I just returned from a week long stay the week before Easter, at the Electra Palace Hotel in Athens, with my two college age children. My pre travel research (augmented with an Athens street map) pointed to the Electra Palace as the hotel that would best meet our travel needs and requirements. What a wonderful hotel. It was the perfect choice for us.
The location in the old town Plakka on a one way street cannot be beat. The hotel is within easy walking distance to all of the attractions, and an easy walk to Syntagma Square to catch the Metro or the X95 bus to/from the airport. I suggest you take the X95 bus (5 euros per person) to/from the airport to avoid the high cab fare and notorious Athens traffic. Also the Metro workers chose to strike the day before Easter, making bus or taxi the only way to get to/from the airport on Saturday.
As we walked through the sliding glass doors into the quiet elegant lobby of the Electra Palace, we were immediately greeted by uniformed bellmen who relieved us of our burdensome luggage. Check in was a breeze and we were quickly in the elevator on the way to our lovely, spotlessly clean, well appointed room. We opted to pay for the hotel's upgraded room wifi (35 euro/wk) over the less efficient free wifi and were very happy with the signal. I would recommend this option if you are staying for a week to avoid wifi frustration.
We dined at the garden restaurant the first night, overlooking the rooftop pool and the Acropolis. The food and service were fabulous. I highly recommend at least one dinner at this restaurant. The hotel offers an amazing inclusive breakfast buffet every morning from 7:00-10:00. Everything you can imagine from make-your-own fresh waffles to smoked salmon, fresh croissants, cereals, cakes, yogurt, eggs, bacon, sausages, cheeses, fruits, juices, lunchmeats and on and on! A wonderful way to start every day in Athens! Breakfast is served in the large elegant main floor restaurant, which also serves lunch and dinner until 21:00 or 22:00. We came back from a day cruise to the islands one evening and were happy to find the excellent restaurant open with prompt, professional service.
I cannot stress enough that the entire staff from the maids to the waiters to the front desk are uniformed and professionally trained. They are attentive, kind, knowledgeable and available to do everything they can to make your stay enjoyable. Even during the harried, busy breakfast hours, the wait staff is professional, courteous and efficient. What a pleasure to stay in a hotel where they know exactly what international travelers and business people require and expect.
My son and daughter used the sundeck next to the rooftop pool several times. Sadly, the pool area was closed for a few days for maintenance. The Electra Palace offers the only outdoor pool in the Plakka area and was a big factor when we chose this hotel. There is an indoor pool, which really is a big, shallow hot tub, but it closes at 18:00 or 20:00 depending on the night, and we were never able to use it. A later closing time would be more accommodating for guests who arrive back at the hotel after an early dinner.
Since we were visiting Greece very early in the season, we chose to use Athens as a base and planned several day trips to Delphi and to the Saronic Islands. Although the front desk staff would have been more than happy to arrange trips for us, we chose to use Majectic Travel, a couple of blocks from the hotel on Filelinon (the street that goes to Snytagma Square). We saved $100 on the trip to Delphi for 3 adults and $100 on the one day cruise to the islands, from the hotel rate. Each trip was 75 euro/person as opposed to 99/person if booked at the hotel. It was well worth the short pleasant walk as the family Kargadouris who own Majestic Travel spoke excellent English and also helped us secure seat assignments on our return Turkish Airline flights, on air tickets they didn't even sell! Mr. Kargadouris even made a trip to the airport to speak with the ticket counter, as my son is extremely tall and needed an emergency exit row for the leg room. If you go to Majestic, please tell them the "NBA player" sent you. The result was that my son had exit row seats on both the flight from Athens to Istanbul and the very lengthy flight from Istanbul to New York. Thanks again to you, Mr. Kargadouris! As to the price of the day trips, the next best price we found was 79 euro/person at an agency in the Monastiraki area, so they really did offer the best price for these trips.
Check out was quick and easy, with no surprises. I highly recommend this hotel for its location, understated elegance, amenities and professional staff. As to the price, I was able to use frequent flier miles to pay for my stay. Since it is almost impossible to use your miles for actual airline travel, this is an excellent option worth looking into. The Electra Palace will be my choice for any future stays in Athens. It was the foundation that made our entire trip memorable and successful.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Stately, with the air of an era long gone, the Electra Palace Athens, hospitable and aristocratic, awaits to welcome you in the heart of the city. Classical in its architecture and design, blending beautifully with the noble historical buildings of the Plaka area, the hotel’s elegant luxury is complemented by the majestic views of the Acropolis that can be enjoyed from the rooftop restaurant, pool, rooms and suites. Marble bathrooms; soft duvets; handmade carpets; custom furniture; these are but a few of the details that make the Electra Palace Athens luxuriously enjoyable. The amenities of our hotel will leave you wanting for nothing more: for your comfort and enjoyment, here you will find satellite T.V.s, laptop size electronic safes, Wi-Fi internet connection, and fully equipped bathrooms with hair dryer, bathrobes and slippers, magnifying mirror and more. Right in the city center and within walking distance from all major sights, easily accessible by car or public transport, the Electra Palace Athens is the ideal hotel for your stay in Athens whether you are here for business or leisure: spend a summer day at our outdoor swimming pool, soaking up the sun of Athens as it rises above the Acropolis – or spend it shopping in the city’s lively markets. Wander through the ancient Agora and visit the Parthenon – then wonder at its glory, all dramatically lit at night, from the balcony of your room. Stroll around the city under the autumn rain, then warm up in the hotel’s sauna. Relax after a day’s hard work - or blow off some steam - at the indoor pool or our gym. Enjoy our delicious contemporary greek cuisine at the award winning “Electra Palace Roof Garden” or at the “Motivo” in the lounge, or with a drink at the “Duck Tail”, our British inspired bar. For bigger celebrations or for business events in the heart of Athens, our hotel’s five-star service extends to our seven meeting rooms and ballrooms: fully equipped, air-conditioned and naturally lit, our halls can cater for up to 350 people for any event type, no matter how formal: host your business meeting here, or organize a successful conference. Or, have the reception or banquet of your dreams, tasteful and impeccable, a festive testament to your own sophisticated style. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Golden Tulip Athens
- Electra Palace Hotel Athens Greece