The Hotel Grande Bretagne ATHENS Review


A few weeks ago I flew to Athens for several days of sightseeing before joining a cruise in nearby Piraeus. I had not been to Athens before and was pretty excited at the prospect. As is my usual practice, I used Trip Advisor to search for a suitable hotel that fitted my parameters. Location, 5 stars of course and with excellent reviews. Well 2 hotels kept popping up. Hotel OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGrande Bretagne (A Luxury Collection Hotel) and King George also (A Luxury Collection Hotel). They are part of the Starwood Group, so they had to be good.When staying for several days at a destination, I often book more than one hotel. I love a good hotel and want to experience all it has to offer. As an ex hotel manager, during part of my varied life, hotels hold a fascination.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter arriving at Athens airport, a short taxi ride to downtown saw us in front of our elegant hotel, The Grande Bretagne, opposite Parliament and Syntagma Square.

Entering the lobby was almost like stepping into a regal palace, intricate moldings and classic décor. After friendly and fast check in we headed to our room, but not before partaking of a complimentary cold drink from a table next to check in. Our room was spacious and elegant with a great view overlooking the Square and Parliament House. Some other rooms looked towards the Acropolis.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs one would expect in a 5star hotel, it had all the usual bells and whistles, but it was the ambience and superior service that stood out.

Situated a short walk from the best shops and famous Plaka, where hundreds of restaurants offering mainly Greek fare, could be experienced. We ate mainly in the hotel restaurants, but had some traditional meals in the nearby eateries. A highlight each morning was breakfast at the rooftop garden restaurant, which offered panoramic views of the nearby Acropolis. A drink or afternoon tea in the ground floor bar area is a must.

This was an outstanding, truly 5 star hotel. One of the world’s best in my opinion.

Suggest a view room, either of Parliament or Acropolis.

Words & Photos: John Pond

About John Pond, J.P.

Pioneer in television as producer of thousands of hours of TV shows on Australian and American television including Graham Kennedy, Tommy Leonetti, People in Conflict, Hollywood Bowl, Major Specials and Dr John‘s Casebook TV Shows. TV manager J. Walter Thompson & McCannErickson Advertising and head of production for Columbia Pictures TV. John changed careers to the hospitality industry working for Sydney’s top 5 star hotel as director of sales and marketing and GM. Then with Harrah’s/Caesar's World, the world’s largest hotel and casino group in Nevada. Playboy Magazine in Chicago, head of worldwide PR/Marketing, for their Resorts, Clubs, Hotels & Casinos. Producer at Fox Studios in Los Angeles. Co-creator of hit US network TV show Joker, Joker, Joker, first TV show to give away a million dollars. Writer travel articles for magazines and newspapers including Washington Post, New York Times, American Playboy as well as local Australian papers and magazines. In the USA represented many personalities including Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Bob Hope, Mel Torme, and many other major names. John is Editor at Sea of Australia’s leading cruise magazine, Travel & Cruise writer for The Retiree Magazine, Destinations Magazine and Spectator Group of Newspapers. John reviews cruise ships, Destinations and Hotels, and is ably assisted by his Associate Editor Sandra Tiltman.
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