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Friendly Planet Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Titania Hotel’

Part two of our first-hand look at Friendly Planet’s Athens and 3-Day Greek Isles Cruise

View of the Athens Parliament from Syntagma Square

Picking up from where I left off, recounting my experience on the Athens and 3-Day Greek Isles Cruise …

Soon after collecting our bags at Athens International Airport, the Friendly Planet group was met by our tour guide, Heather. First a word about our multilingual travel lifeline.

Heather had come to the country about three years earlier for a job as a guide with another company. She moved to Athens not speaking a word of Greek, but had a month before starting her job to acclimate herself to the city and begin learning the language.

Two days after her arrival she got a phone call from her soon-to-be boss. “Think you could start tomorrow?” She agreed. And after just a week on a tour bus with a driver who didn’t speak a word of English, she was conversational in Greek.

Not surprising, our first conversation with Heather was a vocabulary lesson. On the ride into the city we learned kalimera (pronounced ka-lee-MEra, meaning good morning), yasass (pronounced YA-sass, the polite way to say hello to someone you don’t know), and efharisto (pronounced ef-ka-ree-STO, meaning thank you).

During that drive, Heather also told us an important thing to know about the streets of Athens: Traffic is heavy and the “rules” of the road are seen as more of a suggestion. For the most part, they’re ignored. She strongly suggested that we look both ways (a few times) before crossing the street. :)

Athens’ heavy traffic can be attributed to its dense population. The city lies in a valley, with Mount Aegaleo to the west, Mount Parnitha to the north, Mount Penteli to the northeast, and Mount Hymettus to the east. Over 3 million people live in the Athens urban area, which is about seven times the square mileage of Manhattan.

But unlike the Big Apple, a building height restriction put in place to protect views of the Parthenon means there are no buildings over 12-stories high (except for a handful of exceptions). That means the city is packed with residential and commercial buildings, and Greeks traveling from the outskirts of town to the city center.

Life in the Plaka

After driving from the airport into the heart of downtown Athens, we arrived at our centrally located hotel, the Titania. The afternoon was spent exploring our surroundings. We were walking distance from some of the most beautiful neo-classical style buildings in the city, including Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where we watched the changing of the guard; the Academy of Athens; and the Vallianios National Library.

Having wandered through Syntagma Square (or Constitution Square), we found ourselves in Plaka, the historical neighborhood of Greece that wraps around the base of the Acropolis. The tangled web of narrow streets here are lined with beautiful old homes, street vendors, shops, and cafes.

It was just a few quick hours wandering the Athens streets (we’d be back in a few days) before we headed back to the Titania to resist a nap, meet with our tour group to discuss cruise embarquement procedure, and finalize the list of shore excursions we would take at each of the islands we would visit.

Dinner that night was at the hotel restaurant. Sure we were thousands of miles from home, but we managed to find ourselves at a place called The Olive Garden. Not the chain you find in the U.S. No endless soup, salad, and breadsticks here. Just incredible views of the Acropolis. :) We went easy on the wine, because it was a 6 a.m. wake-up call the next morning when we’d head to Piraeus, the port of the Athens where our cruise ship, the Aquamarine, was anchored.

But more on that in my next post. Plus: Lifeboat dry runs, sunset picture #1 of 3,000, and how to confuse a pirate.

Your Bedroom Abroad: Titania Hotel in Athens, Greece

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.
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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.

About Peggy

Peggy Goldman is a specialty tour operator and travel expert, who owns and operates Friendly Planet Travel, a full-service company that specializes in tour packages to exotic worldwide destinations at affordable prices.   More about Peggy

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