23 Karolou Street, Athens, Greece, 10437
- Recommended for:
- Backpackers / Students, Families with teenagers, Families with younger children, Seasoned travellers, Singles, No fuss
Expert review of Novus
After a two-year makeover of the crummy old Marathon hotel, the 85-room Novus opened in March 2010. It was worth the wait. Both the facilities and finishings are far classier than any other hotel in this price range. I wouldn’t necessarily choose Metaxourgio – an area with an up-and-coming mix of immigrants and art galleries – for an extended Athenian holiday, but for short stays this is a winner.
Just off Karaiaskaki Square, a block from the Metro, Novus is surrounded by crummy, low-cost hotels used mainly by Greeks from out of town. Metaxourgio isn’t pretty but it’s getting cooler as contemporary art galleries snap up cheap real estate. Although the area is still a bit seedy, it has been cleaned up in recent months.
Bright, modern, and spacious rooms are simply but tastefully decorated. Each of the seven floors has a different colour theme. There’s loads of storage space and large desks with extra drawers. Only the executive rooms have bathtubs, but all the bathrooms are spanking new and spotless, with power showers and fruity Korres toiletries. Several rooms have twin beds, so ask if you want a double.
The lobby overlooking a busy road isn’t somewhere you’d want to linger. But it leads to the large Atrium café-bar, with multi-coloured chairs and a photomural of the Acropolis by night – a view you can see for yourself from the rooftop pool bar. Even the corridors – with stripy carpets and playful murals – are thoughtfully designed.
A plentiful buffet breakfast is included in the price. If the hotel isn’t full, the chef will cook your eggs to order and might even make you pancakes. Various sandwiches, quiches, and salads are served all day at very reasonable prices. And you can order room service from the restaurant menu 18-hours a day (6am-midnight). The rooftop bar is open all day during summer, and stays open until 1am – ideal for late arrivals.
The small rooftop pool on the eighth floor is an incongruous oasis surrounded by concrete. It’s much prettier at night, with the city lights twinkling all around and the Acropolis in the distance. There are a couple of computers with free WiFi in the bar, plus some sofas and a large plasma TV on the mezzanine for watching football matches or just loafing about out of sight.
Perhaps it’s because the hotel is so new that staff are so genuine and seem to take real pride in the place.
A mix of Greek business travellers and tourists stopping over for a night or two on the way to and from the Greek islands.
The hotel has its own underground parking, which is free of charge. And there’s free WiFi throughout the hotel.
More information on Novus:
- Price from:
- 23 Karolou Street, Athens, Greece, 10437
- Free tags / Keywords:
- city centre, Cheap and cheerful, swimming pool
- Business Centre, High-Speed Internet, Parking, Restaurant, Room Service, Swimming Pool