I chose the Grand Hyatt Athens because my husband is a Globalist, thanks to an extended stay in Saudi. I love the fact that Hyatt is a great loyalty program that regards its elite members with upgrades. Something that my loyalty to Hilton hasn’t done in so many years.
The property is located in Sygrou avenue, which was not the best location for me as a local. Sygrou is considered an area of Athens full of clubs of all nature. However, it is very convenient to explore the city centre, close to a metro station and close to Pireus.
Also, if you have children or want to enjoy an afternoon in a beautiful setting, make sure to check out the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, which is about 10minutes in a taxi from the hotel.
I was a guest of honour, which is part of the Hyatt loyalty program, and it means that I used my husbands status and points and got all the benefits. Sadly you can only use the benefits on redemptions which I wish weren’t the case because, in some instances, using cash is better than points.
It is the first time I have used the feature, but it was easy to book via concierge and also, it worked great as we got all the benefits of a Globalist.
The property is an old renovated hotel, but you wouldn’t know on the inside, as the renovation has been extensive, apart from the breakfast room on the top floor.
Check-in was smooth and easy. I gave them my name, and everything was ready. We were upgraded to a grand suite. This is their lower suite category and a standard upgrade for elites.
The suite was nice and spacious for one night. It was designed beautifully, and I liked the smart plastic-like wallpaper they had hiding all the old building imperfections.
It wasn’t big, but it was adequate for a small family who was there to explore the city.
Since having my daughter suites has become quite vital as I still keep her under a routine, she goes to bed pretty early, which would have left us with no space to move around if we didn’t get suites.
Sadly this suite didn’t have a door that we could close, which defeats the purpose.
The bathroom was a good size with a shower and Korres toiletries, which are very famous in Greece and excellent. I love their shampoos.
The best selling point – The rooftop pool
For me, the best selling point of the hotels is the rooftop pool and the view over Acropolis and Lykavitos.
The pool is small, and when we went, it was busy, and the sunbeds were all taken, enough though it was about 4 pm. I read some of the Tripadvisor reviews, and I know this is a constant complaint. I don’t think they can make the area bigger.
There is also a second pool on the first floor, which is tucked in between the building.
The area surrounding the pool is excellent, with greenery and plenty of sunbeds.
However, the real problem is that there is no sunlight and also the fact (which is my biggest complaint) that there are constructing a massive Hyatt hotel adjacent to this one. This means that there is a construction view that is not appealing for sunbathing, and the noise is constant. Plus, the little sunshine is lost as well.
Apart from the pools, there is a business centre I used for printing and a spa and a small gym. The gym seemed to have plenty of equipment.
There is also a lounge cafe in the lobby to enjoy a nice drink or even read a book in the comfy sofas.
The breakfast was enjoyable; it is served on the top floor restaurant, which is the same area you pass by to visit the rooftop pool.
They were plenty of food choices with some traditional things on the menu.
Considering this is a 5-star hotel, however, I expected that eggs other than scramble would also be free. It was the second time in the hotel where I felt that paying £200 for a standard room or £350 for a suite didn’t even give me my choice of eggs in the morning.
The back area of the restaurant also seemed to be a little left out of the renovation with old chairs and the feeling that this part of the hotel didn’t get all the tlc. Nothing major, but it was a contrast to the front.
To serve yourself, you had to wear gloves and sanitise your hands, which were suitable procedures and of course, wear masks.
I would have probably prefered to have people serve to food because the number of plastic gloves that were discarded after one use left me feeling sad. We should be helping prevent excess plastic use rather than increase it.
Apart from the upgrade, Globalists have breakfast as well as lounge access. The hotel’s executive lounge is currently closed, so we didn’t get that. However, we received 20euros per person to use in any of the restaurants.
We used 20 euros to have a drink just before sunset overlooking Acropolis.
Things that need improvement
The biggest complaint I had was the fact that the construction next door was extremely loud. Our suite was on the end of the building right next to the construction, which felt like they were drilling into my ear even before 8 am.
For the first time, my daughter was tired; she slept after 6 am, and they woke her up at 7:40 am with the noise.
Upon check-in were not even made aware there was construction right next to our room. I did mention it to the staff upon check-in, and they said all suites were on the edges of the building.
I told them I would have liked a heads up and to be let out whether I wanted the upgrade or not because no matter how early you get up, waking up with a drilling noise on vacation in a 5-star hotel is not how I want to start my day.
I would have liked a standard room further away from construction if I had been given a choice.
Another thing that bothered me for some reason was that the espresso machine in the room had a charge of 3 euros per coffee. I have seen this in standard rooms but never in 5-star hotels and even less in suites. It left a sour taste for me. I don’t mind paying 3 euros but considering that this room costs hundreds, I felt I was being charged for little things. The same with my eggs benedict.
I liked the hotel; I liked the modern design with Greek touches throughout the property. However, I would not come back until this construction was over or booked a room far away from it.
Also, if you are looking for a pool to enjoy in your stay in Athens, many other hotels offer this.
I would revisit the hotel if I have the status and the location makes sense.