Athens has always ranked high on T+L readers’ to-do lists, if only because it allows them to gape in awe at the Acropolis for a day or two before catching a ferry for an island-hopping adventure. But in recent years, the ancient city has found a fresh new groove, and Athens’ cutting edge arts-and-culture scene has drawn a new wave of travelers who come to linger without rushing off to Hydra or Paros. Luckily, this grand Grecian capital has no shortage of options for those looking to stay in style, and here, our readers have winnowed the options to three incredible standouts.
How Voting Works
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Nearly 165,000 T+L readers completed the 2023 survey, an increase of nearly 25 percent over pre-pandemic voting levels. A total of more than 685,000 votes were cast across over 8,500 unique properties (hotels, cities, cruise lines, etc.).
Hotels were classified as either resort hotel, city hotel, or safari lodge based on their location and amenities, and they were specifically rated on the criteria below:
For each characteristic, respondents could choose a rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor. The final scores are averages of these responses.
What Readers Loved
Two of our readers’ favorite hotels in Athens this year are situated right on Syntagma Square — prime real estate for sightseeing, be it morning strolls through the National Garden or afternoons wandering the staggering collections at the Benaki Museum or the Museum of Cycladic Art, just a few blocks from the square. (You’d be remiss to sleep on the pastries at Ariston, a century-old bakery around the corner from Syntagma Square, with a reputation for making some of the best kourou in Athens.)
At this year’s third-place finisher, the King George readers touted the “wonderful location in the middle of Athens,” plus the hotel’s “outstanding staff,” which guests described as “courteous, professional, and prompt.” And after a long day of sightseeing around the city, the King George is a soft place to land, both figuratively and literally — the hotel’s “great beds” were called out by readers as a particular highlight.
The neighboring Hotel Grande Bretagne placed second, with one reader calling it a “top hotel in Athens — or even in any city in Europe.” The property is a true grande dame, having been operating since 1874. And though its 320 rooms and suites offer all the modern amenities, a sense of history is ever-present, most notably from the rooftop restaurant, which several readers highlighted for the “magical” experience of eating breakfast while taking in “incredible views of the Acropolis.”
Read on for this year’s first-place finisher — a slice of paradise that offers a taste of beachy resort life within easy reach of the capital.
Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens
For travelers hoping to make the most of a short Greek getaway, the Four Seasons Astir Palace offers that rare luxury: the ability to experience all the best of the city while being able to escape the crowds. The 75-acre resort offers an oceanfront getaway on the Athens Riviera, just a short drive from the sightseeing and shopping of Athens, but with a coastal location that makes lounging on a beach or heading out for an island day trip accessible. Have the hotel set you up with a private tour of the Acropolis, then return to your sea-view suite to unwind before dinner at the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Pelagos. One guest sums it up succinctly: this is “a beautiful hotel in a very nice location.”
The Full List
Reader Score: 93.70
Reader Score: 92.95
Reader Score: 92.84