Our Stay at the St. George Lycabettus Hotel

Trip Start Apr 24, 2011
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Flag of Greece  , Attica,
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Word of Apology!



We spent several days in Athens last week as we wanted so much to be with the kids.

I had the opportunity to get to the centre of Athens but this is the first time I feel that I do not have anything positive to write down. There is not a single thing to highlight even on one entry.

You see, very few Greeks are in the festive mood and the first morning when I walked to the City Centre I found nothing to take pictures of. There are still no street decorations like the previous years, nothing new in the squares to remind that Christmas is coming.



And even now that I am writing this and I am back home I am not in any mood to decorate the house. Not any more!!



I only have the review posted which is something I want to remember in the years to come. I am sorry that I did not take you along with me in the streets like other times. I want to keep for myself what I came across –even the one and only picture on this entry shows me skeptic.



I will do that probably on the coming trip to Athens (shortly) and who knows….I might feel better and I might come across something that will remind me of the Festive Season. At this point it is only sad faces that I came across, -the saddest are the shop owners because they have invested and they see nobody buying.  I see poverty and people searching in the garbage cans for …anything!

I apologize that I simply cannot find something nice to write down. I am really very sad for what is happening to the Greek citizens but what makes me feel worse is the thought that it is unfair for all Greeks to be called corrupted!

Corrupted are only those who took advantage of the citizens, and took all the money and invested it outside Greece. Corrupted are the majority of those who were ruling us for years…and they still are because unfortunately we see nobody punished even if lists with names are published….What else can I say?

I have nothing else to add. Please forgive me.

*************
MY REVIEW ON THE HOTEL:
A Gem in Athens, -a Steady Value Hotel.

The St. George Lycabettus hotel has a unique location right in the luxury area of Kolonaki centre, -the trendiest and most elegant district of Athens. If you happen to be out walking there is a possibility to come across different celebrities. The hotel is in a quiet neighbourhood away from noise and protest march or collision courses that unfortunately take place from time to time in the centre of Athens. It is on the slope of the Lycabettus hill where one can have a pleasant walk to the top at the chapel of St. George for the most stunning views of the City of Athens. There are different pathways all around the peripheral zone with an easy access for an enjoyable stroll.

The hotel is one of those family businesses with a long history behind and if I am not mistaken, the 4th generation overtaking the business the last 11 years. In fact the family owes the Hotel Apartment Rentals in Mykonos, Paris and St. Moritz as well.

I have stayed in this hotel several times in the past and I can tell it is one of my favourite in Athens. Attention is given to the guest and this is appreciated and it is one of the reasons why many return. Upon arrival we were made welcomed as always and it did not take us long to check in and have our bags taken upstairs. 

Room: Our suite #407 on the 4th floor was this time overlooking the Acropolis again but from a much better angle than the suite we had last year. It was spacious, very comfortable and spotlessly clean. The soft colour of the walls was matching well with the furniture and the huge Queen bed added to the charm and style of the suite. I appreciated the espresso coffee machine, however I was kind of disappointed when I noticed that I had to pay 3 euros for each coffee. However, the usual coffee facilities of a hot water teapot with sachets of coffee and tea are free so I asked the waitress to bring me one such.

I truly appreciated the treat we had in the room upon arrival –a platter of seasonal fruit and a bottle of water. The balcony was not that big but I cannot complain as it was comfortable enough to fit two chairs and a table.  The view of the hill of the Acropolis could clearly be seen even if I was lying in bed and I found this amazing. I had the most stunning photos taken from our suite the two days we were there, not to mention the many photos I had with some of the most beautiful sunsets ever!

The long desk-like stand was comfortable and I can tell that I spent quite a time out there working on my laptop. There was a mini bar on the side just below the TV set and a drawer and at the entrance corridor there was a very spacious wardrobe with ample of space, shelves drawers and a mirror. I always appreciate a second door in the room because it shuts out possible noise from the corridor. I have to mention also that slippers and robes and a safe are provided.

Bathroom: The bathroom again was much bigger and nicer than the one we had the year before. It seemed brand new, very clean and elegant. I cannot understand why some guests complain about the toilet paper stand which is hanging in crystal-like chain. I find this clever and stylish. It is obvious that many people are capricious and they cannot appreciate things and they do it out of habit and not because there is any reason. Towels were bright white, thick and had a pleasant smell of freshness. 

There was a kit with the usual things one expects to find but don't expect to find a toothbrush or a comb (the comb is useless anyway) but there was a shoe polish kit which I don't usually find in other hotels!  I found the plastic cap a bit small so you can ask to be brought another one if you also find that it does not fit you. The ladies at the housekeeping are very kind and I had mine in seconds.  I noticed that there was only one shampoo and one gel for two persons and a body lotion but again I asked and I was brought some. This request was answered in less than 5 minutes and the lady was really polite. For her and the rest of the staff she told me there was not trouble at all.

As a Guide Writer I am a person who travels a lot and during my trips I have to spend many days in different hotels each month. I know how hotels work, and I learnt to appreciate things but at the same time be demanding when I have to. I always urge people to kindly ask for extra toiletries if they need any instead of complaining afterwards when they get home. Let the people in charge know if something goes wrong immediately instead of spoiling your holidays with things that can surely be fixed. I am sure the management will do anything possible to meet the needs of their guests.

I was amazed with the progress of room service compared to other years. It was indeed a pleasant surprise seeing a lady from the housekeeping knocking the door to check if we need anything late in the afternoon. She had a huge smile and handed me two jelly candies and a blue card in gold letters. It shows the moon in gold and several stars and there is the word "good night" in 9 different languages! What a nice treat this is! It shows that somebody does care and surely this is the management. 

Breakfast: Again I noticed the great difference and progress in the rich American Breakfast buffet this year. I could not believe it! Besides the nice presentation everything was fresh. I am not going to start mentioning everything but I can say that there was nothing missing. Apart from the buffet there was a side corner table very nicely set with all kinds of delicacies ideal for those who have a sweet tooth. All kinds of home-made desserts were out there, -pastry sweets with pistachio and nuts in different variations, "bougatsa" and baklava, “Kataifi” even some traditional sweets from Crete “kaltsounia” different cakes and all sorts of other goodies.   

Staff: They are a bunch of professionals indeed. There are people who work for more than 25 years here and I met several of them. They are proud of working here, they respect the owners and guests and this is I am sure one of the reasons why the hotel stands out among other hotels in Athens.  These people make the difference and it shows!

The Restaurant: Le Grand Balcon on the 6th floor is not only popular with guests who stay in the hotel but it is well known as a Signature Restaurant in Athens. As it gets dark it is transformed to a magic place to be. The lights of the city shine brightly all over and the highlight is the Acropolis which seems so close. In reality, the whole floor is a multifunctional spot operating as a Sophisticated Gourmet restaurant with exceptional dishes, a Dancing hall and occasionally a Conference centre. We had dinner one of the two nights which we found amazing but I have a separate review exclusively on the restaurant so I won’t expand in writing more comments here.

If you appreciate fine art you will find a great collection of inspiring and breathtaking works of art and paintings which decorate the interior corridors. I was so amazed and absorbed by the beautiful collection having a feeling that I was walking through an art gallery until I came across the S G Art Gallery found at the mezzanine of the hotel.

General: Out of curiosity I asked to be shown a couple of rooms on the ground floor. I wanted to check what the budget rooms look like. I had read negative comments like being very narrow, no balcony, and being old. I did not see what people described at all. The rooms look all right, they might not have a balcony but they are spacious, clean and yes…elegant. Instead of a balcony there is a huge glass window. The room might not be facing the Acropolis or a street sometimes but both room and bathroom have all the necessary amenities for a comfortable stay. They surely cost less.

Wi Fi internet connection is free on the terrace if I am not mistaken but if you want to have the connection in your room the rate is 6euros an hour, 18 euros for 24 hours and if you want it for 2 days the cost comes to 25.

I don’t recommend this hotel for people who have walking problems because the hotel is located on a slope, however there are several taxis waiting by the taxi-rank and they are around throughout the day and night. I don’t think there would be a problem if you afford to move by taxi.

We had an exceptional stay and I highly recommend it. I am sure if you stay here once you will want to return.
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