Still, what charms the most about the property is the enthusiasm of the staff—the locals, in particular—to see this corner of the world revived to its former glories. (A Four Seasons outpost opened in 2019 just down the road, and there are whispers of more luxury hospitality brands scouting the area for potential sites.) There’s a certain reverence for the history of the place that extends all the way through to the experiences on offer, designed to appease both the more adventurous traveler—day trips by speedboat to the nearby islands of Aegina and Agistri, say, or jetskiing and snorkeling in one of the nearby coves—as well as anyone seeking to dive headfirst into the city’s many layers of history.
As someone who leans more towards the latter, I was taken on a fascinating half-day journey through the studios and ateliers of craftspeople keeping local traditions alive; most delightful was a visit to the Mentis-Antonopoulos Passementerie, where colorful ribbons, braids, tassels, and curtain ties are crafted on carefully maintained looms that date back nearly a century. Many of these are funded by the esteemed Benaki Museum, and so the trip culminated with a visit through its jaw-dropping collections that span millennia—surely one of the world’s most extraordinary treasure troves of decorative arts in the world—followed by a lazy lunch of avocado salad on the museum’s rooftop terrace, overlooking the city’s national gardens and ritzy embassy quarter. The afternoon concluded with a guided tour of the city’s bustling markets, before heading up to the Acropolis for sunset: there are few experiences quite as magical as witnessing the peachy glow of sunset fall across the Parthenon, its columns casting long shadows as the Greek flag is hoisted to full mast, ready for the soldiers who watch over the historic site at night. After all that rushing around central Athens, it was back to the hotel for dinner, an early night, and another lazy morning by the beach.