Hotels Reviews

What’s it like staying at the best hotel in Athens, Greece? We review The Hotel Grande Bretagne a Marriott Luxury Collection Property

a building with many cars parked on the street

We may receive a commission when you use our links. Monkey Miles is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com and CardRatings. This relationship may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Monkey Miles is also a Senior Advisor to Bilt Rewards. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.


The Hotel Grande Bretagne Athens

Are you visiting Athens and are interested in what staying at the Hotel Grande Bretagne would be like… look no further. We have a complete review of the Hotel Grande Bretagne featuring how we booked, the room, spa, dining, and location.

There are some hotels in the world that exude a grandeur that transcend time. The Hotel Grande Bretagne is one of those hotels. Originally built as a home then eventually converted into a 5 star, you will truly feel like royalty visiting or staying at this magnificent property.

This was a highlight of stay in Athens and I would love to come back and bring my wife. It’s an experience unto itself and the best part…you could use points to stay here via Marriott Bonvoy since it is part of the Luxury Collection. The point rates were very high during our stay, and we ended up booking via Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts to trigger the $200 credit.

a building with many windows and a flag on it

Stay Details:

  • When: January
  • Where: Athens, Greece
  • Room: 2 twin
  • Payment:
    • 350Euro a night – Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts
      • 12pm check in when avail
      • Room upgrade ( Parliament view )
      • Daily Buffet Breakfast at GB Roof Garden
      • Guaranteed 4pm check out
      • 85 EUR Spa credit ( can’t be used at Hair Salon, Mani/Pedi, or products )

a large building with a large tree and people walking around

Location:

Location, Location, Location. I loved where the hotel sits in the city. You can easily walk to the Acropolis in 30 to 40 minutes, Archaeological site of the Olympeon, Greek cathedrals, loads of cafes, restaurants, and the views from the roof are second to none. It’s across the street from a large park that had oodles of people sipping coffee, chatting, and even dancing at night.

First Impression:

5 star. The hotel and its counterpart the King George are both Marriott Luxury Collection properties and prior to coming, I wondered exactly what the difference would be…the King George is often quite a bit chaper. While both are impressive from the outside, the Grande Bretagne is in another league.

Sitting on a bustling corner with room views of the Acropolis or Parliament, the exterior of the building is exactly what you’d imagine a stately, century old 5 star grande dame of the city to be.

a lobby with a large floor and a large mirror

That extends to the public spaces. The lobby has soaring, frescoed ceilings, murals that rival a museum, and if you mosey just a bit futher into the large glass ceiling atrium you are SURE to be wowed. This is a fantastic place to convene for afternoon tea, see and be seen, and an evening Old Fashioned which we enjoyed as a nightcap every evening of our stay.

The Room:

Could it be updated and refreshed? Sure. Does it feel dated? Yes. Is that a massive part of the charm of this hotel…100%

a hotel room with two beds

Shortly after our bags were delivered, we were given a welcome tray of Uzo, a famous Greek liquor, and sweet treats. I’m not a fan of Uzo so we passed on this, but it was a nice touch!

a tray with glasses and a bottle of liquid on it

We reserved a two-twin bedroom, and the funny part, when we first entered the room they had the beds shoved together. If you’re unfamiliar with staying in European hotels, most King beds are two twins that they push together and sheet like one big bed. Since Dave and I were looking for our own space, we separated them.

a bed in a room

The bathroom

Quite small, but the water pressure in the shower was impressive. Loads of high end products, but it’s a tight squeeze in there.

Dining:

There are multiple dining, drinking, hanging out spaces in the hotel. Sadly, the pool was closed, like it wasn’t even open for pictures, but I can imagine that would be an incredible spot to chill that we didn’t get to experience.

GB Roof Top

Hands down my favorite spot. The views are stunning, the drinks were delicious, and coming at sunset will drop your jaw.

a table with a candle and a bowl of olives on it

This was the first place Dave and I visited after checking in…we had a glass of champagne and a wonderfully delicious spread of Greek delicacies. We enjoyed a sunset or two up here as well.

The biggest disappointment was the breakfast. Nothing that special, and I wouldn’t go out of your way to make it, or pay for it if it isn’t included. The food in Greece is exceptional and the breakfast just wasn’t. It was included in our rate so we tried it one morning; however, on the day of departure we slept in rather than wake up for the breakfast spread

Atrium + Alexander’s Cigar Lounge

On the interior of the hotel, above the atrium, there is a cigar/whisky bar. So cool with indoor and outdoor seating. We weren’t looking to smoke cigars, but I could have been tempted to end a night here smoking a stogey. What a cool way to make use of what would otherwise be an awkward space.

Winter Garden City Lounge + Alexander’s Bar

Some spaces exude society and the hoi paloi come to see and be seen. Stick your pinkie out, fluff your feathers, park your car at valet for everyone to see, and prepare to strut your stuff when you com ehere. We finished each night here underneath the bar mural enjoying some bar concoction of whiskey or bourbon.

a room with a stained glass ceiling and a large ceiling

They even serve nuts in individual containers to remind you where you are.

Upon return, I’d surely enjoy an Afternoon Tea here as we didn’t have time to on this trip.

a room with columns and tables and chairs

Alexander’s Bar

Grab a nightcap, as we did with Old Fashioned’s, or just marvel at the incredible tapestry that must be 25 feet long and 15 feet high. Keep an eye on the horse that has oddly human-like eyes.

a bar with a large tapestry on the wall

Spa

Another incredible treat the Hotel Grande Bretagne affords its guests is the spa/pool.

a room with a fountain and palm trees

Talk about an ornate, hyro treatment facility not only offering a beautifully tiled pool, but saunas, steam showers, and aromatherapy rooms.

a indoor swimming pool with a glass door

These are all complimentary to guests, but you can also book a spa day as a non-guest.

Gym

These is a small, but nice enough gym, which I absolutely only stepped foot to get this picture.

a room with exercise equipment

Overall

I had the fortune to eat a wonderful multi-course meal on the top floor of the King George Hotel and got to see some of the common areas and facilities. A very nice hotel, but definitely a step down from the Grande Bretagne. Should I return to Athens with my wife, it would be a great treat to stay at the Grande Bretagne; however, it should be noted that guests of both hotels can utilize the facilities of sister properties. For instance, we were allowed to charge our meal to the GB from the KG. If the rates were very far apart, you’d get a very similar experience at the KG with the ability to enjoy all the GB has to offer.

Keep an eye on Marriott Bonvoy rates this hotel. Often you’ll seen them fall below 65k, even 50k, meaning you could take advantage of the free night certificates that come with some Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards.

a fire in a glass container

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

a blue credit card with blue lines and white text

Learn More

Refer a Friend Link 

 Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card


4.8
4.8/5
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

*you may find an elevated offer walking into a branch – see below

Annual Fee

$95

Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
    • Some people have seen Chase branches offering the following:
      • 75k Ultimate Rewards After $4k spend in 3 months + 10k Ultimate Rewards after $6k in 6 months 
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3x on dining, including eligible delivery services for takeout & dining out
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit via Chase Travel℠
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 2x on all other travel
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel℠ and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver ( primary ), purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 14 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in Chase Travel℠ for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver is my favorite
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024
  • $95 Annual Fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.