Athens is hot. And we’re not talking good weather hot, of which Athens has in spades. After years of things not being quite right, Athens is great again (that’s right, I went there), and it is glorious.
Many things have converged to turn things around. Most notably a shift in attitude, and a sense that things are looking up again thanks to concerted efforts by private investors, the municipality and the people themselves.
This summer has seen Athens wear its crown for the first time in what seems like ages. And the crown is festooned with beaches, olives and a bright yellow sun.
Visitors now have the chance to enjoy the newly minted Stavros Niarchos foundation (designed by Renzo Piano), the newly opened EMST (Greece’s answer to MOma), Onassis cultural center as well as a plethora of cultural and artistic venues that operate to high standards. There is a decidedly upmarket feel to the whole construct. And that is mirrored in the hotel construction business.
Many hotels have been built these last few years, to support the many visitors who land. Understandably so. Most of them are impressive, multi starred and offer everything the visitor needs. In addition, most are built in the city center. And because Athens has a hyper efficient and extensive transit network (buses, trams, trolleys, train, metro and looooads of taxis) getting to and from is a piece of cake. The fact that downtown Athens is more than walkable makes this for a great experience.
The Wyndham Grand hotel in the Metaxourghio area is a fine example. It sits right outside the metro station, and just half a click from Omonoia. As you’d expect, everything here is new and shiny and just slick, and yes there is a rooftop pool overlooking the Acropolis. 14 conference halls can house just over 2,000 people in total. Spa, fitness center and the usual amenities are all there with the added bonus of waking up to the Parthenon every day.
The Atheneum Grand enjoys peace and quiet away from the noisy center, on the central Siggrou avenue. One of its perks is its proximity to the National Museum of Modern Art, the Michelin starred Onassis cultural center, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, not to mention the New Acropolis Museum. All of which are super close and very well connected.
The Athens Avenue hotel in the leafy Kallithea (downtown) neighborhood offers similar respite from the heat and noise pollution. Its competitive prices and value for money services are hard to beat, while the amenities is offers are standard value.