Greece accommodation information
Before selecting the proper holiday accommodation in Greece, it is best to first know a bit about the history of Greek tourism during the last decades. This will give us knowledge on what to expect and an understanding of why rooms, studios, apartments and villas are of such great variety in Greece.
Being touristically developed for many decades now, Greece has gone through many changes in its touristic development, starting from offering basic infrastructure to high end accommodation facilities.
But first of all, let us examine the accommodation types to be found in Greece and the Greek islands in great detail, before starting planning our vacation in Greece.
Greece accommodation types
In most cases in Greece, rooms are family owned and run businesses. They usually have a small reception operating only a few hours a day and owners can be contacted by phone at any time of day or night. Although rooms are usually a very basic type of accommodation, they can prove to be an excellent selection as they are sometimes beautifully decorated offering all necessary amenities and located in excellent spots. Prices, of course, vary accordingly.
Hotels in Greece are bound by the law to have a fully operational reception of certain size and to offer certain facilities. In Greece, hotels built many years ago had to go through renovation in order to keep their license of operation by the GNTO (Greek National tourism Organization). GNTO characterizes hotels with stars, according to their facilities mostly, so it is sometimes possible to find a hotel of 3 stars to be better decorated by far, newer and better equipped than a 4 or 5 star hotel.
Studios in Greece are one room units. That means that the bedroom, kitchenette and living room (if any) are all in the same room (open plan). It is only the bathroom or WC/shower room that are in a separate room. Studios may accommodate from 2 to 4 people depending on their size. They seem an excellent choice for couples or families with infants. Studios may sometimes have very basic wooden furniture and have no decorative touch whatsoever. However, this is not always the case. Travelers may be amazed to find spacious studios with impeccably stylish decoration, designer’s furniture and art decorative objects.
In Greece, apartments are units of 2 or more rooms. In their most basic form, they have at least 1 bedroom and an open plan kitchenette and living room. Bathroom or WC/shower are in separate room. Sometimes apartments offer, instead of a kitchenette, a fully equipped kitchen with a large refrigerator, oven, hotplates and most cooking amenities. Apartments, however, can have more than 1 bedrooms, many bathrooms and large living room. They may vary in style, decoration and, of course, price. Apartments are usually selected by families in order to cut down holiday expenses. Although an apartment in Greece is usually more expensive than a room, a family may save a lot of money by preparing light meals and snacks at minimum cost.
Villas / Estates
In the Greek travel market, a villa can be an independent home (rather small, sometimes) with a small piece of land around it. On the other hand, a villa may also be a luxury independent home on its own large piece of land with a private pool and many hi-class amenities. So, in Greece, villas can sometimes be a very affordable holiday accommodation. An estate, one of the rarest accommodation types to be found in Greece, is usually a very large independent home on a big piece of land with swimming pool (indoor, outdoor or both) and amenities such as its own cook, round the clock maid service and other personnel, security alarm, lush gardens and laptops with fast internet connection for business purposes.
Rural independent houses of traditional architecture are called country cottages. They are usually decorated with old furniture and are of simple architecture. Such accommodation can be usually found on mountainous areas and only in rare cases by the sea. Most of them have been built in thick walls and manage to stay cool even during the hottest summer days. Many travelers select them in order to get a sense of the past and live for off the beaten track, even for a few days during their holiday. Most of them admit that such a holiday brings out nostalgia and a sense of closeness to nature.
Self contained units
Nowadays that cost is an even more important factor in selecting the proper place to spend your holiday, it is important to know that cheap accommodation can be offered in many forms. Although rare, some accommodation in Greece is self-contained, meaning that no cleaning is offered apart from arrival and departure cleaning services. Linen and towels are to be changed by the tenants every 2 or 3 days and such accommodation usually offers kitchenette facilities as well. Prices are sometimes significantly cheaper than in most other accommodation units without lacking the basic amenities.
All inclusive hotels have only lately appeared in the Greek tourist market. Many wonderful units have been built and have found many followers. Such accommodation units offer a great number of activities to keep busy even the most demanding client.