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The Hilton Athens is an ordinary-looking building located in central Athens. Indeed it’s so ordinary-looking that until you spot the wonderfully inconspicuous Hilton branding on it, you won’t actually realise you’re there. Signage issues aside, it’s within easy reach of the main tourist sites such as the Parthenon and the Plaka District and a short walk from the Metro to get you there. Conveniently, it’s also on the correct metro line for the airport, so you can go direct from your flight to the hotel without a change of trains.
I booked the Hilton Athens for three nights: the first two nights using HHonors points, and the third night with cash. The redemption nights were 40k points, while the paid-for night was €221, which meant I got 0.55 Euro cents value per HHonors point: a pretty solid return. I had also signed up to the Hilton double points offer, so knew that (together with my Diamond status bonus), I would be getting a solid points rebate on the stay.
Yes. My Hilton HHonors Diamond status got us upgraded from a standard room to an executive room. Indeed the free upgrade to an executive room was even confirmed in advance via a “€0” upgrade option:
Even without this upgrade, Diamond status gives guaranteed lounge access.
The room was on the executive floor and reasonably spacious for an executive room. We were on the wrong side of the hotel for Parthenon/sea views, but instead looked out over the city and surrounding hills.
The bed was large and comfortable:
And a desk for working on:
You may have noticed the bottle of wine that was temptingly placed on the table in the lounge area. I still to this day have no idea if it was free or not: I was off the sauce, and despite 11 years with me, my wife still does not like to drink alone, so we left it untouched. That said, we drank the water placed next to it (rock and roll!) and weren’t charged for it, so I’m fairly sure it was an Executive Room (or Diamond membership) freebie. If so, informing the customer of that would have been helpful, I was fully expecting an extortionate charge for the water.
The bathroom was a touch dated, but was reasonably sized, with a decent shower and separate bath, so it’s difficult to ask for much more:
I didn’t use it, but there is a spacious, modern and clean gym with a decent range of facilities.
Ok I’m a big swimmer so have a natural bias but, for me, the swimming facilities were probably the highlight of this hotel. In addition to a spacious outdoor pool, there was a fantastic indoor pool where you could not only swim but also use “in-pool” massage jets and powerful jacuzzis. There was also a separate, standalone jacuzzi. Wonderful.
There was also an outdoor pool, but given the slightly dubious weather, and the enormous appeal of the indoor pool, that’s where I remained.
As ever with Hilton hotels, the breakfast was excellent. I was entitled to a free breakfast on the back of my Diamond status, and I very much like it when Hilton let you take the breakfast in the main restaurant, rather than limiting you to the narrower selection in the executive lounge (as they are entitled to do).
I am delighted to say that the Hilton Athens passed my orange juice test (as most proper Hiltons do) – we are talking genuine freshly squeezed juice here, rather than the tasteless boxed stuff, or worse still the Hampton By Hilton Machine Monstrosity.
My wife and I did visit the upper-floor restaurant briefly, but the limited menu didn’t really appeal (the restaurant also has a Parthenon view which is, I understand, “above crane level”. Instead we walked two minutes to the genuinely lovely Oroscopo. Recommended.
The lounge was pleasant, if unspectacular, with a constant range of soft drinks, nuts and biscuits, and hot evening snacks and alcohol served between 6pm and 8pm.
One of the highlights of the executive lounge is the view over Athens to the Parthenon, and the sea beyond. Sadly, in an act of quite spectacular “view vandalism”, a crane had been placed exactly in the way of the Parthenon:
A shame, but given that we visited it, I got my dosage of ancient Greek buildings and in any event, it you want to see the best part of the Parthenon, you need only go to the British Museum*.
Quality of service
The service was friendly and genuinely enthusiastic, both at check-in and breakfast. My only warning is that this is a big, “conference-focused” hotel, and there were a couple of times when I walked past e-n-o-r-m-o-u-s queues at check-in, as the entire staff of some global conglomerate descended on the hotel.
Rate Paid: 40k points (redemption nights) €221 (paid night)
Room Type: Executive room
Summary of stay
All in all, the Hilton Athens is a solid, reasonably priced and well-located hotel. The executive rooms were pleasant, if not quite as luxury as you might expect given the price (I was of course upgraded from a standard room, so can’t focus on this too negatively).
At 40k points a night it was a decent redemption, although that was of course heavily influenced by the upgrade. In the absence of an upgrade, would I pay 40k points or €221 a night for this hotel? Possibly not, but there is definitely worse value out there.
Ultimately, if you are looking for a reliable hotel within easy reach of the sites of Athens, the Hilton is a perfectly good option.
*This is a joke, for which I humbly apologise to all our Greek readers.