Please make note of the following information, especially if you are sensitive to accommodation issues:
Depending on a number of variables and conditions (see below in this note), ATINER has three options for accommodation arrangements:
ATINER arranges for a hotel in a resort area (away from downtown) of Athens (e.g. Marathon, Kalamos, Glyfada, etc). This happens when all downtown hotels are fully booked because of other events, such as big rotated conferences, sports events (Olympic Games, football games, etc), and/or because few Greeks want to change their society by demonstrations and civil disobedience.
ATINER arranges for a large hotel to be the conference venue and the only conference hotel. This might be a hotel in the heart of the city or very close to it. This option is almost impossible to be selected if it happens to be a period of relatively high demand for hotel accommodations, which is not unusual throughout the year.
ATINER arranges to accommodate conference participants in small and large hotels in the heart of the city within walking distance from the conference venue. The conference venue can be another hotel, a university, or another educational institution. Under this arrangement, not all conference participants stay in the same hotel. This depends on a number of factors such as the length of stay and the type of registration fee paid. These downtown hotels have much smaller rooms than a resort/suburban hotel of Athens and are located in areas that are very crowded, with all the negative and positive characteristics of the downtown areas of large cities in the advanced world.
These three options provide sufficient flexibility, which has enabled ATINER never to cancel a conference or even a single activity of a conference from over 500 conferences since its establishment in 1995. From ATINER’s long experience, Option C seems to be the preferred arrangement of the majority of our conference participants, BUT no option (A or B or C) satisfies all, that is 100% of participants. Some prefer Option A, others Option B, and others Option C. ATINER does not know which option will be selected until 1-2 weeks before the conference because of unforeseen and difficult to predict conditions, e.g. a trade union strike. In Athens, on average, since antiquity there are three strikes per day. This is the reason why information on strikes is more important than weather forecasts. If you are very sensitive to accommodation matters, please do not book with ATINER and instead check the list of Athens hotels easily found on the internet to book one that meets your expectations best. The variety is tremendous. Below are useful answers to commonly asked questions:
What is the hotel pricing in Athens and why does it differ so much?
Hotels in Athens do not follow a common pricing or service policy. They are regulated to have a ceiling (top) price but everything depends upon the supply and demand in a given period of time. The ceiling price is listed behind your hotel room door. Hotels even of the same category and in the same area of Athens have different ceiling prices reflecting variations in the quality of service offered. Their actual price changes almost daily. For example, the same single room in the same hotel may cost 40 euros on Sunday and 250 euros on Monday. Prices may also differ in one hotel depending on the room type. A low quality single room may cost 40 euros and a superior or executive 250 euros for the same city-centre hotel. Our quoted prices are the actual prices and occur every year, throughout the year. Hotels always advertise their low price rooms, usually without taxes and breakfasts.
What is ATINER’s Conference Hotel?
Due to serious complaints by our conference participants in the past, we have decided to collaborate with an agent and establish what we call a conference hotel. Usually the conference hotel is the conference venue. If not, we provide free transportation only if you book with ATINER for your accommodation and the conference hotel is not within walking distance (about 1.5 km) from the conference venue. An effort is made to book the best hotels in the surrounding area of the conference venue, but some participants may not find this good enough. The price set on the registration form (one year prior to the conference dates) is the ceiling price with a discount. Bookings for the conference hotel are done ONLY by ATINER’s administration through your registration form. The price you pay for the room includes these different services you are receiving. Due to high demand from our previous participants, an effort is made to book a conference venue and conference hotels in downtown Athens, i.e. close to Omonoia and Syntagma Squares. However, there is a cost for quality. Athens has many hotels of various categories and of course prices. A downtown hotel has much smaller rooms than a resort hotel of Athens and is located in crowded and noisy areas. Let us repeat, if you are very sensitive on accommodation matters, please do not book with ATINER. Please note that the conference hotel booking may not be the same for all conference participants. This depends on a number of things such as the number of nights you plan to stay in the hotel, the type of fee you have paid, the availability of rooms at an affordable price during your stay, etc. In many cases and during periods of high demand (impossible to predict in advance), conference participants may be allocated to different hotels of different categories and types. Our usual criterion for selecting such hotels is not so much their quality but their proximity to the conference venue. This has happened many times in the past and will likely happen in the future.
How does ATINER make reservations for a room in the Conference Hotel?
An effort is made to reserve the best rooms of the hotel at the given price set on the registration form. We never bargain over the price. It is quite possible that the same hotel undersells their rooms during our conference, but our arrangement guarantees the number of rooms needed for the days of stay, the lecture rooms, as well as the coffee breaks and the lunches in different hotels. If demand is low during the conference period, we get better rooms (i.e. executive) and a better hotel (five stars, four stars, three stars). If demand is very high because of other events taking place in Athens (i.e. Exhibitions & Games, International Fairs, the Final of Champions League etc), our rooms are guaranteed at the given price, but we might end up with standard rooms in any hotel of any category. In some of these worst-case scenarios, ATINER is able to get additional benefits such as half board and free excursions. BUT please do not ask for a refund if you find that the price you paid through your registration form is higher than the price the hotel advertises on one of the specific days of your stay. Similarly, we are not going to charge you extra if the hotel charges a much higher price. We organize conferences and events almost every week and both situations have taken place in the same week on many occasions. Of course, since you pay through the Institute, we give a total and per item receipts to each participant. As an Institute we do NOT sponsor any hotel or area in Athens. Click here to see which hotels have been used as conference hotels in previous conferences.
Can I book my own accommodation?
ATINER encourages its participants to make their own hotel arrangements if they are very sensitive to accommodation issues. In downtown Athens the hotel must be used only to go and sleep and not to stay all day inside the room. If you do not book with the conference hotel, it is our recommendation that you book very close to Syntagma Square (the central square of Athens). If this is your first trip to Athens, make good note of this advice. Athens has close to 1000 hotels, and prices vary considerably according to supply and demand, the area of the hotel, and the category of the hotel. As we do not sponsor any hotel, please do not ask our opinion on any specific hotel. If you are very sensitive to price, please do not book with us. In Athens, there are many cheap hotels and/or last minute bargains. You may book at your own risk. However, please do not trust internet sites for hotel bookings in Athens based only on low prices or evaluations of the hotels based on previous “customers” reviews. As you may know, all around the world, these are manipulated.