The best hotels in Athens are fighting for views of the Acropolis and the Intercontinental, with its terrace, is a strong competitor for the top spot. The hotel is located in the middle of a business district on the Syngrou avenue and close to the city centre. The more lively parts of town are close by, but you will probably need to take a taxi or the hotel shuttle bus to get to them. Looking at the number of rooms, the Intercontinental in Athens is a huge hotel building, also acting as a business centre and occupying an entire city block. It is, therefore, the ideal place for congress guests, as it offers a combination of available hotel rooms and great congress capacities.
Situated on the Syngrou Avenue and close to the Monastiraki metro station, the hotel is only a 15-minute walk away from the Acropolis. The airport is a 45-minute drive and the roads, which were first built for the Olympics, are in great condition. The once chaotic traffic of Athens is now just a bad memory and today’s city infrastructure allows for getting around town fast and easily. For guests coming with cars, the hotel is also well taken care of, as it has a big garage.
COLD APPETIZER - Architecture and Aesthetics
The virtues of the hotel’s exterior design and architecture can be discussed at length, but this debate ceases as soon as you step through the front door. The spacious lobby has a pleasant feel to it, also because of the atrium that lets in daylight, and the entire hotel is based on an architecture where functionality is more important than form. On the inside, that approach has been more softened and complemented by some excellent pieces of art. Among the 350 works of art is also the Blu Man by George Lappas that hangs in the reception or the giant pendulum that characterizes the congress lobby.
WARM APPETIZER - Staff and catering
Hotel service at this level must be top-notch, but what really amazes in this hotel is the authentic kindness and professionalism of the staff. Buffet breakfast in the Zoe restaurant is quite diverse and at a level appropriate to the hotel. The offer at the Bistrot Vienna, where they offer a wide selection of snacks in a pleasant environment of the lobby, is also very pleasing, but the gem of the culinary offer has to be the Premier restaurant on the 9th floor – besides the pleasant interior and the views over the Parthenon, their Mediterranean cuisine with seasonally changed menus will undoubtedly impress you.
MAIN DISH - Conference hotel service
When you find yourself in the beautifully furnished hotel room it becomes clear that you are staying in a premium class hotel. The quality of materials and the hotel gadgets let you know that they haven’t tightened their belts when it comes to comfort and you get that feeling even in the most basic rooms. You are sure to get a sound and relaxed night’s sleep in any of the 3 room categories: the more traditionally furnished Superior and Club rooms or the more modern Deluxe rooms. Guests sleeping in Club rooms are also granted access to the Executive Lounge on the 8th floor. The bathrooms, however, don’t quite follow the latest trends, but nevertheless, feel solid and of good quality. The hotel’s congress centre is the biggest in Athens and has 35 conference halls across 3,500m2. It is popular with organisers and always fully booked because of its high ceilings and functionality.
DESSERT – The extras
Wi-Fi access is not completely free, which is quite an unusual business practice in such hotels across Europe.
FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES
Though the hotel is located in the centre of town, it is in a business district and you will have to take a taxi to the main attractions if you want to truly experience Athens.
TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES
The perfect ratio between the number of hotel rooms and their capacity is the formula to an excellent congress hotel.
OVERALL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY
Judged purely on size, you will have a tough time finding a hotel like this in Athens. It is a pure-blooded business/congress hotel, where they know how to treat a congress guest. The hotel can pride itself on the biggest congress centre in town, which has space for 2,000 participants in its 30 halls. The only complaint that I could levy was that the prices in the mini bar, hotel bar and restaurant exceeded the average expectations I had for Greece. Despite the quality of the hotel, this can leave a bitter aftertaste.
FINAL GRADE: 4.52 BRONZE CITY MEETING HOTEL
GOLD final score from 4.81 to 5.00
SILVER final score from 4.61 to 4.80
BRONZE final score from 4.41 to 4.60