Moments to cherish for life at The Grande Bretagne, Athens

One of the world’s Grand-Dame’s, a luxury palace hotel which welcomed its first guests in 1874, The Grande Bretagne has exceptionally maintained its stance as home to the social, political and economic elites of Athens as well as home to Royalties, heads of state and celebrities visiting the Greek capital. The hotel has not only witnessed the turbulent history of Greece, but has always transcended as a symbol of stability and consistency, with its outstanding service standards and its aristocratic interiors.

Nowadays, the Greek State’s ”official guesthouse” (as it is known) also attracts the most discerning leisure travelers – whether transiting Athens on the way to one of the island or a stop-over before or after a cruise, sailing from the port of Piraeus which is less than 30 minutes from the hotel. During my recent stay, I was particularly impressed with the mix of guests, each and every time of the day, being a different moment.

The impressive 82 million euros extensive renovations in 2003, have unfortunately faded and the high service standards cannot and should not compensate for the tired facilities, from curtains, carpets and furniture upholstery. I am certain guests who have recently stayed at the beautifully renovated Prince de Galle in Paris, The Chatwal in New York, Alphonso XIII in Seville, The Gritti Palace in Venice – all sister hotels of The Grand Bretagne within Starwood’s ”Luxury Collection” hotels will adhere entirely.

Why this is one of the shortest reviews I have ever written?, you may wonder…

While sipping on my coffee at breakfast on the roof-top of the hotel and gazing at the Acropolis, I noticed a lovely couple in their early 50s who were sat at a nearby table. Jose and Natalia flew in from Bogota, Colombia to celebrate their Golden wedding anniversary. They met 12 years ago in Santorini on a cruise stop-over. But they will never forget the moments they spent on the roof-top of The Grand Bretagne and the sunrise over the Acropolis. ”I am so happy that we can now share this moment with all our friends” Natalia told me…

I dared to ask whether I could take a photo of them and share it with my friends. This unique moment will always stay with me and to me, this is true luxury, the luxury of time, the luxury of moments that we all collect and cherish with our friends and loved ones.

A dedicated photo gallery can be found on our Facebook page.

Oliver Petcu in Athens

The Grande Bretagne, Athens – Roof-Top