On September 16th we landed in Athens from Barcelona at about 2:30 pm in the afternoon. We took a taxi to Hotel Grande Bretagne. The hotel is located in an unbeatable location right next to the best cafes, restaurants and shops in the city with some spectacular views of the Acropolis. As soon as we arrived in the taxi, the bellman hurried to open the door for us and took our bags. We loved the building, which we found to be incredibly majestic. The lobby was large and tastefully decorated.
When checking in, we were greeted very kindly and were given all the information we would need during our stay. It would only take 10 minutes to walk to the Acropolis for our tour! We were right next door! The Butler escorted us to our room on the fifth floor. The corridors were really quite long so we appreciated him accompanying us and showing us the way. When we got to the room, our bags were already there. The Butler gave us his card with his phone number so we could contact him if we ever needed anything from the hotel or any recommendations in general.
We were impressed by the cleanliness and décor of the room, which had incredible curtains and a huge royal palace style lamp. The bed was large and comfortable and there were beautiful views of the Parliament. There was a gift for us on the bed with a lovely handkerchief and a bottle of typical Greek liqueur, along with some olives and nuts. We found all kinds of amenities.
The bathroom had baroque-style golden faucets and huge mirrors. There was both a shower and a large bathtub. The lighting of both the room and the bathroom was very nice and soft. From our room we could watch the change of the guard at the Parliament every hour, something that was really interesting and worth seeing. One thing we really appreciated was the fast Wi-Fi, which was an even bigger treat seeing how we had some work to do.
We decided to go get something to eat in the city and explore the Acropolis. At reception we were given a map and we were recommended a restaurant that was near the hotel with delicious typical Greek food. After a few hours touring the city, we decided to go back to the hotel to take a swim in the pool and rest a bit. The pool is on the 7th floor and has lovely views over the city. We had a few refreshments at the bar while enjoying the last rays of sunshine, then went to change for dinner.
At around 9 o’clock we went up to the 8th floor, where we had a dinner reservation. The rooftop restaurant is one of the hotel’s most impressive areas. The views over the Acropolis lit up at night are absolutely breathtaking! They offer a very complete menu with a delicious Mediterranean cuisine. After dinner we took in the views while having a cocktail before heading back to the room to regain our strength for the following day.
We woke up early to be able to continue our visit to the Acropolis (the first day we didn’t have time to visit all of it). We went up to the rooftop to have breakfast and once again we were able to admire the wonderful views of the city and the Acropolis, but by day! The scenery was really different! The waitress was very friendly and got us a table with direct views. There was a complete buffet with a variety of amazing pastries. It’s really important to me that the fruit is fresh and the juices are natural and freshly squeezed. The waitress who took our order was always close by and apart from serving us coffee, she brought us everything we needed, meaning we hardly had to get up from the table.
We left Hotel Grande Bretagne early, around 10 in the morning, and headed to the temple of Zeus. We walked around the area for about 4 hours and stopped to eat at a Greek restaurant. It was pretty hot out and we felt like we had already seen the most important sites so we went back to the hotel to try out the spa!
Every time we entered Hotel Grande Bretagne, both the bellhop and the staff at the entrance greeted us with huge smiles. The staff’s treatment deserves a real 10/10. Once inside, we went down to the 1st floor where two employees explained how to access the spa. In addition to the pools, the spa also had a treatment room, hairdresser and a beauty and relaxation area. The women’s changing room was huge and I found a large assortment of towels, bathrobes, hair dryers and hairspray. Upon entering the spa, we stumbled upon a fairly large Jacuzzi pool with several jets of varying intensity. The water was just the right temperature. There was a small fridge with water we could drink at any time as well as hot towels. The décor was lovely with many different colored LED lights and a stone floor. It reminded me a little of the Arab Baths.
After a long swim, we went over to the sauna area which was breathtaking. The spa has 7 different saunas. I especially loved both the steam sauna that smelled of mint and the dry sauna. After completing the circuit with all the saunas, we finally put our feet in the mini swimming pools that had some really powerful jets. It almost felt like a reflexology massage! We came out feeling completely rejuvenated, especially after spending so many hours walking around.
We relaxed so much in the spa that when we got to the room we fell asleep for a good amount of time. When we woke up, we went back to the pool to go for a last swim and then walked around the hotel. We don’t smoke but we decided to go check out the Alexander´s Cigar Lounge, which is a cigar bar or smoking club where people get together to smoke and have a drink. The bar has two areas: the lounge and the terrace. The living room was decorated with beautiful paintings and comfortable sofas and the terrace was extremely pretty. They have a variety of spirits and incredible malt whiskeys. A very cozy and inviting place to go and socialize while enjoying a good cigar and a good cognac! I would have loved to have actually smoked in order to get the full experience!
Both the swim and the spa made us hungry so we decided to head back out to town for something to eat. Five minutes from the hotel you can find all kinds of Greek restaurants. You can really get a great meal anywhere, so on this occasion we decided to venture out without asking for any recommendation.
The quality of the products is incredible. The vegetables, legumes and meats all have a flavor that is out of this world. We came across a pedestrian street with a steep hill and lots of rooftops. My husband noticed a restaurant with a fairly large terrace and decided to try it. When we got upstairs we couldn’t believe the amazing views over the city and the Acropolis. Next to us, there were dozens of restaurants just like the one we chose. I could never tire of looking at the Acropolis.
After dinner we got lost among the many pedestrian streets in the area and visited a few buildings and churches that we found along the way. As we walked around and passed by the countless terraces, we got to enjoy the live music of some of the bands playing on the street. Most of the streets are decorated with colorful flowers and trees (especially olive trees), which make the area feel extremely welcoming. On every corner there’s an ice cream shop, so we decided to buy an ice cream to enjoy on our way back to Hotel Grande Bretagne.
When we arrived at Hotel Grande Bretagne we decided to do an early check out because our boat to Mykonos was leaving very early the next morning. We asked to be woken up at 5:00 am and that they prepare us a breakfast box to pick up the next day at reception. The next morning, they called to wake us up, they arranged for a taxi, put our suitcases in it and said goodbye to us at the door. A really wonderful 2-day stay. This hotel is undoubtedly the hotel to stay in when in Athens. If we ever return to Greece, it will definitely be the hotel we go back to.