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During our vacation to Greece, much of which was booked through Luxury Link, we spent two nights at the Divani Caravel Hotel in Athens, Greece. Let me begin by saying that if you're looking for quaint, small, boutique, or dainty, the Divani will not, in any way, meet your needs. The Divani Caravel is an old school, in your face, mammoth construct reminiscent of Cold War era Russian buildings, but it has a special kind of charm nevertheless.
First off, the rooftop pool with a direct line of sight to the Acropolis is one of those experiences that will bring a smile to your face every time you remember it. The view was stunning, the weather was perfect, and the mojito we asked our bartender to make was exceptionally well prepared.
The suites we received were on the top floor of the hotel, and balconies opened up to arguably the best view of the Acropolis in all of Athens. It was stunning. Usually my wife is talkative, but as we sat on our balcony sipping some very respectable complimentary wine and watching the sun set behind the Acropolis, we were both silent, caught up in the beauty of it all.
The view alone makes the packages more than worth it, and if you happen to be into photography, bring a tripod, and go nuts with the long exposure night shots. I got some seriously gorgeous pictures, some of which I could readily print on canvas and sell, and no one would ever believe I went no further than the balcony of my hotel room.
The rooms are spacious, more like a one bedroom apartment sans kitchen than a conventional hotel room, and the suite we stayed in boasted of none other than Mikhail Gorbachev having slept there.
As ought to be the case with any five star properties the service was impeccable. Even with the strain of the recent turmoil, protests, and economic uncertainty, the entire staff from the desk clerk to the cleaning crew to the servers, were professional, polite, and seemed genuinely happy to be there.
Breakfast at the Divani Caravel is an experience. The buffet is better than most we had while traveling Europe, but the attention to detail is what sets them apart from other hotels. What we later concluded must have been the floor manager was efficient, and appropriately authoritative with her subordinates, so that everything from coffee to champagne to fresh rolls was no more than a nod away.
At a certain point in life I guess you come to appreciate cleanliness and efficiency with almost equal enthusiasm as you would taste and presentation, but thankfully the Divani lacked nothing in those areas either.
Yes, the entrance is imposing. It looks like you're going in to the Politburo of the old USSR to give a deposition or file a complaint, but once you get past the sheer mass of the Divani Caravel its charm is undeniable. Who said big things can't be beautiful?