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Concierge.com

Athens Hotels

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Baby Grand
65 Athinas Street
Athens
Greece 10551
Tel: 30 210 325 0900
bg@classicalhotels.com
www.classicalhotels.com/?siteid=8

You could stay in one of the few conventionally decorated guest rooms at the Baby Grand. But what would be the point? The wow factor here is that a group of graphic artists were let loose to turn an ordinary space into something uniquely playful, as you can't help but notice when arriving at the check-in desk to discover it is a Mini Cooper convertible. Fifty-five of the 79 smallish rooms are even more over the top, featuring a graffitilike decor with themes that range from the Smurfs to what appears to be a supermagnified rendition of the creatures you might find by looking into a microscope. The piped-in sound of birdsong in the hallways adds to the playfulness, as does the name of the restaurant, Meat Me, where, not surprisingly, burgers and steaks are prominent on the menu. Facilities include a small spa, gym, and swimming pool. The location, near Omonia Square, is within walking distance of the Acropolis, although the neighborhood is authentically seedy enough (no faux graffiti here) that you won't want to wander its side streets at night.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Fresh Hotel
26 Sofokleous Street
Athens
Greece
Tel: 30 210 524 8511
Tel: 800 337 4685
info@freshhotel.gr
www.freshhotel.gr

At first glance, this hotel three blocks from Omonia Square doesn't seem particularly compelling. Neither its cookie-cutter architecture nor its 133 "design hotel-style" rooms, with crisp white walls, pallid wood floors, and flashes of orange, amethyst, and hot pink, do much to get the motor running. But—and this is a big "but"—the value is not to be sneezed at. Especially if you're cool enough to take advantage of the scene-y rooftop pool and Air Lounge Roof Bar (with an Acropolis view), and young enough to have the burgeoning nightlife of nearby Psyrri high on your agenda.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Grande Bretagne
Syntagma Square
Athens
Greece
Tel: 800 325 3589
Tel: 30 210 333 0000
info@grandebretagne.gr
www.grandebretagne.gr

While some might argue for the Parthenon, more modern types agree that the most enduring luxury address in Athens is this 321-room hotel on Syntagma Square. Storied enough to include Winston Churchill and even Sting on its celebrity guest list, the imposing 1874 neoclassical structure got a rugs-to-rooftop renovation in 2003 that made the new marble bathrooms alone worth the stay. (What, one wonders, would Plato have made of the fog-resistant mirrors?) The service, as you'd expect from a hotel that caters to the jet set, is as good as you'll find in Greece. The most desirable rooms have balconies facing the square, with views of the Acropolis and the daily changing of the guard at the parliament building. For a better view, do as the local gods and goddesses do, and dine on stuffed calamari or a simple grilled steak at the Roof Garden restaurant.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
King George Palace
3 Vassileos Georgiou A Street
Athens
Greece
Tel: 30 210 322 2210
kgpalace@classicalhotels.com
www.grecotel.gr/king-george-ii-palace/welcome_476_1.aspx

Named for the monarch who used to stay at this hotel during its heyday—along with Aristotle Onassis, Maria Callas, Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, etc., etc.—this annex to the former palace (now Greece's parliament building) aimed squarely at its old clientele when it did a gut-and-start-again reno in plenty of time for the 2004 Olympics. If obvious opulence is what you crave, this has the works: raw silks and velvets, ornate moldings, chandeliers, gilding, marble—and a private rooftop pool in the royal suite. The skylit Tudor Hall restaurant is a power-dining, expense-account kind of place with nouveau-Greek menus designed by Alain Ducasse and executed with organic produce direct from a farm in Crete. There are fabulous views of the city: top drawer on the top floor.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Life Gallery
103 Thisseos Avenue
Ekali
Greece
Tel: 30 210 626 0400
info-lifegallery@bluegr.com
www.lifegalleryathens.com

Tucked away up north in the posh suburb of Ekali, this pair of glass-walled, three-story, sixties-modern blocks would suit the sensibilities of a rich, sybaritic Buddhist. Amid grassy gardens with sundecks, terraces, and two pools, the 30 big, open rooms have dark bamboo platform beds, flokati rugs on travertine floors, white-paneled, backlit walls, and views of Mounts Parnes and Penteli. The spa, Ananea, offers Thai massage and hot-stone treatments, plus a sauna and hammam. It's not the most convenient of retreats—you have to walk to Kifissia for the Metro—but retreat it is. If someone plopped you down here blindfolded, you'd never guess where you were: Latin America? (the bar's called Pisco Sour); Ibiza? (it has a 24-hour DJ); the Hollywood Hills? (mod Med food at Avenue 103 and a Richard Neutra-ish aesthetic). Still, cultural confusion has never felt so luxurious.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Margi
11 Litous Street
Vouliagmeni
Athens
Greece 16671
Tel: 30 210 892 9000
reservations@themargi.gr
www.themargi.gr/

Located in the chic suburb of Vouliagmeni, sometimes known as the Athenian Riviera, the Margi is an 89-room design-driven hotel with a setting, between pine trees and the sea, that makes nearby Athens seem a long way off. The Moroccan-influenced style works best around the pool/lounge area, especially at night, when all is washed in candlelight. The magic of the setting is what makes it popular for wedding receptions, so check to see if any are scheduled during the time you want to visit, or be prepared to learn that Greek wedding celebrations go, loudly, into the early-morning hours.—Bob Payne

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
New Hotel
16 Filellinon Street
Athens
Greece 10557
Tel: 30 210 327 3000
info@newhotel.gr
www.designhotels.com/new_hotel

A short walk from central Syntagma Square, the New Hotel, opened summer 2011, is part of art collector Dakis Joannou's stylish Yes! Hotels group, whose other properties include Periscope, Semiramis, Twenty One, and Kefalari Suites. The 1950s building (formerly the Olympic Palace Hotel) has been completely renovated by brothers Humberto and Fernando Campana, a Brazilian design team critically acclaimed for turning cast-off materials into works of art. Here, the cast-offs include many of the original fixtures and furnishings. Pieces of old wooden chairs, for instance, now form sculptures, and the bathroom mirrors are in jagged shapes post–wrecking ball. Greek architectural students added their own spin to the 79-room property by designing three unique looks for the guest rooms, focusing on Greek folklore, the amulet known as the evil eye, and old Athens as represented by collages of postcards. The effect, in a hotel with all the modern amenities, is less discordant than it might sound, and overall, it goes down as easily as the huge breakfast that's included in the price.—Bob Payne

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Ochre & Brown
7 Leokoriou Street
Athens
Greece 10554
Tel: 30 210 331 2950
info@ochreandbrown.com
www.ochreandbrown.com

Chic hotels are such a new idea in this neighborhood that guests often have to show taxi drivers the way, but this 11-room jewel box is worth the effort to find. The neighborhood is Psyrri, once the haunt of the downtrodden and the unsavory, but now a fast-rising, if still somewhat bohemian, center of Athens's most happening bars and nightclubs. And Ochre & Brown is only a block or so from the heart of it. The hotel is within easy walking distance of central Athens's most interesting sites, including the Parthenon, about ten minutes away. While minimalist-cool stylish, the rooms are small, the best of them being the junior suite, with a terrace view, barely, of the Parthenon. The breakfast (no buffet, this) and the service make up for it, though, with the kind of pampering one would expect when there are less than a dozen rooms to look after.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Pentelikon
66 Diligianni Street
Kifissia
Greece
Tel: 30 210 623 0650
reservations@hotelpentelikon.gr
www.hotelpentelikon.gr

A neoclassical mansion dating from 1924, when this northern district was the country escape for rich Athenians, the Pentelikon still radiates quiet glamour. The hotel has undergone steady renovations for much of the past two years, but the 101 rooms are still utterly traditional in style, with swagged drapery, dark wood armoires, and leather wingback chairs. It nevertheless sidesteps McGrandhotel decorating pitfalls with clever lighting and user-friendly room layouts; fourth-floor rooms are the most desirable for their chalet-style sloping ceilings and sweeping views over the city. Possessing a near-bucolic pool surrounded by emerald lawns, as well as a gym, a sauna, and an uncannily friendly and helpful staff, it's a sweet retreat from the smoggy bustle below. The two dining options include the perpetually Michelin-starred French-Med restaurant, Vardis.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Periscope
22 Charitos Street
Athens
Greece 10675
Tel: 30 210 729 7200
www.periscope.gr

With no views to speak of, and rooms about as large as you'd expect to find aboard a submarine (in both cases, the penthouse suite excepted), this contemporary design hotel may be more suited for solitary business travelers than couples on vacation. But if you want to explore upscale Athens, much of it found among the designer boutiques, higher-priced galleries, and trendy clubs and restaurants of the Kolonaki district, it would be hard to find a better location to base yourself, or a more hip address. The 22-room urban retreat gets extra points for its creative approach to overcoming its limitations. In place of balcony views, there is a rooftop periscope, operated from the street-level bar, that allows you to explore the Athens cityscape, as you can also do while lying in bed because there's an aerial photograph affixed to the ceiling of each room. Or for those times when a view is just what you don't want, roll down the remote-control blinds, scoop up a handful of the bedside chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, and settle in with a loaned DVD.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Semiramis Hotel
48 Charilaou Trikoupi Street
Kifissia
Greece
Tel: 30 210 628 4400
Tel: 800 337 4685
info@semiramisathens.com
www.semiramisathens.com

Most objects in the 52 rooms here are amoeba-shaped and electric-ice-cream-colored—because this is Karim Rashid's first hotel, and that is what he does. If that's your bag, you'll love the curvy bubblegum-hued couches, lime walls, and blue-glass floating sinks in the (mostly tubless) bathrooms, and you'll adore the six bungalow suites with their remote-controlled drapes, private garden, and easy access to the striped, kidney-shaped pool. Owner Dakis Joannou uses the place as a gallery for his important collection of post-pop art, school of Koons (whose Cicciolina period is splashily represented). It's all visually incongruous in posh, leafy Kifissia, which some consider its charm. Note: Even if Rashid's aesthetic isn't you, stop in for the international finger food at trendy chef Yiannis Loukakos' eponymous restaurant.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
St. George Lycabettus
2 Kleomenous Street
Athens
Greece
Tel: 30 210 729 0711
info@sglycabettus.gr
www.sglycabettus.gr

Though hotels on Omonia and Syntagma squares are generally considered to have the most central addresses, this modern, family-owned 154-room hotel secretly has the better location. The surrounding neighborhood of Kolonaki is a terrific shopping district, but here you're also at the foot of Lycabettus Hill, one of Athens' nicest, least touristy sights, with a peaceful little square with a playground for kids. The hotel's decor is anodyne but unobjectionable in colors of taupe, blue, and brown; external rooms have comfy carpets and balconies with stellar views. There's a Zen-like spa with a hammam that opened in May 2005, an exquisite little rooftop pool, and Le Grand Balcon restaurant, from which to admire the floodlit Agios Georgios chapel atop the hill over dinner. The latter two facilities are seasonal.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.