2017-03-15 / Front Page

On the Road In Greece: Two Acropolis Hotels In Strategic Locations

By Catherine Tsounis

     Lamb dinner at “Point a” rooftop restaurant of Herodion Hotel.
Lamb dinner at “Point a” rooftop restaurant of Herodion Hotel.      The fear of crime with a destitute refugee population disrupting tourism in urban centers prompted us to spend $200 a night for two persons to stay in the Acropolis, Athens area. Seeing the Acropolis lite up at night from a hotel room window is a thrill. The police and security is excellent. All staffs spoke excellent English at the Herodion and royal Olympic Hotels, highly recommended on Expedia and TripAdvisor. I was told by sources that international owners now own major commercial interests in Athens. The educated, Greek middle class is being replaced by members of the European Union.
Our first stay in Athens was at the Herodion Hotel, on my birthday on May 23rd, 2016. The all Greek staff greeted us with a smile and a gift of a fruit bowl and water in our hotel, because it was my birthday. Their breakfast is out of this world. Delicious. This was our second stay at the Herodion. That evening, we had dinner at the rooftop restaurant called Point a (Acropolis Point).
            The food was outstanding with a great menu. They had a cocktail menu names of location sights such as “Temple of Olympian Zeus”. We had a lamb dish, stuffed tomatoes and ice cream that was part of European cuisine. The menu included: goat with Greek style string beans; Mizithra cheese from Sfakia, Crete; Cretan pork in a lemon sauce; grilled salmon with ginger and cucumbers; stuffed squash flowers, cod dish, Asian shrimp with greens sautéed in lemon sauce; Greek, Myconian, Thessaloniki and Chios salads; spicy pasta dishes; egg dishes with pasta and potatoes; souvlaki and other Greek cuisine. Great view of the Acropolis while we dined. Seeing the sun set on the Acropolis is a memory to treasure.
            One block away is a City Sightseeing Athens Hop-On Hop-Off Tour bus at the Acropolis Museum. I was given the wrong directions to the National Art Gallery and ended up in the Olympic park that was deserted. I had a great taxi cab driver who helped.  I will tryView of Parthenon at night from “Point a” rooftop restaurant of Herodion Hotel.
View of Parthenon at night from “Point a” rooftop restaurant of Herodion Hotel. Hop-On Bus next time. The Hotel owner thanked me for a positive review on TripAdvisor. The staff cares about its image on the internet. This hotel closes out quickly. Centrally located at Acropolis and Acropolis Museum. Enjoy your stay. The staff treated us well and said, “Come back and stay with us.”
On our last day in Athens, we stayed at an elegant hotel called “Royal Olympic”. A copy of the “Charioteer” of Delphi stared at the tourist in the lobby. It looked like the original in the Delphi Museum. We had a suite of room that made you want to stay indoors. Oil paintings of Greece adorned the halls. The big attraction of this hotel is the rooftop dining. It pays to stay here and enjoy the sumptuous breakfast buffet overlooking the Acropolis and Olympian Zeus. There was a minor incident with a hotel administrator. She reprimanded me for opening a conference room, saying “where are you from?” Upon hearing my country, she replied “it’s to be expected.” Our government since 9/11 has not had a positive foreign policy in Europe or the Buffet breakfast at “Royal Olympic “hotel.
Buffet breakfast at “Royal Olympic “hotel. Middle East. Elegance in Old European Style! This is a great hotel that everyone should visit just for the panoramic view from the rooftop restaurant. He/she will never forget the breakfast experience.
Having a home cooked dinner in a traditional Greek home is a culinary experience. We had a great dinner at the home of Pitsa Tsakonas in Nea Smyrni. The menu included tiropites, spanakopites, Greek beefsteaks, fried potatoes, barbecued baby lamb chops, fried potatoes, bread, feta and kasseri cheeses, beet and Greek tomato salads with stuffed grape leaves was the best traditional dinner we had in Athens. Every Greek home has their own table wine made from the village. The Tsakonas family served an organic white wine.
 
            “In hospitality, the chief thing is good will,” says a Greek proverb. Hospitality Writer with husband at “Point A”.
Writer with husband at “Point A”. came from the Gods, according to the Ancient Greeks. “Is hospitality as customary now as it was in Homer’s time, and if not, why?  It seems as though modern people do show hospitality towards others, but in a different way than those in Homeric times.  It is not custom anymore to provide food, protection, and shelter to a stranger that arrives at someone’s door.  This could be because there are hotels and restaurants almost anywhere one can go.  There is no need to for someone to ask for these.  Also, protection is not a large concern for most travelers, especially in the United States.  Hospitality is still shown, however, in modern society.  For example, when someone’s car breaks down most people would welcome them into their homes and help them in any way they can without even asking who they are.  Also, most people know of someone, be it family or friend, in a different city that would welcome them and provide them with a place to stay and food, which is similar to the xenia in Homer’s time.  Although the hospitality customs of Homer’s View of Acropolis from rooftop restaurant of Royal Olympic Hotel.
View of Acropolis from rooftop restaurant of Royal Olympic Hotel. time are not still around, there are similarities to them and hospitality is still visible.
  Is hospitality as customary now as it was in Homer’s time, and if not, why?  It seems as though modern people do show hospitality towards others, but in a different way than those in Homeric times.  It is not custom anymore to provide food, protection, and shelter to a stranger that arrives at someone’s A traditional Greek dinner at the Tsakonas hime in Athens.A traditional Greek dinner at the Tsakonas hime in Athens.door.  This could be because there are hotels and restaurants almost anywhere one can go.  There is no need to for someone to ask for these.  Also, protection is not a large concern for most travelers, especially in the United States.  Hospitality is still shown, however, in modern society.  For example, when someone’s car breaks down most people would welcome them into their homes and help them in any way they can without even asking who they are.  Also, most people know of someone, be it family or friend, in a different city that would welcome them and provide them with a place to stay and food, which is similar to the xenia in Homer’s time.  Although the hospitality customs of Homer’s time are not still around, there are similarities to them and hospitality is still visible.”1
 
 
References:
    1.    https://minerva.union.edu/wareht/gkcultur/guide/8/web1.html
 
Photos:
https://goo.gl/photos/dLJzxZpMLWxMMBXc9 -  Herodion Hotel
https://goo.gl/photos/3itRrfhzGCUKavcZ6 - Royal Olympic Hotel
https://goo.gl/photos/6KPhJxs1Ri54eP2b6 - Pitsa and Lambi Tsakonas dinner


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