An oasis that pampers all of your senses
“Maid of Athens,
‘ere I part
give or give
me back my heart”
It has become a truism that visitors to Greece do not want to leave. Can you identify with this: Your two-week vacation (or month long odyssey) on the Greek islands or on its mainland is at an end and you are reluctantly preparing for the return journey home. The unique sensations you discovered in Greece are still with you and you don’t want to let them go. Greece has somehow stimulated all of your senses and you do not want to lose that feeling.
I identify. It seems every traveler who has been to “the land of the gods,” understands this feeling and the wise know how to extend the sensations: spend your last nights before your flight at the Sofitel Athens Airport Hotel.
The Sofitel Hotel at Athens Airport is the perfect respite for travelers who need relaxation and pampering after a stimulating holiday in Greece, and before boarding the airplane for the long trip home. If you were on the mainland or the islands for two weeks or two months, you owe yourself the convenience of unwinding in an outstanding oasis of tranquility, literally steps from the airport. And…..it is very, very Greek!!
Enjoy the full-service Spa on the ninth floor, swim in the pool, ask for lunch served at poolside, and schedule a massage before bedtime. I did all of this and was so relaxed before my flight the next afternoon that I almost canceled the flight and stayed another night.
Everything about the hotel is pleasing to the eye. It is a luxurious five-star facility with French art de recevoir and overlooks the lovely Mesoghaia (middle earth) Valley. If you are staying for just a day, a Concierge can arrange a guided tour of Athens or, you can take the Suburban Train for a twenty-minute ride to one of Athens largest malls with high-end shops and excellent restaurants. Do your travel plans allow you to stay not for a full day, but for an overnight? Sofitel Athens Airport is your best choice, especially if you have an early morning flight. You are fifty meters from the entrance to the airport; there is no need to awaken earlier than you would like to board a shuttle bus.
I had the good fortune to stay at Sofitel Athens Airport last year at the end of October when my two-month odyssey on Crete ended. I traveled from one end of the island to the other to promote my new novel, Labyrinthine Ways, set in modern times on beautiful Chania and in the rugged mountain villages of Sfakia. It was an exciting, intensive journey that stimulated all of my senses, as Greece is prone to do; it was so enthralling that I did not want to leave. My desire was to put the enchantment of Greece in a bottle and take it with me. So…..to prolong this feeling, I chose the Sofitel Athens Airport as my final destination.
Except for the magical night on the Tavri Plateau in Askyfou when I saw the sun setting as the moon was rising, my time as a guest at the Sofitel was the highlight of my odyssey.
If you have been on the mainland or on the islands and have not seen much of Athens, you may want to make that trip before your return flight. If you have a car, Sofitel Athens Airport is a short drive from the center of the city where you can visit the Parthenon, 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, make one transfer to another train, and you are in the center of Athens.
I chose to simply stay in the Hotel. It 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.
There are two restaurants and you can choose fine or casual dining. During my stay, the Karavi Restaurant on the 9th Floor had a menu that offered grilled gambas and croaker, roasted sea bass, a filet of lamb, and a breast of duck with caramelized pineapple. Starters ranged from a warm salad of seasonal vegetables to warm duck foie gras poèlè. The Karavi is noted, also, for its aperitifs.
In the lobby’s Mesoghaia restaurant, there are wide choices for breakfast and lunch that range from express or a la carte selections to full buffets. (The breakfast buffet is wonderful!!). The Karavi and Mesoghaia restaurants serve 24-hour Mediterranean dishes and gourmet French cuisine respectively. The more casual Artemis bar in the lobby offers any drink you can imagine along with selections of sandwiches and appetizers; the Artemis has an outdoor terrace where I enjoyed lunch and a chat with fellow travelers. It is a great spot for “people watching.”
During my second full day at the hotel, I relaxed most of the day in the wellbeing and spa area on the 9th floor. After a swim, it was pleasant to rest on a lounge and prepare for my homeward journey by catching up on the news in two English-language newspapers provided for guests. I had avoided newspapers and TV while on Crete and the newspapers helped prepare me for my re-entry.
The spa is full-service and offers facials, massages, manicures, and pedicures. At the end of my next odyssey in Greece I plan to book a room at Sofitel Athens Airport for three nights and, if you need to reach me, you will find me in the spa, indulging myself in all it has to offer.
___To book a room at the Sofitel Hotel in Athens, please visit its website at www.sofitel-athens-airport.com. Room prices vary according to the season.
—-Aurelia is an American author who specializes in writing articles and novels set on the Greek islands. Her latest novel is Labyrinthine Ways about life and love in the mountain village of Crete. Please visit Aurelia’s website at www.sweetspotsofgreece.blogspot.com