Inspiring Acropolis View For Two in Athens
Hilton, Athens 115 28, Greece
Inspiring Acropolis View For TwoThis is a story about one of the most incredible evenings of my life. One that you can easily have too. But first some facts on Athens.
Athens, Greece is no longer a stop-over for those recovering from their long transatlantic flights from the United States on their way to visit the Greek Islands. More travelers are staying a few days and exploring the history, architecture, and culinary offerings of this vibrant city. In fact, in 2017 there were 5 million tourist arrivals for this Greek capital city, and an expected 5.5 million will have visited by the end of 2018, which is a new record. Of course, not all of them will stay in Athens, but they should. Savvy travelers from the continent, at least 1.4 million “city breakers” which are foreign travelers, visit Athens just for the weekend according to Travel Trade Athens 2018. With more direct flights to Athens, more convention business, more international festivals and events, and more investment in hospitality to accommodate the visitors including tour companies, restaurants, transportation, and hotels; existing hotels continue to up their game by renovating or refining the guest experience to remain vital.
I recently stayed at the Hilton Athens, an architecturally interesting 15 story combination of modern angles with a temple-like façade, with abstract reliefs of Greek themes by important Greek artist Yiannis Moralis on the exterior. To me the building is a visual commentary on today’s Athens: modern design meets historical monument. And it’s perfect. The Hilton Athens has the distinct advantage of being in a unique crossroads location across from the National Gallery of Athens (currently closed for renovations), near the venerable and stately Kolonaki and Pangrati neighborhoods, surrounded by museums, and two short blocks from the Evangelismos metro station which takes you to Sygtama Square, the heart of Athens, in just a few minutes. Opened in 1963 by Conrad Hilton, it was the first international brand hotel, which elevated the status of the city, and the glitterati of the day soon followed with a stay there.
When I arrived in Athens after a ten-hour flight from the west coast of the US., a four-hour layover in Frankfurt, and another two-hour flight to Athens, plus the thirty-minute cab to the hotel; I was depleted. We were warmly greeted under the hotel’s port-cochere, and our bags were whisked away as we were escorted to the Hilton Honors check in desk. After an efficient exchange of passport info and key cards, the front desk staffer with the radiant smile, noticed that it was my husband’s birthday. She gave us coupons for a drink at the Galaxy Bar on the top floor. We headed up from the marble lobby to our sleekly-styled room, pulled open the curtains and had our first look at the Acropolis, illuminated at this time of night. In that moment a shift occurred in me: I wanted to soak in more views of the ancient temple. In this moment, now.
We found a quiet table at Galaxy Bar on the slightly curved patio which affords magnificent views of the Acropolis. And then the magic happened. The warm night air enveloped us, the wine flowed, and here under a sprinkling of stars, it felt like the two of us were alone with the glowing Acropolis as the city twinkled at her feet.