O&B Athens Boutique Hotel

Psiri, Athens, Greece Book from Eur108

Intimate, quietly modern hotel near the Acropolis with upscale restaurant and wonderful staff
O&B stands for 'ochre and brown', which is, as a colour pairing, may sound a little, well, boring. But at this smart Athens hotel they are partnered with true flair, and set off by a colourful location on the edge of the Plaka's flea market district. From a rather unassuming side-street entrance, you enter a calm, low-lit lobby dotted with striped chairs, colourful pouffes and a welcoming vase of tiger lilies at reception. To the back is the sky-lit bar and restaurant; a petite lift takes you up to the 22 rooms and suites. Silvery-gold curtains part to views of the Observatory, and brown lacquered headboards grace the double beds.

A short stroll through funky flea markets and busy bistros and you're at the base of the Acropolis and the Parthenon; O&B’s friendly staff will be happy to guide you to other sights. Don’t be deterred by the unglam aspect of the Psiri neighbourhood - this is a real hip area, and it’s charming if not spic and span. And you’re coming home to a beacon of clean and cool. Expect a glass of champagne and fresh fruit to be waiting.

Highs

  • Small, stylish hotel near the must-see sights of Athensn in a boho neighbourhood
  • Brilliant staff - courteous, warm and friendly
  • Overflowing breakfasts, fresh to order
  • Compact but well-designed rooms
  • Nice technical touches like Wi-Fi in every room and private telephone number with voicemail

Lows

  • The rooms, refurbished in 2010, look a bit bland and could do with some splashes of colour
  • The surrounding area may appear a little run-down, but this is a true Greek neighbourhood and there are some excellent local restaurants and bars nearby
  • Some rooms have no view at all and look onto the street or side alley

Best time to go

Whenever work or pleasure brings you to Athens: it is open all year and prices remain constant. If you’re still at the planning stage, consider visiting Athens over a Greek holiday such as Orthodox Easter, Whitsun (7 weeks later) or ‘Clean Monday’ (7 weeks earlier), when the city empties but major sites and museums remain open. Carnival time (Feb-March) is also quite fun. It can be stiflingly hot from mid June to early September, but the roads are quieter in August when Athenians flock to the coast.

Our top tips

Psiri is an odd neighbourhood: a ramshackle labyrinth of type-setters and leather workers, it was suddenly anointed the new hotspot of Athenian cool. It's still not sure what it is. But the live music and no-frills ouzeries are decidedly hip hangouts.

Great for...

City Style
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 22
  • Restaurant 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
  • Concierge Service
Room:

Rooms

The rooms have been redecorated since our last visit and - regrettably, we felt - have lost their splashes of colour. But what they lack in colour, they make up in elegance. Expect sleek gold, silver and bronze touches, supreme comfort and some welcome calm away from Athens’ busy streets.

The Standard Rooms and Superior Rooms may face the street but they are sizeable with plenty of closet space and large, comfy double beds with down quilts and 300-count Egyptian cotton sheets. The Thissio Deluxe Rooms are actually smaller than the superiors but they have Juliette balconies and views to the domed Observatory in the hills of Thissio. Also with this view is the larger Grand Superior Room, which also features a private terrace. Unbeaten for views however, are the Acropolis Petite, Junior and Grande Suites, which as the name suggests, overlook Athens’ icon, the Acropolis.

Bathrooms are big with spacious shower stalls (no baths) and a generous helping of Molton Brown toiletries; bathrobes and slippers await when you step out from the steam. All the high-tech boxes are ticked: flat-screen plasma TV with cable and satellite reception, CD and DVD players, private phone line with personal voicemail and high speed WiFi.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

Make your way down to the restaurant in the morning and it won’t be long before you find a creamy cappuccino in front of you. Then it’s a breakfast of fresh-squeezed orange juice, yogurt with honey and fruit, choice of eggs (try scrambled with cheese) and fresh baked bread, hash browns, pastries, whatever you want, all served with a smile to your table.

Staff will be happy to direct you to local restaurants for lunch - or just wander along the cobblestone car-free streets between the Thissio and Monastiraki metro stops and choose any of the open-air eateries. They’re a tad touristy but pretty reliable for typical and inexpensive meze dishes like taramosalata or skewered grilled meats (souvlaki).

For more upmarket fare, head back to the hotel's restaurant O&B Athens All Day Bar Restaurant - the dinner menu has delicious starters like mushroom saganaki using traditional white cheese from Limnos and various fresh fish and risottos for main dishes. There is also a first-rate selection of both Greek and French wines.

Features include:

  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • The iconic Acropolis and Parthenon is a short walk away - no stay in Athens would be complete without a visit to these ancient monuments
  • Browsers and bric-a-brac lovers should make straight for the nearby Monastiraki flea market on a Sunday. This is where most of the city's African, Middle Eastern and Balkan communities gather to sell their wares
  • Also nearby, at the foothill of the Acropolis, is the historic Plaka. With its flea markets, souvenir stalls and tavernas, it's easy to shop and sip an afternoon away...
  • Go to a classical concert at the excellent Megaron Hall, or the Herodus Atticus outdoor Roman theatre (summer only)
  • Walk up Filopappos Hill for excellent views over Athens and across to the Acropolis; or take the funicular train up Lycavitos hill
  • Take a taxi to Kaisariani or Daphne monasteries (both about 40 minutes away), on the slopes of Hymettus/Aigaleo hills
  • Take an early train to Piraeus and hydrofoil to Aegina for a day visiting the island’s elegant town, its temple at Afea and its beaches
  • The underground vibe of Psiri is best experienced after dark - stop by a late-night ouzerie like the Platia Iroon and catch some old rembetika songs

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Historical sites
    • Museums / galleries
    • Nightlife
    • Shopping / markets
  • Kids

    Children of all ages are welcome - and there is a cot available free of charge - but it's really more of a boutique couples' place.

    Family friendly accommodation:

    Cots Available

    Baby equipment:

    Baby cots available on request

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

    Kid Friendly:

    Our guests' ratings...

    7/
    Rooms
    7/
    Food
    8/
    Service
    8/
    Value
    7/
    Overall

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