Athens stay

This item appears on page 33 of the July 2011 issue.

From a trip my husband, Ed, and I took to Greece, I really recommend the following.

In Athens we stayed at the Athenian Callirhoe (32 Kallirois Ave. & Petmeza, GR-117 43 Athens, Greece; phone +30 210 9215353). This lovely, small hotel was well situated only two blocks from the new Acropolis Museum, and we stayed there Sept. 30-Oct. 4, 2010. (Rates run €142 [near $201] for a single to €235 [$333] junior suite.)

The front desk staff was very helpful. Our first day in Athens, an ATM ate our debit card. The staff made calls and found a real, live person with whom we could discuss the problem. Also, we were given free, unlimited access to the lobby computer e-mail so we could get the problem resolved back in the States.

While we loved many of the restaurants in the Plaka, we found a darling one around the corner from our hotel. Smile Café Restaurant (Tsokri Part 1, Syngrou Ave., Athens) made the BEST moussaka I ever had. For moussaka, salad, bread and a glass of wine, it cost about €10 ($14). An extra carafe of wine cost about €5.

Smile Café is run by a woman who grew up in Chicago and returned to Athens to marry. She was wonderful, giving us the best advice on where to go and what to see — especially helpful, since the Chinese prime minister was visiting Athens and everything was at a standstill.

Homeric Tours (HQ in Greece, with US office in Hicksville, NY; 516/935-3400) arranged our tour of the Greek mainland, except for Athens, which we did on our own. They were very flexible to work with; we could pick and choose where to go and what to see.

Mount Pleasant, SC