Fodor's Expert Review Grecotel Pallas Athena
Athinas 65, at Lykourgou, Kotzia square, Athens, 10552, Greece See on Map Fodor's Choice
Fun yet polished, this dream pad for the young and the young-at-heart is a crazy/cool boutique art hotel. Although its locale is slightly sketchy if you're not fond of inner-city grit, it is also strategic: City Hall, Omonia Square, and the Central (Produce) Market are all close by. Dining at the hotel's first-floor gourmet restaurant is an elegant affair, and a small gym is open 24/7.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The central location isn’t Athens’ best and heading off in the wrong direction at night may lead you to feel uncomfortable. Saying this, Athens is still probably the safest capital in Europe.
Artists were especially, commissioned to decorate some of the 63 rooms (most of them suites and many of them family rooms) with happy graffiti works and unique design pieces. All guest rooms are extremely comfortable, with curvaceous lines, uplifting white walls, and art deco modeling, and some are more understated than others, so you get plenty of choices.
Traveling with your kids? Make sure to book a family room with fun mural art that the children will love.
Fancy, mid-sized bathrooms with a pink-tinged cream tile finishing, each with a bathtub. The lovely complementary Αgreco Farms’ Eau de Grèce toiletries are exclusively concocted for the Grecotel chain.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The bathrooms are a little bit of a letdown for a luxury boutique establishment.
Funky boho-chic furniture with eye-catching eccentric sculptures and artworks set the scene of what to expect as you enter the premises. This modern hotel experience is married with excellent old style service, which you will be greeted with upon entering.
The basement gym is quite small but does the job.
The breakfast buffet is really good, with freshly squeezed orange juice that you would anticipate from a luxury boutique hotel, but don’t always get. Apart from the usual suspects, make sure to investigate the "Cretan corner" with delicious bites from the island. Or indulge yourself with a cheeky mimosa at breakfast. The modern Greek restaurant on the 1st floor also has an affordable A la carte menu.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The family who owns this well-respected hotel chain stem from Crete hence the love for all things Crete.
Enjoy a drink in the dining area and lounge bar. This open and bright space also hosts art exhibitions by primarily top Greek artists.
The nearest metro station is the very central Omonia Square (2 min by foot): change at Syntagma to get to and from the airport (45 min). If you prefer to take a taxi from the airport, it will take about 35 minutes and it will cost around 35€ during the day and around 55€ at night (12 a.m.-5:30 a.m.). There is a taxi rank on Omonia Square. The hotel can arrange a very reasonably priced (50-70€) pick-up service from the airport.
For top quality deli treats head to Ta Karamanlidika tou Fani (a 5-minute walk), or the old time classic--known as Athens’ oldest taverna--Diporto (5-minute walk) which offers excellent homemade Greek food. Mama Roux (a 5-minute walk) serves up ethnic dishes with a healthy slant.
Six d.o.g.s. (10-minute walk) is hip multi-space space bar complex, with live gigs and the odd theatre performance. Head to Transistor (7-minute walk), a trendy café bar, where cool Athenians meet during the day and party till the wee hours of the morning. Rooster is a gay-friendly bar and café (10-minute walk) at buzzy Agias Irinis square.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Grecotel is one of the top hotel chains in Greece and exudes innovation and quality in the field of hospitality. The staff at the Grecotel Athena Pallace is genuinely polite and helpful, while attention to detail ensures any stay here is one to remember. The lack of more standard hotel amenities such as a pool is what prevents a higher star rating for this fun and quirky hotel in the heart of Athens.
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