24-Hour Room Service: Periscope Athens, Greece

Dominated by the Acropolis, Athens' skyline is an awe-inspiring sight. The Parthenon has stood proudly on the "sacred rock" since the late 5th century BC, while all around it the city brims over with wonders of the ancient world. From the majestic Temple of Olympian Zeus – the largest to be built on mainland Greece – to the Agora, the ancient marketplace, a visit to Athens comprises a fascinating journey through millennia of Western civilisation.

Of course, the best way to take all of this in is by tracing the footsteps of the great Greek philosophers and Roman emperors. To view the city from a different perspective, however, check into the Periscope hotel.

In stark contrast to its historic surroundings, this very modern hotel has installed an electronic periscope on the roof, which projects a live, panoramic image of the Athens skyline on to a large screen in the lounge-bar below. Guests can marvel at the entire cityscape, whether eating their breakfast or sipping a cocktail. A clever piece of kit even allows you to pan around and zoom in for a close-up of tourists crowding around the Acropolis, or inspect the 2004 Olympic Sports Complex, far off in the distance.

LOCATION

Periscope, 22 Haritos Street, Kolonaki, Athens, Greece (00 30 210 729 7200; periscope.gr). The hotel is tucked down a predominately residential street in the upmarket neighbourhood of Kolonaki – a hub of designer shops and pricey cafés. A short walk brings you to Syntagma metro station, the Parliament Building and the National Gardens, while slightly further west are the Acropolis and the Agora (a 15-minute walk from the hotel). Just behind Periscope, a funicular carries you up the steep Lykavittos Hill, with a church at its apex and plenty of shady paths for panoramic strolls.

Time from international airport: Eleftherios Venizelos Airport is 22 miles away, about 30 minutes in a taxi (which costs around €22); the Metro line from the airport is closed until the summer for engineering work.

COMFORTABLE?

All 22 guestrooms feature an uncluttered, pared-back design, with wooden floors, simple modern furniture and a grey colour scheme with splashes of blue, black and red. Large illuminated photos – as if viewed through the periscope – of the city's skyline are mounted above the beds.

My sixth-floor junior suite had a king-size bed, a comfortable lounge area and sliding doors out to a fabulous large balcony facing Lykavittos Hill. Even the standard rooms open to the outside, although on to more of a ledge than a balcony.

However, most impressive is the spacious duplex penthouse suite on the seventh floor, which boasts an outdoor Jacuzzi with breathtaking city views.

Continental breakfast and an all-day international snack menu are served in the lounge-bar, where comfortable black-leather seating contrasts with Ferrari-red tabletops. And in the evening, the bar comes alive as a cocktail venue.

The fact that there is no restaurant matters little, since Kolonaki is home to some of the city's best eateries. Periscope's friendly, ever-helpful staff will oblige in reserving a table at one of the many local restaurants, such as Orizontes, which serves Mediterranean cuisine at the top of Lykavittos Hill.

Freebies? Korres toiletries, chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, slippers.

Keeping in touch: Rooms have phones, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, and DVD players.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Doubles start at €180, including breakfast.

I'm not paying that: Hotel Tempi (00 30 210 321 3175; tempihotel.gr), overlooking the Monastiraki flower market and the Acropolis, offers en-suite doubles from €45, room only.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine