Photo courtesy of Hotel Grande Bretagne
Hotel Grand Bretagne
For iconic hotels in Athens, there are multiple addresses to call into, including sister property King George next door, but the Grande Bretagne is the city’s grande dame. The King and dame share an unbeatable location on Syntagma Square, requisite views of the Acropolis, a long and storied guest list, and all the upscale comforts associated with a five-star hotel. The Grande Bretagne has a bit more old-world grandeur than boutique sophistication, with more gilded frames, heavy-luxe drapery, and antique furnishings. It also has a few added amenities: a health and beauty spa, the Winter Garden lounge for high tea with live piano music, and the pièce de résistance: a rooftop pool facing Lycabettus Hill. The rooftop restaurant is also top-notch, serving a new mediterranean menu of scallops and kimchi and grilled salmon with parsley root cream. Guests staying on the sixth and seventh floors may enjoy 24-hour butler service, and all guests can request a chef-prepared picnic to take along for a day of Athens sightseeing.
By Meg Nesterov, AFAR Local Expert
The most romantic hotel in Athens
Old-world and other worldly, the Hotel Grande Bretagne has the most enviable location. The view from the hotel’s rooftop is the best view of the Acropolis that you’ll take in over perhaps a café or the legendary breakfast buffet, and you can watch the Parliament’s Changing of the Guard from many of the hotel’s 320 bedroom windows or terraces (cross that one off your Athens checklist). A natural choice for diplomats, actresses and the global glitterati, the hotel has amenities that even Cleopatra would approve of: a Butler service (snap your fingers, and magic happens); a beautiful spa, as well as the crown jewel-- a rooftop pool with views of the Acropolis, right next to a sparkling pool bar. The cuisine is global and the rooms are so roomy that you'll forget that this is center-of-town real estate. There are modern touches like spacious bathrooms with his and her sinks, marble vanities and cushy beds and duvets (alas, no iPhone docking stations). If you’re lucky enough to stay in a suite, be prepared to drool: they have antique furnishings from Sotheby’s and Christies and are mini museums. If you want art, culture, nostalgia bundled up into a location that impresses, this is your hotel.
By Charu Suri
Breakfast at the Grande Bretagne
Hotel Grande Bretagne is not only a solid choice of accommodations for your stay in Athens: it has a killer rooftop breakfast spread with an even more killer view of the Acropolis. Look for the traditional pastries covered in sesame seeds and the yogurt bar. I choose the good full fat stuff and loaded it with pistachios and thyme honey.
By Andrew Richdale, AFAR Contributor
Exquisite Views Steps from Acropolis
We began a trip to several lesser known Greek Islands, Ios, Alonissos, Milos and Paros with a stay at the palatial Hotel Grande Bretagne in Athens. To say I was smitten with the place would be an understatement. I was in love with this beautiful hotel and her gracious service and lovely rooms. Our stay was a dream come true for me. A year before I was accompanying a Greek friend to a book debut for a famous food reviewer and Greek cuisine authority. This was the first-time I had seen the ornate lobby, tasted the food and enjoyed some bubbly. I wondered what the rooms were like as I sat in the sumptuous lobby bar, Alexander's Bar. Little did I know fate would intervene nearly a year to the day later and I would be waking up in my damask covered suite with the marbled covered baths and standing on my balcony looking to Syntagma Square. Breakfast is incredible here up at the GB Roof Top Restaurant with a stunning view of the Acropolis. Try to get there before 8AM to have the best view table.
By Michelle M. Winner, AFAR Local Expert
1 Vasileos Georgiou A' str., Syntagma Square, Athina 10564, Greece
+30 21 0333 0000