The Greek capital is a city where ancient history lies side by side with modern society, fashion, culture, food, art and music. At every turn, ancient ruins form part of Athens’ unique urban landscape. Whether dining atop the iconic Hotel Grande Bretagne on eye level with the Acropolis, or looking at ruins of the partially excavated ancient city adjacent to a modern built-up area, Athens is awash with culture and history.
Plaka is like a village within the city, located in the shadow of the Acropolis, and exudes a somewhat cutesy island feel for those who don’t have the time to visit the stunning Greek Islands. AthensWas is located on the edge of Plaka, on cobbled pedestrianised Dionysiou Areopagitou, lined by plane trees and just two blocks from the Acropolis Museum. Part of the so-called “archaeological promenade” which leads from the Temple of Olympian Zeus to the Acropolis, the hotel is in the perfect location for those who enjoy the hustle and bustle of this characterful part of the city, and are happy to revel in its lively nightlife and vibrant restaurants before retiring to relative calmness.
Having apparently taken its main cue from the urban landscape that surrounds it, the hotel’s decor is slick, contemporary and unpretentious, with a touch of classical modernism. There are nods to Greece’s heritage throughout the property by way of a permanent exhibition featuring photographs from the nearby archaeological museum. Lovers of 20th century designer furniture are also catered for in the marble and walnut interior which showcases retro-chic furniture by Modernists such as Le Corbusier and Eileen Gray.
All 21 rooms and suites have balconies, large comfy beds (with pillow menus), a desk area and a designer armchair to collapse into after a busy day of sightseeing. Bathrooms stocked with Korres toiletries are spacious and marble-lined with big walk-in showers. Super Deluxe rooms have Acropolis views. The best accommodation in the building, the 110m² Hellenic Grande Suite, occupies the hotel’s entire 6th floor, and comprises two bedrooms and three bathrooms, plus a large veranda furnished with sofas and dining table for al fresco soirées in the shadow of the dramatically illuminated Acropolis by night.