Grecotel Pallas Athena
With its fake-stucco façade and seedy location by Omonia Square, Grecotel Pallas Athena, the smallest property in the biggest hotel chain in Greece, makes an unpromising first impression. But the oversized flowerpots and retro swing-seat by the revolving front door suggest that this urban bolthole is less conventional than its sister hotels.
Inside, it is eccentric in the extreme. A jungle of plastic leaves encloses the all-white Meat Me restaurant, where fashionable Athenians order gourmet kebabs. Mirrored stairs lead up to the first-floor reception, a psychedelic den plastered in warped graffiti, where two Mini Coopers stand in for front desks. The graffiti theme continues in 55 of the 76 rooms, customised by street artists in outlandish styles, from the Smurfs to Superman, space-age scenes to serene landscapes. Furnishings are a curious mix of cutting-edge (Kartell Bourgie lamps) and predictable (leatherette reclining chairs), but somehow it works. Huge beds are strewn with fake-fur throws; iPods come with funky playlists; instead of piped music, there's recorded birdsong in the communal spaces.
The hotel has a tiny Carita spa and basement gym with a saucy, see-through ceiling so you can work up a sweat looking up the skirts of diners. Otherwise, there's not much of a view. This is a place for people who like to party. On the morning after, tuck into the excellent buffet breakfast of regional Greek specialities. Billed as a 'why not?' hotel, Pallas Athena is refreshingly offbeat. Unlike many Athenian hotels, it's also reasonably priced.
• 63 rooms
Private parking possible on-site (charged)
• Athens City Hall: 1-minute walk
• Omonia Square: 1-minute walk
• Omonia Metro Station: 2-minute walk
• National Theatre of Greece: 3-minute walk
• Akropolis: 1.2 km
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