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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.
- When: January
- Where: Athens, Greece
- Room: 2 twin
- 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 )
- 350Euro a night – Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts
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.
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.
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.
Could it be updated and refreshed? Sure. Does it feel dated? Yes. Is that a massive part of the charm of this hotel…100%
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!
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.
Quite small, but the water pressure in the shower was impressive. Loads of high end products, but it’s a tight squeeze in there.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Another incredible treat the Hotel Grande Bretagne affords its guests is the spa/pool.
Talk about an ornate, hyro treatment facility not only offering a beautifully tiled pool, but saunas, steam showers, and aromatherapy rooms.
These are all complimentary to guests, but you can also book a spa day as a non-guest.
These is a small, but nice enough gym, which I absolutely only stepped foot to get this picture.
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.
Affiliate link via Card Ratings
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
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.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
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.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 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 Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
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.
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
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.