y the time we arrived at the doors of AthensWas Hotel, we were quite exhausted. After two long haul flights (Singapore to Doha, then Doha to Athens) and traveling from halfway across the world, the only thing keeping us from collapsing is the sheer excitement of being in Greece for the first time.
We were graciously welcomed by Maria, the staff at the reception, then asked how we were. When she learned that we came all the way from Asia, she was quick to offer us a drink, or the washroom if ever we need to refresh. The formal check-in process followed in a bit but I appreciate that the staff made our comfort a first priority.
While waiting for our room to be ready, I quietly wandered around and noticed the minimalist yet luxurious feel of the hotel. The architecture, style, and furniture pieces are all simple, but like a puzzle carefully pieced together, a classic modern look is formed collectively.
The chic, opulent style become even more evident when we are ushered into our room. It was incredibly spacious and came with a cozy seating area, a bar counter, huge cabinets, and a lovely veranda with views of a busy pedestrian strip. The bathroom was one of the spacious I’ve seen in European hotels or BnBs. And the large bed felt like a giant cloud, thanks to the fluffy pillows and equally downy comforter and blanket. It was so hard to resist!
Peeking at the views from the balcony, I got curious on the happenings around the hotel. The location where AthensWas is, seems like a popular hangout for both locals and travelers. So to make the most of our time, we only rested a bit and head down to start our sightseeing.
Once more, the reception staff showed hospitality by offering us a map (without being asked) that’s very useful for exploring the city on foot. In good nature, Maria explained to us the main attractions by encircling them on the map and highlighting the major streets to take.
Strolling the bustling streets nearby the hotel, we instantly realized how AthensWas is an ideal base camp. Just outside, there are a lot of local restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops that are open ’til late. If you traverse the wide street in front of the hotel, you’ll reach the Temple of Olympian Zeus on one end and the Acropolis settlement on the other. Yes, the Parthenon temple dedicated to the goddess Athena is literally our neighbor. It was really nice, especially that you’ll need all the energy you can save to climb the Acropolis!
The next morning, we had a filling breakfast combination – omelette/poached eggs, different local bread and jam, yogurt, fruits, orange juice and coffee – more than enough to give us a head start to a great day.
Across the hotel, there’s a small street path to Plaka – an old, vibrant neighborhood that is historic in Athens. It is filled with even more sidewalk cafes, open-air markets and stretches almost to Syntagma and Monastiraki.
All in all: with thoughtful staff, spacious rooms, sumptuous breakfast and strategic location in the heart of Athens, AthensWas Hotel is an experience in itself. It was everything we hoped for and more. We had a wonderful time in the city and AthensWas was the perfect place to come home to after a tiring day. We loved that it was situated so conveniently that we got to tick off most of the places on our list.
For good measure, I’ll just go ahead and throw in another picture of the Acropolis at night as seen from the rooftop bar of AthensWas Hotel, a picture-perfect view while enjoying a dinner or drink.
Stunning right? Yes, that’s what it is. :)