Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Hotel Delfini, Piraeus, Greece

After my fourth or fifth stay at the Hotel Delfini, at Piraeus, I decided it was high time I wrote a review of the establishment. Since I have stayed at the hotel on each of my three visits to Athens, you might assume it is a great hotel to spend a night or three at. While I won't say it isn't a nice hotel, it is far from the best hotel in Piraeus. I'm not even sure if it is the best of the bad hotels in Piraeus. Still, for €35.00/night there are surely worse places to stay while waiting for your ship to come in―which is exactly what I was doing, waiting for a ferry to take me to the island of Ikaria.

The Delfini has 51 rooms, two elevators, and a large guest lounge which doubles as a breakfast room, and internet café. A menu in each room offers a number of snack items that are apparently available for purchase, although I never ordered anything from the menu, so I can’t say how good any of these snacks might be. Also, I don’t know if menu items are made fresh on the premises, or if they are made to order and delivered via one of the numerous cafés close to the hotel.

Here’s what the hotel itself has to say about its facilities:

Hotel DELFINI and its staff promise a pleasant and enjoyable stay. Its comfortable rooms, which are furnished with great taste, and decorated with simplicity and worm [sic] colourings, guarantee absolute relaxation and peace. No matter how tired you might be, in our hotel you will find the calmness and the quietness you need. Our rooms are equipped with all modern amenities (Satellite TV, direct external telephone line etc).

I’m not too sure about the “worm” colourings, and since the “etc” at the end of that quote leaves a lot unsaid, let me elaborate further.

FACILITIES: The rooms at the Delfini tend to be small and cramped, and they all seem to have an overpowering smell of stale cigarette smoke clinging to the walls and furnishings. From my experience, asking for a non-smoking room makes no difference. All the rooms I have had cause to stay in reek heavily of smoke, and all are supplied with ashtrays.

Room 44 beds
Looking towards balcony
Furnishings are plain and functional. A couple of low single beds with cheap springy mattresses, a bar fridge and small analogue television, a plain wooden wardrobe, a couple of small bedside cabinets, and an even smaller table and that's about it.

Analog television
Bedside cabinet and bar fridge
Oh, my room had a phone as well, but inexplicably this was located high on a wall in the bathroom. It sat fixed precariously above the toilet bowl, and to this day I don't know if it worked or not. The shower alcove in room 44 was tiny, and I had to squeeze by the washbasin to reach it.

Phone high above toilet bowl and tiny shower alcove
Happily, room 44 was air conditioned which must be very handy during the height of summer. I did turn the unit in my room on, and it seemed to be working as designed.

At least the air-con unit is new and works
As previously noted, there are two small elevators to lift guests and their luggage to the higher floors, while the Internet cafe does double duty as the breakfast room.

WIFI: The hotel offers free WiFi although the higher your room, the poorer the WiFi reception. During this stay I was in room 44, which was on the sixth floor, and while I could log into the WiFi connection the strength of the signal was very low. Actually, to be honest I should have written "when I could log into the WiFi...," because I soon realized that WiFi at the Delfini was so slow and the connection so intermittent that it was all but useless and more than enough to try the patience of Job all over again. Even moving down to the lounge/breakfast room didn't make any real difference to the strength or quality of the WiFi connection.

Entrance and free-standing wardrobe.
BREAKFAST: For five euros (approx AUD$7.50), you can help yourself to a smorgasbord Continental Breakfast that may include eggs (hard-boiled or fried but not necessarily both); bread, sliced ham, cheese, tomato and cucumber; cereal including muesli and corn flakes; jelly/jams, yoghurt, fruit (canned), and tea and coffee. And help myself I did. I figured a hearty breakfast could get me through most of the day, thereby saving me the extra expense of a midday meal.

A room with a view of the harbor
LOCATION: The one thing that keeps me coming back to the Delfini is the proximity of the hotel to the harbor, which is literally about a hundred yards away across the busy Akti Posidonos road. Also just down the road is the terminal for the main rail line that leads directly to the heart of Athens. Oh, and if you are flying in to Eleftherios Venizelou Airport, you can jump on the X96 bus, and for five euros that will bring you right in to the heart of Piraeus.

My Rating
Facilities: C+ (low pass)
WiFi: D (for Dismal)
Breakfast: A (Pass)

7, Leocharous Street
Piraeus 185 31

Phone: +30 21 0417 3110
Fax: +30 210 4173510
E-mail: info@hotel-delfini.com

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