Review: xenodocheio Milos, Athens, Greece
Athens is a frenetic, gritty city, home to around three million people. In Athens, ancient history meets modern reinvention and it has cleverly transformed itself in recent years, putting the destination firmly back on the map when it comes to hip European city breaks. Arriving in Greece’s capital, one of the world’s oldest cities, is an attack on the senses that comes at you from every angle, so you’re going to need somewhere calm and comforting to stay after navigating the crowds of the Acropolis.
Visitors in search of a luxury Athens hotel should book a stay at xenodocheio Milos, a five-star, 43-bedroom hotel located in a salubrious neighbourhood, home to designer shops, buzzy bars and restaurants, Syntagma Square and the National Gardens. The hotel was opened by Greek chef Costas Spiliadis of Estiatorio Milos and promises guests a five-star gastronomic experience.
An Athenian home from home
Housed in an historic building opposite Old Parliament House and with views of Lycabettus Hill, xenodocheio Milos is an Athens hotel that calls itself ‘every visitor’s Athenian home’ and it does feel like that when you arrive. The building dates back to 1880 and represents the architectural thinking of the time, when it was accustomed to feature a shop on the ground floor and residences on the upper floors. Located just off the main street, there’s a small reception area manned by friendly staff with lifts taking guests up to the bedrooms. Bedrooms are simple and stylish with muted colour palettes, minimalistic art, luxurious 100% cotton bedding, warm wooden furniture, impressive marble bathrooms, rainforest showers and divine toiletries by Naxos Apothecary. There’s a flagship store adjacent to the hotel if like me you wanted to take all of its products home with you.
My Executive Junior Suite had a window seat overlooking Old Parliament House – the perfect spot to unwind after a busy day exploring Athens. At the higher end, the hotel also offers Terrace and Signature Suites. Although there’s double-glazing in the bedrooms, the rooms at the front of the hotel are quite noisy at night due to the fact that Athens never sleeps. They’re also bright because of the lighting outside the hotel, so if you’re a light sleeper like me it’s worth asking for a room elsewhere in the building. The turn down service also offers eye masks if you really feel like you need to block out the light.
Dine like a local
Restaurant Estiatorio Milos pitches itself as one of the best restaurants in Athens and is all about relaxed fine dining, serving generous plates of Greek classics, fresh fish and seafood. With restaurants in New York, Las Vegas, Miami, London and Athens, the fresh fish bar takes centre stage here and waiters are quick to recommend the best fish and combinations of dishes. On the night I visited for dinner staff seemed quite overwhelmed and rushed and it took a while for them to serve me. But once I’d finally ordered my food, it came quickly and was absolutely delicious. The Milos Special and Loup de Mer ceviche were stand out dishes, the kind of food you dream about when you’re back home in a post-holiday slump. Breakfast is served in the restaurant: guests can experience an authentic Greek breakfast or choose other options from the menu.
If you want to indulge in a spa treatment in Athens, book into the spa suite for a blissful Elemis treatment. There’s also a small gym for guests who enjoy working out. Staying here really did feel like visiting someone’s effortlessly stylish Athenian home where understated luxury and convivial service are very much the order of the day. If you’re looking for one of the best hotels in Athens, xenodocheio Milos is must-stay.
Nightly rates start from £310 for a Classic Room. To book call +30 2166003300 or visit the website.
Thank you to Grifco PR for hosting my two-night press stay and TTG Luxury for the commission.