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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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If you thought a designated selfie spot was as vain as things get, think again. Not to be outdone by the Athenians, the Parisians, those undisputed global masters of the pout, have come up with a “selfie package”. This has to be at somewhere millennial or ironic, right? Mama Shelter? Citizen M? Pas du tout! It’s at the Mandarin Oriental. Le selfie 'as well and truly landed.
The Selfie in Paris package nets you a room with breakfast, plus three hours in a private car – with driver and in-car WiFi. The hotel will also provide you with a list of the finest selfie backdrops in Paris, including “lesser known vantage points”, “romantic backdrops” and “other imaginative city sites that provide the perfect backdrop for self expression”.
Secretly thinking this sounds great but outwardly embarrassed about booking a package that’s all about vanity? Here’s your excuse. Any photos you upload on your journey from October to January that are taken at approved MO Selfie Spots, posted on social media and tagged appropriately (full details here) will be entered into a monthly competition to win a one night stay at the Mandarin Oriental.
So really, the Selfie in Paris package is just the cheapest way of staying, right?
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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]