Metaxourgeio Square may not be a familiar landmark in Athens, but together with the better known Syntagma and Omonia Squares, it is one of the Greek capital’s three major downtown plazas. It is also the convenient location of the Wyndham Grand Athens Hotel, which is just a short walk from the Metaxourgeio Metro station, in an interesting neighborhood known for its contemporary art galleries.
At check-in, a pleasant surprise greeted me: a certificate granting me a 15-minute free massage in the hotel’s spa as a welcome gift. This certainly changed my priorities for the afternoon.
First, however, I was anxious to check out a tip I had recently learned from the newsletter of friend and travel writing colleague Johnny Jet. He was passing along a tip from a reader alerting him to the fact that many hotels have a master combination allowing them to open all room safes in case a guest had forgotten it and could no longer retrieve the safe’s contents. He suggested testing it first, and not using the safe if it were vulnerable to hacking from hotel employees. I punched in the code — 999999 — and was relieved to see an error message on the LCD display. It was now safe for me to store my valuables — including laptop — and head on down to the spa.
The hotel’s spa is very small — just two treatment rooms, and one dry sauna (no steam or whirlpool) — but the massage menu is tempting, and the staff very professional. I thoroughly enjoyed my complete back massage, which was just what the doctor ordered after two international flights and eight hours of travel. There is also a fitness room with the latest cardio equipment.
Afterwards, it was back to my room for a long shower, under a huge rectangular shower head with needle spray, alongside a massaging handheld shower head, each with its own controls. The spacious marble bathrooms (some with bathtubs) boast OEM amenities, scales, hairdryers, and extra large bath towels.
The guest rooms themselves are all furnished with comfortable king-sized beds (twin beds are also available) and plenty of pillows, while the roomy closets contain terrycloth robes and slippers. Precise temperature control is easy with user-friendly digital thermostats, and windows that actually open. Each room has a fully stocked minibar, and electric kettles for making tea, an espresso machine with two complimentary capsules, and a large bottle of mineral water, also complimentary.
Free WiFi extends to all guest rooms, and large flat-screen plasma TV’s provide not only 49 channels in multiple languages but also weather and tourist information, plus the ability to program a wake-up call. It was actually pleasant to wake up to a male choir singing in church, rather than the ringing of a bedside telephone. (Tip: Wake-up calls must be programmed anew each night.) A panel of switches enables turning lights on and off from the comfort of reclining in bed.
When you do wake up, you are entitled to a complimentary breakfast buffet, complete with omelet and waffle station, an actual honeycomb, and coffee machines that dispense a variety hot beverages. One may dine 24/7 in the hotel, including at the rooftop lounge and restaurant that offers views of the Acropolis. Indeed, that incomparable view is available 24/7 as well, from select rooms and suites.
No. of guest units: 276 (two categories of rooms, three categories of suites)
Published rates: €108 – €135 (r00ms), €152 – €863 (suites)
Text by Buzzy Gordon, who was a guest of the Attica Regional Tourism Promotion Board at the Wyndham Grand Athens. Photos by Buzzy Gordon and courtesy of the Wyndham Grand Athens.