Classical King George Palace

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Address: 3 Vasileos Georgeiou A Street, Syntagma Square, Athens, 10564, Greece

Star rating:
5 star hotel

4.5

A quirky fusion of classic and contemporary smack in the centre of town.

Although owned by Greece’s largest hotel chain, Grecotel, the King George feels anything but corporate. It's by far the best (and poshest) of Grecotel's many hotels in Athens. Behind the 1930s façade, a pair of fake Afghan dogs guard the lobby and a pink neon sign proclaims: “It’s all Greek to me”. It's a fun touch that's typical of this smart but quirky hotel. I like the fact that every room is different. Interiors are a mix of antiques and modern designer pieces, adding to the sense that you're staying somewhere with character. A sumptuous breakfast on the terrace of the Tudor Hall restaurant, overlooking all the city's landmarks, is another major bonus. 

Location
4.6
90%
Eating/drinking
4.5
90%
Leisure facilities
4
90%
Service
4.4
90%
Value for money
4.4
90%
Bedrooms
4.5
90%
Public areas
4.2
90%

Location

Smack on Syntagma Square - it doesn’t get more central than this. This was King George’s residence when the Parliament building opposite was his palace. Two Metro lines (including one to the airport) and many of the city’s finest museums are on your doorstep and most other major sights are within walking distance.

Bedrooms

All 78 standard rooms are generously proportioned (29-40 sq m) and individually designed with Murano chandeliers and modern art. The 23 suites are bigger, with period furnishing and lashings of silk and brocade. I was lucky enough to stay in the 350 sq m Royal Penthouse Suite, which occupies the whole 9th floor. I adored the whimsical murals by Konstantin Kakanias, one of my favourite artists. But most guests are too preoccupied with the extraordinary rooftop pool eye-level with the Parthenon to notice the suite's opulent interiors. Yours for €10.000 a night.

Public areas

The narrow lobby is more of a transit zone than a meeting point. The adjacent T-Palace bar is a vast space in muted shades of beige and bronze with a circular bar at the centre. It's populated by businessmen during the day, but locals swing by for (expensive) drinks after dark.

Eating and drinking

À la carte breakfast with stunning Parthenon views is served in the all-white Tudor Hall restaurant. It's a formal setting for dinner with a fancy French-Med menu - dishes like "bouquet of gratinated asparagus with prosciutto and black truffle sauce" and "pork cutlets in mozzarella mille-feuille" are much better than they sound. Many ingredients are sourced from the owners’ farm on Crete. Tudor Hall recently opened for lunch too, with a short selection of simpler and more reasonably priced dishes. The three-course set menu 'Acropolis Lunch' is good value at 29 euros a head (without wine). The ground-level T-Palace bar, with regular DJ slots, is open until 2am.

Leisure facilities

The Little Luxury Day Spa in the (slightly stuffy) basement has a small indoor pool and hamam. The treatments are better than the facilities. The Spa Express menu is a great affordable pick-me-up: half-hour Decleor treatments at half price until the end of 2010. Guests also have free access to Holmes Place gym, a few blocks away. There’s free wi-fi throughout the hotel.

Service

Polished, professional and friendly.

Who stays there

Visiting celebrities such as Madonna, Christina Aguilera, Woody Allen, Vanessa Mae and Diana Ross; Presidents past and future (Vladimir Putin and George Bush), plus high-maintenance ladies on shopping sprees.

Price advice

Acropolis views (4th floor and up) come with a price premium. Other rooms overlook the bustle of Syntagma Square or a rather drab inner courtyard.

Amenities

  • Business Centre
  • Fitness Centre
  • High-Speed Internet
  • Restaurant
  • Room Service
  • Swimming Pool

Recommended for

  • Business travellers
  • Couples
  • First-time travellers
  • Singles
  • Romance
  • Shopping
  • Sightseeing
  • Art

Pros & Cons

  • Every room is different and distinctive
  • A prime location
  • Outdoor space is limited
  • Back rooms don’t get much natural light
Book now (price from £95.76)