When we were looking for places to stay in Athens, we were having a hard time finding places that were within budget and also centrally located. Luckily I found the Chameleon Youth Hostel, a hostel that opened not too long ago. The reviews were positive and everyone raved about the location so we booked a room.
It wasn’t until we arrived that Andy and I realized it had been quite some time since we had stayed at a hostel. We had been fortunate enough to be spoiled by staying at hotels and apartments recently and after our time there, found it a little hard to go back to hostels.
Rooftop Paradise Room
We booked a private double room with an ensuite bathroom. After checking in we were surprised by the location of our room which was up a narrow spiral staircase, up on the rooftop. We carefully carried our luggage up, not an easy task with the size of the staircase.
The room was quite small which wasn’t a deal breaker. What bothered us more is that it felt both cold and damp. There was no heater so we had to rely on our blanket and each other to keep warm at night.
While the bedroom was small, the bathroom was quite large. There was an armoire which was perfect for storing all of our gear. The sink faucet was the old fashioned style which had a hot tap and a cold tap. This wasn’t my favorite as I had to choose between scalding hot water or ice cold water when I washed my hands and face.
The shower was one of our least favorite parts of the room. In addition to being extremely small, the showerhead was handheld as well which did not make showering easy at all. Because we had to try and hold the showerhead or set it down when we needed both hands, the floor often got quite wet after we showered.
During Andy’s first shower he ended up trying to balance the facewash on the shower faucet, but it fell and busted the cap. Since then we’ve been carrying our facewash around in a plastic water bottle. Andy swore (literally) that it was the dumbest shower setup ever.
Chameleon Youth Hostel – Amenities
While it was too cold to enjoy the rooftop terrace when we were there, it looks like it would be pretty amazing in the summer. There was plenty of places to sit and relax with a drink, just enjoying the beautiful weather.
One thing I am not certain of is how the noise from the rooftop terrace would travel to the Rooftop Paradise room (where we stayed).
The hostel is run by 3 sisters who were friendly and all spoke English quite well. Whenever we had any questions, they were willing and able to help us which we appreciated. They directed us to a small Greek restaurant down the street which was arguably the best Greek food that we had during all of our time in Greece.
When we had questions about how to get to Kotor, Montenegro, the next stop on our trip, they did everything that they could to help us. This was not an easy feat as the route is quite challenging since Albania doesn’t have the public transportation options of their neighboring countries.
We flew Ryanair, a discount airline from Athens to Santorini. Since it is a discount airline, they charge you for everything. We were fortunate enough to have the hostel hold our large bags while we were gone so we could travel with only our small backpacks. This saved us from having to pay for checked bags, something that Ryanair charges quite a bit for.
While I normally don’t like communal kitchens, the kitchen at Chameleon Youth Hostel was different. Everything was clean, the kitchen was well stocked with everything that we needed to cook and there was nobody else using it.
Since the hostel didn’t offer breakfast, we purchased some cereal and milk at the store. While the kitchen had a shared fridge, we were fortunate enough to have our own mini fridge to keep our groceries in our own room.
There was free wifi at the hostel, but unfortunately it did not work on the roof where our room was. When we needed to use the wifi we had to walk down to the first floor and connect to the wifi there.
Lounge & Game Area
The small lounge area and the game room was on the first floor by reception. The lounge area is where we would go when we needed to sit and connect to the wifi. The game room had a foosball table and a classic Baywatch pinball machine. Even though we didn’t have a chance to play with either of them, I’m sure it’s something that the guests enjoy when they have some free time.
The best part of the hostel, at least for me, was the location. We were able to see everything that we wanted to see in town without taking any public transportation. The only time that we ended up taking any sort of public transportation was to get to or from the airport.
While it was hard to go back to staying at a hostel after being spoiled by staying at hotels and apartments, it wasn’t that bad. Our room wasn’t the greatest, but we had everything that we needed for an affordable price in a great location.
If we were to return to Athens when it was warmer out, I would consider staying at the Chameleon Youth Hostel again. If it was cooler, like it was when we were there, I would look to stay somewhere that had heating in the room.