You wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive, so why would you book a vacation without first checking out where it is you’d be calling your home away from home? In my opinion, where you lay your head at night is sometimes just as important as the sights and activities you experience during the day.
No one wants to sacrifice cleanliness, luxury, or amenities to get a cheaper price for a vacation. That’s why we work extra hard at Friendly Planet Travel to get you the comfort and luxury you deserve at the end of the day for prices that would put you in a flea bag motel with most other travel companies. And it’s something that we’re incredibly proud of.
As such, I’ll be introducing you to a number of the hotels we work with in various cities throughout the world, so you can see for yourself. Just like our “All Aboard” series, this “Bedroom Abroad” series will give you a little taste of the standards that we expect from our hoteliers.
In keeping with this week’s Greek theme, first up is the four-star Titania Hotel in Athens, Greece. The Titania is a true urban oasis, nestled in the historic and commercial center of Athens. Located between the city’s major squares, Syntagma and Omonia, the hotel has been a paragon of Greek hospitality for over 30 years. Recent renovations set this Athenian institution apart aesthetically, technologically, and functionally.
The majestic lobby with its marble floors and intricate mosaics depicting Hellenic themes, the comfortable and modern guestrooms, the award-winning restaurants, the newly renovated shopping arcade, and the unrivaled views of the Acropolis are just a few of the features that make the Titania Hotel one of the premier places to stay in Athens. Not to mention, Titania’s prime location in the heart of Athens puts the city’s historical sites, cultural attractions, shopping venues, vibrant nightlife, and public transportation within easy reach.
As for the Titania’s recently refurbished 385 guestrooms, they can best be characterized as comfortable, elegant, and functional.Tastefully decorated and thoroughly equipped with every modern convenience, all rooms feature air-conditioning, high-speed internet access, satellite TV, mini-bar, and safety deposit box. The luxurious en suite bathrooms come stocked with toiletries and a hairdryer. Non-smoking rooms are also available.
Onsite dining includes La Brasserie, a cozy venue serving lunch, dinner, and light snacks. For fancier fare, the Titania’s elegant rooftop Olive Garden Restaurant serves gourmet cuisine in an upscale, yet subdued setting. The award-winning Olive Garden Restaurant has won the admiration of food critics for its wide array of superb dishes from all over Greece and the Mediterranean, in addition to its exclusive international wine list.
For more information on the Titania Hotel, please feel free to contact anyone from Friendly Planet Travel, or have a look at the Titania Hotel’s Web site. I’d also be happy to put you in contact with a Friendly Planet Travel vacationer who has stayed at the Titania.
In my last All Aboard blog post, I gave you a little tour of the M.S.C. Sinfonia. Today, let’s take a stroll down the deck of the luxurious M/V Aquamarine, the cruise ship that vacationers on our Athens and Greek Isles cruise have the opportunity to enjoy.
The Aquamarine, a member of the Louis Cruise Lines’ fleet, is considered one of the best vessels for cruising the Greek Islands. Her sleek design and medium size make her ideally suited for navigating the waters of the Aegean Sea, while her upscale amenities and services create a comfortable floating base that makes it easy to explore the beauty of the islands.
With 525 spacious staterooms and suites, the Aquamarine has capacity for more than 1,200 passengers. Her 339 outside staterooms — most with large windows and some with balconies — and 186 inside staterooms — all above sea level — are tastefully decorated and fully equipped with an array of modern comforts. Cabin amenities include adjustable climate control, TV, radio, direct dial phone, personal safe, and private bathroom.
The Aquamarine also features two spacious, full-service dining areas and several comfortable bar and lounge areas for cocktails, coffee, and light snacks. As vacationers sail between ports, there’s an array of leisure facilities to enjoy, including a swimming pool, sun deck, fitness center, massage/sauna facilities, basketball court, casino, and more.
I have a feeling that if it weren’t for the beautiful sights and sounds of the Greek Isles to lure them off the boat, we’d have a hard time getting the passengers aboard the Aquamarine off the ship. The full list of amenities include:
Adjustable climate control
Direct dial telephone
Two dining rooms
Duty free shop
Onboard medical assistance
For more information on the M/V Aquamarine or any of our cruises, please contact us. And stay tuned for the next cruise ship in our “All Aboard” series.
Plato once wrote, “every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.” And I am willing to bet that at the first touch of Greece, everyone becomes a lover. Because when you discover Greece, I swear your heart will sing.
In Athens, the past meets present and east meets west. With forefathers such as Plato, Sophocles, Socrates, Pericles, and Aristotle, there’s no wonder why Athens is considered the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy.
Today, you can tour ancient monuments and works of art, such as the Parthenon on the Acropolis, amidst a city overflowing with Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman monuments, as well as modern landmarks from the 19th century Hellenic Parliament to the modern day Olympic stadiums.
Off the coast lie the Greek Isles, with some of the most resplendent and culturally rich coastal towns in the world.
On our Athens and three-day Greek Isles cruise, you’ll see all of this, and more. Spend three nights exploring beautiful Athens, and three nights sailing aboard the M/V Aquamarine to the magnificent Greek islands of Mykonos, Kusadasi in Turkey, Patmos, and Rhodes.
The package includes flights, superior hotel accommodations in Athens for three nights, a Greek Isles cruise for three nights, buffet breakfast daily, all meals aboard the cruise, and all transfers. You’ll have the time to explore Athens and the islands on your own, or you can opt to take interesting and inexpensive tours, provided by Friendly Planet Travel guides. And best of all, now you can do it all for $999 per person. That’s if you book before July 17, with savings of up to $600 per couple.
Available dates for 2009 are Oct. 28 – Nov. 4, Nov. 4 – Nov. 11, and Nov. 11 – Nov. 18. And 2010′s departure dates include March 17 – March 24 and March 24 – March 31.
Got a little extra time? We also have an Athens and four-day Greek Isles cruise. Both trips cover the same ground, but the four-day cruise also hits Santorini, Greece’s most popular island. That’s nine days for $1199 if you book before July 17. That’s another sale price with savings of up to $600 per couple.
2009 departure dates for the Athens and four-day Greek Isles cruise have rapidly been selling out, but spaces are still available from Sept. 5 – 13, Sept. 19 – 27, and Oct. 10 – 18. Check out the Friendly Planet Travel Web site for more information.
You also have the option with either of these trips for an inexpensive and exciting four-day Classic Greece extension through Corinth, Mycenae, Olympia, and Delphi.