Along with theater, democracy, geometry, philosophy, cartography, the Marathon, and the Olympic Games where enviably toned bodies such as those immortalized in Ancient Greek naked statues were competing in various sports, Greece, and most specifically Sparta, gave birth more or less to the concept of the spa. In those simple communal baths, water – since 6th c. BC was used icy cold – was heated either with burning coal fires or with hot rocks thrown into the water of an elongated pool. Romans took it later to the next level. Modern Athenians might not be as spa-savvy as their far-flung predecessors – they prefer to swim – yet they are gradually catching up with it. As expected, luxury hotels include among their amenities spa centers as an extra form of recreation for their discerning guests. Spa centers and fitness facilities, designed to perfection and staffed with experts from the beauty industry, are an essential part of upscale accommodation. Some of them are organized, on behalf of the hotels, by specialists and their companies. Beyond these, there are a few independent spaces similarly created by well-trained certified experts. Online reservations are not a mainstream option but you can call and book an appointment or a session at a certain spa facility. Stick to the best ones to avoid tourist traps, of course.
Alluding to Roman bath grandeur, the multi-awarded opulent GB Spa at the basement of the most important neoclassical-style heritage hotel in Athens offers a wide spectrum of therapies based on premium spa products and techniques. Accompanied by unique healthy flavors from the Atrium Spa Menu, this experience equals the royal treatment. Spa highlights that you are recommended to indulge in are ayurvedic treatments, massage, waxing, body wrap & scrub, manicure, pedicure, and foot bath. The facility is complemented with a steam room, a hair salon (offering also makeup), an indoor pool, and a Couple’s Suite.
This spa group has opened two marvelous spaces that follow the latest trends in terms of treatments to secure your complete rejuvenation. The first one is at the Life Gallery Hotel and the second one at the Theoxenia Palace Hotel; these two located a 30-45 minute drive from downtown but being rather luxurious and entertaining to those craving the serenity of the hillside Northern suburbs. The Ananea Wellness Spa at Life Gallery includes a state-of-the-art wet area, jacuzzi, sauna, and steam room, as well as a range of treatments carried out by professional and experienced therapists. The spa at Theoxenia has a large heated indoor pool, a 6-seats hammam, a jacuzzi by the pool, a 6-seats sauna, and 2 treatment rooms for facials with Valmont products and therapies designed by French spa brand Cinq Mondes.
As part of a fitness and wellness group that was launched in 1980 in Chelsea, London, setting the trends for ambiance and gorgeousness at gyms, this luxury spa is set in Athens on the same floor with the gym and a 25m/82 feet indoor swimming pool, near Syntagma square. Following the high standards of this European health club group, this fully-equipped spa attracts the elite of Athens as well as guests from selected luxury hotels around it. Naturally, international VIPs residing in the hotels visit the spa and the gym for moments of relaxation. Services on the menu include body treatments, facials, massage, hair removal, and nail spa.
The impressive heated indoor pool is a great experience for guests and visitors. It is complemented with a jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, as well as a gym, a Pilates studio, treatment rooms, and personal training. The tranquil minimalist basement with a view to the outdoor pool is equipped with elegant changing rooms, bathrooms, and a hair salon. Just pamper yourself with Germaine de Capuccini treatments for a complete rebirth, a few blocks away from the chic area of Kolonaki where you and your rejuvenated self can later have drinks, lunch, dinner, or coffee.
In downtown Athens, the coveted 5-star hotel on a narrow often crowded old street offers carefully designed facials and body treatments, types of massage from the Far East, beauty rituals inspired by Ancient Greece, nail spa, and a refreshing wet area including a sumptuous indoor pool at a serene space that is normally open to guests and visitors. Natural products stand at the core of each treatment. The name Aegeo is the abbreviated Greek word for the Aegean Sea where most of the wonderful Greek islands are. It is dedicated as a concept to the revitalizing power of water.
Inside one of the oldest modern luxury hotels of Athens, a brief taxi drive away for the historic center, this wellness space stands as one of the world’s top hotel spas paying tribute to the power of nature. Designed in accordance with the principles of minimalism in pure whites and clear glass, the I-Spa by the Asian Spa Ayurvedic & City Retreat group offers ila 100% organic customized treatments for which rare natural ingredients from all over the world are hand-picked. Implemented by specialized therapists, they have secured international recognitions such as the Conde Nast Traveller’s ‘top 30’ list. The space includes 7 treatment suites (including one VIP suite for couples), sauna & hammam, and heated ceramic beds. It is complemented with a fully-equipped 24-hour gym.
Located inside the most luxurious seaside Athenian hotel with mesmerizing sea view, this spa is inspired by the teachings of Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician who lived in the Classical Age (5th century BC) and is known as the “Father of Medicine”. The names of the rituals come from Greek words that will teach you a thing or two about wellness and a healthy Mediterranean lifestyle. The most exciting part of the space is the indoor hydrotherapy zone designed as a place to socialize while indulging in the power of water – connecting ancient Greek tradition with modern-day spa culture. It includes the Fountain House, an aroma steam grotto, a hammam, a vitality pool, and chilled showers. By the end of the session, you can rest in the relaxation lounge with panoramic Aegean Sea views. It is also complemented by a fitness studio.
The 3,500 sq. m./37,000 sq. ft. Thalassotherapy Center – also on the Athenian Riviera (seaside) is one of the biggest spas in Europe featuring a 270 sq.m./2,900 sq.ft. pool with 16 different areas with water jets for you to unwind, 25 private treatment and massage rooms for customized rituals, and a fully-equipped fitness center with a personal trainer as an option.
50m away from the arrival and departure terminals of Athens International Airport this French luxury hotel offers you the chance to experience a spa treatment with a view to the airport runway. It is complemented with a heated indoor pool, a fitness center, a sauna, and a massage area.
In 1972 two young pharmacists created a soap that was the first product in a wide range of cosmetics available now in 23 countries that combine naturally derived active ingredients, extracts from plants of the Greek nature, beehive products of high nutritional value, and organic essential oils. The successful formulas contain 85-100%, natural ingredients, and are free from silicones, parabens, mineral oil, propylene glycol, polycyclic musks, nitro musks, phthalates, as well as other ingredients that have been associated with adverse effects on health or the environment. Their precious green cosmetology findings are now applied to customers at the Beehive Spa inside the 4-floor Apivita Experience Store in the chic Athenian neighborhood of Kolonaki. The holistic approach of the company stands in the fact that each product you will experience has multiple actions: hydration, protection from environmental aggressors, prevention and treatment of signs of aging or other problems, plus – thanks to 100% certified organic essential oils – invigoration and relief from tension and stress.
Get back to ancient times indulging in the oriental magic of the steam bath in a marble-clad space at the heart of Athens close to the Acropolis hill and the historical center. The healing properties of the traditional hammam combined with massage and other treatments by experts will transform you into your zen self. The experience is based on the power of water and is optionally complemented with facials, manicure, pedicure, and other beauty services.