From the outside, this does not appear to be a particularly distinctive premium hotel. Its classical style, however, designed to blend in with the intentional blandness of the new El.Venizelos airport at Spata, does grab your attention. Once inside, the change is mind boggling.
The entire reception area of the new Sofitel Athens Airport hotel permeates a distinctive Mediterranean atmosphere. An atmosphere of class. An atmosphere of pure comfort. An inviting, cozy atmosphere that simply pulls you in and dares you not to feel completely content.
And what owners Accor and Alamanis created is not just exceptional as an airport hotel. It is an indispensable part of the international airport. This unit gives the airport that something-extra special, something that distinguishes it from other world airports.
And except for the deluxe hotel’s unique class, amenities and service, it boasts one of the Mediterranean’s best gourmet restaurants.
Here, the internationally renowned French chef, Marc Morel, takes care of the “Karavi” restaurant on the 9th floor like a loving mother looks after her children. He offers visitors a unique experience, not only with exquisite cuisine but also with a quality service that’s found in very few places around the globe. Art lovers may find the restaurants’ design, based on glass, of particular interest.
The Athens Sofitel is the 150th in the world and the 11th to be situated close to an airport. It is the first deluxe hotel to have been constructed in the capital’s broader area in some 15 years. And it will remain the only five-star hotel next to El. Venizelos International Airport for the next 5 years.
Inside the 9-floor Sofitel, there are 345 luxurious rooms, 12 of which are suites, plus a separate presidential suite, two bars, and a ballroom. For business meetings and conferences there are nine special rooms of 19 to 600 square meters, including a VIP board meeting room. All are equipped with state-of-the-art communication systems. Two of the nine floors are executive ones with special check-in services. Also, nine of the hotel rooms, as well as the elevator, are especially designed for guests with special needs.
Georges Stavrou, who headed the hotel’s pre-opening office and is the regional director of sales for Accor’s leisure and tourism hotels, added that all rooms have interactive television systems and are equipped for high technology communication requirements. “This unit is ideal for business people who will be able to get last-minute work done just before take off,” says Mr. Stavrou. “It’s also ideal for business meetings and seminars.”
This new Sofitel unit is just one of the 3,600 hotels in 140 countries managed by its parent company, Accor. Apart from rendering services to private business and public organizations, the worldwide renowned Accor’s 400,000 rooms in 90 countries cater to the discerning individual traveler. Besides its managed units, Accor counts some 145,000 associate units. For the Sofitel Athens Airport unit, ALTE and EFG Eurobank are among the main shareholders. In total, the companies invested some 38 million euros to design, construct and furnish the unit.
Greece presently has two additional Sofitel units: the Sofitel Capsis Rhodes and the Sofitel Capsis Palace at Heraklion, Crete. Mr. Stavrou says the company sees great opportunities for tourism and commerce here in the near future and that the company is studying the area for future expansion projects.