Four Seasons Astir Palace Athens – A Cosmopolitan Classic Meets Modern Luxury

Ask any Greek about the Astir Palace, and you’ll likely hear stories about the glory days of the 60s and 70s, where legendary names like Frank Sinatra, Jackie Onassis and an endless list of screen icons frequented the Athenian luxury landmark.

Since its much-anticipated rebuild and re-opening in 2019 under the management of the Four Seasons, the Astir Palace Athens offers an elite holiday destination that celebrates its gilded past and presents a heightened sense of luxury and comfort, for the discerning traveller of today.

Location

Located 25km from the center of Athens, the Four Seasons Astir Palace sits on the Vouliagmeni peninsula, with the beaches of Vouliagmeni, Varkiza and Cape Sounio’s Temple of Poseidon all within driving distance. Surrounded by pine trees and with sweeping views of the Aegean, the Four Seasons Astir Palace Vouliagmeni is undoubtedly a jewel in the crown of the Athenian Riviera.

Style and Feel

The grounds of the Four Seasons Athens cover 75 acres and house 2 hotels, 3 beaches, 2 pools, 61 private bungalows, spa, gym, restaurants, eateries and bars. While the grounds are large and impressive, they manage to retain a chic, intimate experience and, upon stepping foot on-site, it’s clear that everything has been designed to maximise the sprawling sea views. The resort has been designed to honour the natural elements around it and manages to seamlessly blend into its rocky, pine-clad surroundings. Most notably, the staff at the Four Seasons Athens are dedicated to offering the impeccable service you’d expect from the hotel group, coupled with the signature warmth of Greek filoxenia.

Suites

With 21 varieties of rooms, suites and bungalows, there are accommodation options for singles, couples, families and groups to enjoy. The Arion –  a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa – offers guests an elegant and sophisticated environment. Rooms and suites in the Arion have a sense of warmth to them, with plush furnishings that are made for ultimate comfort. The Nafsika hotel boasts sleek rooms and suites in a grand building, with family-friendly amenities nearby.

The Bungalows are tucked away in the surrounding pine trees for privacy and are a piece of history in their own right, having been home to names like Brigitte Bardot and Aristotle Onassis. The bungalows retain aesthetic nods to their vintage glory days yet boast every modern luxury one could need in a cabana that overlooks the Aegean.

No matter which room or suite you choose, the in-room facilities and service are consistently thoughtful and unobtrusive. It’s the details that remain with you long after leaving the Four Seasons Athens, like smart lighting with settings for morning, afternoon and evening, Four Seasons signature bedding that was seemingly designed for you to have the perfect night’s sleep, and thoughtful touches like afternoon ouzo and olives. With rooms this luxurious and comfortable, it’s worth staying in a little and enjoying the in-room service. 

Food and Drinks

With 10 restaurants, eateries and bars on-site, the dining options at the Four Seasons Athens will entertain even the most demanding foodie. Breakfast offers buffet and a la carte dining options, featuring a mix of healthy (think smashed avocado toast with poached eggs and detox juices) and decadent choices (the array of freshly baked cakes and pastries will satisfy any sweet tooth).

Once you’ve worked up a post-swim appetite, the dining options just keep getting better. Taverna 37 is perched upon Arion beach and serves up an elevated take on taverna fare, including the note-worthy salad of compressed watermelon, feta and mint and seafood kritharoto. Poolside restaurant Helios offers Peruvian/Nikkei cuisine with a playful selection of ceviches and raw dishes, as well as tacos, burgers and a cocktail menu that will have you enjoying your afternoons by the pool more than you could have imagined. 

The pinnacle of dining options at Four Seasons Athens is undoubtedly Pelagos. With chef Luca Piscazzi at the helm, this forward-looking interpretation of fine dining uses fresh seasonal produce with a focus on fish and seafood. The tasting menu boasts signature dishes like caviar pasta and dry-aged wild sea bass, as well as mind-bending amuse-bouche bites like sea urchin tiramisu. 

Activities

The outdoor hotel pool is the centrepiece of the grounds and boasts uninterrupted views of the peninsula. Olive trees are seemingly magically planted around and within the pool, creating a poolside scene out of your grandest Grecian dreams. If the pool gets a little too active for your liking, you can always stroll over to the Arion “quiet pool”, where guests aged 12 and over are welcome to enjoy the facilities. 

Often, staying at a hotel means giving up the beach for the pool. Not so at the Four Seasons Athens, which boasts three pristine on-site beaches. If the sea is your Happy Place, you can access the best of the crystal-clear Aegean waters, just steps away from your room.

All beaches and pools at the Four Seasons are staffed by the pool club, with amenities such as watersports lessons, complimentary water and towels, lunch bites, beverages and treats throughout the day like frozen fruit and iced tea shots. 

The Four Seasons spa and gym both provide plenty of wellness options, including morning pilates classes and massage therapy that is nothing short of heaven-sent. Parents, worry not, Kids For All Seasons has a range of activities to keep the young ones entertained while you follow your bliss.

Ideal for…

Four Seasons Athens is ideal for those who desire rest and relaxation in luxurious surroundings that honour the natural beauty of the Vouliagmeni peninsula. If comfort, impeccable service, luxury and gastronomy are what you value in a getaway, then the Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens is the sanctuary you’ve been seeking. 

Facilities and Services

  • Airport / Port Transfer Service
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bars 
  • Restaurant
  • In-room service
  • Towels for pool area
  • Spa
  • Gym
  • Tennis Academy
  • Basketball Court
  • Boat Trips
  • Concierge
  • Garden
  • Laundry & Ironing Service
  • Lobby Lounge
  • Gift store
  • Clothing boutique
  • Event Spaces

A: Apollonos 40, Vouliagmeni 

All Images Taken by Blue Mandarin Exclusively for IN+SIGHTS GREECE © (Copyright) 

Rents Rise for Homes by the Sea in Athens

Winter or summer, a place by the beach has always a special appeal. With demand for homes shifting away from central Athens due to the pandemic, there is a clear preference for larger, more spacious houses in the capital’s less crowded suburbs.

This has boosted the average price of renting a house in the southern suburbs by 2.1 percent to 10.21 euros per sq/m in the third quarter of the year, data shows. This compares with 9 euros per sq/m in the city center and 9.47 euros per sq/m in the northern suburbs, where demand has been strongest recently.

A recent breakdown of figures provided by RE/MAX shows that rent prices along the southern Athens coast vary.

Progress on the construction of the Ellikino complex at the former international airport has boosted demand in the area as the development project is seen transforming the southern stretch, boosting its strong appeal among locals and foreigners. The beach area does not have access to the Athens subway which services the southern suburbs but further inland, along Vouliagmenis Avenue.

Most of the stretch, however, on the beach is well serviced with buses and the tram line. The majority of areas are also in close proximity to central Athens and landmarks, such as the Acropolis.

Glyfada remains a popular choice, costing 9.60 euros per sq/m, according to RE/MAX data. Next door in Voula, rents are cheaper at 7.80 euros per sq/m.

In Alimos, monthly rents for houses are at 7.9 euros per sq/m, versus 7.80 euros per sq/m in Elliniko and 7.30 euros per sq/m in Paleo Faliro.

Further out, the affluent area of Vari-Varkiza tops the rent price list at 9.50 euros per sq/m.

Near the Port

Down by the port of Piraeus, the country’s largest, prices are lower but fast-rising. Figures show that the price of renting a home in the suburbs of Piraeus rose 14.7 percent in 2021 to 6.88 euros per sq/m, from 6 euros previously. Along with improving infrastructure in the area, the construction of new office buildings has drawn large multi-national tenants, boosting housing needs.

This article was first published here. 

For more Real Estate News & Views on Greece and Europe’s South, head to The Greek Guru.

*Image courtesy of Sotheby’s

16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens

Planning a trip to Athens soon? We’ve chosen a handful of the top neighbourhoods in the Greek capital that are perfect to visit during your holiday. And with so much rich history and culture, plus great cafes, eateries, and boutiques, these spots are sure to delight all the senses.

Plaka

The oldest part of Athens, Plaka is a picturesque neighbourhood filled with beautiful houses, loads of restaurants and cafes, and some of the city’s best museums and archaeological sights. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens

 

Anafiotika

Reminiscent of a small Cycladic island with its white cubic houses and blue doors and windows, this area is partially covered by beautiful bougainvillea. Anafiotika is an oasis of tranquility in the centre of the Greek capital and a spot to take amazing photos. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens

Koukaki

An older residential neighbourhood, Koukaki is close to Plaka, but far less touristy and much quieter than the more popular central neighbourhoods. Here you will find some great spots to grab a coffee and bite to eat. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens
Image @athensguide

Kifissia

One of Athens’ most upmarket neighbourhoods, Kifissia is about 45 minutes from the centre of Athens via metro. Perfect place to stroll around and enjoy the greenery, and also the place to go if you are looking for some boutique stores and gorgeous cafes. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens
Image @pinterest

Psirri

A wonderful place buzzing with colourful taverns, cafes, and bars, Psirri comes alive at night with locals and international visitors who gather to enjoy a casual dinner at one of the many traditional taverns. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens
 

Syntagma

This is Athens’ central square and home to the Greek Parliament House and where you will catch the Evzones (changing of the guards.)  It’s also the top of famous Ermou Street, the city’s busiest shopping strip. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens

Kolonaki

Upscale, and filled with designer shops, museums, cafes, restaurants, and bars, Kolonaki is a glamorous neighbourhood at the foot of Lykavittos Hill and a place where you will find locals wining and dining on any given evening. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens
Image @travelzonegreece

Chalandri

The Northern suburb of Chalandri is one of the hippest neighbourhoods in Athens and a great place to visit. From a great range of eateries, bakeries, and cafes to unique bookstores, jewellery shops, and cinemas, there is something here to suit all tastes. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens

Pangrati

With an array of amazing places to eat and drink, Pangrati features some trendy shops, art galleries, and some amazing buildings. Pangrati is also home to Athens’ oldest cinema, Pallas, which opened in 1925.

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens
Image @cntraveller

Gazi

This neighbourhood in Athens has received a major makeover over the last few years and has now become one of the most popular spots for Athenians. With some must-see galleries, all-day cafes, and ancient sites, you can spend all day here and it’s still not enough. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens

Thissio

A great place, especially over summer as it’s a favourite venue for open-air events and festivals. Athenians love coming here for a catch-up with friends at one of the many cafes. Make sure you check out the museums and the open-air Cinema, which opened in 1935. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens
Image @trip2athens

Glyfada

Another upscale area of Athens, Glyfada features seaside living complete with endless restaurants, bars, and boutique stores. The area is very popular, especially over summer where it gets packed with international visitors making the most of the Athenian Riviera views. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens

Voula/ Vouliagmeni

Also along Athens Riviera, here you will find some of the city’s best beaches and swimming spots, as both neighbourhoods (located next to each other) are upscale residential areas. The “downtown” of Voula has lots of restaurants and cafés, and Vouliagmeni is home to some of the most luxurious hotels in Athens. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens

Pireaus

From fine dining restaurants to little-known archaeological treasures, there’s a lot more to Piraeus than its port. With great bakeries and cafes to the Piraeus Archaeological Museum, make sure you add this neighbourhood to your list. Zea Harbor is also located here; it’s a promenade of restaurants, cafés, and home to lots of fancy yachts.

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens

Mets 

This is actually a small section of the central suburb of Pangrati that has a character of its own. Less than a 10-minute walk to Syntagma Square and to the Acropolis, where you feel as though you are in a small town rather than a big city. It’s away from the crowds and tourists and a place where you will get a real sense of old Athens.  

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens

Fix

Only a ten-minute walk from the Acropolis Museum and lots more historical sites, this is another lesser-known neighbourhood in Athens. Full of charming cafés with outdoor tables, it’s a great place to stroll around. Make sure you stop off at the National Museum of Contemporary Art. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens
Image @greeka