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30. June 2021
by Varun Sharma
The Greek capital city Athens has it all: terrific historic tourist attractions, magnificent museums, beautiful beaches, grand hotels, a wonderful Mediterranean climate, Michelin-starred restaurants, vibrant nightlife and is easily accessible from around the world. Over recent years, tourists have rediscovered this amazing city and it has become a popular destination in itself and not just for a short stopover. Athens, though, does not boast a plethora of truly great luxury hotels.
The BusinessClass.com guide to the finest hotels in Athens:
Hotel Grande Bretagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Athens 9/10
Undoubtedly the finest grand hotel in the city. Built as a Victorian private residence in 1842 and then converted into a hotel three decades later, the GB has built a desirable reputation for offering its guests superb facilities, flawless service, and comfortable & comforting accommodation. The Hotel Grande Bretagne has 262 bedrooms and 58 suites set over 7 floors. The spa is one of the city’s most popular and there is an indoor and an outdoor swimming pool.
The hotel has two main restaurants – the GB Roof Garden Restaurant and the superb Winter Garden – while Alexander’s Bar – complete with an 18th century tapestry of Alexander the Great serves delicious cocktails and whiskies. The Hotel Grande Bretagne sits in the centre of Athens on Syntagma Square. From here, guests enjoy views of the square, the Parliament and most importantly the magnificent Acropolis and the stunning Parthenon. Families and disabled guests are welcome, pets are not.
Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens 9/10
Located on the Athens Riviera, this is very much a new name on an old face. The Astir Palace was opened in 1960 but after a major refurbishment and a rebrand became part of the Four Seasons family in 2019. It is very much now one of the finest resorts in Greece. The resort has 303 guestrooms – 202 bedrooms, 43 suites and 61 villas & bungalows. It boasts three private beaches, a saltwater swimming pool, tennis academy, basketball court and a children’s club. The spa features 8 treatment rooms, 2 for couples and 3 specially built beach cabanas.
There are four restaurants from Mercato which serves Italian cuisine from breakfast to dinner to Taverna 37 which focusses on Greek dishes. There are three lounges including an outdoor cigar bar. The Four Seasons Astor Palace Hotel Athens is located 30 minutes from Athens Airport and indeed from the centre of the city. The resort is family friendly, welcoming of disabled guests and allows pets by prior arrangement. The main draws to the resort are the flawless service, its location – close but far away enough from central Athens and being by the sea with stunning beaches.
King George, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Athens 8/10
With just 63 rooms and 39 suites set over 9 floors, the King George is more boutique than its next-door neighbour and sister property, The Grande Bretagne. Dating to 1930, the building was once an annexe to the Royal Palace and the Prime Minister’s residence. The lobby of the hotel is magnificent – swathed in marble and featuring Murano-glass chandeliers. Guests of the King George have access to its neighbours indoor swimming pool, but its own fitness centre is superb and filled with state-of-the-art machines.
On the 7th floor resides the Tudor Hall restaurant which serves delightful Greek dishes and whose terrace has delicious views of central Athens and the Acropolis. Up on the 9th floor is arguably the best guestroom in Athens – the Penthouse Suite. It boasts two bedrooms and its own outdoor swimming pool – complete with amazing vistas. Guests of the Penthouse Suite rarely leave it during their stay – which is understandable. The hotel welcomes disabled guests, families but does not allowpets.
Life Gallery Athens Hotel 8/10
Located in Ekali - around 30 minutes’ drive from the centre of Athens - sits a popular, contemporary, and zen-like boutique hotel – the Life Gallery Athens Hotel. With just 29 bedrooms and suites, the property has built itself a solid reputation for offering superb service, wonderful facilities, and excellent accommodations.
The hotel offers a unique glass-walled swimming pool, the Ananea Wellness by Orloff Experts spa, jacuzzi, hammam and sauna, the Kool Life Bar Restaurant – serving Greek cuisine and the Kool Life Bar. The hotel itself is an homage to cool – dominated by steel, glass, and light woods. Ekali is an affluent suburb of Athens and the hotel fits in nicely into this lifestyle with its manicured gardens, stunning looks, and money-no-object fixtures & fittings. Families, disabled guests, and pets are welcome.
Perianth Hotel 8/10
This central Athens 1930s landmark building was opened as a modern boutique hotel in 2018. It is just a short walk from the hotel to the Temple of Hephaestus, The Acropolis and Syntagma Square. The Perianth is of contemporary design and it features marble furniture, glass bricks and terrazzo flooring. The hotel has just 38 bedrooms & suites and each feature a private terrace offering differing but impressive views of Athens. The sixth floor Penthouse Suite includes a sizeable private veranda. The views of the city from there are breath-taking.
The Perianth shares the building with The Zen Center. Guests are encouraged to use this facility to practise martial arts, yoga or just somewhere to meditate. The hotel is filled with modern Greek art. Il Barretto is the hotel’s impressive Italian bistro that offers cosmopolitan Mediterranean cuisine – and outrageously delicious coffees and cocktails. Families, disabled guests, and pets are most welcome.
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