The Wyndham Grand Athens, newly opened in December 2016, is located about a 20-minute walk from Monastiraki – the center of attention under the Acropolis. However, the immediate area and portions of the walk there are just desolate. In fact, every taxi driver we had warned us to not go out in the area at night. While surely partially self serving, this seemed no empty warning when looking at the dilapidated buildings and many ‘street standers’ in this area of Athens.
The hotel still has that new room smell but given the rather low standard of construction it already has plenty of wear and tear after just six months.
We checked in at 3PM and the front desk greeted us with a friendly agent. The hotel was 100% booked (no surprise, given the busy summer season in Athens). I had made a Wyndham cash and points award booking and the front desk had no trouble seeing the cash portion of the rate.
I was ‘upgraded’ to an executive room that overlooked the busy square and was barely noise-insulated. It felt more like being part of the traffic outside than a hotel room.
We went back downstairs and asked for a different room and our request was granted after some time – good that we had checked in early that day! The ‘regular room’ seemed the same, though a little bit smaller. I thought the room was very well done in friendly, bright colors, and with quiet and strong air conditioning on this 100+ summer’s day.
The bathroom was huge (almost the size of the bedroom area) and had an enormous rain shower installed. It worked very well, with perfect shower pressure. The bathroom felt way too big for the room size but, well, I’ll take it!
On the 9th floor, the hotel has a rooftop pool. It is a bit of an odd setup though; firstly, there were fewer than a dozen chairs, which was way too few for the demand that day and for a hotel that size. Also, the pool is small and seemed to leak sideways. Plus there is no view from the pool, thanks to several walls and there isn’t too much sun either.
The bigger part of the rooftop is used for a fine dining restaurant and a bar, which both have fantastic views towards the Acropolis. The best views are available when you sit down for a (rather pricey) a la carte dinner. The more you pay , the better the view gets on the rooftop. However, there is an area where you can hang out without having to indulge in the overpriced drinks and food.
I thought the sleeping quality was excellent, with the powerful AC, our quiet room (this one faced a back alley) and the new mattresses.
We did not try the breakfast here, which is offered at EUR 16 per person.
In general, this hotel is an odd beast. The pool is too small – even for a city hotel. The location is close to the action in Athens but the neighborhood is dangerous. The hotel is great value with a Wyndham free night or using cash and points, as regular rates are EUR 200 for most summer nights.
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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