Unbeatable: on a tranquil backstreet in the heart of Plaka, the postcard-pretty Old Town of Athens. Safe, convenient, and quiet.
The dated décor in all 102 rooms is conservative/classic: dark wood furniture with heavily patterned upholstery, livened up with prints by Greek artists. Suites have wooden floors and whirlpool baths. Most of the superior rooms and junior suites are in a new wing overlooking the garden. Room on the fifth floor and up have the best views, but unfortunately for non-smokers, the seventh floor is reserved for those that partake. Not all rooms have balconies, so ask for one when you book.
The sparse, gleaming lobby with its crystal chandelier and painted ceilings is less inviting than the rest of the public spaces. The small, strangely endearing Ducktail bar leads onto a peaceful garden with a wooden gazebo, where you can have drinks and snacks. But the rooftop pool bar has much better views, with the Parthenon presiding over the tiled rooftops of Plaka - especially magical by moonlight.
Eating and drinking
A generous American buffet breakfast, served in the ground-floor Motivo restaurant, includes squeeze your own orange juice. Kids will love the waffle-making machine. Local gourmets have discovered the Electra Roof Garden restaurant, where award-winning chef Yorgos Venieris creates refined Gallic-Greek dishes in very romantic surroundings. The menu changes often, but I was blown away by the sea bass sous-vide with orzo and bottarga and the lamb moussaka. Lemon and vanilla rice pudding even converted this rice-pudding hater.
The basement spa is fairly basic – a handful of exercise machines, a sauna and steam room, and a treatment room. Here therapist Vassia gives good lymphatic drainage massage – great for jetlag or hangovers. The indoor pool (with Jacuzzi) is usually empty – unlike the much busier (and lovelier) rooftop pool.
Don’t be put off by their old-school uniforms and rather jaded air – the staff are invariably helpful and efficient.
Who stays there
An older crowd of both business and leisure travellers. There are lots of connecting rooms, so this is a good choice for families too.
Prices drop considerably outside the peak summer holiday season. There's a surcharge for Acropolis views in high summer. You can log onto the Internet for free for 20 minutes, but watch out for very high rates thereafter.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Business travellers
- Families with teenagers
- First-time travellers
- Mature travellers
- Escaping the crowds
- No fuss
Pros & Cons
- Perfectly placed for sightseeing
- Romantic gourmet restaurant
- Design aficionados will be disappointed