Earlier this week I travelled to Athens for work... I always love going there, first because the people are absolutely lovely, and contrary to whatever the international press migh write it isn't a city rigged by social unrest. Of course there are demonstrations and protests but frankly tourists are left to roam freely and I've never felt unsafe. But also I love coming here for it's almost always sunny: in the years I've been going there I've only ever had one day of grey skies, admittedely it was in December so that wasn't odd...
Whenever I visit I stay at the Hotel Grande Bretagne, one of the grandest and oldest luxury hotels in the Hellenic capital, a place which is both convenient for my meetings but most importantly where the accomodation is fabulous, service is unbelievable and food is quite delicious, no matter what time of the day.
However the most incredible part about staying at the GB is that breath-taking view from the breakfast table, overlooking the Acropolis and some of the other most celebrated sights of the city. Although I always fly in with the last flight from London, landing around 3:00 in the morning, I always set my alarm to be sure to catch a glimpse of this fabulous scenery... After that, no matter what gloom I have to discuss in meetings, I feel serene and truly appreciative of the little things life has to give.
Besides from the roof garden I also love stopping by for a quick refreshment during the day, escaping the heat in the hotel's winter garden on the ground floor. Their Niçoise salad is quite something, and if you want to go local do ask for a Frappé, ice cold coffee with or without milk which is bound to make you feel fresh in a minute...
Location-wise this is on Constitution Square, giving you instant access to great sights and connections to the most touristy parts of the city via the Syndagma underground station, but if you feel more inclined for an afternoon of shopping, simply walk up the streets of Kolonaki where you'll find some cool boutiques filled with Greek and international designer goodies... The shoe shop on Kolonaki Square is my absolute must-stop in any trip to Athens (I may have accidentally bought a couple of pairs yesterday...)
Hotel Grande Bretagne
Constitution Square, Athens
+30 210 333 0000