Steeped in history, the ancient Greek capital is buzzing.
The new Acropolis Museum
The Acropolis at sunset
The Westin Athens Astir Palace Beach Resort
Average Hotel Room Rate: €160 – €240 for 5-star hotels; €110 – €150 for 4-star hotels; €60 – €100 for 3-star hotels. (At time of writing, €1 = $1.5 Cdn.)
Convention Facilities: Located in central Athens, the Megaron Athens International Conference Centre offers 1.5-million sq. ft. of total function space, 129,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space and 18 meeting rooms.
Opened in January, 2009, near the airport, Metropolitan Expo Exhibition Center features a total area of 1.72-million sq. ft.; 538,000 sq ft. of covered space; 64,000 sq. ft. of outdoor exhibition space; two reception areas totalling 32,000 sq. ft.; two conference rooms hosting 550 and 250 people; and 10 dining areas.
Getting there: Between June 3 and Oct. 16, 2010,
Air Canada will offer Toronto-Athens and Montreal-Athens flights. To check details on Athens flights from other originating cities, visit aia.gr
In October, 2008, Athens Crowne Plaza City Center arrived after a $20.7-million rebuild. The city’s first Crowne Plaza, the property offers 193 guestrooms and 14 meeting rooms that, together, accommodate 1,000 people.
Renovated and reopened in 2007, the Amalia Hotel houses 98 guestrooms and suites. Ideal for small and medium-sized conferences and events, the hotel’s five meeting rooms can host 450 guests. amalia.gr
The first phase of a $74-million renovation at the Astir Vouliagmeni resort complex, on the Athenian Riviera, unveiled Athens’ first Westin and the Arion, a Luxury Collection Hotel. A W hotel is expected in 2011.
Attractions + Distractions
Opened in June, 2009, next to the Acropolis, the new Acropolis Museum’s 150,000 sq. ft. display about 4,000 artifacts culled from multiple institutions, including the original Acropolis Museum.
Expected by the end of 2011, the Cultural Park at the Faliron Delta, about 15 minutes from central Athens, will house, in its 1.79-million-sq. ft., the National Library of Greece, the National Opera, the ‘Agora’ (a recreation of ancient Athens’ gathering place) and the Stavros Niarchos Park.
In fall, 2009, five new galleries opened at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. More than 2,500 objects, including figurines, vessels, gold jewelry and silver utensils, complete the museum’s re-exhibition process.
À la Carte
Spondi, one of the most-awarded restaurants in Greece, specializes in highly refined, modern French cuisine, starring Arnaud Bignon’s food, which follows the seasons.
Perennially popular Varoulko turns out modern Greek food noteworthy for daring creativity anchored by innovative, high-quality ingredients.
Nestled in the Astir Palace Vouliagmeni complex, Nobu is the go-to place for those seeking creative, Japanese-inflected plates.