I was on a British Airways flight from New York to Athens and when the captain announced we would be landing in twenty minutes, I was already transported mentally to the Spa at the Sofitel Athens Airport Hotel. I calculated that after I collected my luggage at baggage claim, it would take me about ten minutes to check into the hotel—and another twenty minutes until I was relaxing in the luxurious Spa.
The Sofitel is the only airport hotel in Athens and is located just fifty meters from the terminal. One simply exits the baggage claim area, crosses the street, and the hotel lobby is before you. The young man at the door recognized me from previous trips, took my luggage, and escorted me to check-in. Again, I was greeted by familiar faces and had that warm feeling of “coming home.”
Exhausted from my long journey, I searched for my bathing suit in my carry-on, and headed for the Spa on the ninth floor, looking forward to a shower, swim, and hour long massage. It was the perfect remedy; I was rejuvenated and ready to enjoy once again my precious time in the “land of the gods.” The Spa is a full-service facility that offers massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and a hairdresser.
The next day, I was headed for Kardamyli in the Peloponnese, and the Concierge arranged my transportation, as he will do for all guests. Visitors going to Athens have four options: easy access to the Attiki Odis Freeway, the subway, rail, or bus.
The Sofitel Hotel is truly the gateway to Greece. It is so very convenient to leave from there for Athens, for other locations on the mainland, and also for the islands. It is an oasis of tranquility, in a unique interior design blending of French art de vivre and Greek accouterments. The Sofitel is a luxurious five-star facility overlooking the lovely Mesoghaia (middle earth) Valley.
You can choose from three restaurants for fine or casual dining. The most elegant dining is on the ninth floor in the Karavi Restaurant. Its menu offers grilled gamba and croaker, roasted sea bass, a filet of lamb, and a breast of duck with carmalized pineapple. Starters ranged from a warm salad of seasonal vegetables to warm duck foie gras poele. The Karavi is noted, also, for its aperture.
In the lobby’s Mesoghali restaurant there are wide choices for breakfast and lunch that include express or a la carte selections and full buffets. The breakfast buffet has every hot and cold breakfast item you can imagine, plus the chef will make an omelet of your choice.
The Karavi and Mesoghali restaurants serve delicious Mediterranean dishes and gourmet French cuisine. The more casual Artemis Bar in the lobby offers creative cocktails, a nice selection of sandwiches, and appetizers; the bar extends to an outdoor patio.
PAUL: For photos, please click on this link.
The Sofitel is a short drive from the center of the city where you can visit the Parthenon,
The hotel boasts 345 rooms that are soundproofed, 2 executive floors, 12 suites, and 1 presidential suite all with Sofitel “MyBed” mattress that ensures guests’ ultimate comfort. All of these rooms are equipped with high speed internet access, a mini bar, and safe deposit box; 24-hour room service is available. To book a room at the Sofitel, please visit its website at http://www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-3167-sofitel-athens-airport/index.shtml.museums, Athens Constitution Square, Helexpo Palace exhibition center and Olympic Stadium. Or, you may choose to simply stroll through the famous Plaka shopping district. If you do not have a car, however, hop on the Suburban train line next to the hotel and in twenty minutes you will arrive at an amazing mall with high end shops and excellent restaurants.