Want to keep your cool on your summer visit to Athens? We’ve rounded up some of our favourite hotel pools that are sure to make a big splash.
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Athens is hot. And we don’t just mean on trend. When the temperatures soar in summer, there’s no better way to cool off than by your hotel pool. From cool rooftop pools where you can swim beneath the Acropolis, to seaside resorts and family-friendly hideaways, here are ten Athens hotels with pools where you can beat the heat in style.
Courtesy: St George Lycabettus
St George Lycabettus €€€
Designer views in fashionable Kolonaki
Why it makes the cut: Small but perfectly-formed. That’s how we’d sum up the rooftop pool at this glam Kolonaki hotel. Soak up spectacular views that stretch from the Parthenon to the sea from an elegant white sunbed on the stone terrace. Cocktails and snacks are served poolside. You can also indulge in a poolside massage or salute the sun at a sunset yoga class. Kid-friendly? Rowdy kids may raise an eyebrow or two from your fellow swimmers at this bijou watering hole.
Why it makes the cut: The largest hotel pool in downtown Athens. Big enough for serious swimmers who want to clock up some laps, this urban sanctuary also has heaps of room for poolside lounging. Hotel guests can take part in yoga and aqua aerobics classes for no extra cost, or join the popular night swims on Thursday and Fridays from 9-11pm. There’s also a swanky indoor pool that’s part of the hotel spa, but you’ll have to pay extra for the privilege. Kid-friendly? Yes. Children and toddlers have their own shallow kids pool.
Swim under the shadow of an Athenian architectural landmark.
Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis
Watch the sun set into the city's horizon at this rooftop pool.
Courtesy: Grand Hyatt Athens
Grand Hyatt Athens €€€
A sexy, see-through rooftop pool
Why it makes the cut: Peek-a-boo, they can see you. The Grand Hyatt’s cheeky little rooftop pool has glass walls and is right next to the bar and restaurant, so be careful what you get up to in there. You can just make out the Parthenon in the distance too. Dry off, then go tuck into some of the Mediterranean-Asian dishes at The Grand by Interni restaurant. Kid-friendly? Kids are welcome, but the vibe is more geared to couples.
Why it makes the cut: There’s no bad angle at this highly grammable five-star oasis, located in the posh seaside suburb of Vouliagmeni. By day, you can work your tan on a bougainvillea-framed lounger for two, or on a deck cut into the elegant pool. By night, dine in a romantic grotto of floating olive trees and gently-lit lanterns. The Margi’s classy poolside bar is also a favourite pre-dinner pit-stop for Athens Riviera denizens. Kid-friendly? The pool area is designed with grown-ups in mind (but kids are fine in small doses).
Luxury meets more luxury at the seaside Four Seasons.
Courtesy: Four Seasons Astir Palace
Four Seasons Astir Palace Athens €€€
All-star luxury on a private peninsula
Why it makes the cut: Where to start? The amazing sea views. The poolside ceviche bar. The friendly staff who’ll clean your sunglasses and top up your sunscreen. The prime people watching and celebrity spotting (you are at the summer playground of the rich and famous after all). Kid-friendly? Surprisingly so. There are two outdoor pools—the main one has a floating olive grove centre stage; the other is an infinity lap pool. The extended seafront deck also has two sandy coves with shallow waters and a watersports centre.
Why it makes the cut: The white, tiered pool terrace feels like you’re relaxing on the deck of an ocean liner. You’ll plan on taking a quick dip, but could end up spending half the day by the pool. The hotel’s location —about 15 minutes from the city-centre on a busy dual carriageway—is more geared to business travel than leisure; but there’s a free shuttle bus to Syntagma Square every hour. The rooftop bar and restaurant, Première, has pulse-racing Acropolis views and gets top marks too. Kid-friendly? Yep—and the great milkshakes at the poolside café sweeten the deal.
Float above the city at this pool, only a few minutes from the city centre.
Courtesy: Intercontinental Athenaeum
Salt or fresh water? (Choose both.)
Courtesy: Divani Apollo Beach
Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso €€
An aquatic paradise on a scenic seaside promenade
Why it makes the cut: It’s heaven for water babies. Choose from two large pools (one saltwater; one freshwater) laid out side-by-side on a beautifully-landscaped terrace. Slip through the tunnel to your own private patch of Kavouri beach opposite. Or hole up at one of Europe’s biggest thalassotherapy spas, and enjoy some rejuvenating saltwater therapy. Kid-friendly? Families love the two-pool set up and the café. There’s an easygoing vibe and everyone has enough space to do their thing.
Why it makes the cut: You’ll feel on top of the world. The jazzy pool deck sits on the 21st floor of Athens’ tallest hotel. The pool is a decent size and feels like a beach resort suspended above the densely packed downtown district of Ambelokipi. Too tired to venture out after a long day’s sightseeing? The party will come to you: the rooftop bar hosts DJ sets and post-sunset pool parties. Kid-friendly? Yes. There’s a relaxed vibe and kids get a kick out of swimming in the sky.
360-degree sunsets are what you get at this rooftop pool.
Float atop colourful mosaics in this designer pool.
A trippy design hotel for the young at heart
Why it makes the cut: A contender for Athens’ most Instagrammed hotel pool. Fluid curves and a colour-popping palette rule at this funky pool garden created by Karim Rashid. Tucked away in the leafy suburb of Kifissia, this feels more like Miami. There’s a mosaic water fountain and a fitness centre overlooking the pool. Kid-friendly? Sure. What’s not to like about a swimming pool that looks like a round of Candy Crush?
Affordable and under-the-radar, right by the Parthenon
Why it makes the cut: This bijou swimming pool on a smart wooden deck dotted with white wicker loungers is a rare bonus for this price point and postcode. Cool off between visiting the Parthenon and exploring the buzzy bar scene of Koukaki. Kid-friendly? Yes. But best avoid rush hour.