Tag: Athens Hotels

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Should You Cancel Your Greek Stay This Year?

Where: Greece
July 6, 2015 at 8:25 AM | by | ()

Grace Santorini

Yesterday, in a national referendum, the people of Greece voted no to accepting the EU’s proposed (but expired) bailout offer. The future of Greece in the euro is unclear, and austerity measures are hitting the country hard. The banks are closed (due, one hopes, to reopen tomorrow), there are reports of ATMs being empty, supermarket shelves are predicted to lose stock, and worst-case-scenario warnings of hospitals running out of medicine. So, should you cancel your hotel stay?

No, says the Guardian, but take enough cash for your entire vacation.

No, says the Independent, but don’t rely on credit cards.

No, we say. But there are some important things to note:

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5 Greek Hotel Chains to Rid You of Your All-Inclusive Habit

Where: Greece
February 2, 2015 at 8:31 AM | by | ()

Grecotel’s Mykonos Blu

So Greece’s new Prime Minister doesn’t want you to stay in all-inclusive hotels. And although his new Syriza government came swiftly out and reassured us that they won’t take any action against them, he still has a point. All-inclusives do nothing for the local communities they’re based in, and they do nothing for broadening the minds of their guests.

Greece, of course, is chock full of delightful independent hotels. But if you’re an all-inclusive type who’s keen to step out of your comfort zone, but not to the extent of booking a one-off place, here’s a halfway house – some of our favorite Greek hotel chains.

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Addicted No More: A Personal Account Of Breaking Up With Airbnb

October 8, 2014 at 8:25 AM | by | ()

Lovely remote Airbnb in Joshua Tree

It’s taken a while, and a spell at rock bottom, but it’s happened. It’s over. I’m in recovery. I am no longer addicted to Airbnb.

When it launched, I loved the idea of Airbnb. Good hotels are wonderful, of course, but they’re also unaffordable for many people. On the other hand, few things are as dispiriting in travel as staying in a mediocre hotel with uninformed, unmotivated staff. Airbnb promised a local experience with locals who cared. What was not to love?

My first Airbnb hit was in Moscow. In a city where even a budget hotel costs around $300, I stayed in a world-famous Stalinist skyscraper for $130. Sure, there was no hot water but there was history – an infinite amount. (Plus the guy refunded me $80 for the lack of water.)

I went on to have better and better experiences. A stunning midcentury house in Palm Springs – an entire house – for less than a room at the Parker. A cabin on its own 15-acre desert plot in Joshua Tree. A gorgeous apartment in Warsaw.

But this summer I fell out of love.

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If You're Off To The Hilton Athens, Make Sure It's After 6pm

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 46 VASSILISSIS SOFIAS AVENUE, Athens, Greece, 11528
September 29, 2014 at 9:32 AM | by | ()

When we visited the Selfie Spot at the Grande Bretagne in Athens the week before last, we remembered the other hotel bar with truly jaw-dropping Acropolis views (as opposed to other hotels which pretty much all have a glimpse of the Acropolis): the Galaxy Bar at the Hilton Athens. So, with a couple of hours to spare in Athens last week, we headed over.

The Hilton is back a bit from the center of Athens – out by the Byzantine Museum, around a 10-15 minute walk from Syntagma Square. But what it lacks in ease of location, it makes up for in views – because thanks to the low-rise buildings all around it, it has a straight on view of the Parthenon. It is extraordinary.

Sadly, we tell you this from memory, because on arrival we discovered the Galaxy Bar isn’t open all day, like the GB roof terrace; it opens at 6pm. Instead, we settled at Aethrion Lounge on the ground floor for some lunch and drinks.

We suggest you don’t follow our example.

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What to Drink With Your Selfie At the Grande Bretagne In Athens

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece, 10564
September 24, 2014 at 8:22 AM | by | ()

We’ve shown you the Selfie Spot at the Grande Bretagne in Athens and we’ve banned you from taking selfies. So what else can you do up there? Well, you can take glorious panorama photos of Athens and the Aegean Sea. Or you can drink.

The GB Roof Garden has a restaurant and a separate bar area with outside terrace. (NB: The bar area is right by the Selfie Spot, if you need Dutch courage to get your selfie juices flowing.) Cocktails vary from €14-€21 ($18-$27), there’s free WiFi, free (bottled) water served with drinks and some rather snazzy bar snacks including candied fruit. It’s all very civilized.

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The Selfie Spot At The Grande Bretagne In Athens Is Wasted On Selfies

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece, 10564
September 22, 2014 at 9:30 AM | by | ()

If there’s one thing that’ll get us on a plane to Athens, it’s a designated selfie spot. We jest, of course – but the idea of a designated selfie spot was so horrifying compelling that during an afternoon in Athens last week, we had to go and see it for ourselves.

The selfie spot is at the Grande Bretagne in Syntagma Square (Athens' main square), though to our relief, when we asked at the concierge desk where to find it, they had absolutely no idea what we were talking about. To save you the mortification of trying to explain the concept of a selfie spot to an Athenian - right there in the cradle of democracy, literature, philosophy and everything else that selfies run in the face of - just head to the rooftop bar and restaurant.

The selfie spot, it has to be said, is incredible in the flesh. Of course, an Acropolis view in Athens is no big deal - the majority of hotels have them from rooftop terraces, if not from the rooms themselves. But most Acropolis views are not like this (the only one that comes close, we reckon, is the Hilton, which is a little further out of the city center). The Grande Bretagne not only dominates the skyline around it, meaning you’re looking straight at the Parthenon, but glance to your left and you’re looking straight at the Greek Parliament, with the Evzones soldiers trooping around the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier every hour.

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This Hotel in Athens Has a Designated Selfie Spot

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece, 10564
August 19, 2014 at 12:33 PM | by | ()

Selfies. You either love them or you hate them but no matter how you feel about them, you are taking them. Just admit it. You’re taking them in the car, at the club, at concerts, at sporting events, at the playground, the beach, the rooftop bar, and even from your bed. Especially from your bed.

But at the Hotel Grand Bretagne in Athens, you’re gonna want to get out of your bed for that selfie because the hotel has a designated “Selfie Spot" on the GB Roof Garden Restaurant. The spot marked with a selfie icon is actually the best spot on the terrace to take a selfie so that you can show off your newly acquired Grecian glow with a precise view of the Acropolis in the background. For Millennials, we'll put it in terms that you can understand--The Acropolis will photobomb your selfie.

The hotel is a Luxury Collection Hotel from Starwood in Syntagma Square but rates aren't crazy out of control. We found a prepaid rate for next weekend for 278 Euros. That's for a classic room with two beds. A king bed with butler service was also available for 303 Euros. Fortunately, you can get your selfie on without booking a room as the GB Roof Garden Restaurant is open for lunch and breakfast. Now, let me take a selfie.

[Photo: SPG Greece]

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Funky Friday: The New Hotel in Athens Gets Funky With Recycled Materials

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 16, Filellinon Str, Athens, Greece, 10557
August 1, 2014 at 3:30 PM | by | ()

At New Hotel, old scrap materials get a second life and come back as, what else, trees.

Welcome to Funky Friday, a new segment we’re trying out which features one photo that we think singularly expresses a hotel’s inner psyche. We look for, and often find, a lot of wacky, wild and wondrous designs that seem to have one thing in common: a Type A personality. So why not have a bit of fun as we all wrap up our week by taking a quick look at some hotels that quite frankly, want our attention.

Occasionally we come across a hotel that takes the concept of adaptive reuse to new heights, literally. The New Hotel in Athens is a great example of recycling materials in a fun and funky way, and we think it deserves a little close-up look in Funky Friday. The New Hotel is one of five properties in the Athens based Yes! Hotels collection, self-described as: Young Enthusiastic Seductive. That's enough to get our attention right there.

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Gazing at The Acropolis in Athens from the Hotel Melia Rooftop

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Chalkokondili 14, Athens, Greece, 106 77
June 18, 2013 at 5:09 PM | by | ()

Everything you've heard about the city of Athens being packed tighter than a New York City subway car is absolutely true. On a recent trip to the capital of Greece, we fell in love with the pace and pulse of the city (not to mention the gyros), but boy, talk about a maze. Navigating those Greek-named streets was by no means a walk in the park, and while the city is surrounded by mountains and dotted with hills, it can be tough to get a grip on where you are due to the limited sight lines and endless infrastructure.

But, like New York, the rooftops of hotels and restaurants give you a whole new perspective on the chaos below, turning those closed-in, clustered feelings to ones of awe and appreciation. One such opportunity is found at the Hotel Melia, located right downtown in the heart of the city and boasting a view of Athens' most infamous attraction, the Acropolis.

The view, as you'll notice, is indeed killer, especially at night when the Acropolis is lit up like a torch over the city. But beyond the aesthetics, the Sky Lounge Rooftop Dining Bar turned out to be one hell of a nest, a relaxing pool scene by day and a delicious dining area at night. When in town, you've got to have a few drinks during the sunset and watch the lights of the Acropolis turn on as the daylight dwindles down. Check out the photo gallery below!

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Get Local Food and Priority Club Points with Hotel Indigo's "Not All Business" Package

January 3, 2013 at 11:05 AM | by | ()

One of the caveats of being a business traveler is never getting to eat the wonderful food in the destination they travel to. Seriously… some hotels in NYC don't even offer a New York slice! What up with that? Hotel Indigo witnessed all the sad faces and recently released the "Not All Business" package throughout their hotels.

For business travelers who don't have the time or opportunity to explore local foods and neighborhoods, Hotel Indigo brings the local taste to them. All hotels now highlight regionally sourced ingredients for a complimentary breakfast and cocktail, like the organic locally roasted coffee beans featured in the Espresso Martini at Hotel Indigo Asheville or local stone ground grits (ground specifically by a mule named Luke) at Hotel Indigo Athens. We especially like the "pain perdu" with Leidenheimer Baking Company French breast and bananas Foster syrup at the new Hotel Indigo New Orleans Garden District.

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Ice Skating Near the Acropolis is Now Possible, Thanks to the Athens Marriott

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 115 Syngrou Avenue , Athens, Greece, 11745
December 15, 2009 at 11:09 AM | by | ()

We have sort of a fetish for hotels with ice-skating rinks which is why we're tingling with excitement over the new rooftop ice skating rink at the Athens Ledra Marriott Hotel in Greece.

From now through the end of February, guests and Athens residents can skate for free at the rink which is operated by the hotel atop the Star City Cinema complex next door. And it's not called "The View on Ice" for nothing as the amazing scenery of Athens is spread out before the skaters as they go round and round the rink. Check out the Acropolis in the background of this photo!

The rink is open from 11am to 11pm daily. Seasonal drinks and food catered by the hotel are also served.

Right now, the hotel is also offering a two-night "Explore the New Acropolis Museum" package which gives you two complimentary tickets to the new Acropolis Museum, accommodations with an Acropolis view and of course, the chance to do triple axels on the ice. The package is priced from $179-$249. Use promotional code M11 when booking. It's available from now through February 7.

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Room With an Anti-View: Athens King Jason Hotel Not Fit For A King

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 26 Kolonou Street , Athens, Greece, 10437
July 17, 2008 at 9:35 AM | by | ()

You know the scene. You open the door to your brand new hotel room, run over to the window, open the blinds and bam, you are hit with the anti-view. Maybe you are looking down a dirty alley, witnessing a drug deal, staring at an air shaft in the face, or seeing a brick wall. Whatever you are viewing it is not extremely pleasurable. Help out your fellow hotel mavens by uploading your anti-views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number with the not-so-easy-on-the-eyes view.

When you're on your honeymoon, you're hoping not to come up against any hotels worthy of our anti-view series, but even though a guidebook recommended the King Jason Hotel in Athens, Greece, to the (unlucky) boeke, that doesn't guarantee a great view. As proven by this particularly grotty view out of the King Jason at night.

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