Fodor's Expert Review
This luxury almost-5 star hotel is set in an imposing 10-storey modernist building, by architect Patroklos Karantinos, 200 meters from Syntagma Square in the heart of Athens. It used to be a government building (Ministry of Education) that was converted into a hotel in September 2016. The Electra Metropolis marries the retro chic aesthetics of the '50s and '60s with the modernity of the 21st century. High up on the 10th floor is the roof garden with a stunning 360° panoramic view of Athens and beyond.
You Should Know Small service upgrades like cooking omelettes made to order at breakfast or providing a breakfast box to early departing guests will without doubt soon elevate it to truly 5-star status.
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There are 216 rooms and suites, many finished with light creamy tones, highlighted by dark brown and bordeaux or blue furnishings and curtains. The wooden parquet floors add warmth to the overall aesthetic. Some of the rooms (cheaper) are interior courtyard rooms, whilst only superior doubles and suites on the higher floors have balconies. Some suites on the highest floors have views of the Acropolis and beyond.
Tip It’s curtains! The streets and alleys around the hotel are narrow so rooms on the lower floors (up to the 5-6th floors) get enlightening views into apartments and building opposite, same goes in reverse!
White porcelain sinks and surfaces standout against grey marble slab floors and walls. Most of the bathrooms have bathtub/showers and are stocked with the top quality Korres brand of toiletries.
The lobby has marble floors and a large and busy wooden front desk. The showpiece however lies just beyond; the inner courtyard. Rising up to the sky-light in the center is an impressive art installation of swarming Birds and Bees on a blue background by the prominent Greek artist Alekos Fassianos (soaring over 30m in height). This awe-inspiring atrium has comfortable seating and guests can enjoy a coffee or have informal meetings here.
You Should Know Luckily in summer the management removes a very fake looking crackling electric fireplace (well let’s hope so).
The hotel boasts two pools. At the roof garden is a concept but small designer swimming pool. There is also a lovely pool in the spa area in the basement.
You Should Know Rooftop space at a premium? Pool has few sun beds and is uncomfortably close to the dining area.
Treat yourself to a range of beauty treatments and massages at the superb Aegeo Spa. Be aware that the relaxing wet area with indoor is open to children from 9am-2pm (spa closes at 9pm).
Tip Check out a preserved section of Athens’ ancient wall (C. 5th BC) in the basement.
The gym is a touch on the small side for a hotel of this size, but the equipment is top of the range.
You Should Know Gym is open from 9am-9pm.
If you are one of the many guests at the hotel that has little or no views from your room, the breakfast area at the roof garden more than makes up for it. Feast your eyes on a vista that stretches to the sea with the Acropolis looming large in front. The breakfast spread itself is pretty good, as expected from a top tier establishment. The main hotel restaurant Metropolis Roof Garden (run by executive chef D. Boutsalis) is also on the 10th floor and enjoys the same magnificent views. At the back of the lobby on the ground floor is the bistrot/canteen The Library.
In the evenings settle back with a cocktail and enjoy stunning a sunset at the M rooftop bar with its impressive semi-precious onyx surfaces. You are in one of the best bars in towns with politicians and fashion bloggers mingling seamlessly. There is also a bar at the central courtyard on the ground floor.
The nearest metro station is the very central Syntagma Square (3-minute walk): that has direct trains to and from the airport (45 min). If you prefer to take a taxi to/from the airport, it will take about 45-55 minutes depending on downtown traffic and it will cost around 35€ during the day and around 55€ at night (00:00-05:30). There is a taxi rank on the far side of Syntagma Square.
Want some respite from the noise and bustle, escape to airy and peaceful Aegli Zappeiou (10-minute walk) for some elevated Greek cuisine (why not catch a film at the lovely outdoor cinema next door, a truly unique Greek experience). Ergon (1-minute walk) is a new gourmet Greek deli/bistrot dishing out sumptuous local mezedes. Down to earth Tou Psara (10-minute walk) on a little alley in Plaka is an old favorite serving traditional Greek food. Pop over the road to Le Greche (1-minute walk) for the best ice cream in town.
Lovers of the grape are spoilt for choice with 3 excellent wine-bars less than 5 minutes walking distance, Oinoscent, Kiki de Grèce and Vintage. Baba Au Rum and The Clumsies nearby both made their way onto the world’s top 50 cocktail bar list and you can make your way to either or both in only 5 minutes (walking, that is).