CULTURE

Airport hotel – a first for Athens

The Greek capital has proudly unveiled its first luxury hotel situated at the city’s busy new international airport. The Sofitel Athens Airport, a member of the leading Accor group, opened its doors on November 11, boasting modern architecture, good manners and an international flair. It is also the first five-star hotel built in Attica in the last 15 years. The new hotel is the 150th Sofitel and the 11th airport hotel of the leading European chain, which has 145,000 associates in 140 countries. Located at the airport and principally catering to a globetrotting business clientele, the new hotel offers 345 soundproof rooms, including 13 suites and nine rooms for the disabled. Also at the Sofitel is a conference center, a fitness area, a swimming pool and a boutique. Twenty-five kilometers (15 miles) from the heart of Athens and just eight kilometers (five miles) from the beaches of Porto Rafti and Loutsa, the hotel promises to be a relaxing, yet efficiently run haven for travelers. Hotels falling into the airport category are not known for their eccentricity in terms of design. At the Sofitel Athens, however, attention to design detail is evident. Take the mosaic situated at the entrance, for instance, originally designed to embellish a French Riviera villa in Beaulieu-sur-Mer; it is a reflection of the Mediterranean spirit, as defined by precision and harmony. The new hotel is also set to become a hub of business activity, given that it offers a state-of-the-art conference complex, offering eight different conference rooms, with a capacity for 600 to 700 people. For those with some extra free time, the establishment’s location also offers visitors the possibility of visiting archaeological sites situated in the vicinity, in Marathon and Vravrona (Brauron), as well as the Marathon Archaeological Museum, the Brauron (Vravrona) Archaeological Museum and the Vorres Museum, the latter situated in Paeania. Under the headship of French chef Marc Morel, the hotel offers two restaurant areas, the gastronomic Karavi and the Mesogeia with its Mediterranean cuisine. Up on the hotel’s ninth floor, the Karavi restaurant greets diners with a panoramic view of the airport as well as a show kitchen, an open grill area where ingredients blend together and retain their natural flavors. Besides being an up-to-date member of a leading hotel chain, the Sofitel Athens Airport will pleasantly surprise its guests with a number of fine, hospitable touches. In the Artemis bar, for instance, visitors will find a library showcasing a plethora of publications dedicated to Greece as well as to the world of aviation. Sofitel Athens Airport, at the Eleftherios Venizelos international airport. Tel. 354.4000, fax 354.4444, www.sofitel.com or www.accorhotels.com.