Stayed February 2017-March 2017.
I LOVE THIS HOTEL!
I hope my excitement came through with the uppercase. It warms my heart to be able to do a review on this property. This hotel, currently ranked #1 on TripAdvisor, offers Luxury & Relaxation to any traveler.
This particular property is directly connected to the #2 TripAdvisor ranked hotel in Athens, The Hotel Grande Bertagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel. They are sister properties of the same company, and will often change ranking positions on Trip Advisor, never dropping lower than 1 and 2. They don’t qualify these as “Luxury Collection” for no reason.
Check out the hotel(s) Instagram here:
Lets start with the hotel(s) itself. Gorgeous properties. Esthetically speaking. See below.
Both hotels just scream Elegance and Regal to me. The insides are no different. I stayed at the King George, however did take a full tour of the Grande Bretagne (work connections). Upon arrival, you’re greeted by the bellman dressed in full traditional European garb, like how you see in the movies. Sidenote: it’s always funny to see their reaction when a luxury Mercedes Benz pulls up to the most expensive property in the city and out pops a black woman (i.e. me). A look of shock much? This has happened to me on multiple trips in different countries. I personally find it hilarious. Gets even better when you give them a tip when they had made up in their mind that you weren’t going to strictly based off the color of your skin. But whatevs.
My check-in process was smooth. However, I did wait about 5-7 minutes for check in. But only because the family in front of me was convinced that the hotel had double charged them even though that wasn’t the case. Listen people, when you check in any property, when they swipe your credit card, they are going to make sure that there is enough money/credit to pay for the stay (room charges), and any incidentals (food, etc.). So don’t argue with the front desk agent about how they charged you twice. NOOOOO! One is the actual charge of the room + incidentals + tax, and the second one you see is literally just a hold. Relax bro. The particular fragrances in both hotel lobbies are TO DIE FOR! They were so amazing, I had to buy a diffuser of the fragrance.
Upon check in, the agent had noticed that I was a hospitality professional + had a meeting with the Director of Sales. I was upgraded. Yay me! FYI: upgrades don’t always happen for me. All I can do is reach out and ask for one, much like a regular guest. If it’s available, then the property will try it’s best to accommodate. If it’s during busy season, forget about it. That goes for me too. Because I was visiting in February (off season), they were able to assist. I was upgraded to A Grand Suite. There are 11 Grand Suites throughout this particular property. And 2 Room classes away from the Presidential Suite (Grand Suite, Executive Grand Suite, Presidential). A video tour of the suite + a video view of Parliament/Acropolis from the balcony will be up on my instagram. My favorite thing about the suite? I have two. 1. The balcony (views Edit😍), 2. The fresh roses housekeeping placed every day.
Morning View from Rm Balcony-Acropolis
Night View from Rm Balcony-Acropolis + Syntagma Square
Inside my room video tour can be found here:
One of the best things about staying at The King George? You can cross-charge from the Grand Bertagne. That means that if you are staying at the King George, but use any of the Grand Bertagne services (restaurant + spa charges) you can post them to you King George room/bill. Super convenient.
LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION!
Located in Syntagma Square, both hotels sit directly in the middle of the city center. They are walking distance to all the main attractions in the city. Each guest room/suite is equipped with a city guide that will list out every last tourist spot you can imagine. Directly outside the doors of the properties is Greek Parliament + the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (yes they have this overseas too).
The Changing of the Guard ceremony happens ever hour on the hour. What I did find interesting is that their ceremony is nothing like ours. I’m not being biased, but ours is SO much better. Unlike D.C., there is only one tomb (U.S. has 1 large tomb & 3 unidentified soldiers), however, the memorial is dedicated to all the greek soldiers. You can check out a 60 second video that I’ll post to my instagram, or you can catch the full 10 minute ceremony on YouTube.
Additionally, although they change guards every hour, 7 days a week, those are minor changes and not as elaborate as the main ceremony which happens on Sunday and Sunday only at 11:00 AM. Much different than D.C. as we go through the entire ceremony every hour on the hour or every half hour (depending on the time of year). They also allow talking during the Greek ceremony. In D.C. you are to remain quiet and the Guards will literally yell at you for speaking. Regardless of the differences, it’s definitely worth checking out during your trip whether you are staying at the Luxury hotels or not. Unless you will purposely be in the city center, I would only attend on Sunday during the main procession, unless you just really feel like you need to see the day to day change. Best advice: GET THERE EARLY! The crowds can get quite massive.
Also right outside the hotels doors, “the square.” I actually don’t even know if that’s what it’s called, but that’s what i’m calling it because from above my hotel balcony, that’s what it looked like. Every morning when I woke up, there was this man in the square playing his violin. EVERY MORNING! Much like you’ll see in Chicago or New York subways. I never minded though. The music was beautiful. I don’t know if he’s there year round, but it’s worth checking to see if he is. Among the musician, you have your local artist. Those that will make pictures/paintings/spray painting murals on sight, collectors selling books, dvd’s, VHS tapes, you name it, there was someone probably selling it on this square. It’s weird though, it didn’t seem as though these people were homeless or trying to peddle product, it all just seemed so normal. Like this is just what they do and that’s that. No one’s forcing you to buy or trying to swindle you.
Hungry? Don’t want to eat at the hotel? No problem. Again, right outside the hotel doors is McDonalds + KFC. I did not go to either. However, this particular KFC is the only one in all of Athens and is advertised everywhere…..EVERYWHERE! To the point where you think that there is one on every corner, and you want to go buy some just to shut them up. But nope, it’s just that one. Apparently, there are quite a few McDonalds and Starbucks as well, but I only saw the one McDonalds and I never came across a Starbucks. Directly down the street, you will start to run into more native restaurants + coffee shops + news stands. From the perspective of the picture of the properties above, if you look to the right, you will see Parliament across the street. Literally across the street. If you look to your left, you’ll be looking at “The Square” + McDonalds and KFC.
About a 10 minute walk from the hotel is The Temple of Zeus-Olympieion. My article on that describes the amazing views of Acropolis. The Olympic Stadium is about 15 minutes from the hotels and right down the street from Olympieion. Acropolis is also about a 10-15 minute walk, however, you have to walk uphill once you reach the base of AcropolisEdit😩 So maybe about 30 minutes total once you get down climbing up Acropolis.
If you’re at Acropolis, then you’re not that far from Plaka or the Monastiraki Market. Really the only tourist spot that is significantly far from the hotel, is The National Archeological Museum of Athens. It is walkable, but about a 20-30 minute walk. A little over a mile, but if you stop at some of the food shops to check out the local food + Macaroons, the walk is doable and you’ll be there before you know it. You can take a taxi, and be there in about 10-15 minutes, but that’s really a waste of Euros.
Both hotel restaurants have great Cuisine.
At the King George, Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner is served in Tudor Hall. Perched upon the 7th floor of the hotel, the restaurant offers great views of Acropolis, Parliament, and most of Syntagma Square. Buffet style or straight from the menu, the breakfast is delicious.
Tudor Hall Restaurant view-Acropolis
I only ate breakfast at the hotel 1 time. The room service however, that’s a different story. I ordered room service 3 times! The food was just so good. They had items on the room service menu that you couldn’t find in either restaurant and I just had to try. The first, this lobster with cheesy risotto. 😋
Why was this so delicious Lord? Why!? It was also super filling, I ended up eating the rest the next morning. The room service can get expensive, but what the hell. #treatyoself2017 right?
Both hotels have MASTERED the Caesar salad. This was the best Caesar I’ve ever tasted in my life. IN MY LIFE! I’m not sure what they are putting in this but keep at it! I got this salad once at the Grande Bertagne Lobby Restaurant and once as room service from the King George.
The Hotel Grand Bertagne food is amazing too. Equipped with 4 restaurants/bars, the food here does not disappoint. I met up with the colleague that had given me the hotel tours and we sat in the Winter Garden City Lounge for lunch. I had the stuffed Ravioli. MOUTH WATERING! It was so good. I had eaten so fast, my coworker asked me “did you like the food?” LMAO!
Later that evening, as it being my last night in Greece, I went up to the roof top restaurant garden at the Hotel Grande Bertagne for dessert and a drink. Sorbet was one of the best I’ve had. I sat outside and had the most perfect views of Acropolis + Parliament.
As a guest of either hotel, you also have access to the Cigar Lounge + Wine Cellar. Both are located in the Hotel Grande Bertagne.
This hotel is worth it in every aspect. If you are able to stay here, even if only for one night. DO IT! The cost can become quite high (currently $282.00/night-TripAdvisor). BUT, it is worth it to splurge and #TREATYOSELF2017.
I was out here living my best life! 🌺
(Acropolis behind me)