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jtmiller95 Apr 15th, 2012 07:42 PM

Athens Hotels at Syntagma Square
Ending a cruise in Athens mid-October. A couple traveling with us has enough Starwood points to get rooms at the Hotel Grande Bretagne (HGB). I'd like to stay close to the square, but not sure I want to pay HGB's prices. What are the best choices that are within a 5 minute walk?

Pepper_von_snoot Apr 15th, 2012 08:10 PM

I stayed at the Grand Bretagne years ago, long before the refurbishment.

I walked through the lobby in July, 2007, and the place really is spectacular! (On my way to Attica Department Store, sweetie darling.)

A cheap hotel not too far from Syntagma Square is the Attalos. I have never stayed here, but my friend did, and I met her in the lobby of the hotel. It seemed OK and is close to the Plaka.

I have also stayed at the Royal Olympic, which is very near the hill up to the Acropolis, years ago with mummy and her family. The Royal Olympic has a swimming pool which is always a treat as Athens is so dreadfully hot in July, but you won't need it in October. (Athens is rainy in October, isn't it?)

I have also stayed at the Intercontinental. The rooms here are HUGE! HUGE! The bathrooms are ENORMOUS! The hotel does need an updating, however.

There is a free shuttle every hour from the Intercontinental to Syntagma Square. The shuttle won't run if there is a riot in Syntagma Square, though, because the hotel is afraid that the rioteers will set fire to the shuttle as it is a symbol of the "corporate world." I was once in a riot in Syntagma Square and everyone was nice to me so I don't believe any of that nonsense.

But, no bother, you could just flag down a taxi by the McDonald's to get back to the Intercontinental. (The hotel also has an INDOOR POOL!)

My favourite neighbourhood in Athens is Kolonaki. This is a great place to sit at a cafe in your Dior sunglasses and people watch.

Don't forget to visit the ilias lalaounis jewellery museum if you really like gold jewellery like I do.


Weadles Apr 15th, 2012 08:42 PM

We're staying at AVA HOTEL and SUITES this June. It's about a 10-15 minute walk form Syntagma Square, and only a few minutes away from the new Acropolis Museum.

Also look at ATHENS GATE, another hotel that's very close to both Syntagma and the Acropolis Museum.

And don't miss the restaurant at The Grande Bretagne, although at those prices you might want to just get appetizers and drinks! It has a stunning view of the Acropolis.

We used to stay at The Grande Bretagne quite often, and the public spaces are gorgeous, but I'm no longer interested in being stuffed into a tiny box of a room with an interior courtyard view for over $600/night!

Weadles Apr 15th, 2012 08:47 PM

Lastly, IF you and your friends don't need or care to be in the middle of Athens, and would like to wrap up your trip in a beautiful spot, check out the Westin Athens on the 'Athens Riveria' in Vouliagmeni. The hotel does offer frequent shuttle service to and from Athens, although in traffic it can take up to an hour or a little more. It's a great place to get over jet lag or just unwind before the long plane trip home. We used points to stay there two years ago.

clausar Apr 15th, 2012 10:48 PM

Syntagme Square is the heart of Athens, there are plenty of hotels there.
Amalia Hotel is only a few meters away, with a great view over the National Garden, i could recommend also Electra Hotel, located directly on Ermou Street, or it's sister 5 star Hotel, Electra Palace hotel, some 200 meters away from Syntagma.
Finally there is also the brand new renovated hotel: New Hotel, located on Philellinon Street, 200 meters away from the GB Hotel....

Someone mentioned the Athens Gate, which is an excellent choice, but located more near to the New Acropolis Museum.

Lower priced but good hotels are the Athens Cypria and the Plaka hotel, both located near the pedestrianized Ermou street and in walking distance from Syntagma Square.

Westin hotel Athens that was suggested is in the similar price range as the GB Hotel :)

yiassas Apr 16th, 2012 12:19 AM

To add to Clausar's list of nearby hotels there's also the Astor, Amazon, Hermes, Pan, Arethusa & Athos, all of which I've stayed in & all within 5 mins of Syntagma. Also on the square is the Plaza, just yards from the GB, but considerably cheaper!
Among all these are a variety of budgets, so if you state your per night range in euros we can suggest the best to suit.

Heimdall Apr 16th, 2012 12:50 AM

I've stayed at Hotel Cypria a few times, and am very happy with it. They have three different categories of rooms, ranging from standard to luxury:

Weadles Apr 16th, 2012 04:50 AM

Great to hear about all these other hotels. Regarding Westin Athens... I would never pay full price for it, but we were able to use points two years ago. And at that "price", I was quite happy with it!

colduphere Apr 16th, 2012 05:38 AM

We stayed at the Cypria two years ago. Very pleasant. But we are very easy to please.

jtmiller95 Apr 16th, 2012 08:44 AM

Thanks for all the great feedback, my new friends. First, I am good with 200Euro per night if it is truly worth it. Given that, no one has mentioned the King George Palace, which I believe is in the same block as the GB. I must stay within a 5 minute walk of the GB.

Pepper_von_snoot Apr 16th, 2012 09:21 AM

The King George is right next door to the Grand Bretagne. I really don't know anything about it except that Liz Taylor liked it.

The Elektra Palace is also on Syntagma Square, over by the McDonald's. Yes, there is a McDonald's on Syntagma Square.

I have only been in the lobby of the Elektra Palace. It seems like a very busy hotel.

200 euros a night isn't a lot for a hotel in a big city like Athens.

One thing to remember, though, is that if there is any sort of demonstration/riot in Athens it most likely happen in Syntagma Square as that is where the Parliament is located.

I have never had any bad experience with a demonstration, most are peaceful, but just be aware of the situation.


clausar Apr 16th, 2012 09:29 AM

Dear Pepper
The Electra Palace is a 5 star hotel, located at N. Nikodimou Street and 5 min away from Syntagma Square.
The Electra Hotel is a 4 star hotel, located directly on pedestrianized Ermou Street, and a very very busy hotel with an excellent location for people who come to Athens for shopping.

clausar Apr 16th, 2012 09:32 AM

I didn't mention the Kind George Palace for a good reason, even though it is an excellent hotel, next door to GB.
Their regular rate for mid October, which is considered high season in Athens, is around 300 Euro.
However they have on offer a non refundable rate without breakfast that sounds tempting at 200 Euro....
Just keep in mind that in Greece non refundable rates are NOT legal, since according to law you can cancel every reservation up to 21 days prior arrival WITHOUT any cancellation charges.

jtmiller95 Apr 16th, 2012 09:36 AM

Thanks, Clausar, for your prompt response.

jtmiller95 Apr 16th, 2012 09:37 AM

Oops, Pepper V.S. thanks also to you.

clausar Apr 16th, 2012 09:57 AM

Pepper has been to the lobby of the Electra ( 4 stars)and NOT of the Electra Palace ( 5 stars) hotel...
The Electra Palace is an excellent alternative that meets your 5 min walking distance requirement.... :)

Pepper_von_snoot Apr 16th, 2012 10:04 AM

Yes, I have been to the hotel that is at the corner of Ermou St/Syntagma Square--whatever ELEKTRA that is.


clausar Apr 16th, 2012 11:19 AM

On Ermou Street and near the corner of Ermou and Nikis Street that is....dear pepper



Weadles Apr 17th, 2012 06:22 PM

The public spaces at The King George are worthy of Liz, may she R.I.P. But when we visited my husband's client at The King George, we were shocked to find that his room was smaller than what we were in at The Grand Bretagne, for almost the same price. Again, no view for over $600/night!

jtmiller95 Apr 17th, 2012 07:47 PM

The final twist to the story: I e-mailed The King George to book our room, but they questioned where I received the rate I cited. It came from their own site:

Fortunately, Grand Bretagne has graciously allowed us to book rooms at an acceptable price. Thanks to all. As long as the demonstations in the Square don't get out of hand, we will have a very memorable Hellenic experience.

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