AthensWas

Plaka, Athens, Greece Book from Book from £193 per night

An upscale design hotel with playful retro stylings, whose rooftop bar has incredible views of the Acropolis
What was Athens? A beautiful ancient city with 5-star sights like the Acropolis? A European metropolis of '60s style and ‘Never on Sunday’ grooves? Both of these, and these days you can add hipster street culture, a world-class museum, and more besides. AthensWas is a hotel (also 5-star) that has fused all these aspects of the birthplace of democracy - with designer rooms tipping it gently into the retro-modernist mode.

Floors are wild, from jagged optical illusions to psychedelic twirls, offset by walnut panelling and cool marble counter-tops. Beds are piled high with crisp linen, sitting areas feature classic chairs and, unusually for an inner-city hotel, every room has a private balcony. Some are petite and peaceful, with hanging jardinières curtaining an inner courtyard; others are brash terraces with a perfect view of the Parthenon. Can’t decide whether you’re old-skool or new? Head to the rooftop restaurant for the jaw-dropping vista of the Acropolis, listen to some Melina Mercouri and enjoy a Parthenon’s Glow cocktail over dinner. Sometimes it’s nice to be a bit of both.

Highs

  • A great location, just minutes from the Acropolis and Parthenon, amid charming pedestrianised streets
  • A retro modernist style inspired by Athens' swinging '60s period
  • All 21 rooms have private outdoor space
  • Two restaurants with delicious Western and Greek dishes; one has a stunning rooftop dining terrace with Acropolis views
  • Friendly knowledgeable staff - you'll get insider knowledge on where to go for a true Athenian experience, without the crowds

Lows

  • SENSE Fine Dining is expensive and only open for dinner, despite being the only on-site restaurant with Acropolis views (book ahead to avoid disappointment)
  • Athens’ traffic noise is ceaseless, but this is on a pedestrianised street so the rumble and rasp is more distant
  • No swimming pool but rooms have air-con for cooling off
  • A bit more expensive than other boutique hotels in the city, but utterly worth it

Best time to go

Athens is a year-round destination but it can get unbearably hot in the summer months. Try visiting over Greek Orthodox Easter in the spring when there are fewer crowds but the museums and sights are still open.

Our top tips

Head upwards to rooftop SENSE Fine Dining restaurant for an evening meal with a magnificent view of the Acropolis. It's popular, so be sure to book ahead and request an outdoor table for the best views.

Great for...

City Style
Family
Foodie
Honeymoon
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 21
  • Restaurants and bar open daily
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

Various room types are spread over 6 floors; all are smartly minimalist, with signature swirly tile flooring, faux-wood panelling and the bonus of a private balcony.

Smallest are the Classic Rooms, which have bijou garden verandas. Deluxe Room balconies overlook the plane trees of the Dionysiou Aeropagitou pedestrian walkway. We stayed in a Residence Suite, which had similar views plus a sitting area with designer leather armchairs. Large patio doors the length of the room opened to a huge balcony with chairs overlooking the cute touristy pedestrianised street below. Families are best off in the Executive Suites, as these have sofabeds and a sliding dividing wall to create 2 rooms, each with its own shower bathroom.

If an Acropolis view is a must, book a Superior Deluxe Room or the bigger AthensWas Suite - both have spacious balconies with a table and chairs. But if you’d rather lounge while gazing at the iconic landmark, there's a daybed on the panoramic plant-filled terrace of the Hellenic Suites on the hotel’s top floor. These 3 room types also come with the added bonus of free Acropolis Museums tickets.

Bathrooms throughout are sleek, with tiled glass, grey-black marbling and rain showers, as well as complimentary Korres toiletries. All rooms have HD TVs and Nespresso machines.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Nespresso coffee machine
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

The a la carte breakfast and all-day menu are served in the ground-floor Brasserie Moderne, which lives up to its name with zig-zag black-and-white tiles and colourful abstract murals. Along with traditional morning dishes such as eggs Benedict and pancakes, expect local fare like Greek milk pie and bread from Thessaloniki. For lunch, light bites include sandwiches, Greek salad, pasta and mains such as sea bass or cheeseburger.

For dinner, book a table at the rooftop restaurant, SENSE Fine Dining, with its stunning view of the Acropolis. Sip a Crème Brulee Martini and drink in the vista, then enjoy a delicious (if a tad pricey) dinner. Starters could be a seascape of local seafood, or a kitchen garden of colourful vegetables with truffle. For mains try the stuffed pigeon, suckling pig or poached grouper.

The neighbourhood is teeming with great restaurants; ask staff for recommendations.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children's meals
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • The Acropolis Museum is a 2-minute walk away; don’t miss a clamber around ancient sights in the vicinity, including the Parthenon and Caryatid statues, as well as the Acropolis itself
  • Meander through the historic Plaka district, at the foot of the Acropolis, with its charming flea markets, pottery and leather goods stalls
  • Take a guided tour of Athens - the hotel can arrange this, as well as various day trips out of the city; even helicopter flights to the islands!
  • Feeling romantic? Ask for a private-dining experience on the hotel rooftop with its panoramic view of the Acropolis and the city
  • Fitness fanatics can pick up a jogging map from the hotel
  • Chill out and read in the hotel's patio

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Well being
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Families are warmly welcome and lots of families do stay, though there are no special facilities for kids. The hotel is sited on a pedestrianised road and is only a few minutes from the Acropolis. All children under 7 stay for free in their parents' room.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Classic Rooms, Residence Suites and the AthensWas Suite can all fit a baby cot or rollaway bed. The Executive Suites have a single sofabed and space for a rollaway bed in their living room (thus sleeping a family of 4 in 2 bedrooms with 2 bathrooms). Hellenic Suites can be joined together to create a family penthouse

Babysitting:

On request

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • High chairs
  • Changing mat

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Neither of the two restaurants have a kids' menu but welcome children. Families will probably prefer to eat in the Bistro rather than in the 7th-floor SENSE fine dining restaurant, which also has steps up to it

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Easy walking distance to Acropolis and other ancient monuments
  • Shopping and strolling around the Plaka district

Families Should Know:

The road outside is pedestrianised

Distances:

  • Airport: 40 minutes
  • Hospital: 10 minutes
  • Shops: 2 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

AthensWas is on a pedestrianised street in the heart of downtown Athens, a 2-minute walk from the Acropolis Museum.

By Air:
There are massses of direct flights to Athens Eleftherios Venizelos airport (35km away) from London and other European capitals, plus major North American and Asian hubs. Click on the links below for a list of airlines.

From the Airport
The hotel can arrange limousine or taxi service to/from Athens airport or the port of Pireaus.

Getting Around
The hotel's central location means you can walk to many of Athens' main sights. AthensWas is right beside the Acropolis Museum metro station, which is clean and efficient with regular trains, and there's also a tram network around the city.

By Car:
If you do decide to hire a car to explore the wider area then see our car rental recommendations. There's a carpark quite near (300m) which offers preferential rates.

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to Greece and getting around.

Airports:

  • thens Eleftherios Venizelos 35.0 km ATH

Other:

  • Beach 10.0 km
  • Shops 0.1 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

Perfect location. Restaurant terrace was delightful. Warm, helpful staff. We were so impressed with the front desk receptionist who arranged our ferry tickets to Hydra and then made a number of calls to ensure a water taxi was waiting for us at the port in Hydra. A wonderful introduction to Greece.

10/10,

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