“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller” – Ibn Battuta
Athens is an old magical city rich in history, culture and an incredibly diverse cuisine. Today it is home to more than 4.5 million people and attracts tourists from across the globe. While there are a great number of hotels to choose from, it may seem like an overwhelming task selecting the right one for you. I am happy to recommend two of my favorite places to assist you in the exciting process of designing the perfect vacation. On my annual trip to visit my grandmother, I make sure to set aside a few days to stay at Hotel Grande Bretagne located in the center of Athens and only a short walk from Acropolis. I always find the staff at the hotel to be lovely and inviting, they make an effort to get to know individual guest names and personal preferences, giving us that oh so sweet small boutique hotel feeling.
Aside from its perfect location, another reason to love this hotel is for its sensational rooftop pool. It is the only hotel in Athens with an outdoor salt-water pool. This is by far my most favorite feature, who doesn’t love a pool without chlorine? 🙂 Weekdays at Hotel Grande Bretagne are usually quiet; on weekends you can expect to see families with children. Many guests make this hotel a stop before or after their visit to the Greek islands. Their rooftop menu provides a wonderful opportunity to taste traditional Greek dishes that are also great “Healthy with Nedi” options. One of my top picks is the “Green Salad” topped with grilled chicken skewer and cherry tomatoes. Another delicious dish that’s a must try is the “Grilled Meatballs” with cumin and fresh goat cheese. Oh, and be sure to taste the “Grilled Octopus” and “Grilled Sardines” with ‘fava’ purée, you won’t believe your taste buds!
Don’t miss out on Astir Beach
If you are a lover of the waterside, I recommend visiting Astir Beach. Located in Vouliagméni, Astir Palace is a beautiful resort that’s a bit removed from the city center (about 40 minutes by car). It is set on a private peninsula in the heart of the Athenian Riviera. It is ideal for a relaxing and breathtaking get-away. The resort is family friendly and each guest room comes equipped with fascinating views of the Aegean Sea. If you are not staying at the hotel, you can purchase a day pass to Astir Beach which is larger than the hotel’s beach and is completely separated from Astir Palace. I consider it to be one of the best private beaches in Athens.
When it comes to dining, Astir Palace offers the best Nobu Restaurant I have had the pleasure to dine in. Candle lit tables create a sexy and romantic ambience, intensified by the magnificent sunset and astonishing views of the Aegean Sea. Service, food, and atmosphere are always excellent. Most dishes are similar to all other Nobu restaurants. I recommend trying the chicken tacos with Anticucho sauce. It’s not something I would usually order at Nobu but since I tried them, they are now a staple to my order. Another delicious simple bite that I absolutely recommend is the Black Cod Butter Lettuce. So yummmmy!
I hope this gives you an inside look into two very prominent lodging options in Greece. If you choose to stay at either of these sites you will not be disappointed! Feel free to share your experience with me.