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Finest Accommodation on a Winter Trip to Athens

Finest Accommodation on a Winter Trip to Athens

There are over 30 5-star hotels in Athens, most of them located downtown, close to the historical center, and a few of them spread in the suburbs to the north and the south (seaside). On average, prices are lower in wintertime, always at reasonable levels in comparison with those in other major cities across the world. Currently, for a regular double room, they start from a little over 100 USD/90 euro per night and max at a little below 500 USD or over 500 euro (at the Four Seasons). For a deluxe suite, expect to pay anywhere from 500 USD/450 euro (which is the norm) to 5,000 USD/4,500 euros (which is the exception). A downtown location will guarantee you walking distance or a 5-10 minute taxi drive to main attractions in the city including the hill of the Acropolis with the iconic Parthenon temple, the hill of Lycabettus with the 19th c. Chapel of St. George, the private and public museums and historic buildings along Vasilissis Sofias Avenue (that leads to the Greek Parliament), the Panathenaic Stadium, and the infamous Syntagma Square. The old neighborhoods of Plaka and Monastiraki that connect to a large pedestrian zone sprinkled with ancient monuments are also within walking distance from most downtown hotels. Museums around, that are totally worth a visit are – with an order of importance and preference – the Museum of Acropolis, the Cycladic Museum, the Archaeological Museum, the Benaki Museum, the Byzantine Museum, the Theocharakis Museum, the Lalaounis Museum, and the War Museum. Regarding amenities, most outdoor swimming pools are not available in winter, yet some of the hotels have indoor ones, combined with spa and beauty facilities. If you are not into sightseeing but prefer to relax as if it is still summer, opt for the few Athenian 5-star hotels that are on the seaside. Greek winter is mild with mostly sunny days, so why not getting some scoop of what the magic of Greece is about? Remember that from Athens a view to the ‘ocean’ is practically a view to the Aegean Sea which is the eastmost part of the lovely Mediterranean Sea.

Downtown  

Grande Bretagne 

Since 1874 this neoclassical-style 320-room landmark hotel has offered luxury accommodation to a lengthy list of world leaders, royals, superstars, and elegant guests from all over the world. Located diagonally across the Greek Parliament on the well-known from media coverage Syntagma Square, it is definitely the most important hotel in Athens. The gilded interiors are decorated with precious antiques and works of art of museum quality (tours are scheduled upon request). With an unobstructed view of the Parthenon temple, the rooftop restaurant and bar are a meeting point. An ideal spot for tea time or any other occasion, morning to evening, the Winter Garden offers delicious treats accompanied by live piano tunes. And there are way more amenities including a cellar for wine-tasting, a spa with indoor pool, a hair salon, the Grand Ballroom for events, the world-acclaimed Alexander’s bar featuring the Alexander-the-Great-themed 18th-century tapestry on its main wall, and an ultra-chic cigar bar. 

King George

Adjacent to Grande Bretagne, this smaller opulent hotel which is also part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection, charms its guests with bright classic marble-clad décor, a multi-awarded restaurant on the 7th floor, an elegant perfumery, Greek delicacies for breakfast, antique furniture, Murano chandeliers, and rotating Greek paintings on the walls. Built in 1930 in the neoclassical style, it has also hosted VIPs from all over the world, including Grace Kelly who stayed with Prince Rainier of Monaco at the Penthouse Suite on the 9th floor which is equipped with the only outdoor swimming pool of the hotel. Guests can also enjoy the indoor pool, spa, bars, and restaurants of next-door Grande Bretagne.

Hilton Athens

More of a destination for executives but equally welcoming for those on vacation mode, this minimalist hotel which opened his doors in 1963, has been honored by a long roster of VIPs including Frank Sinatra and Anthony Quinn. The façade of this modern 506-room building is decorated with iconic reliefs by famous Greek artist Yiannis Moralis and many of the rooms have a view to the 24-feet glass and iron statue of ‘The Runner’. Rooftop Galaxy bar has an excellent view of the Acropolis and Lycabettus hills while internationally-known Milos restaurant is on-site. Other points of attraction and relaxation include the Hiltonia Spa with an indoor heated pool and the Mediterranean cuisine ‘Byzantino’ restaurant. Located on the museum-sprinkled Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, it is a 15-minute walk from Syntagma Square.  

Saint George Lycabettus

On the foothills of pine-forested Mount Lycabettus, 300 meters/980 feet above sea level, this boutique hotel with eclectic décor is definitely a stylish retreat. Many of the 154 rooms as well as the rooftop pool bar have panoramic views of the Acropolis and the Saronic islands. Located in the fashionable and upscale district of Kolonaki, it is surrounded by designer showrooms, art galleries, fashionable restaurants, and bars. Through an independent entrance on the ground level, you will find the Nikkei Peruvian fusion restaurant – not part of the hotel – for fun dining. The hotel is also equipped with a restaurant and lounge for a delicious lunch, brunch, or dinner, a gym, a yoga/pilates studio, and a 30-seat cinema screening room. There are also 15 eco-friendly design rooms. On a sunny day, take the cable car ride to the top of the mount from around the corner. 

Electra Metropolis

With one of the coolest views to the Acropolis, this new 216-room hotel which opened its doors in 2016 is a 5-minute walk from Syntagma Square, located on a tourist-roamed street downtown Athens. With remains of the famous Themistoclean Wall which surrounded ancient Athens in its basement and a 16th-century chapel embedded on one side of its entrance, it is a major attraction by itself. The 10th-floor Mediterranean cuisine restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows and a great cocktail bar is the perfect setting for a date. The modern hotel is also equipped with an indoor pool and a spa. If you want to experience Athens more, just walk towards nearby Plaka and Monastiraki.

Grand Hyatt Athens

Α very brief taxi drive to Syntagma Square, this new minimalist hotel features rooms with chic modern décor, an upscale top-floor restaurant called Grand by Interni, distant view to the Acropolis, and elegant public spaces, lounges and more. Located next to the vibrant ‘Onassis Stegi’ cultural center that was founded under detailed instruction by the late tycoon Aristotle Onassis, it provides you with the opportunity to check their events and exhibits as well as the multi-awarded Hytra restaurant on the top floor.

NJV Athens Plaza

Next to the Grande Bretagne and King George, this 162-room is a great choice for a business & pleasure trip. With one classic restaurant, one British-style bar, and a café, it comes as a value-for-money luxury urban option. It has 18 elegantly decorated suites among which a split-level Presidential Suite with a dining area for 10 guests and stunning panoramic views to the city and the Acropolis.

Coco-Mat Athens BC

Coco-Mat, the global brand for high-end eco-friendly mattresses is now opening equally sustainable hotels equipped with signature products including mattresses and pillows crafted from natural materials. The minimalist rustic signature style transcends this new hotel that is located near the pedestrian historical center. With a stunning view to the Acropolis and a homey feel, it will definitely become dear to design-lovers. It features an ancient roman mosaic floor at the lobby, a breath-taking roof garden, an open-kitchen restaurant, a gym with eco-friendly equipment, and an indoor pool.

Coco-Mat Athens Jumelle  

The same mattress company created another boutique hotel in the fashionable district of Kolonaki, the same area where St. George Lycabettus Hotel is at, and a couple of minutes away from museum-sprinkled Vassilissis Sofias Avenue. A 1925 neoclassical style mansion and a 1965 adjacent building make up a cool design hotel with an eco-friendly approach. It features a cute roof-garden, a gym, an indoor pool, homemade meals, and bike tours.

AthensWas Hotel

Right on Dionysiou Areopagitou pedestrian street – the ancient cobblestone path that leads to the Acropolis and other monuments – this elegant boutique hotel embraces Athenian history in modern décor. With a gourmet restaurant called Sense and a gym, it offers you the opportunity to relax and enjoy the closest view to the iconic temple complex.

Academia of Athens, Autograph Collection

Part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, this downtown modern luxury boutique hotel offers you an array of amenities including the gourmet Greek-inspired Symposium restaurant, the lobby bar, and the indoor pool.

Electra Palace Athens

‘Sister’ hotel with Electra Metropolis, this one, located in the historic neighborhood of Plaka, with a view to the Acropolis, it is graced by an 8th-floor roof garden serving creative Greek cuisine, a cocktail bar, a gym, and a spa with an indoor heated swimming pool. All rooms and suites – including a Presidential Suite with a private balcony and pool at around 550 USD/500 euros per night, are great examples of neoclassical interior design.

New Hotel

As part of YES! Hotels group owned by internationally acclaimed contemporary art collector Dakis Joannou, this urban design hotel is the first attempt of award-winning designer brothers Fernando and Humberto Campana at redefining luxury in accommodation. A total makeover of the former Olympic Palace Hotel (1958) there includes now custom furniture, art, and decorative installations that cast a clear contrast on the plain exterior of this 79-room establishment. Greek folk stands as a vibrant source of inspiration for many details. At walking distance from Syntagma Square, Acropolis, and the old neighborhood of Plaka, it also proves to be a very sophisticated Acropolis-view venue for a gourmet meal at the New Taste restaurant or a spa treatment. The library at the Art Lounge on the 7th floor provides guests with a variety of 2,000 art books to borrow from during their stay.

Athenaeum Intercontinental

Located on the same Avenue and area as the Grand Hyatt Athens – a brief taxi drive away from Syntagma Square – this established modern luxury 553-room hotel offers compelling options for finest dining and entertainment including the French-inspired Première restaurant. It also takes pride in a 24-hour gym and an internationally recognized (Conde Nast etc.) spa with organic-ingredient-based beauty treatments. With understated glamour interiors, this timeless hotel has hosted a long list of VIPs throughout the years.

Southern Suburbs (Athenian Riviera)

It is the long seaside area on the Saronic Gulf that is dubbed by local media as the ‘Athenian Riviera. Thankfully not far from downtown Athens!

Four Seasons Astir Palace

With its first buildings raised on the Astir peninsula in 1961, this luxury accommodation complex consisting of the cosmopolitan Nafsika Hotel, the laidback Arion Hotel, and the iconic seafront bungalows recently received a total makeover that perfectly meets the Four Seasons standards of high-end hospitality. On sunny days, enjoy 3 private beaches, 3 tennis courts, one basketball court, jogging trails across the 75-acre property, and non-motorized water sports. On rainy or cold days check the spa with 10 treatment rooms, the stylish high-end boutiques for shopping, the 8 restaurants and bars (including Nobu’s Matsuhisa for sushi), a cigar lounge, and the indoor pool at Arion, just a 30-minute drive from downtown Athens. Helipad, access for boats, and other upscale services are destined to excite even the most demanding guests. Since the 60s, celebrities and leaders such as Brigitte Bardot, Frank Sinatra, Rudolf Nureyev, Richard Nixon, Mikhail Gorbachev, Francois Mitterrand, Aristotle Onassis, Jackie Kennedy, Sean Connery, Anthony Quinn, Lady Gaga, and Barack Obama stayed there at least once. Same personalities, or of similar magnitude, also stayed at Grande Bretagne, Hilton Athens, and King George.

The Margi

This luxe 88-room seaside boutique hotel – located a 30-minute drive from downtown Athens is a family-run business that carries with it the founder Dr. Stavridis’ vision on both hospitality and the ‘Athenian Riviera’. The accommodation featuring various types of rooms, suites, and a villa is characterized by profound finesse. With a recently created indoor pool, a gym, a 3-cabin spa, and an organic farm that supplies its restaurants with healthy ingredients, the dreamy Mediterranean/ethnic-style resort is private heaven.  

Northern Suburbs

Northern suburbs of Athens are often richly forested and not so densely built, as a few decades ago they used to be vacation retreats for Athenians, sprinkled with mansions and maximum-3-floor buildings. These suburbs are still quieter than downtown locations but now spiced up with more elegant places for entertainment, including restaurants, bars, boutiques, and more. Still, you must consider that you will be a 30-to-60-minute drive from downtown and definitely away from the seaside.

Semiramis

Like New Hotel, this pop-art-inspired 51-room boutique hotel is part of Yes! Hotels group owned by contemporary art patron Dakis Joannou. Created in collaboration with famed industrial designer Karim Rashid, it features curvaceous shapes in bold lollipop colors. Bold glass partitions, concrete with rubber floors, ceramic tiles, and metal make up a super playful setting. Serving great sushi at the new Freud Oriental restaurant and gourmet Mediterranean dishes with local ingredients at the Lounge, it is surely a fashionable dining destination. In winter you can also enjoy the Gym Club with a view to the Miami-style swimming pool.    

Theoxenia Palace

A classic hotel near Semiramis in the very chic Northern suburb of Kifisia offers its guests luxury accommodation and amenities such as an indoor swimming pool with a carefully curated spa, a gym, a gourmet restaurant, and a stylish bar.

Life Gallery Athens

In a very serene pine-forest location, this minimalist glass & steel building features an eclectic mix of deluxe rooms, art studios, and a junior suite. The modern boutique hotel is graced with various amenities including an awarded restaurant, a bar, a small gym, and a Spa with indoor jacuzzi.

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