Luxury hotels in Greece offer intense experiences, private pools, indulgent spas, and fantastic landscapes. Visitors today can expect historic or brand-new buildings, updated rooms, extensive use of local materials and motifs, and staff thoroughly trained in the international hospitality industry.
1. Hotel Grande Bretagne, Athens
Photo of Hotel Grande Bretagne, Athens Greece © deTraci Regula; licensed to About.com
"The" luxury hotel in Athens for many decades, the GB was thoroughly renovated for the 2004 Olympics and still plays host to luminaries and diplomats as well as the well-heeled "ordinary" traveler. It's located in the heart of Athens on Syntagma Square, within walking distance of the Acropolis and Parthenon.
2. King George II Palace Hotel
© King George II Palace Hotel/Leading Hotels of the World. Used by permission.
Located next to the Grande Bretagne and also overlooking Syntagma Square, this classic hotel is also known for its T-Palace bar, a popular meeting place. The hotel is one of the "Leading Hotels of the World" group and is operated by Grecotel. One handy amenity - if you want more information, you can enter your phone number on-line and they will call you back to discuss your reservation requirements.
Also called "Ikies Traditional Houses", this hotel is one of the most charming getaways to be found on Santorini, with deluxe service and an unforgettable location overlooking the caldera.
Until recently, Greece didn't quite know what to do with its boutique hotels, since they often didn't have the "right" to be called luxury hotels because they might not meet the legally-defined minimum size lobby for a "luxury" hotel. Since many of them are located in beautifully restored architectural classics, this problem was insurmountable until the advent of the Boutique classification. Here's a selection of some of the boutique hotels in Athens and beyond.
A classic, well-appointed hotel in the Ladadika area near the city center of Thessaloniki. It's popular with business travelers as well as tourists; some rooms are a bit on the small size for American guests.
This smaller hotel on the Greek island of Mykonos is located at Ornos Beach, a charming small bay on the southeast portion of the island. It's a member of the Leading Small Hotels of the World.
Picture copyright Hotel Amirandes, Crete
Located along the north coast of the Greek island of Crete, this modern hotel has water features throughout and pools with stars glowing under water. Many room types offer private or semi-private pools - though its on the beach, you may never have to even go that far for your swim.
This golfing-friendly resort complex with dual courses is on the Messinia coast and caters to a demanding international clientele. The recreational offerings even include scheduled peripatetic philosophy walks through the countryside, and a private bay allows guests to frolic in the water. The new golf courses have gained ardent fans, who proclaim them the best -by far- in Greece.