It’s impossible to speak of Athens’s best hotels without mentioning the Neoclassical Grande Bretagne, where Hollywood stars rub shoulders with heads of state. One of the city’s most venerable (and visible) landmarks, this swish crash pad standing opposite pom-pom-slippered Houses of Parliament guards on Syntagma Square opened its doors back in 1874. Nowadays, the stained-glass ceilings, antiques and oil paintings provide the spectacular backdrop for a plush, modern hotel whose first-class facilities include a seventh-floor spa with herbal steam rooms, a Serail mud chamber and a heated outdoor pool.
Located right next to the Grande Bretagne, the King George combines a central location with opulent rooms. In addition to its award-winning Tudor Hall Restaurant, which serves authentic Greek cuisine and offers views of Athens’s key landmarks, one of the hotel’s most compelling features is the art that hangs on its walls – its lobby is home to a rotating collection of Greek artworks, curated by well-established artists including Pavlos Samios and Kostis Georgiou. For the ultimate in deluxe city breaks, stay in the penthouse suite, which includes a private pool with a view of the Acropolis.
The Hilton is not just a hotel; it’s a symbol of contemporary Athens. It is located in the heart of the city, just 500 metres away from the Athens Concert Hall and four kilometres away from the Acropolis. Established in 1963 and renovated in 2003, the Hilton impresses with its modern design. This five-star hotel offers 506 spacious and elegant rooms, as well as suites with marble bathrooms. It has four restaurants and two bars, with Galaxy Bar attracting celebrities, among others, who enjoy delightful cocktails and an amazing view of the Acropolis. Milos Restaurant, on the other hand, serves gourmet Greek cuisine.
Ergon House is all about the food – from the rooftop restaurant and cooking classes to the vertical orchard in the atrium and the butcher’s, fishmonger’s and deli selling expertly sourced organic Greek products. Meals are included in your stay, so be prepared for a gourmet experience. Beyond the stylish interior, which fuses industrial design with Bauhaus elements, Ergon House boasts an on-site gym and an excellent location in the charming village-like Plaka district, just a few minutes’ walk from the peaceful National Garden.
An urban paradise awaits at The Foundry Suites. Every one of the 12 stylish and spacious apartments is individually designed, with unique finishing touches including original exposed stone walls, a vintage piano and Mid-Century furniture. Each suite combines open-plan living with Crittall-style floor-to-ceiling windows, high ceilings and split-level spaces. The facade of the 1930s property features a striking vertical garden, while the greenery continues on the lush roof terrace, where guests can enjoy a picnic area and bar while taking in views of the Pantheon. The Foundry is situated in a trendy central location, with independent shops, Monastiraki Flea Market and the ancient Agora within walking distance.
Renowned for its restaurant and rooftop bar, which is famed for having one of the best views of the Acropolis, A for Athens is a sleek boutique hotel with 35 rooms and suites. Rooms are simple but effortlessly stylish – think clean lines and cool, muted tones. Overlooking Monastiraki Square, A for Athens is second to none when it comes to location – next to the major archaeological sites, including the Acropolis and the Roman Forum, but also just a short way from the nightlife hubs of Psirri and Gazi.
If Plato and Socrates excite you more than cocktails, the Greek capital has just the hotel for you – Academia of Athens. Its website boasts that the hotel “echoes the spirit of the Platonic Academy”, embodying its three principles – science, art and philosophy – and “bringing them to life […] in a postmodern way”. Guests can participate in the Dialogue Soirees – a weekly discussion event with topics including ethics and friendship – and switch off for the daily Reading Time, in which guests are encouraged to enjoy something from the hotel’s varied book collection. Beyond philosophy-related activities, Academia of Athens has everything you would expect from a luxury hotel: the Symposium Restaurant, with a menu curated by a Michelin-star chef; the Plato Lounge Bar; and a wellness centre with heated pool, sauna and fitness facilities. The hotel is also conveniently located next to Panepistimio metro station, making access to the rest of the city easy.
Many hotels in Athens can claim have excellent views, but St George Lycabettus Hotel is arguably the ultimate when it comes to stunning panoramas. Set against the pine trees of Lycabettus Hill, this family-friendly five-star hotel is a short walk from the upscale but laid-back Kolonaki district. Rooms are plush but tasteful, with special options on offer for fashion and nature lovers – St George’s Fashion Floor is curated by designers Pierre Cardin and Anna Molinari, while the Eco-Chic Wing is designed to minimise environmental impact. Here, all furniture and linen is made from renewable resources, including coconut fibre, natural rubber and seaweed. Guests can enjoy rooftop fine-dining at La Suite Lounge and Greek breakfast specialities at Le Grand Balcon, together with a refreshing dip at the Vertigo Pool Club and a relaxing treatment at the Aegeo Spa.
To combine exploring history in Athens with a beach break, head to the Astir Palace on the Athens Riviera. With shipping industry magnates, presidents and stars including Frank Sinatra on its guest list, this Four Seasons hotel is about as swanky as it gets. Set on its own idyllic peninsula, yet just a 30-minute drive from the centre of Athens, the Astir Palace has eight bars and restaurants, an extensive spa and fitness centre, private beaches and jogging trails.
Fresh Hotel offers an opportunity to get to know the ‘real’ Athens | Courtesy of Fresh Hotel / Hotels.com
A chic design hotel with a gym and a pool, Fresh Hotel offers an opportunity to get to know the ‘real’ Athens, beyond its archaeological sites. With its location near the Omonia metro station, Fresh Hotel is well connected to the city’s most popular attractions including the Acropolis and Lycabettus Hill, and is close to the Exarcheia neighbourhood – famed for its edgy counterculture and street art. After a day exploring, guests can sample cocktails and Greek treats at the rooftop Air Lounge Bar.