Hyatt opened their first property in Athens in August, which was a welcome move for Hyatt-point lovers since other brands were already well-represented in this major tourist city. I had planned to review it for a while but when the news came about the new Hyatt Points+Cash changes, I decided to wait until I could book a suite using these new changes.
Review: Grand Hyatt Athens
It is a newly renovated hotel with great furniture, spacious rooms, and nice views of the Acropolis (about 1.1 miles away, viewing) if you have the right room with a view. The staff is fantastic and it is a nice redemption option, especially if you use points to select a suite.
The negatives are the location (not very near any tourist type things, but nearby buses) and things like €3 for a coffee capsule in the room. There are no free coffee options which is weird for a hotel like this in Greece.
Here’s the thing – readers mentioned in earlier posts about this property that the location was far from the best for such a hotel (unlike the SPG hotels which are in great locations). I have been to Athens a few times but certainly do not claim to be an expert on all neighborhoods but the map did not make it look like it was too far from major attractions (the Acropolis, for example, is just 1 mile walk away).
However, I will say right away that the Grand Hyatt Athens is an awesome hotel that is really hamstrung a bit by its location. The Intercontinental is just down the road as is a convention center so it has good company for people that have business in the area.
So, while the hotel is not that far away from things like the Acropolis and that it does have a major road and buses right in front (which can take you to the main Syntagma Square about 1.4 miles away), the immediate location of the Grand Hyatt Athens is certainly its biggest negative – which is a shame because it is the one thing that the hotel absolutely cannot change.
As you walk through the front doors, the check-in desk is off the right around one-o-clock. There was a large tour group assembling for check-in as I got there but I had no problem being waited on right away.
Off to the left, is the lounge area that also doubles as the Club Lounge for those members that have access to it (for snacks and breakfast – good for Globalists, Explorists who use a certificate, and certain suite occupants). The elevators for the rooms are behind the installation in the middle of the lobby.
The agent I spoke with noted my Explorist status and thanked me for being a loyal Hyatt member (thanked me several times, actually!). He also made it clear at various points of the check-in process that they welcomed any comments I would have about the property since I was an elite member.
Since this is a new hotel, they obviously want to make sure that they can make changes that are positive for members going forward and, as the agent said, their elite members have a better idea of other Hyatt operations worldwide.
I had used the standard rate (€110) and then 6,000 points to upgrade to a suite. A fun note about this property is that there are actually several suites available for both upgrades with points or Globalist certificates – Grand Suite King, Grand View Suite, Grand Executive King, Grand Executive View Suite and Grand Executive Terrace Suite.
There is a huge difference in price between these suites and I have no idea how long they will continue making them all available as regular suites so definitely book soon if you want one of the larger suites!
The great part was that I was actually upgraded to another suite level – the Acropolis Suite. This suite goes for over $5,000 for one night so this was a huge upgrade!
Getting an Upgrade to the Acropolis Suite
Just a couple of things about this before we continue. The Acropolis suite is listed as having 2 bedrooms but I had one. This was likely because there is an adjoining room that would normally be included if someone was actually booking the Acropolis suite. Because I did not have that extra room, I did not have a bathtub in this room (though I did have 2 bathrooms!).
It was an incredible gesture to be upgraded to the Acropolis Suite (it did not happen because of my being a blogger – I use a separate e-mail for my accounts). Since I had been checking the hotel website to learn as much as I could about the property, I knew exactly which suite I was headed to when the agent mentioned the upgraded. I also knew it cost over $5,000 per night!
While it was a beautiful suite (as you will see), I think I would have been quite a bit disappointed had I actually paid cash for this room. I have stayed in some phenomenal suites around the world, including the top available suites in hotels.
When you see a price like $5,000, there is automatically a certain level of expectation that goes with that. While the suite was awesome, I really do not think it was worth $5,000 – unless that spare bedroom I did not have had a jacuzzi in it or something like that. 🙂
Review of the Grand Hyatt Athens Acropolis Suite
Note: If you book a regular room, it should be just like the bedroom in the area below. That has the bed, a desk, tv, sitting place, and the bathroom with shower.
Hyatt really tried to setup the suite space to maximize the room and give plenty of area for the different “rooms.” To the left when you enter, you have the desk/work area. The area was actually quite nice for a space to work in and has a blank bookshelf behind the desk in case you happen to be here long-term and you want to get some books! 😉
One of the things I always look for in suites (or rooms in general) are outlets. The Grand Hyatt Athens has plenty of those around! They even have USB power ports at the outlet plate as well as regular outlets. This is a great way to charge up your USB-powered devices without needing to use power adapters (if you are traveling from a different continent).
During the day, the position of the desk also gives a nice view out of the windows. There is really nothing to see below the viewing angle (of interest, anyway) from the desk so it is a nice clear shot of sky and clouds.
As is the case with the upper suites at hotels, the furniture for the dining room is solid and spacious. If you wanted to entertain in the suite, I would imagine you could easily host 12-15 people comfortably in this suite.
The Living Room
The seating is very comfortable and well placed. It does not seem too crowded at all yet gives nice viewing ranges of the large television and to see outside during the daytime.
Being a newly finished/renovated hotel, everything was as fresh and clean as you would expect. If you stay here in the next several months, everything will still be under a year old so should still feel and look new.
If you were to turn around from where I took the photo above and turn to the left, you have the small bathroom/washroom.
Directly across from that washroom is a small hallway that leads to the bedroom.
The bedroom is what you would typically get if you book a regular room at the Grand Hyatt Athens.
Even the bedroom is a great size for an Athens hotel. There are also plenty of outlets and USB plugs in the bedroom also. This is, again, a great touch and something I would expect from a hotel that was just renovated. There are switches at the bedside that you can use to control the various lighting throughout the room.
The television is a really big one (55”) but be aware that, like many hotels in foreign countries (speaking as an American), there are not a lot of channels available for English-speakers. They do have casting capabilities from Android phones so that is something you could take advantage of.
If the weather is nice (which it generally is from mid-April through October), the terrace will make a great place to take in the beautiful sunshine. As I mentioned above, there really isn’t anything that great to see in the immediate vicinity so the terrace will be more about getting the weather than taking in the view (though the Acropolis is visible off to the right).
Even if you stay in a suite, you still don’t get breakfast for free. To get that, you would either need to use a Club certificate (if you are an Explorist elite) or pay for it.
I did not get any photos of the breakfast but it was a typically great, Greek breakfast. There are plenty of cold meats, pastries, breads, and cereals. It was an excellent breakfast but probably not something I would pay separate for (I used a Club/Lounge certificate) because you can get some incredibly Greek breakfast food (like bougatsa) at places out in the city for pretty cheap.
One of the selling points of the Grand Hyatt Athens is the rooftop swimming pool. It does have a great view! One thing that may seem a bit strange is the window that separates the restaurant from the pool – meaning that people inside the restaurant have an underwater view of the pool. A bit different but not bad.
This photo is from the Hyatt site because I lost my pool photo!
I always feel a bit strange about taking photos of a fitness center if someone is in there. 🙂 Someone was so I just took this one photo to show the amount of machines in there. There is a lot of great fitness gear in there so it is definitely a place you can get your workout in.
However, I did not use the fitness center because I wanted to explore the area on foot. I ran a few miles around. Once you get nearer to the city center, you have more sidewalks and the area is actually quite enjoyable to run. Athens has plenty of parks around so you could find some nice running areas.
The Grand Hyatt Athens was the first Hyatt property in Athens. However, since my stay there, the addition of many Small Luxury Hotel properties in the Athens area gives Hyatt members more options. I feel that the award category (Category 3) is very fair, especially during peak season. But, if you are visiting Athens purely for touring, I would opt for a Marriott property like the King George or Hotel Grand Bretagne since those are better located.
Still, if you want something that you could easily upgrade with points, the Grand Hyatt Athens is the property for that! For more information, check out this post.