We followed the advise of fellow tripadvisors and were extremely happy with the Deluxe nonsmoking room with an Acropolis view which included a good breakfast buffet.
We were surprised for our honeymoon with a bottle of cheap champagne and strawberries; a nice touch.
Although we arrived around 11am (before normal check-in time), we were able to check-in.
The spa was an interesting experience. We tried the couples suite, which included use of the facilities (which seemed eerily empty), a mud bath (you coat your significant other in mud), followed by hot steam, a warm shower, and then a couples massage. Unfortunately, the hot steam wasn't turned on, so we could not be sure of the true experience, although the application of COLD mud to each other was not as pleasant as originally envisioned. The staff were gracious and offered a free facial massage as compensation for a less than ideal experience. Beware the spa provides you with paper-like 'underwear' for use under your robes, which becomes see-through when wet, a discouragement to modest folk who may have been interested in taking a dip in the pool.
The rooftop restaurant food was good, although not great (by picky New York standards); the view of the acropolis was particularly wonderful (its height made it an even better view than the view from our room). A Friday night in October, the restaurant wasn't crowded and we had no problem with smokers.
Enjoying a mid-day drink at the 7th floor pool was quite pleasant, although mixed drinks were quite pricey (16 euro).
For a brief period, security was heightened and we had to walk through metal detectors when entering the hotel, apparently as a result of a high-profile politician staying in the hotel. This was a minor nuisance.
The location of the Grande Bretagne is great, close to Parliament (we watched the guards perform certain routines from our balcony), a nearby park, Plaka which is a local marketplace full of shops and various eateries, and the Acropolis.
We were happy with a walking tour of the Acropolis booked through Truegreece, which was shorter and less strenuous than anticipated (approx. 3 hours, tour guide meets you at the hotel lobby and takes you by bus up to the Acropolis).
The presence of lazing stray dogs everywhere is a strange experience, but they seem healthy enough.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With breathtaking views of the famed Acropolis and Parthenon, regal Constitution Square and the Parliament, lush Lycabettus Hill, or the original Olympic Stadium, the Hotel Grande Bretagne offers unrivaled perspectives of Athens' mythical history. Each of the 320 guest rooms offers enchanting views of the hotel courtyard or a spellbinding panorama of the city's timeless landmarks, while the exquisite interiors pay homage to Greek culture with intricate moldings and classic decor. ... more less
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