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Often considered a two-day trip (maximum) en route to the Grecian Islands, Athens has long suffered the plight of being deemed a gateway city to more exciting destinations. And while it’s true that some of the most romantic islands in the world are only accessible from the port of Athens, that doesn’t mean the city itself is worth overlooking. On the contrary, Athens is home to stunning history, beautiful Greek culture, and an ever-burgeoning arts and food scene. And it’s slowly but surely becoming home to coveted best names in luxury hotels. The Four Seasons and Autograph Collection have already arrived in Athens, with One&Only and Waldorf Astoria looking to follow suit. Beyond that, luxury boutique hotels have made a name for themselves in this city, providing eclectic accommodations and authentic Greek hospitality.
Suffice it to say, the crop of best hotels in Athens is on the rise. These are the best luxury hotels to visit in Athens right now:
Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens
The new Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens, an American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts property and a 2019 Legend Award honoree, opened officially at the end of March 2019. Sitting on a peninsula about 30 minutes’ drive from the city center, Hotel Astir Palace is bringing back the Grecian glamour of the Athens Riviera. The hotel’s comprised of 303 rooms, suites, villas, and bungalows—and seven restaurants and bars—all set on 74 acres along the Meditteranean Sea.
Electra Metropolis Athens secured its positioning as one of the best hotels in Athens upon opening in 2016, largely because of their 216 stunning suites catering to both the business and leisure traveler. Sitting next to Syntagma Square, their Roof Garden has a sweeping view of the Parthenon and the ancient city. The building, originally designed by Patroklos Karantinos, served as the city’s Ministry of Education, but now features a mod, elegant design. Travelers are encouraged to peek into the public spaces of the hotel, which features sought-after elements of Greek art and history; find an original Alekos Fasianos painting within the hotel walls, and visit the Agia Dynami chapel, built in the 16th century, on the hotel’s ground floor.
Academia of Athens, Autograph Collection
The Academia of Athens, Autograph Collection is inspired by “Athenian wisdom” offering a “modern version of Plato’s academy, designed to awaken the senses.” With 60 rooms, Academia of Athens is a boutique hotel curating an experience that feels intimate and personalized. You’ll enjoy the ancient Greek-inspired interiors and amenities like their heated pool and Pnoe Wellness Center.
Aptly named, the NEW Hotel has a fresh take on the Athens luxury boutique hotel. At the five-star, 79-room hotel, design is at the forefront of what this hotel has to offer. Right off Syntagma Square, and adjacent to the Plaka neighborhood, NEW Hotel is within steps of Athen’s main attractions. NEW Hotel is part of YES! Hotels’ collection, the owner of which has always been a patron and avid follower of the international art scene. That’s why YES! Hotels tasked highly acclaimed Brazilian art team, the Campana brothers, to revitalize the former Olympic Palace Hotel with cutting-edge design and modern art.
Hotel Grande Bretagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel
The historic American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts property, built in 1842, has been refreshed with luxury amenities, making it one of the long-standing best hotels in Athens. Boasting some of the best views in the city, visitors are quite taken with Alexander’s Bar terrace, which overlooks Syntagma Square, and the rooftop GB Garden which has a full view of the Acropolis and Lycabettus Hill. When staying at Hotel Grande Bretagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel, book an Executive Grand Suite, with Acropolis views and a balcony.
One of the favorite offerings of O&B Hotel is their Greek Breakfast buffet, which serves classic Greek food sourced from all over the country. Beyond their sumptuous breakfast, O&B is a cozy boutique hotel with pared-down, minimalist suites that focus on showcasing the historic city. The most romantic room to book is the Acropolis Grande Suite, with a private terrace, a view of the Acropolis, and an overall pampering and hospitable Greek experience.