From the stunning rooftop restaurant & bar, to unparalleled views of the Parthenon, AthensWas is a design-centric hotel and a perfect base to explore Ancient Athens
I have found myself fascinated by Greek history since first encountering it in grade school. The larger than life deities and myths – as well as the stories of their thriving ancient culture – captured my imagination and I always wanted to see it for myself. Athens is ground-zero for this history and I knew I couldn’t just pass through without seeing everything it had to offer.
We booked a cruise that would be starting in Athens so we made sure to dedicate some time in the capitol as well as some of the islands we had heard so much about. Having just spent a relaxing week on the island of Santorini, we allowed ourselves a few extra days in Athens before boarding our ship to see the sights and get a taste of city life.
Athens is a bustling city that really feels lived in, rather than being just a museum for its impressive ancient heritage. While the country’s recent economic problems have seen a bit of disruption hit its streets, the city is still extremely tourist friendly and safe. Everyone we encountered were eager to talk about the history, give us recommendations and genuinely cared that we had a great time!
Of course the must-dos while in Athens are to visit the Parthenon, walk around the Acropolis Museum and eat as much Greek food as possible, yet don’t forget to just sit back and enjoy the culture. Get lost in the old town, sit back and enjoy the views and don’t be afraid haggle at the gift shops. AthensWas hotel is located right in the center of Historic downtown Athens, making it an easy walk to all the sights and sounds.
AthensWas is a member of Design Hotels, whose focus is on curating properties that offer incredible experiences (and not just a designer chair in the lobby). We have stayed in a few of their hotels now, and they never fail to impress. Of course the main attraction is quirky, modern style, but when it comes to the hotel essentials such as comfort and service the group excels. So when we saw that there was a Design Hotel in Athens, we knew it was the place we wanted to stay, and its excellent location sealed the deal.
We stayed in one of the Executive Suites – 592 square feet of comfort and elegance. The room combined sleek modern furnishings with decorative nods to Athens’ ancient past. A great example of this was the use of marble in the bathrooms – something that felt minimalist and new, as well as being a reference to the favored building materials of the Ancient Greeks. They even had my favorite range of skincare products in the bathroom – Korres.
The size of the room was also a plus. We had more than enough space to spread out and relax at the end of a busy day exploring the city. The furniture was arranged in a way which got the most out of the available space – something that was true for the communal areas of the hotel as well. Rich colors of blue, red and green complimented by wood paneling, dominated the space as zoomed in photos of Greek statues made the art.
Situated on the best-known and most beautiful pedestrian walkways in Athens: Dionysiou Areopagitou street, AthensWas is one of the only hotels of it’s kind to call this space home. The cities most important and awe-inspiring sights are nearby and the street connects to the Acropolis Museum, which is a definite must.
There are plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants nearby, so you don't’ have to venture far. If you’re craving a falafel or pita, there is small place, across the road – perfect for a cheap and tasty snack However, if you'd rather just stay in the hotel, their rooftop restaurant is definitely worth checking out. In fact, it’s not often that a hotel restaurant is the highlight of our stay, but the Modern Restaurant, at AthensWas made our visit….we loved it so much, we had every meal here :) Located on the roof terrace, with unobstructed views of the Parthenon, it was just too perfect, to not enjoy daily.
When the food arrived we managed to tear our eyes away, and concentrate on what they had put in front of us. The food matches the concept of the hotel, and it is largely traditional Greek cuisine with a modern twist. The menu includes salads, sandwiches, and seafood – all elegantly and artistically displayed. We enjoyed daily salads (made up of olives, feta, cucumber, and tomatoes), and also particularly liked the sandwiches they serve at lunch. Even if you plan on dining elsewhere, the terrace makes an excellent place to have a drink before venturing out. It is hard to beat drinking a negroni while watching the light fade behind the ancient pillars of the Parthenon.
AthensWas hotel is strategically located right in the center of the city, and surrounded by its most famous tourist attractions. The Acropolis, Constitution Square, the Temple of Zeus, and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus are all within a kilometer of the front door. History fans could easily fill a few days visiting just the sites within walking distance of the hotel. The Acropolis metro station is only 200 meters from the hotel meaning that the rest of the city is also easily accessible. For those looking for convenience, the hotel also offers private day tours of Athens. Being a busy capital city, you can find plenty of ways to occupy yourself in Athens. Aside from the historic attractions, there are markets, parks, museums, and nightclubs to be found.
If we make it back to Athens, we will without doubt be staying in Athens Was again. The well-thought out and modern design is exactly the style we love, and the location is unbeatable. Add to this the great service and excellent food, and you have a great hotel. Any one of these would be a selling point on their own, so to have them all makes it truly special. It would make a great place for a couple to spend their honeymoon, but would also suit families or even business travelers. The hotel is relatively small however (with only 20 rooms), so if you decide you want to go, make sure to book in advance.
For more information about the AthensWas Hotel, follow the link below: