Greece is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. Often referred to as the cradle of Western Civilisation, this European country has something to offer every traveller. The capital city Athens is part of mainland Europe but there are thousands of Greek islands dotted around the Aegean and Ionian Seas. The inhabited islands boast superb hotels & resorts – complete with amazing beaches and many with historic sites that are truly unmissable. Any holiday to Greece – however – should include a visit to Athens.
The BusinessClass.com top ten finest hotels in “Hellas”.
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.
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 Taverna37 which focuses on Greek cooking. 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. 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.
Kivotos Mykonos Hotel - 9/10
Part of Cyclades - Mykonos is one of the most popular islands to visit in Greece. While it does have the reputation of being the “Ibiza of Greece” with non-stop summer partying, Mykonos does retain charm and peace if you look for it. The Kivotos offers 43 guestrooms – each individually designed. There is also a Signature Suite with a plunge pool and a Villa – boasting a bijou beach. The hotel can be found in Ornos Bay on the waterside. Kivotos is the affluent travellers dream. The public areas are filled with tasteful antiques, Baccarat chandeliers and Mykonian architecture dominates. There are three restaurants on offer – La Pirate and La Meduse that offer Mediterranean cuisine and Nero – fine dining in a location of your choice. There are two outdoor swimming pools, a swim-up bar, and a small beach. The hotel also offers the Exclusively Spa – one of the best on the island. The Prince is the properties own wood yacht that is available for charter. The Kivotos Mykonos Hotel is the premier hotel address on the island and is just 10 minutes’ drive to the town centre which is filled with bars, restaurants, and clubs. One tourist attraction that is worth visiting on the island are the 16th century windmills that sit above Mykonos town itself.
Staying on the island of Mykonos but heading over to another part of Ornos Bay and the elegant, architecturally designed, contemporary, funky but still intimate resort – Santa Maria. Part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection the resort is renowned for providing excellent service and superb facilities. The Santa Maria is around 15 minutes from Mykonos Airport and 4 kilometres from the main town. The resort has 101 rooms & suites with 13 private villas that offer 1 to 5 bedrooms. The design of the accommodation is Cubist with neutral decoration – very Greek island. The Santa Maria boasts a helipad, private pier, the Ginko Spa, Hammam, two swimming pools, children’s pool and play area, chapel, fitness club, tennis court and a private beach. One of the attractions of Santa Marina is the Buddha-Bar Beach Mykonos. Located on the shoreline of the Aegean Sea and complete with its signature Oriental design, it features an Asian-inspired predominantly seafood menu that has Greek and Mediterranean influences. The resort is family-friendly but still allows for couples to enjoy a high level of intimacy.
The island of Santorini – official name Thera - is also part of the Cyclades Islands. Around 3,600 years ago, during the Minoan era, the island was the site of one the largest volcanic eruptions in history. Legend has it that the city of Atlantis was submerged in the consequent tsunami. Much of the volcano rim collapsed into the sea but an island “edge” was left above the sea – the Santorini Caldera. There are three main tourist conurbations on the island - Fira, Oia and Imerovigli – set up on the crater edge looking overlooking the Aegean. The vistas from here are simply breath-taking. The village of Imerovigli is set 300 metres above sea level – and a short distance from the main town of Fira. The whitewashed, stunning, and imperious Grace Hotel sits the heart of the village but still enjoys the most amazing views of the sea. It has 21 guestrooms including 12 suites and the Villa. The Villa aside, the hotel only welcomes guest of 14 years and above. Most guestrooms boast a plunge pool and a balcony. The hotel offers complimentary yoga lessons and in room spa treatments. There is perfectly formed fitness centre, a bijou boutique, chapel, and the largest infinity swimming pool on the Caldera. The Santoro restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine and is arguably the finest on the island. The 363 Champagne Bar is the ideal location for a sunset drink. Being part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, flawless service is delivered with a genuine smile. The hotel is a short walk to the Buddha Beach Bar and the Skaros Rock.
Katikies Santorini - 9/10
Located in the picturesque village of Oia, on the northwest coast of Santorini, is the island’s original boutique hotel – Katikies. For over three decades, the property has led the field in comfort, service, and style. Oia itself is a whitewashed collection of churches, homes, and hotels, punctuated with blue doors & roofs and pink walls. The hotel itself is a white palace. Only guests older than 13 years old are welcome. There are 3 rooms and 31 suites on the property offering cave-style architecture. Guests can expect stunning accommodations – clean, airy, healthy, and ultimately, happy. Each room enjoys magnificent views of the Caldera and sea. There are two spa treatment rooms and three swimming pools – each set on a different level – one heated and two just right. There are two bars – the Pool Bar & Restaurant and Seltz Champagne Bar & Restaurant but Mikrasia that serves Greek Anatolian cuisine is an amazing dining experience. Wherever you stay on Santorini, you must take a jet-ski, charter a yacht or Scuba in the Sea – the Gods demand it.
Greece’s largest island and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean, Crete, is a favourite for families and those just seeking to escape normalcy. The island offers stunning beaches, impressive mountains and museums that take visitors on journeys back to the Bronze Age. Greek mythology suggests that Zeus – the King of the Gods – was born on Crete. Offering 199 rooms and 52 suites set over two floors, the Blue Palace is among the finest properties on the island. Sitting on 143 acres of lush, verdant grounds, the resort has a pebble beach and amazing views over the Aegean Sea and Spinalonga Island – a former leper colony. The international airport in Heraklion – the island capital – is 72 kilometres away – around an hour by car. Guests wishing to arrive in style can use the resort’s helipad. Blue Palace offers a children’s club that includes a swimming pool. There are three other pools and of course, the private beach. The Spa offers treatments, steam baths, Jacuzzi and there is a fitness centre. With five restaurants and two bars, the resort offers its guests a range of culinary choices. Isola serves Italian cuisine, Olea - a buffet breakfast and dinner, Asia Deep Blue is – as the name suggests – seafood with an Oriental twist, Anthós offers Greek cuisine but the Blue Door is unique. Set in a converted fisherman’s hut, guests can enjoy freshly-caught seafood, prepared in traditional fashion.
Of the triumvirate of the sibling resorts – Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort, Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel and Elounda Mare Hotel - Relais & Châteaux, the latter offers the most comfortable and comforting experience. The resort offers 46 rooms and 36 bungalows – complete with private swimming pools. All enjoy superb views over the Aegean Sea. The three properties work in unison when it comes to the overall guest experience. Over the three resorts, there are eight restaurants – two of which - The Old Mill and The Yacht Club are within elounda mare. They offer superb cuisine – the best on the island – with The Old Mill specialising in Greek cuisine while The Yacht Club offers delicious Mediterranean dishes. Of the five bars/lounges, Karavia sits beautifully within mare – serving excellent cocktails and only the very finest wines and spirits. The shared facilities include a Six Senses Spa, a 9-hole par-3 golf course, tennis courts, gym, yachting, Scuba diving excursions and cooking classes. Elounda Mare boasts a delightful private fine-sand beach. To maximise your enjoyment, make friends with the Concierges – for it is they who will make dining and facilities bookings for you in any of the three properties.
Arguably the finest hotel on the island of Rhodes, Lindos Blu only accepts guests over the age of 17. With 70 rooms and suites, the hotel is home to Five Senses which serves “sophisticated Greek cuisine” and is rated the finest restaurant on the island. Being a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World means that its standard of service is exceptional, and it certainly meets this level. The hotel is located in Lindos – a stunning part of Rhodes – the largest island of the Dodecanese. Guests enjoy views of Vlycha Bay and Beach, respectively. Facilities on offer include tennis, a fitness centre and steam/Hammam. Smeraldo Restaurant is where breakfast and lunch are taken – and offers view of the Bay below. Three swimming pools are also available. The hotel is of superb design using dark woods, steel, glass, and light-coloured stone to give it a contemporary look without it being too harsh. It melts into the background with ease. A short walk from the property is the town of Lindos which offers restaurants, bars, shopping, and interaction with the local population – which is among the friendliest of the Greek islands.
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.
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