For a country so heavily dependent on tourism, Greece has a few types of accommodation for travelers. In many cases, however, the standard of quality provided can only be described as "adequate but developing".
In the small villages and countryside, you can experience genuine warmth and Greek hospitality, though in terms of professionalism, the hotel industry in Greece still have some grounds to cover. You can usually expect that the bigger, newer hotels will have a higher level of service, manned by better trained staff.
In the last few years, the number of boutique hotels in Greece has steadily increased. Due to height limits imposed on many tourist resorts, you don't find new high rise hotels in these places. Any big-sized hotels are often survivors from the late 1960's, when the governing Junta pushed for the development of "modern" accommodation.
Hotels erected in the 80's and 90's are more sensitive to the environment and landscape. They blend in rather than stand out. In places such as Corfu, Crete, Zakynthos, Rhodes and Kos, you will find large, purpose-built hotels serving mostly package tours from neighboring European countries such as Germany and Scandinavia. They are usually on the best beaches. The rooms in these hotels are often block-booked by tour operators, so during high season, it is unlikely for walk-in guests to get a room.
The number of heritage-quality hotels in Greece are not many but growing. Those few in the Neo-Classical style are now benefiting from government incentive to preserve.
In this section, we get to know the different types of accommodation that you can find in Greece. Select from the column to the right to learn about each.
At the time I wrote this, I understand that Greece has not yet adopted the international star-grading of hotels. Their hotels are categorized from E-class (the basic entry level) to A-class, and the deluxe class. The domatia are categorized from C-class to A-class. Although there is supposed to be a relationship between the class of the hotel and the expected amenities, these are subject to deviations.
The E-class hotels, those offering the most basic facilities, can well stand for the extinct-class, for you are almost unlikely to come across any. There are still a few D-class hotels. They are the accommodation providers that have many of their rooms with no attached bathrooms. At C-class, all rooms must have attached bathrooms. Additionally, the hotel must also provide some sort of common area or lounge. This can often take the form of a small space for a bar (of sorts) which doubles as a breakfast area serving continental breakfast.
To qualify for B-class status, the hotel must have a full-service restaurant, a better breakfast, and some form of sports facility, most commonly a swimming pool or tennis court. Finally, at the top of the heap, we find the A-class hotels. These are usually found at a seafront location. They usually have the most varied form of facilities, and can also cater to the business traveler.
Out and above the E to A classes is the deluxe class. These are usually self-contain resort complexes offering everything that A class hotels offer, and often more.
While most hotels on the Greek mainland are open year-round, almost all hotels in the Greek islands are closed during the winter, from end of October to Orthodox Easter, which falls some time in April. Only the big hotels in Mýkonos and Rhodes stay open throughout the year. Conversely, hotels in the ski resorts open during the winter period.
The most cost-effective way to book your hotel room in Greece is either though a travel agent, or to do it online. It is often cheaper to go through a major agency or online booking website, which can offer you the room at a lower cost than contacting the hotel yourself. This is because hotels often need to protect their agent that block rooms in bulk, and the agent can pass on any cost savings to you.
Should you consider booking your room online, be aware that different hotel booking websites may offer the same room, on the same date, at a different price. Many factors are involved in the pricing of the rooms resulting in different prices on different sites. A good way to find the lowest price for your hotel room is to use this room rate comparison engine. It shows you the room rate for the hotel you are considering from different popular hotel booking websites.