Everything is new at the Grande
Bretagne. In 2004 they completed a total rennovation of Athens'
finest hotel in time for the Summer Olympics. The building was gutted down
to its foundations and rebuilt. Besides improving the size and quality
of all the rooms and suites, upgrading the bathrooms and adding
all sorts of high tech items like DSL, satelite TV, pay-for-view-movies,
messaging systems and just about anything you would need to carry
on doing your business or pleasure, all the bars, restaurants and
cafes have been enlarged and improved. The Grande Bretagne is simply
the best hotel to be in because there are so many places to be within
Bar is one of the
most beautiful and comfortable bars you will find in the city, with
live piano music every night. If you want something a little younger
and more hip the Roof-top
Bar is the place to
be for sunsets with a view that would be tough to beat from anywhere
in Athens with the exception of being on the top of Mount
Lycavettos. The restaurant on the roof is excellent, world-class,
as is the famous GB Corner. (Try the grilled Chicken).
On the roof they have added
a swimming pool and of course a pool bar-restaurant which is where
your kids will be eating burgers in between swims. The water is
less than 4 feet deep if you are worried. (One of the benefits
of roof-top pools is that they can't be deep or the roof could not
support them.) In the basement is a full spa which includes an indoor
pool (both pools are filled with mineral salts and very little chlorine
making them both therapuetic and less toxic.) Also in the spa are
several herbal steam rooms, saunas, jacuzzi, some extremely versatile
showers, a massage and therapuetic treatment center, an exercise
room with state-of-the-art equipment, and even a tea-room where
you can drink herbal teas in an indoor arboritum. The spa at the
Grande Bretagne is a great place to recharge your batteries.
Even the hallways are like
taking a trip to the Benaki Museum with hundreds if not thousands
of historical prints and paintings (they are copies but so what?).
The lobby and various stting rooms are full of paintings and antiques,
some that have been a part of the Grande Bretagne from its days
as a private residence in the 19th century.
What they have done is take
a great old hotel, already the best in Athens, and made it better.
But all this beauty is pointless unless you have the staff to go
with it, people who will make a guest feel like he belongs
there. Despite the millions they have spent on the rennovations
of the Grande Bretagne, the hotel's best quality is the people who
work there. The staff of the hotel are professional and friendly
without being stiff or phony. I felt completely at home (though
my house is a far cry from the luxury of the Grande Bretagne) because
everyone was so friendly. Mr Vangelis Kaminaris has my vote as the
nicest most efficient front manager in Greece and all the waiters,
bar-tenders, maitre' ds, hostesses and desk people could not have
And of course because I know
it matters, you won't find a better breakfast buffet in Athens.
Tables full of breads and pastries, scrambled and poached eggs,
bacon, sausage, fresh fruit (even blue-berries, raspberries and
blackberries), cereals, smoked salmon, dozens of cheeses and the
list goes on. You can also order ala carte from your room and from
the cafe off the main lobby.
The Hotel Grande Bretagne, if you
have the money, is the best place to stay in Athens in terms of
quality, location, service and architectural beauty. (Ask Fantasy
Travel about special
August rates if you are in Athens then. August is low season for
the GB and you can get rooms for half the normal price).
You can go right to the booking form or click on the link below to go back to the index and read more about the Grande Bretagne...