What is it?
A skyscraping hotel on Athens’ central Omonoia Square.
What's the deal?
Central Athens is loud, busy, and sweaty. Tourists coming for a relaxed drift between all of her ancient temples and monuments sometimes get a bit of a shock when they discover that the heart of the city moves at a relentless pace. Even still, it’s wise to post up in a central neighbourhood on your first trip to the Greek capital – there’s so much to see, you’ll want to be right in the action, rather than tucked away in one of the city’s leafy suburbs. Omonoia Square – one of Athens’ oldest – is in the dead centre of the city, and one of its main arteries. Around its traffic-heavy, multi-lane roundabout, there are several shopping complexes, restaurants, and high-rise hotels – including the Lighthouse, its nine floors looming over the busy square.
Part of the Israeli Brown hotel group, the Lighthouse is no doubt the trendiest bolthole on the square, if not in all of Athens. When you walk into its dark-walled lobby, you’ll notice posters tacked up advertising art festivals and other events taking place around the city – or sometimes at the hotel’s rooftop, a meeting place for the city’s scenesters that features a plunge pool, hot tubs, a bar, and 360° views of the city. It’s a nice respite from Athens’ sometimes-gruelling heat, with welcoming striped deck chairs and the option to order light bites if all that lounging makes you peckish.
Rooms are compact but sumptuously designed, decked out in black marble, velvets, gold accents and, oddly, faux animal busts. “Cosy” rooms are the most economical at just 14-16 square metres, whereas “urban rooms” (which look out over Omonoia Square) and classic rooms offer more space and come with balconies. The grand suite is a lavish penthouse sprawled over 70 square metres, boasting a private cocktail bar, working fireplace, and walk-in closet.
While it might not be one for the noise sensitive or anyone allergic to scenester types, the Lighthouse offers something of an LA-lite experience at core of the Greek capital. Less a calm oasis, and more a chic rendezvous.
The best stay for...
Getting to the heart of it all.
3, Marikas Kotopouli Str, Athina 104 31, Greece