What a view! Drawing back the curtains, stepping onto the balcony, and there it was – Aristotelous Square with the sea beyond, and way out in the distance, Mount Olympus.
The Electra Palace is a splendid hotel, perfect for business or pleasure. It is elegant, stylish and treats each visitor as a very special guest. Several European languages are spoken at reception and you are greeted with a warm welcome. I requested a pot of tea when checking in and it arrived within minutes of my arrival to my room. Top marks there!
And it was a rather lovely room, plenty of wardrobe space, a kettle (hurray), a really well appointed bathroom (easy to use shower) with loads of toiletries,toothbrush, sewing kit, nail file, in fact, practically everything I could want beside the bathroom sink! Plugs were sensibly placed beside the desk, tasteful lamps glowed on side tables and the armchair was exceptionally comfortable. The style was ‘best hotel’, a little impersonal but no matter. And as for the bed, well, it was truly wonderful with cloud-like pillows: I slept, unusually, like a baby.
My little balcony just fitted two chairs, which was all I needed. The view is something that I kept re-visiting at different hours of the day, just to check it was actually still real. Thessaloniki is an historic coastal settlement , with a busy port and the tankers slowly ploughing their way across the waves reminded me that the city is as commercial as it is cultural. The absolute wonder of Mount Olympus, home to the ancient gods, far away, nearly beyond the horizon, is definitely the icing on the cake and with snow on it, looks just like it too.
This view is seen too,from the Orizontes Roof Garden, where breakfast is taken, buffet style. I loved actually sitting outside in December (wearing a jumper for sure) enjoying eggs, pastries and decent, free-flowing coffee in sunshine and you can do this I gather, 300 days of the year! This light, bright restaurant has an intimate feel, which is so seldom achieved in a large hotel. The ground floor Excelsior bar has the same almost cosy atmosphere, furnished very much as a gentlemen’s club, with feminine touches.
A trip below stairs brought me to the Wellness Centre and a superb range of treatments. I submitted to the therapist’s superb ministrations, I can recommend the Thai massage with herbs and the body hydration with vanilla and honey. Rarely have 90 minutes passed so blissfully; I was quietly floating in a haze of pleasure, restored and refreshed. A warm shower followed, then a short dip in the pool which slowly brought me back to reality. In summer months, you can enjoy a spot of sunbathing and a swim in the outdoor, rooftop pool, which gives me a genuine excuse to return.
The Electra Palace is perfectly located, metres from the seafront, bang in the centre of the city on one of its finest squares, with excellent shopping, Byzantine churches, Greek and Roman ruins, markets, as well as great restaurants, only moments away. It is the perfect hotel from which to explore a city which has really captured my imagination.
“More details on this hotel can be found here”:http://electrahotels.gr/en/thessaloniki/electra-palace-thessaloniki/.
Read more about the city and its delights in my “Thessaloniki feature”:http://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/blog/destination-features-europe-greece/thessaloniki.