Guestwriter Hotels

DCC-ed at The Best Athens Hotel, A Revisit to the Hotel Grand Bretagne

The bane known as DCC.

Still one of the Best Experiences despite a hiccup

Stayed October 2016
Written June 2017



Ouzo!

After leaving Dubrovik and the delightful Hilton, my next destination would be Bucharest in Romania via Athens. I had a night to spend in Athens and I was thinking of the Sofitel at the airport, the nearby Holiday Inn or back to my favourite Hotel Grand Bretagne in central Athens.

After much deliberation, I decided to go to back to the GB (my previous sterile review is here) as I did not want to waste time around the airport. Similar to my previous stay, I received an email prior to my stay and gave some feedback on my last visit.

The hotel is the usual place for interviews of celebrities and politicians in Athens as the Parliament House is in one view and the Acropolis in the opposite view.

From the airport, I took the Metro to Syntagma Square, remembering to validate the ticket or risk the heavy fine. The hotel is next to an exit but without shelter to the main door.

Front Desk

 

Lobby

 

 

Security wasn’t high this visit either, so everything proceeded very fast and I soon reached my upgraded suite which is frankly one of the nicest so far.

The walk to the suite is as pleasant as I remember it. Luscious decor in classic style with tones of opulence and grace.

 

Corridor

 

 

Grand Staircase

Opening the door to the suite revealed a really spacious suite with a separate living room.

The view from the room is of the inner courtyard which isn’t anything to shout about other than the associated tranquility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TV while in the bath? Sure….

 

I liked the crystal chandeliers and the curtains, blending in the classic feel without being too ostentatious.

But what I really enjoyed was the entire bowl of Werther’s Original on the table. There goes the calorie check!

 

The welcome gift was a box of chocolate and a bottle of ouzo which I didn’t drink. as shown in the picture at the top of the post.




After a good night’s sleep, I was ready for the delightful breakfast with a great view as I remember.

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

 

 

 

 

 

I still think it is one of the finest breakfast of my stays in Europe.

After a good breakfast, I revisited the spa, gym and indoor pool. Everything is as good as before! Or even better with more furniture for guests to sit.

 

 

Spa refreshment

 

Spa fountain

 



 

Last but not least, I checked out the rooftop pool again and it wasn’t as crowded as the summer I visited understandably, with only a couple of guests and the chairs mostly empty.

 

 

Basically I was very happy that there were completely no issues during this stay and there was such a good upgrade.

Well, there was an issue eventually when I was checking my credit card statement and I was charged in SGD instead of Euro!

I was DCC-ed! (Beware the DCC scam by Milelion)

And so, I emailed the hotel after discovering that, and I was pleasantly surprised to have a fast response. In the end, the hotel gave me some points as good will and another batch of points for their mistake. I did refuse the additional points during the email exchange, but the hotel insisted as service recovery.

This incident improved my opinion of the hotel a great deal!

I often say a good hotel is where everything goes well, and a great hotel is where everything goes better when something goes wrong!

Happy and Healthy Travels!

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js



Related Posts

Leave a Reply

7 Comments on "DCC-ed at The Best Athens Hotel, A Revisit to the Hotel Grand Bretagne"

Notify of

perhaps my engrish is too poor to comprehend.

so eventually did they reverse the DCC transaction and subsequent charge in their local currency + extra points as service recovery or just compensated you the DCC transaction with points?

just points all the way. if they were to reverse and re-charge, I would just incur a lot of transaction fees!

I love the contrast between “suite at fancy hotel” and “i took the metro there”. Refreshing!

hahahahaha! glad to have some of that love!
hey, we are trying to get value and not just spend and spend. isn’t that the objective of Milelion?

you can complain to your credit card company stil. say you didnt tick the box to DCC. double down on the benefits of their mistake

that’s right, if you read the FT thread on DCC they list the dispute procedure. unfortunately I’m not sure if SG banks are as accommodating. the last time round when I got unwillingly dcc-ed UOB insisted i’d need to contact the merchant to sort it out

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/credit-card-programs/1815666-dynamic-currency-conversion-dcc.html

I figured it is much easier to deal with the hotel first than with the bank.
So it was all good for me in the end.