The best places to stay in four price ranges: budget ($), moderate ($$), expensive ($$$), and luxury ($$$$)

$

Best Western Elysium Design Hotel
“Central hotel converted into ‘cheap chic’ offers good value for money.”—Jacoline Vinke, author, Great Small Hotels in Greece. Sixteen compact rooms with Philippe Starck chairs, power showers, free wifi. 3 Aristotelous Street, Omonia; tel. 30 210 523 4601. www.bestwestern.com

Hermes Hotel
Modern 45-room hotel, strolling distance from the Acropolis. Air-conditioned, soundproofed rooms with wooden floors, marble bathrooms, baby balconies are spotless. Discounted rates in low season. 19 Apollonos Street, Plaka; tel. 30 210 322 2706. www.hermeshotel.gr

$$

Baby Grand
Young, hang-out with 55 “graffiti” rooms decorated with multicolored murals by local artists. High floor rooms have private balconies; all have free high-speed Internet. Meat Me restaurant attracts fashion-conscious carnivores. Swanky champagne bar and Carita spa. 65 Athinas, Omonia; tel. 30 210 325 0900. www.classicalhotels.com

Central Hotel
“Gleaming lobby hints at contemporary bedrooms in beiges and creams, making clever use of limited space. Rear-facing rooms on fourth through sixth floors get decent Acropolis views.”—Glenda May Richards, European bookings consultant, www.i-escape.com. 21 Apollonos, Plaka; tel. 30 210 323 4357. www.centralhotel.gr

Fresh Hotel
“Athens’ first design hotel is still the front-runner for cheeky, colorful decor. Boxy but comfy bedrooms; classy breakfast buffet (smoked salmon, squeeze-it-yourself orange juice); sleek strip pool on roof. Great value and with 133 rooms, availability is rarely a problem.”—Glenda May Richards. 26 Sophocles, Omonia; tel. 30 210 524 8511. www.freshhotel.gr

Magna Grecia
“Probably Athens’ only small, family-run hotel with charm and character. Ten attractive bedrooms in original Ernst Ziller building from 1898 have high ceilings (some hand-painted), wooden floors, superbly comfortable beds. Most have Acropolis view. Book well ahead.”—Jacoline Vinke. 54 Mitropoleos Street, Plaka; tel. 30 210 324 0314-5. www.magnagreciahotel.com

Ochre and Brown
“Boutique chic in Psiri—the part of Athens that never sleeps.”—Jacoline Vinke. “With only 11 rooms and 20 staff, you get superb service and a buzzy bar-restaurant. Small bedrooms have glass wet-rooms, flat-screens, parquet floors, high-thread-count bed linen. Junior suite has obligatory Acropolis views.”—Glenda May Richards. 7 Leokoriou, Psiri; tel. 30 210 331 2950. www.ochreandbrown.com

$$$

Electra Palace
Polished, if impersonal, 155-room hotel in the heart of Plaka with garden bar, outdoor pool, and critically acclaimed restaurant. “Chef Yorgos Venieris serves real Greek food with soul.”—Eleni Psychouli, restaurant critic, Kathimerini newspaper. 18-20 Nikodimou, Plaka; tel. 30 210 337 0000. www.electrahotels.gr

Eridanus
Neoclassical landmark on a busy main road features 38 spacious rooms. The main draw is Michelin-starred Varoulko restaurant. “Superb seafood from an inspired set menu. Glass walls leave the Acropolis in full view.”—Theodora Mantzaris, design director, 2004 Athens Olympic Summer Games. 78 Piraeus Street, Keramikos; tel. 30 210 520 5360. www.eridanus.gr

Hilton
Remodeled for the 2004 Olympics, with monumental marble lobby, three pools, sleek contemporary bedrooms with floor-to-ceiling windows. Superlative seafood at Milos Restaurant, exorbitant cocktails with million-dollar views at Galaxy bar. Vassilissis Sofias 46; tel. 30210 728 1000. www.athens.hilton.com

Periscope
“Polite service, stylish design, ideal location for business or pleasure on one of Athens’ loveliest streets.”—Theodora Mantzaris. Twenty-one soundproof rooms with periscope photos on the ceiling feature free broadband, built-in sound systems, some with swiveling LCD TVs. Book the penthouse suite with private outdoor jacuzzi for special occasions. 22 Haritos, Kolonaki; tel. 30 210 729 7200.

Saint George Lycabettus
Offers 154 design-conscious rooms and suites in various styles, from elegant to funky, crowning chi-chi Kolonaki. Bird’s-eye views create the illusion of unlimited space; corner rooms have best views. Buffet breakfast or formal dinners at rooftop Le Grand Balcon, cocktails with city slickers at ground-level Frame bar. 2 Kleomenous, Kolonaki; tel. 30 210 729 0711. www.sglycabettus.gr

$$$$

Astir Palace Resort
“With sea views on all sides, you can’t believe you’re in Athens. Recently renovated, still feels rather old-fashioned.”—Theodora Mantzaris. Three five-star hotels—Arion Resort & Spa, The Westin Athens, W Athens—rolled into one luxurious resort on a pine-fringed peninsula with three private beaches, a helipad, and four tennis courts. 40 Apollonos, Vouliagmeni; tel. 30 210 890 2000. www.astir-palace.com

Grande Bretagne
“Exemplary neo-classical building overlooking National Gardens and Parliament.”—Theodora Mantzaris. This former palace has hosted every visiting VIP from Winston Churchill to Joan Collins. Surplus of marble is not for minimalists. Acropolis views (third floor and up, facing east) are worth the $130 surcharge. Thoroughly professional service. Syntagma Square; tel. 30 210 333 0000. www.grandebretagne.gr

Semiramis
“Crazy, loud, slightly vulgar—Paris Hilton would love it. An homage to the creative genius or madness of designer Karim Rashid, surprisingly situated in bourgeois, suburban Kifissia.”—Kimon Frangakis, editor, Status magazine. Fifty-two rooms with pool or park view, decked in day-glo colors and cutting-edge art. 48 Harilaou Trikoupi, Kifissia; tel. 30 210 628 4400. www.semiramisathens.com

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