I have stayed the Hotel Pentelikon in Athens a few times over the last few years, and usually been very happy with staying there. Though it is not ideal if you are a tourist as it quite far from the centre and where you may want to go sightseeing.
The staff at the hotel are always friendly, chatty and very welcoming. The people who work there are charming, and always trying to please.However, I did discover a part of the hotel that they seem to be excited and proud of – but I was not sure it was so great. Even though they told me I had been upgraded. They have built in the loft of the old building a long line of rooms. They have a number of drawbacks:
(1) You get to them after getting out the lift on the 3rd floor up these very narrow and winding stairs. They are quite hard to navigate and I was pleased that I had only a small hand baggage and had let the bellman help me to my room. It would be quite a logistic exercise getting bags up the spiral.
(2) You feel like you are staying with someone in their spare room they have built into their loft, rather than at an up-market hotel
(3) The rooms are small, and while quite innovative use of space, cramped. The desk pulls out the wall and so is wobbly when you sue it and the bathroom is very tight and to get out the bath you bump your head and then have to navigate around the toilet.
On the plus side, you do a get a very pleasant view of the hills and greenery and in these rooms internet access is free (though you need to use a cable to access it).
The other elements of the Pentelikon hotel are good. The grounds are pleasant with a large pool, the food in the restaurant is excellent (if a bit pricey). The “fitness room” remains a real disappointment and is very half-hearted with a running machine and a cross-trainer and a few tiny light weights. Very hard to have a decent work-out there.
Overall this hotel is friendly and charming, but make sure you ask for one of the rooms in the new wing. They are larger and better. As an earlier review and video below shows.
Watch a video of my room (1415) on youtube (click here) or on the blog posting:
An older review of the hotel from 2007:
I have been to Athens 3 times (so far this year): at the end of January for a meeting, in June for a conference and then again for a short meeting. In January and now in August, I stayed in the Hotel Pentelikon. Below is a video of the room which was very nice indeed and a review. I did not make another video for this trip as the room was identical (just faced the pool this time).
The Hotel Pentelikon is situated in Kifissia which is a suburb of Athens. Apparently many years ago the wealthy residents of Athens would retreat to Kifissia on the weekends and stay at hotels like this to escape the pollution and heat of Athens to take some “clean country air”.Today Kifissia is just part of the huge sprawl that is modern Athens, and it seems unbelievable that this area was an escape as it is now chock full of houses and has a very large and developed shopping area.However, the hotel itself is an oasis in this suburb.
The original hotel build in the 1920s is right on the street with a grand looking entrance and lobby area with huge sweeping staircase. It looks lush, rich and luxurious on entering.Just off the lobby are 2 restaurants which are pretty pricey, with one having a Michelin star. They do have fabulous food which is presented so well and stylishly that it almost seems criminal to eat. An even simple dish like a Greek Salad was a masterpiece of sculpture of tomatoes, onions and feta cheese. The restaurants are very popular and my Greek colleagues told me that they are especially popular with politicians and other dignitaries, and it is not unusual to have policemen hanging around as a result.There are 3 buildings of accommodation: the original building plus 2 new ones that were built just before the 2004 Olympics.I stayed in what they call “Building 2” which is where they have their “executive” rooms.
The room was really good and I liked it a lot. It is small but very stylish with a large bed of a sort of 4 poster design but without the canopy on the top, large comfy chair, and chair and desk to work at. The bathroom was as beautiful with a wall of frosted glass doors with a large shower behind one door and a toilet behind the other.Even the meeting rooms, which are in another new building, were good. The provision of free internet access in the bedrooms was also a nice touch.
The fitness center was a real disappointment. 3 cardio machines and very light weights with no bench. It is a real missed opportunity. There is a large pool in the gardens which looks great.
If you stay ask for building “2” and “3” as the rooms in the new buildings are supposed to be much better than the old rooms. One side of these is on the road and the other side looks over the pool. The soundproofing is fantastic and the road quiet so it does not really matter which side you are on.
I would stay here again, as the hotel, food and service by everyone is excellent. Although location wise for tourists it is probably a bit far from the main tourist sights.
To find out more about Athens check out the article with tips for travellers (click here) or listen to the podcast by looking for it on the PODCAST listings on the left of the page.