Renovations enhance image of Athens' accommodations

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ATHENS, Greece -- Preparing for the next century, some hoteliers here have invested heavily in providing guests with upgraded facilities and state-of-the-art technology. The following provides details on some recent improvements.

  • This month, a deluxe boutique property, the 30-room Andromedea Hotel, will open an annex across the street adding 12 long-stay suites. Visitors have a choice of air- conditioned one- and two-bedroom suites (255 square feet and 195 square feet, respectively) with kitchenettes and tiled baths. All suites have balconies, and the two studios on the top floor have large verandas.
  • A room at The AndromedeaAs in the Andromedea Hotel's rooms, suites are equipped with dataport connections, faxes, satellite television, minibars, hair dryers and telephones in all bathrooms.

    The new wing will also be adding a health club on the top floor. Guests from the annex and main hotel share the White Elephant restaurant, whose gourmet reputation is based on its Polynesian and Asian specialties; the Michelangelo restaurant specializes in Mediterranean dishes.

    Located next to the American embassy, the Andromedea Hotel also is distinguished by its well-decorated rooms, suites and studios plus Persian carpets and art in the modern lobby entrance.

  • The 470-room Divani Caravel has a new look after $10 million was spent between 1994 and 1998 on a thorough upgrade.
  • Air-conditioned throughout, the hotel has two bars and two restaurants, indoor and outdoor pools, 24-hour room service and all the other amenities of a deluxe hotel.

    Its recently renovated (and more upscale) sister property, the 251-room Divani Palace Acropolis, is the Divani with the view. It also has a small pool, a restaurant and a roof garden.

    A short stroll from the Acropolis, the Divani Palace exhibits an original section of the Themistoklean walls (built during the Persian Wars) as well as classical sculpture copies in its lobby.

  • St. George Lycabettus, perched on the side of Mount Lycabettus in fashionable Kolonaki, is now larger by 40 rooms, and all public areas have been renovated. The 167-room establishment, with renovated guest and public rooms, is a good choice for the traveler who prefers the quiet of a residential district.
  • Room rates (all including breakfast) depend on the view. The rates are higher for the prime, fourth-floor corner room with a southern exposure.

    Although deluxe in category, the St. George Lycabettus has a family-owned atmosphere. From the roof garden surrounding the pool, one looks up at Mount Lycabettus and out to Athens, the Acropolis and the sea. The piece-de-resistance panorama is from the Grand Balcony dining room.

  • The Athenaeum Inter-Continental has added a second floor to its Club Inter-Continental, which serves its guests with a dedicated reception area for checking in and out and offers a lounge with an Acropolis view. It also serves a complimentary breakfast and cocktails. Club-floor rooms are business-friendly, with direct-dial phones, voice mail, data points for e-mail, a PC and a fax modem, as well as fax machines, a videocassette and CD players.
  • Guests can also request the Athenaeum Inter-Continental's new business rooms, with in-room workstations that have large desks and ergonomic chairs, a printer-fax-copier machine tucked into a desk drawer and dataport stations in the desk. Office supplies and a coffeemaker also are available, plus dual-line telephones with voice mail.

    Guests who book the recently renovated presidential suite can say they slept in the same bed as Mick Jagger did during his September 1998 concert tour.

    Other highlights include a private marbled entrance, a drawing room with a dining area, an office and a library, a master bedroom with a TV in the master bath, a second bedroom and bath, a small kitchen and, of course, an Acropolis view.

    Andromedea Hotel, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Phone: (800) 525-4800
    St. George Lycabettus Utell, Phone: (800) 44-UTELL
    Divani Caravel, Phone: (011) 30-1 725-3725
    Divani Palace, Phone: (011) 30-1 922-2945
    Athenaeum Inter-Continental, Phone: (800) 327-0200

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