The Hotel Grande Bretagne (Greek: ?????????? ?????? ?????????) is a luxury city hotel in Greece, one of the most luxurious in southern Europe. It is located in central Athens immediately adjacent to Syntagma Square, on the corner of Vasileos Georgiou A and Panepistimiou Streets, and is now part of “The Luxury Collection” hotel chain, managed by the American company Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and owned by LAMPSA HELLENIC HOTELS S.A., where the majority shareholders are the brothers Panos and Thanasis Laskaridis.
The structure was built in 1842 as a house for Antonis Dimitriou, a wealthy Greek businessman from the island of Limnos, only 12 years after Greeces independence from Ottoman Rule. It was then bought in 1874 by Efstathios Lampsas, who restored the mansion with an 800,000 drachma loan and named it the Grande Bretagne; by 1888 the hotel had electricity installed. In November 1930 a new wing on Panepistimiou Street was inaugurated and in 1950 another wing on Voukourestiou Street. In 1957 Dimitrious mansion was demolished and a new wing was built on its place. The architect Kostas Voutsinas and the owners decided to try to keep much of the style of the original building.
During the Greco-Italian War and the Battle of Greece in 1940–41, the hotel housed the Greek General Headquarters. Following the Axis occupation of Greece, the hotel served as the Nazi headquarters. British forces made the hotel their headquarters at wars end in 1944.
During the early stages of the Greek Civil War, the hotel housed Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou, the Council of Ministers and the British military assistance force under General Ronald Scobie.
In 2006, the Hotel Grande Bretagne underwent a complete renovation to restore it to its former glory, and approximately 112 million Euros were invested to completely modernize the building. There are 320 comprehensively renovated rooms & suites, including a 400 square metre (4,305 sqf.) suite on the fifth floor.
You can disagree if you like but in my opinion the GB is the best hotel in Athens and I have stayed in a lot of them- Matt Barrett
Listed in Conde Naste Travelers 100 Best Hotels of the World, the Grande Bretagne is not just a luxurious hotel in central Athens. It is an historic landmark that has hosted the worlds most well-known dignitaries and has been the scene of some of the most remarkable moments in Greeces history. If you are looking for luxury in a centrally located hotel the Grande Bretagne is the place to stay in Athens, Greece. Since the renovations for the 2004 Olympics they have added a swimming pool on the roof, another beautiful pool and state-of-the-art health-spa in the basement, improved and added bars, cafes and restaurants, enlarged the rooms and added to them DSL, Internet TV, Pay-for-view movies, satellite TV and music and have made a great hotel even better. But the best thing about the Grande Bretagne may be the staff because you can do all the renovations and have the best food and art in the world and the most important memories a traveler will take home are of the people he has met who made his visit easier and more enjoyable. The Grande Bretagne has managed to find the best and the brightest staff in Greece, from the people at the front desk all the way down to the men and women who service the rooms.