The Hilton of Athens -Our short stay!
Trip Start Apr 24, 2011
79Trip End Ongoing
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We spent 2 amazing nights at the Hilton on a business trip a couple of days ago. I have stayed here twice in the past, but I have dined here or came for seminars several times with colleagues. Three months ago I stayed at the Hilton in Doha and last month I spent 3 more nights at the Cyprus Hilton in Nicosia. Each hotel is very different I can tell but all three enjoy the solid Hilton quality. The name itself stands for excellence and somebody coming here expects consistency in quality and service and literally this is what he gets.
LOCATION: It is only 25 minutes away by direct subway from Athens International Airport.
Situated in one of the city's most fashionable avenues it is conveniently located near the metro station (Evangelismos) which provides quick and easy access to the most popular sights in Athens. It is a 10 minute walk to Syntagma Square, and another 5 minute walk to Plaka. This makes it a wonderful base for short or long stay in the city of Athens. The shopping and cultural district is in short proximity so this makes it the perfect location.
STAFF: I found the majority very friendly with an exception of one or two persons at the reception desk that should try at least to smile. If you talk to them however they are friendly and they will go out of their way to help you but still guests expect happy faces at the front desk, the first impression plays a significant role! In all, I can say they are a bunch of professionals especially the younger generation and the ladies of the management. Every employee I came across had the same helpful attitude that makes guests feel welcome. Indeed they shape experiences in which every guest feels cared for, valued and respected.
PUPBLIC SPACE: It has a contemporary look with glittering surface and pleasant atmosphere.
A BUSINESS HOTEL MOSTLY: It is more of a hotel for business travel so if you need to schedule any business meetings why not do them here
Choose from the 22 modern meeting rooms with capacity for 2 to 1.300 people, supported by state-of-the-art facilities and professional team. I know this well from previous visits and the Hilton offers a wide range of versatile venues to suit all needs. The rooms are flooded with natural daylight and supported by the latest equipment, while the professional Team Members of the Hilton are always handy to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
ROOM: We had room #944, a Standard room this time but honestly I did not find a single difference to the one we had a year back when we stayed at the executive wing one floor above. It was exactly the same size with the same facilities. The difference of course is the extra amenities that are provided and by all means I am not referring to the Suites!
The room has a style and sophistication, featuring contemporary décor with an abundance of natural daylight, with distinct emphasis on comfort and tasteful elegance. What more would one want!
As a person who loves photography I was able to get some beautiful photos of the sunset over the Acropolis
The double-glazed windows kept traffic noise and the drilling work from the outdoor swimming pool away. It was spacious and spotless with the double bed in a dominant position, crisp linens and several pillows for an extra comfort. The heavy curtains prevented the morning light so we could sleep longer. The sound proofing on the door/walls and ceiling was perfect. The room had a wooden panel floor and I prefer it to the ones with carpets because the room can be cleaned better. The sliding cupboard had a light and was functional and there was an iron and board in there. There is of course a work desk, a flat-screen TV, safe, coffee/tea facilities….highly appreciated, a sofa and a small round table.
The complimentary treat came as a surprise to us, and it was a small bowl of seasonal fruit and a bottle of some fine red wine from a well known winery in Messinia (Fare).
TIPS: Remember to have the chain behind the door just in case somebody accidentally comes in. Sometimes you might not hear the knock and the staff thinks that nobody is in and they gate-crash inside. It happened to us twice but there was no knocking at all
The downside is with the price of a small bottle of Evian which is at 7.50 Euro. It could be a bottle of Greek Mountain water instead which is just as good, especially with the economic crisis, to highlight Greek products. I know this is difficult because the Hilton is a chain-hotel and there are rules behind, but this is only a thought.
I cannot comment negatively like most other guests about the price of products in the mini-bar because this is something that it is normal and it is expected. Mini-bars are always expensive and guests should comprehend this. We, guests have the alternative to buy water, chocolates, or anything from the neighbouring kiosks or market. I honestly cannot understand all this fuss about it. I truly compassionate the management having to justify all the time the same understandable things.
BATHROOM: A good size marble bathroom with both a bath tub which was a delight and a walk-in Rainforest Shower system which I loved! This kind of shower truly adds value and I can tell that I have come across several through my extended stays in different hotels as a Travel Guide Writer, but the one out here honestly stands out
Of course I need to mention the new toiletries which are by far better than the ones the Hilton had for years. They are the Peter Thomas Roth from the Mega-rich collection. I found them simply amazing and they smell like fresh tangerines! The body wash gel contains green and yellow micro beads with vitamins. This is the other treat for the guest!
TIP: Only 1 shower gel for two persons is provided -this is not enough but you can easily ask for one or two more in case you need them instead of complaining about lack of toiletries when back home. The ladies at the house-keeping will be more than happy to help you.
BREAKFAST: The first meal of the day at the Byzantino restaurant is sumptuous and there is everything for everyone enough to fill you up till dinner –a paradise of cereals and dry fruit -a choice of home-made bread/cakes/rolls/croissant/muffing. It is indeed extensive including Japanese and vegetarian, Western Europe and American items both hot and cold. The quality is great. Try the Greek rice pudding presented in small clay bowls, the Greek feta and amazing Greek honey and have some fresh orange juice
BIZANTINO: This restaurant combines a touch of glamour with modern design and it is a point of reference among Athenians. It is a timeless institution patronized by politicians and celebrities alike. Don’t be surprised to come across one or two while you are there!
In an elegant, open, curved room that lends movement and imagination to its sleek steel, glass and wood interior. Be sure not to miss the Sunday brunch if you are at the hotel that day. It is considered one of the best in the city. I have had it with friends once and I can assure you of that. The cuisine offers an exquisite selection of Mediterranean dishes.
GALAXY: The Bar is on the rooftop and it is the favourite hangout of celebrities. The setting is inspiring and at the same time contemporary chic. It serves a tempting array of finger foods, light snacks and sushi. Have in mind that prices are a bit high but it is an experience to be cherished.
Check my extended review with the latest dining experience under the name of the Restaurant. The view is stunning and after dark the Hilton rooftop transforms into a singular setting under a spectacular display of stars enhanced by a magnificent view of the Acropolis
MILOS: It seems like a restaurant of the Hilton but it is not. It is totally another business. We dined here one of the days we were at the Hilton –check my review under the name of the restaurant. Loved every dish, and the restaurant prides for its fresh ingredients, Mediterranean dishes which are mainly Seafood.
OUTDOOR POOL: It was under construction with several drilling work on both outside and inside and the ladies at the SPA told me that these works take place each year so the pool gets cleaned and very soon it will open again to welcome its guests.
AETHRION LOUNGE: It is located in the lobby and it is the meeting place of high-profile Athenians. Guests can relax in a soothing sophisticated setting enhanced by snug couches, wooden floors, diffused lighting and LCD screens. It is the ideal spot to relax, read your paper, enjoy an aperitif, have a light snack of Japanese delicacies, or simply enjoy your cup of tea or coffee.
WI FI: Internet connection costs 20.00 euros/ 24 hours.
SIGHT-SEEING: Guests priority has to be a visit to the Acropolis Museum and the Parthenon, visit the Plaka district, walk or take the funicular to the top of the Lycabettus hill, visit the Benaki Museum, take the tram and get as far as Glyfada and Vouliagmeni, probably if they have time do some island popping. Ermou street and Kolonaki are famous for shopping. Use the metro and get as far as Piraeus to Marina Zeas Pasalimani or have a 2 day trip to the beautiful island of Aegina which will amaze you.
Guests who stay at the Hilton for a week for example and want to try one or two nice restaurants where they won’t be ripped off, I recommend a few I know well. Try the Vezene Italian restaurant which is on the side of the Hilton, and for authentic Greek cuisine and warm hospitality check for Dimitris & Grigoris restaurant –cheap with fine Cretan ingredients. If you are vegetarian try the Avocado. Take a taxi for less than 8 euros, or the metro and get to Trykiklo for traditional Greek cuisine. Panayiotis and Maria are amazing hosts and if you are lucky you can find live guitar playing and singing. (Good value for money)
There is also a local grocery store near the Hilton -ask info from the reception, or get to the central fruit market and get some local flavour, buy anything you wish for very little!
IN ALL: The entire stay was exceptional. I highly recommend it for all the above reasons.