in the Kapalua or Wailea beaches, Maui in Hawaii is becoming increasingly popular among those who would rather spend their holidays surfing, whale watching, hiking and practising a whole variety of water sports.

Here you will find the Haleakala National Park, where you can see the highest peak in the island as well as the stunning Waimoku Falls without leaving the park. Flying from Honolulu airport to Maui’s airport (Kahului) takes only 40 minutes, although it is also possible to catch a ferry boat from Lanai or Molokai.

Where to stay in Molokai, Hawaii

One of the great allures of the Hawaiian island of Molokai is the Kalaupapa Peninsula located to the north and its national historical park. Travellers love hiking to the cliffs and volcanic peaks (the highest one being the East Molokai Volcano), while Papohaku Beach Park offers an alternative in the sun where they can swim, have a barbeque or stay in a campsite.

The easiest way to travel to Molokai is by air, with 25-minute flights linking it regularly to Honolulu International airport, as well as to Maui’s Kahului airport or Kapalua.

Travelling to Kauai in the Hawaiian archipelago

In Kauai, it will be hard not to fall in love with the sights at its tropical rainforest –actually occupying most of the island’s territory-, at the cliffs on Na Pali Coast or those you will get during a hike across the Sleeping Giant Mountain. Fortunately, the island of Kauai in Hawaii is connected to Canada, various US airports, Honolulu and Kahului via its main airport, Lihue.

Belize vacation in the Caribbean: flights and hotels

Looking for flights to Belize airport? Curious about what to do and see during a vacation trip to this Caribbean destination in the Northeastern coast of Central America? Our holiday travel tips might help you discover yet unexplored places and leisure possibilities in its mainland, islands, cayes and coral reefs, which only add up to the Mayan sites, exotic food, eclectic local culture and captivating music waiting to be enjoyed.

Beautiful Belize has, in fact, something for everyone, but it is particularly recommended to travelers seeking an active retreat where they can hike, go trekking, practice snorkeling and scuba diving, ride horses, learn and get lost in nature. Whether you prefer to stay in a budget accommodation near the jungle -to the west-, be closer to the ocean at a hotel -to the east- or get pampered at a resort in the Cayes, the subtropical weather of this Caribbean country remains warm and nice throughout the year. Continue reading below for advice to plan your trip and get ready to pack your bags.

How to travel to Belize: international airport, flights and transport options

The main international airport in Belize is the Philip S.W. Godson air terminal which, aside from seasonal operations, receives regular scheduled flights from Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta, Denver, Orlando, Alaska, Dallas and Miami in the United States, Panama City in Panama, Cancun and Merida in Mexico and Flores in Guatemala all year round.

Domestic flights within the country are operated by Maya Island Air and Tropic Air to and from Corozal, Dangriga, Placencia, Punta Gorda, Caye Caulker, Caye Chapel and San Pedro. After landing, you may take a taxi to Belize City or Belmopan (the capital), a shuttle to the water taxi terminals or else hop on a chartered boat to reach St. George’s Caye, Ambergris Caye, Tobacco Caye, Glover’s Reef or the islands. Adventure travelers visiting Belize usually rent a car at the airport to get around independently.

Best places to stay in Belize and what to do during your trip

Former visitors and travelers have stated that their favorite areas to stay at in Belize are San Ignacio, Placencia, El Caracol, Caye Caulker, San Pedro and Punta Gorda. Notwithstanding that, you may prefer some areas over the others depending on what you want to do during your trip: relaxing, seeing the marine reserves and coral reefs, practicing sports, spotting wildlife or becoming an explorer at the more than ten ancient Mayan ruins and sites across the land. See our own selection below.

Hol Chan Reef Resorts & Villas in San Pedro beach, Belize

This accommodation is superbly located within short walking distance of San Pedro beach and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. North Ambergris Caye and Playa Blanca lie about 7 kilometers from this point. Guests enjoy free private parking spaces, an outdoor pool, free WiFi and spa services and facilities, and may choose from a wide range of family rooms, suites, condos, villas and luxury residences for their stay in Belize.

Hidden Valley Inn & Reserve immersed in nature in Belize

The Hidden Valley Inn & Reserve in San Ignacio is an eco-resort consisting of luxury cottages located in the heart of the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, near the Chiquibil Forest and the Mayan ruins of El Caracol. Suitable for those who plan to go caving, canoeing and trekking during their trip to Belize, this sustainable accommodation has an onsite restaurant serving regional dishes, and offers suites, twin rooms and double rooms featuring private bathroom.

Saint Charles Inn in Punta Gorda, Toledo

Punta Gorda in Belize is the perfect place to stay for ocean activities like snorkeling, scuba diving and marine life spotting, but also to taste the country’s finest pure chocolate, take a trip to see the waterfalls or visit Tiger Cove and the Snake Cayes. This property has luggage storage facilities and provides guests with currency exchange services, as well as with fully equipped rooms of varied capacity ranging from budget single to deluxe queen units.

Drift Inn Cayo in Santa Elena, Belize

The Drift Inn Cayo in Santa Elena lies close to the Mecal, Belize and Mopan rivers, and a short drive to the Mayan sites. This accommodation features a shared lounge, a bar, a restaurant and a swimming pool. Room service is available as well as a daily continental or American breakfast. They can arrange airport shuttle services for guests, who may opt for staying in a room with patio or in a dormitory with bunk beds.

Parrot Cove Lodge in Hopkins beach

This beachfront lodge is virtually on the beach while also exceptionally situated halfway between the reefs and the rainforest. The premises comprise a swimming pool, a cafe, a terrace, a garden, and a wide array of accommodations such as triple rooms with pool view, junior suites featuring ocean views and standard double rooms overlooking the pool (to mention but a few types). They also put bikes, kayaks and standup paddle boards at the guests’ disposal at no extra cost.

Best health insurance plans for international travel

Where to stay in Costa del Sol: all-inclusive and beach hotels in Spain

What is your preferred kind of holiday? While many love sunbathing for hours and taking long strolls along the seashore, others indulge in the pleasure of spending the days at an all-inclusive holiday resort, and there are also those who love roaming unknown streets of old towns looking for something unexpected in a local shop or startling new tastes in traditional restaurants. Travellers leading a more refined lifestyle often look for luxury shopping and the finest dining experiences. Well, sunny Costa del Sol in Spain gathers all of the above. This region, which stretches along the coast of the Málaga province in Andalusia, seems like the perfect destination if you seek a combination of sea and activity. Popular holiday areas like Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Marbella, Estepona, Casares and Nerja never sleep, yet still offer the quietness and relaxed atmosphere you need for a much anticipated rejuvenating retreat. See our recommended hotels in Costa del Sol below.

All-inclusive hotel in Torremolinos, Costa del Sol

The Marconfort Beach Club hotel is a 4-star all-inclusive resort that stands only 4,2 kilometres away from Málaga airport, and a short walk separates it from the sand of Playamar beach. In such a privileged location, guests enjoy complimentary breakfast, lunch, dinner, ice cream and snacks, drinks (some restrictions may apply), access to the mini golf, bicycle lending, live music shows, admission to an indoor pool and to leisure areas for kids and for adults.

Furthermore, this hotel in Costa del Sol has a free WiFi internet network, 3 open-air swimming pools, gym, hot tub and sauna, and all rooms –which range from double to family occupancy with either front or lateral sea views- feature air conditioning, a balcony, paid safe, satellite TV and en suite bathroom. You may choose to book a wellness package and enjoy its spa facilities or go out and explore the nearby Málaga old town or take a train in Torremolinos train station to visit the Picasso Museum, the Cathedral, the Botanical Garden or the Aqualand water park. All the aforementioned are a short car drive away.

Nerja Club & Spa hotel in Costa del Sol

This 3-star hospitality establishment is 48 kilometres away from Granada airport and 56 kilometres from Málaga airport, but the hotel provides airport transfer service for a nominal fee, well worth paying if we take into account that by staying here we will be able to visit the famous “Balcón de Europa”, a viewpoint on a cliff that overlooks the Mediterranean sea and offers breathtaking views that are unique to this area. Besides, it takes just a short stroll to get both to the beach and to Nerja city centre.

The facilities of this holiday hotel in Spain comprise an open-air swimming pool, a spa centre with whirlpool baths (guests are entitled to one complimentary session per day during their stay), a buffet restaurant offering entertainment and weekly flamenco shows, a free Wifi lounge, and air-conditioned rooms with TV and private bathroom. When making a reservation, you may choose a breakfast-included rate, and other services include car rental, meeting rooms and spaces for events, concierge, luggage storage, laundry, ironing and daily maid service.

BlueBay Banús hotel in Marbella, Andalusia

Close to Marbella casino and several golf clubs, this hospitality establishment stands 7 kilometres from El Saladillo beach in Costa del Sol and 47 kilometres from Málaga airport. Guests may take a nice stroll to the exclusive harbour town of Puerto Banús. With parking spots available, foreign currency exchange services and spaces for meetings and events, the BlueBay Banús is perfect for those travelling to Spain both for business and leisure.

What is more, this hotel in Marbella boasts two onsite restaurants where guests can delight themselves with exquisite Andalusian dishes, a poolside bar and a wellness centre. The rooms -which may accommodate couples, groups or families-, feature a balcony, a mini bar, private bathroom and TV with satellite channels. Additionally, there is a paid WiFi lounge and three swimming pools available.

Cayman Islands: flights, airport and hotels

Although the Cayman Islands are certainly a dream vacation destination to many, and the perfect luxury beach trip for others, there is something for everyone in this British island territory in the Caribbean Sea (found between Mexico and Jamaica), from shopping to activities in nature, unless all you want to do in this little piece of paradise is chill and lie in the sun while taking pics to post on your Instagram account. The archipelago, which comprises the islands of Grand Cayman -home to the capital city, George Town-, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, boasts white sand beaches, barrier reefs, great spots for scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming with stingrays, a turtle conservation center and plenty of opportunities for sailing and touring the surroundings by boat. In this post, we will recommend some of the best hotels and resorts in Seven Mile Beach (Grand Cayman), provide tips on how to get to the main international airport and catch flights to two secondary airports, and give you some additional accommodation options for your holiday.

Which airport do you fly into the Cayman Islands?

Vacation goers flying from overseas typically land in Cayman Islands‘ primary International air travel hub: Owen Roberts International airport in Grand Cayman, which not only handles operations to and from destinations abroad, but is also busy with daily domestic routes to and from the airports of the minor islands, namely Charles KirkConnel airport in Cayman Brac and Edward Bodden airport in Little Cayman, operated by the regional airline Cayman Airways. Travellers arriving through Owen Roberts airport to the islands have taxis, buses, limousine services and rental cars at their disposal to transfer to their hotel or resort after landing.

Flights to Grand Cayman island in the Caribbean

Air Canada, Westjet, American Airlines, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, United and Cayman Airways operate flights to Owen Roberts International airport in Grand Cayman all year round, thus linking the capital of the Cayman Islands to airports across North America and Europe like London Heathrow, Toronto Pearson, Charlotte Douglas, Dallas Fort-Worth, Miami, Kingston, Houston, Newark, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta and JFK.

How to get to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman

The best option to enjoy and explore the minor islands is to take a one day-trip either by air or by boat, the latter option offering plenty of possibilities to join snorkelling and scuba diving tours. Should you choose to catch a Cayman Airways domestic flight for this one day-excursion and fly back to Grand Cayman before the night falls, know that you will need to book a seat towards Charles Kirkconnel airport if you choose Cayman Brac, and to Edward Bodden airport to visit Little Cayman.

Hotels in Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands

The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa

This 4-star seaside hotel in Seven Mile Beach has an onsite spa, several lounges and restaurants, and outdoor swimming pools with cabanas. Its guest rooms, which may feature either pool or ocean views, are spacious and equipped with comfortable beds, air conditioning, mini fridge, marble bath and private terrace balcony.

Seven Mile Beach Resort

This 3-star resort is located within short walking distance of Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman and only a 10-minute drive from Owen Roberts International airport. It offers a wide range of amenities that include outdoor pool and hot tub, onsite parking and free WiFi, as well as family apartments fully equipped with kitchenette, TV, DVD player and bathroom.

Other holiday accommodation in the Cayman Islands

Sea Breeze in West Bay, Grand Cayman

This 4-star apartment complex by the sea features an open-air pool, a gym, free parking spaces, complimentary WiFi internet for guests and a garden. During your stay, you can enjoy four bedrooms, five bathrooms, a kitchen, a patio affording pool views, a hot tub, access to a private beach and both living and dining spaces.

Blue Water Villa in Driftwood Village

This private villa in Grand Cayman offers beautiful sea views, a private pool, air conditioning and free WiFi, roughly 14 kilometers from George Town, the capital city. The property owners will cater to your every need as a traveller by putting 5 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms at your disposal, alongside bed linen and towels, a kitchen with appliances, a TV set and a balcony overlooking the garden.

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Independent travel to the Maldives

So you have decided to ignore the tempting all-inclusive Maldives packages that agencies are offering to book the hotel and make every travel arrangement on your own. While the first option might seem simpler and certainly save you a good deal of stress and worries when it comes to planning, the flexible nature of the second one will surely enable you to customise the whole experience at your will and, at the same time, let you unleash your inner free-spirit adventure traveller.

Flying to the Maldives

When searching for flights to the Maldives, you need to look for routes ending in Male airport –also known as Velana International-, which is located in Hulhulé island in the capital city of the Republic of Maldives. Today, the majority of airlines that handle international operations offer direct flights to Male, either seasonal or scheduled. However, you may want to check in advance whether you can fly to the Maldives with your airline of choice or if you will need to make a connection.

How to get to your island in the Maldives

Unless you are staying in the capital, Male, you will need to transfer to the atoll in the Maldives where your accommodation is located, and you can do so by plane, ferry or speedboat. While ferries are probably the cheapest way to commute, we strongly recommend catching a domestic flight from Male airport to your island in the Maldives if they are available, as it is the fastest means and ferry transfers get cancelled when the weather conditions are not favourable. For a more stylish commute, you can always book a speedboat ride or a private jet for you and your travel mates.

What to do in the Maldives

A considerable number of tourists go to the Maldives to disconnect and unwind, choosing beach resorts or overwater villas where they can just relax, be pampered at the spa centres and indulge in the finest seafood and champagne. However, the Maldives is also a place for thrill-seekers who would love to go scuba diving in the Arabian Sea, snorkel in the Indian Ocean and swim in its warm turquoise waters near sea turtles, stingrays and whale sharks. Besides, the Maldives islands are a popular destination for surfers and SUP lovers.

In view of all of the above, and in case you still think that this trip is exclusively for luxury travellers, we must add that you will find different sorts of accommodation in the Maldives to suit your travel budget. By way of example, we have selected three places to stay on three islands of the archipelago and sorted them from lowest nightly rate to highest.

Where to stay in the Maldives: the Maafushi Inn

This 2-star accommodation in Maafushi island is a comfortable place to stay in the Maldives run by friendly hosts. In order to reach it you can take one of the public ferries departing from Male International airport. The journey will take one hour and a half, however, you will deem it well worth it when you arrive at this beachfront inn with direct access to the beach and cosy rooms featuring WiFi, air conditioning, free bottled water, coffee amenities and attached bathroom. Select units also afford beautiful ocean views. Travellers seeking a dynamic stay instead of a relaxing one may join their water sports gatherings and boat trip tours.

3-star accommodation in the Maldives: the Dhiguveli Guest House

The Dhiguveli guest house is on the Dhigurah Atoll and, even when you can take a ferry or speedboat to arrive, we recommend the convenience of a domestic flight from Male International airport. This recommended accommodation in the Maldives includes a private beach, an onsite restaurant and a garden area where you can sunbathe. The guest rooms have en suite toilet and shower, complimentary amenities, wireless internet connection at no extra charge and a water heater, and a daily buffet-style breakfast may be enjoyed inside the facilities.

Staying in a villa in the Maldives: the 4-star Adaaran Prestige Ocean Villas

Getting to these overwater villas in the Maldives from Male International airport is as easy as taking a 30-minute speedboat ride, which can be arranged by the establishment upon request. This more luxurious option features privileges such as a private deck for each unit, TV, DVD player, minibar, free WiFi and personal butler. During your stay, other extras will be put at your disposal, namely the various restaurants and bars on site, an open-air swimming pool and a spa centre, plus you will get the chance to join surfing, diving and water-ski activities.

Where to stay in central Athens, Greece

Although the many organised trips and tours currently on offer normally guarantee that you won’t miss out on anything, an increasing number of travellers –especially millennials- are resolving to travel independently and explore the city of Athens on their own. This slower and more flexible way of visiting the Greek capital and its ancient treasures is highly recommended regardless of the purpose of your trip, as it is relatively easy to walk to the different sites of interest, whether you have the whole day to roam the streets or just a few hours after business meetings and work.

If you stay in a hotel in central Athens, you will be within short walking distance of the large pedestrian area connecting the great majority of historical sites which are, in turn, encircled by a diversity of neighbourhoods that are home to commercial zones, museums, markets, night clubs, cafés, shops, restaurants and typical “tavernas”. As the sun sets, you may take strolls along the seaside or admire the beauty of Athens from the hills, since the metro trains and bus lines available also link the centre with these strategic points.

If you are looking for centrally-located yet affordable accommodation in Greece, we have selected some good-value-for-money hotels in central Athens that will make your leisure or business stay all the more convenient.

The Athens Odeon Hotel

This 3-star accommodation in Greece is situated in one of the city’s main streets, with taxi ranks nearby and a short stroll from the nearest metro station and the National Theatre. The Acropolis stands only three kilometres away from the building, and so the upper floors feature mesmerising views of it. Provided that you will be travelling by air, know that a distance of twenty kilometres separate the hotel from Athens airport. Its well-appointed rooms include free wireless internet connection for guests to use, comfortable beds, air conditioning, soundproofed windows and cable TV. A complimentary daily breakfast is served, while you may also enjoy a cocktail and snacks at the onsite bar. Furthermore, with a view to catering to the needs of those visiting for work, this hotel in Athens city centre provides extra services such as laundry, ironing, the arrangement of meeting spaces, left-luggage and car rental.

Hotels in central Athens, Greece: the Dorian Inn

Undoubtedly, the greatest allure of this hotel that is also located in the very heart of the city is its rooftop swimming pool offering stunning views of the Acropolis. What is more, even when there is a wide array of dining options in the vicinity, if you decide to have lunch or dinner at the onsite Mediterranean restaurant on the 12th floor, you will not only be delighted by the exquisite dishes but also by the scenery surrounding you. Their occupancy ranging from individual to family rooms, the units of this 3-star accommodation in central Athens have been fully equipped with private bathroom and fridge, and guests may choose to have breakfast in bed or enjoy the daily morning buffet at the restaurant. Besides, free WiFi all throughout, the fact that the premises are accessible for wheelchairs, the availability of tourist information at the front desk and its proximity to several metro stations are a plus.

The Fresh Hotel in Athens city centre

This 4-star accommodation in Greece is strategically located just a 5-minute walk from Athens City Hall and 5 minutes from Omonia Square and the Metropolis Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Most guest rooms feature a balcony as well as an innovative noise isolation system so that you can get the best-quality night sleep, TV with satellite channels, complimentary WiFi and private bathroom with toiletries. A sauna, an onsite gym, currency exchange services, safes to store valuable belongings and business facilities to hold meetings are also available for guests, but what really makes for a memorable stay in this hotel in central Athens is its outdoor seasonal pool with breathtaking views of the city skyline and the Parthenon, and the charming bar by it. A hearty and varied buffet breakfast is served every morning, which can be included in the nightly rate that you select during the reservation process.

Will you be visiting the Greek Islands too? If you dream of vacationing in a paradisiacal destination, take a look at our recommended beach hotels in Greece.

How to get to central Athens from the airport

Are you flying to the capital city of Greece soon and would like to find the best way to commute from the airport? Eleftherios Venizelos or Athens International airport, the main air passenger terminal in Greece, is not far away from the downtown; however, due to the presence of mountain ranges in between the two points, it may take a little longer to arrive for those choosing the road.

In case your hotel in Athens does not offer pick-up services for guests, there is a variety of transportation methods that you may choose in order to travel from Athens airport to the city centre and start enjoying the wonderful views of the Acropolis, the Parthenon temple and the ancient Agora, not forgetting the charming local cafés, restaurants and nightlife venues.

If you enjoy the independence of getting around with your own car and feel confident driving in a new city, know that you will get the chance to hire a vehicle at the rent a car offices situated on the Arrivals hall of Athens airport. Currently, four trusted international companies operate in this hub: Enterprise, Budget, Avis and Hertz. Uber suspended its Athens operations according to local legislation in early 2018, so even when you might still find services of this kind offered, we recommend taking an authorised taxi cab instead. You will find further details later on in this article.

Commuting by subway from Athens International airport

In Athens, Metro line 3 –handled by the OASA transport company- is the one running services between the airport station and the city centre. Two trains depart every hour (at 30-minute intervals) transporting arriving passengers to the Syntagma station, or to the Aghia Marina area if the wish to continue their journey beyond the downtown. It takes about 40 minutes and a one-way ticket costs 9 euros.

The cheapest way to go from Athens airport to the city

Thrifty travellers will like the idea of taking a bus to central Athens from the airport, even when it takes a little longer than one hour to complete the journey. The stands where bus lines X93, X95, X96 and X97 pick up passengers are located outside Arrivals exits 4 and 5. A single ticket costs only 5 euros and there is an average of 18 stops along the way.

The fastest way to get to Athens from the airport

Without a doubt and even when we have warned about the difficulties of travelling across the mountainous scenery between the airport and the city, the fastest means of transport when it comes to reach Athens city from Eleftherios Venizelos airport is the taxi. Your driver will help you with your bags near exit 3 of the arrivals hall and inform you about their flat rate before setting off. The price of a taxi from Athens airport will not vary once confirmed with the driver, and it is normally around 38 euros during the day and approximately 54 euros in the night time.

Suburban trains departing Eleftherios Venizelos airport in Greece

These trains are similar to the subway ones, are run hourly and take about 41 minutes to reach the Piraeus station in Athens city centre from the airport. The only difference is that each single journey costs 20 euros.

Travelling by limousine from Athens airport to the downtown

Is this trip a special occasion? Are you getting married or on a decisive business trip to find new customers in Greece? Then you might like to travel in a more stylish fashion. Upon arrival, you will find a limousine services office next to the taxi area, where you can book your own limo to commute to your hotel in the centre.

After visiting Athens, many travellers feel attracted by the holiday destinations in Greece. If you are a sea lover, we recommend you take a look at our selected beach hotels in the Greek islands.

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How to enjoy a safe stay in a vacation resort during COVID times

At the time of writing this post, the second wave of COVID-19 has halted travel plans for holiday goers, adventurers, exchange students, business travelers and digital nomads from every continent, and worst of all, it has severely hindered the recovery of the tourism industry, which seemed to be bouncing back in the last weeks of summer. In line with the safety initiatives started by renowned and small hotel chains, vacation resorts are going the extra mile and cooperating with health authorities to ensure travelers can have a very low or zero-risk stay, provided that the ever-changing regulations for each region allow and border restrictions and closures are lifted. Those lucky enough to finally enjoy their retreat in a beach resort these days, though, will need a little bit more patience than usual and will probably be required to sacrifice part of their own comfort for the sake of the collective wellbeing. If you are planning to take a leisure trip soon, check coronavirus updates and entry requirements for your destination on a daily basis and be ready to abide by the testing and quarantine rules that might be in effect, unless your country has a “travel corridor” agreement with the one you are travelling to.

What is a tourist corridor or bubble?

A travel corridor or tourist bubble allows travelers from different regions or countries which have reached substantially low COVID-19 infection rates to cross borders without any quarantine or self-isolation requirements. This occurs when countries demonstrate an exceptionally effective management of the pandemic and so they are deemed as low-risk destinations by the international community. Although before the second wave hit the number of regions belonging to travel corridors was rapidly increasing, today’s panorama is less encouraging, with many bans and border closures going back into effect. That is why compliance with the coronavirus prevention measures when we go on vacation is vital to reverse the situation.

Covid prevention measures for tourists

Before travelling

As a tourist who is going to take a holiday trip to a foreign country, it is your responsibility to stay fully and accurately informed of the online and physical forms your will be required to complete and submit before travelling as well as after landing at your destination: health surveillance forms, proof of a negative covid test (taken within the previous 48 hours), digital registration of personal and contact info, medical insurance and travel deposits that will cover potential PCR tests, quarantine hotel stays or hospitalization are some common requests these months.

Upon arrival at destination airport

When you land in the airport and before commuting to the tourist resort where you have made a reservation, you may be asked to undergo a temperature check, produce printed documentation as proof of the requirements detailed above, remain quarantined for a certain period either at a designated hotel or in a resort at your own expense or stay reachable at all times.

Upon arrival at the vacation resort

If you have been on holiday abroad in recent years before the coronavirus outbreak, you will notice how new procedures are now part of the welcome routine at hotels and tourist resorts. To start with, you will be tested for fever before being granted admission to the facilities, and this is likely to happen not only before checking in but also every day when you return. Likewise, staff will meticulously disinfect your shoes and luggage, and will check that you wear your face mask properly and queue up maintaining the mandatory physical distance. Although the reception clerks are likely to assist behind plexiglass barriers, it is still recommended that you download the hotel chain mobile app, using this means to interact with them or request services and assistance digitally as much as you can.

How to avoid potential risks of getting COVID while at a beach resort

As stated at the beginning of this post, bear in mind that you your next vacation will require a little bit more of extra patience and respect towards others than before. In some places, you may even have to agree to take PCR tests regularly throughout your stay, or be asked to stay in our room until the results are ready. For your peace of mind, we recommend that you opt out of maid service, thus knowing that you and your travel companions are the only ones entering your space. Contrary to that, communal zones like the onsite gyms, restaurants, wellness centers and swimming pools will surely have restricted entry, so book in advance if you can and strictly abide by all additional hygiene and social distancing rules.

Vacationing in resorts around the world

Perhaps you have decided to go on vacation in the near future or as soon as travel restrictions allow, yet you do not know which destination to choose. For some travel inspiration, we kindly invite you to read our posts about vacationing in Isla Mujeres (Quintan Roo, Mexico), staying at an all-inclusive resort in Mallorca (Spain), getting lost in the Nha Trang beaches of Vietnam or enjoying the holiday hotels of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. We sincerely hope that you can take your dream trip soon, please take care of yourself and your loved ones and stay safe!