今度は昨年の 11 月にアテネのインターコンチネンタルで、クラブフロア＆クラブラウンジを利用した時の様子をお目にかけます。今回は特にラウンジめし(笑)に焦点を当てました♪
インタコ・アテネ Athenaeum InterContinental Athens の正面はこんなです。
10 階建て（だったか？）の、Ｌ時型な建物で、450 室くらいあります。
驚くべきことに、深夜11時半ごろ着いたら、外で煙草吸ってる人が 30 人くらいいました。
一泊あたり 60 ユーロでどうよ？とオファーを受けたので。すぐに快諾しました。
そしたら… あと 30 ユーロ足したら、お部屋も最上階のクラブフロアにしてあげる。って。
インタコのクラブフロア＆ラウンジが一泊 90 ユーロです。これは買うでしょう。
もちろんポイントも払ってますよ。COVID 様のおかげで、一泊 たったの18,000 ポイント！
結論としては、この次泊まる時にはまた普通コーナールームの 757 号室で充分です。
航空券も 2,000 ドルはするし、イスタンブールなら全部半分で済むから、優先度を変更。
ちなみに一番上の 10 階は『プレミエール』という、世田谷の長屋みたいな名前の展望レストランです。
朝食のシーンですが… パルテノン神殿とか、リカビトスの丘 Mount Lycabettus とかが一望できます。
滞在中、クルーズ船が停泊した際に泊まっていたウィスコンシンの老夫婦とよくおしゃべりしてたんですが… アテネの先生が旦那のほうと口喧嘩寸前。なぜって？ 御夫妻は… トランプ支持者だったのです。
「え～！？せっかく 6,000 マイル以上飛んできたのに、夜はラウンジめしだけ！？ 」
夜になってから、ベランダから iPhone の望遠レンズで撮影したパルテノン。
Um, just to confirm before I leave my comment, you're not currently staying at this Intercontinental hotel, right? Oh, wait, on the day this article is published, are you actually staying at this hotel? Or did you plan to stay at a different hotel in a different area? I'm getting a little confused, but anyway, the focus of this article is on how good the perks of the Club Lounge are, regardless of which hotel you stay at (lol).ReplyDelete
If the hotel has around 450 rooms and is 10 stories tall, it's a pretty decent hotel. It has a large exhibition hall in the basement and apparently gets very crowded during events, but since the country has poor management of railway operations, if there were an earthquake or something...it's scary (confusing with Turkey?). I heard that there are about 30 people smoking outside the hotel, but I wonder if they are actually following the no-smoking policy inside the facility.
I sometimes see hotels with revolving doors at the entrance in Japan, but I'm not a fan of those. If I have a fair amount of luggage and the timing isn't right, I feel like I might get caught in the door. So if there's a regular door next to the revolving one, I prefer to enter through that one.
Yamada Denki sensei,Delete
At the day of this article posted, when is 6th of March, I was certainly staying at InterContinental. Before here, I was staying at Hôtel Meliá Athènes for two nights. Hôtel Meliá Barcelona is the place where the pizzeria of Rie-san and Jérôme-san’s located. But I didn’t ask them for upgrade or anything. Unfortunately I lost pictures but I stayed in Executive Suites of Hôtel Meliá.
InterContinental Athens is not just decent but huge. The lifts are located about the center of the structure and my room was one of the furthest… it was really a torture walking between elevator hall to my room. Instead, the room was very wide and quiet.
Nonsmoking policy is somewhat strict even though there are much higher rate of smokers compare to California or even Japan. And that’s why club lounge have verandah seats with ashtrays. This time of stay, I saw several groups of Japanese businessmen in their age around 30-40, I was so surprised almost everyone smokes!! I was also wondering they seriously follow the nonsmoking rules of the facility…
Revolving doors are fun. I got caught myself or my bags in very high chance, but I could survive. The revolving door on this hotel has a safety sensors and it’s so sensitive. I was trapped just in the middle quite often.
Talking about “Revolving’” I decided to not visit any of revolving sushi anymore, even though I tried twice in my life so far. My nephew is offering a ride when we are coming back from Hakone, mom was delighted but it will be a too much burden for him, so we are considering a compromised plan, such as the nephew will pick us up at Machida then takes us to Narashino. And he must be rewarded with good amount and quality of dinner. However, all of us – mom, sister (nephew’s mother) and me are out of home, we won’t be able to prepare dinner at home, so we have to stop bay a good restaurant during his drive… when I heard this idea, my first words were ”No restaurants where kinds or young people attends. It must be an expensive restaurant so that we don’t encounter the food terrorists!” My thoughts is not an exception but common. Japanese restaurant business/industry is really under fire, I think.
Can you negotiate with them to sell access to the Club Lounge? That's a negotiation skill unique to you. I can't judge whether 60 euros per night is a reasonable price yet, so let's follow the content of the article. If you add another 30 euros, they'll upgrade your room to the Club Floor on the top floor...I would jump on that too. Due to COVID-19, it's only 18,000 IHG points per night!? That's a bargain. By the way, the InterContinental Strings Hotel Tokyo that I've booked for a weekday in April requires 48,000 points.ReplyDelete
What? Club Floor rooms are bigger than regular floor rooms? I had always thought that the size of the rooms was the same and only the benefits such as lounge access were different. It must be actually bigger if it surprised a local lawyer in Athens. And the bathroom is even bigger? I can understand why you're so obsessed with the Club Floor, and the another 30 euros is a premium deal.
Hahaha, so you told the Lounge Rep, "Club Floor rooms are spacious, but the artwork displayed is really strange!" And if the Rep also said, "I understand. It's the result of the owner's art collecting habit," then not only the guests but also the employees there recognize it. If the hotel owner is reading this blog, please reconsider (lol).
Yamada Denki sensei,Delete
My talent of being a good negotiator is surely inherited and learned from my father. Every time when we were staying at a hotel, my father was always missing but easily found at the reception desk. He didn’t drinks, smokes or ‘buys’ therefore chatting with receptionists was his best part of the trip as a person under strict monogamy. (I was called I am ‘quite’ polygamy, btw)
I do know InterContinental Strings Tokyo is very expensive and ‘high spending point’ hotel under IHG. When I planned to book somewhere for visiting Yokohama Chinatown, I checked thru Yokohama to Tokyo InterContinental hotels. Then Yokohama Grand was the easiest to book with Chase vouchers and points. Strings didn’t offer any room for Chase clients…
The room sizes may vary, especially in this IC Athens. Club room I stayed in November was about 38 to 45 ㎡ but the room I stayed last week was over 50㎡. Room #290 was so wide because it’s renovated and they connected two rooms in one. It was a standard room but super wide for frequent customers only – that was the explanation from receptionist who was so proudly introduced the room, and he remembered my name… Therefore, I didn’t spend anything extra in the most recent March stay. They upgraded me to the double-sized ‘frequent customers’ hidden room’ and they already knew I have a club lounge membership in 2023.
And the best point of that wide room this time was; Least Arts/paints in the room.
And the worst point of that wide room this time was; No Nespresso Machine!!
Ah, you're currently at the lounge in Athens airport. Come to think of it, you make the most of lounges whether at hotels or airports. The boarding will start soon, and I hope you arrive safely at your destination in about 24 hours from now.ReplyDelete
One of the good things about the Club Floor is that the linen is changed every day, but it's not changed even if you request it on the regular floors? If that's the case, I would also choose the Club Floor. You already have access to the lounge in 2023 and are almost in control of the access for 2024, so please continue to enjoy the good times.
I have a feeling that after the pandemic ends, everything will be even more expensive compared to before the pandemic. I can't help but think that there will be opportunistic price hikes trying to make up for the revenue loss during the pandemic.
I have also experienced several times in Tokyo hotels where the Club Floor is located on the upper floors rather than the Club Lounge. I remember Mandarin Oriental, Ritz Carlton, and Shangri-La were like that. I also made the mistake of going up and down almost every day when going to the lounge.
Yamada Denki sensei,Delete
Yes… I was briefly enjoyed the stay at the airport lounge in Athens. I wished I would skip the lounge access because I didn’t have much time spending there but… the Attorney of Athens was with me. He is heading to Berlin but his flight was two hours after mine. He was envy about my limousine service so he asked me to join the ride and I said no problem at all because the limo was designed for 6-8 guest passengers. Then, I searched the lounge availability of intra-Schengen departures. There was only one opens from 3:30 where both of us can enter together. So I invited the Attorney of Athens with using Priority Pass by J.P.Morgan which has unlimited companions access. Amex PPass is limited only one or two… the Centurion Card maybe has similar unlimited policy like JPM. Anyhow, we successfully enter the airport lounge and I left him alone. (That is violation of the rule. Don’t do that!)
As a result, I couldn’t arrive home safely but severely injured my leg. (lol)
Surprisingly, vast majority of InterContinental Hotels have “Green Promise” tag which is asking no change of linens and towels for sustainable goals. However, IC Athens doesn’t have such tags or signs to indicate. Therefore, they kept replacing the linens and towels with fresh ones everyday. This may be because they have a very big laundry service facility somewhere within the hotel, I guess. I always ask laundry services for my outbound clothes to be refreshed for return trip. They always wash, starch and iron right away – my clothes return in 2-3 hours, or next morning at longest. This is very impressive service and I liked it.
Amongst the Club InterContinental, Yokohama Grand is the best I encountered so far, followed by Athens. In the end of March I will stay at IC Istanbul for 5 nights so I’ll check their ‘temporally’ club lounge – IC Istanbul is under big renovations and currently club lounge is under reconstruction. So their temporally lounge is… the bar on the top floor! It sounds like a Crowne Plaza somewhere in Japan, but Istanbul’s one is seriously superb. I already visited last February and allowed, welcomed and checked the temp-lounge. It has tall glass walls with a magnificent view of Bosporus Bridges and the channel. Let me report after I stayed there, or I will write a short article like I did in Athens if my iPhone is with me. (lol)
Yes, I also feel that the lounge reps at any hotel have a good memory. They probably have excellent reps to keep seasoned travelers like you as regulars. I admit that you have a distinctive and memorable face and physique, but it's still quite impressive that you were able to go through for five days with just your face.ReplyDelete
When you were spending time alone in the lounge, you were sitting comfortably on a long bench reading news on the internet, right? It's a wonderful time that I also long for. The balcony seats that you liked so much are really great. The breakfast buffet with a spectacular view is even better and more luxurious than the lobby floor buffet, and the items are abundant? In my limited experience, the meals in the lounge seemed a bit meager compared to those on the lobby floor, so I deliberately filled my stomach on the lobby floor and then went up to the lounge to leisurely drink coffee. I finally understand why you bought lounge access for an additional 60 euros.
In Japan, November seems to be quite cold, but even with balcony seats, it seems pleasant in Athens. I also like dining in the open air, so I'm drawn to that.
It seems that Mr. Trump has a lot of influence in many ways, even to the point of almost getting into a fight over supporting the former president. If Mr. Trump were to come back after Mr. Biden's presidency and join hands again with the dictators of North Korea and Russia... it's a scary future that I don't want to think about.
Yamada Denki sensei,Delete
The hotelmen have very good memories of their gests – this is one the story in HOTEL by Shotaro Ishimori, if I remember it. I remember the bell captain at Platon (lol) Hotel has super memory of guest roster in himself.
But… I am one of the ‘easy to remember’ guests for sure. Old Far east Asian, with gray mustache and bald head. This guy is always wearing very bright colored clothes. So nobody can miss him at all. (lol)
When I was alone, I spent third of time inside, on the long couch. Otherwise, if the weather allows, I stayed in veranda because those fresh air plus the view of Marble ruins are so impressive. We has buffet always outdoor even if the smokers were next table. It was windy enough to not being exposed by the 2nd hand smoke.
This veranda seating was very comfortable in both November and March. Most of guests on veranda were smoker but I don’t care. What I did care and worried was; a boy at his age around 8, was sandwiched by his parents who are both smokers… I spoke to Attorney of Athens “Smokers’ children can accuse his parents at the court in California, and the kids always WIN!” I hope that kid was listing my conversation… pity.
Considering the availabilities – breakfast, afternoon tea (can be late lunch) and cocktail time (can be a supper) and the varieties, amounts (all you can eat), qualities, and fruits/snacks are always available throughout the opening hours, this is a very good deal by paying 60 euro per night. Oh, btw. On the last stay, I saw one of Japanese stayer was being asked to pay 77 euro per night for lounge access… so the lounge access fee may vary – depends on how often, and/or how many times that guest stayed this property.
If Donald came back to Whitehouse, which won’t occur I strongly hope, I will consider an exodus. California is the strongest state against Trump but still follow the federal raw. Or, I and my friends will start a campaign against Trump. Otherwise, the world will be ending… amen.
The division between Republican and Democrat in the United States is tremendous, isn't it? In Japan, it might be like a Tigers fan picking a fight with a Giants fan as soon as they find out their seat neighbor supports the other team (although it's a completely different level). Unlike Japan's one-party government by the Liberal Democratic Party, this seems to be a characteristic of the two-party system in the United States. In that sense, I think the United States is superior in that both parties seek restraint from the opposing side. If everyone were as wise as you, they would refrain from political conversations altogether once they found out their seat neighbor's political affiliation, but it would be disastrous if someone with a short temper like the Tigers fan were sitting next to them.ReplyDelete
By the way, this lounge is open from 6:30 in the morning until 22:00 at night, and beer is OK until closing time? It's a scene that I don't often see in Japanese hotel lounges, perhaps?
Judging from the images alone, it seems like the selection is so extensive that even the lawyer brings apples and bananas. Even law enforcers can make mistakes at times, right? But I suppose that lawyer wouldn't be drinking beer when going to court or meeting with clients, would they? Well, come to think of it, I don't drink alcohol when doing endoscopic examinations or examining patients either (lol).
Yamada Denki sensei,Delete
The Divisions between GOP and liberals are severe. The worst part is – we are so strongly divisive, we cannot trust the other side any more. And if you disclose you are strongly democratic and never believe Trump, you will be shot right away if you are in Red States…
I already have a scare of being Asian. Dark complexioned people strongly believe Chinese firstly brought the novel coronavirus. Even it might be a myth; they can’t differentiate between Chinks and Japs!! This means – I am at a risk!!
I didn’t check the availabilities of beer in breakfast time, but 3-4 brands of beers are always with coke and fanta, so endless beer is okay at here. However, Westerner’s common sense for free beer is much stricter than Japan, I’m quite sure. (lol)
The Attorney of Athens doesn’t drink if he has schedules with courts or clients. At least he is well mannered for his customers. And he has apples and bananas during the off-time at the court. If he start eating the fruits in the court, he would be never hired by someone…
終わった？ もう寝てもいい？ 既にルネスタが効いてきて起きてるの無理。おやすみなさい！ReplyDelete
I apologize for your annoying when I hear your lamentation of having a lot of comments to reply.ReplyDelete
It seems that you were indeed staying at this hotel on March 6th when the article was posted, but before that, you stayed at a different hotel in a different area for two nights. I remember Rie-san and Jérôme-san from the Sant Pau in Tokyo. I haven't been to that restaurant in a long time. How about you? I feel sorry that the pictures of the Executive Suites at the Melia Hotel are gone. "It's no use crying over spilt milk" is one of my favorite phrases (lol).
When you say the InterContinental Athens is not decent but huge, it reminds me of The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites where we first met. It was a hotel that epitomized what America is all about in my mind. It brings back fond memories.
I am surprised that the smoking rate in Greece is much higher than in California or Japan. Moreover, it's interesting to hear that the club lounge has veranda seats with ashtrays. In Japan, ashtrays are not often seen in public places anymore. At a certain high school where I am a school doctor and industrial physician, there are no ashtrays on the premises due to the strict no smoking policy, but it's surreal to see teachers who can't quit smoking and high school students who have just started smoking gathered together smoking cigarettes in front of the school gate (LOL).
Yamada Denki sensei,Delete
Did I say any ラーメン定食 to you, doctor?（btw. I miss the ramen at Ryu-en just after the endoscopies）
I’m having fun so please do whatever you like. I will reply if I can.
But please note: from next week Tuesday (your Wednesday), I’m heading to Narita so I may not be able to reply until I return home. I didn’t try tethering under T-Mobile overseas data plan yet… and HanaCell Japan SIM service doesn’t allow tethering under SoftBank accounts. Furthermore, typing on iPad is quite painful sometimes because of strong spell-check and auto correct, with soft keyboards. I have hard ware keyboard but I don’t have any fancy on it at all… sorry.
Since Sant Pau headquarter restaurant in San Pol de Mar closed, and Mariko-san, the maître d'hôtel after Rie-san, resigned and move to Maldives, I stopped attending Sant Pau Tokyo where is now located in Marunouchi, I heard. At least, Jérôme-san is consulting for their new menu to keep Sant Pau quality. I also heard that the headquarter restaurant building will be soon reopened by Raül -san, the son of Ms. Carme Ruscalleda, which is a great news. I’ll check back the progress when I visit there in May, just two weeks before visiting Okayama.
That was a great memory we met at Westin Bonaventure in L.A. At that time I was staying at Starwood properties but I had to stay in Omni because I was taking care of S*ga booth in E3 show. I didn’t expect our friendship remains this way.
I briefly checked the smoking rate and found California is 8.8% and Japan is 20.1%. Compare to these, 33.5% Greek are smokers… one thirds!! Just for example, French are at 33% and Germans are 22.5%. Generically speaking, Europeans are still smoking and that’s why there are designated smoking areas in European airports…
At the veranda of IC Athens, I was so horrified kids are being exposed by parents’ 2nd hand smoke. That wasn’t one-time seen but several times. They are slowly killing their children for sure.
When I was a smoker, the strictest policy I got encountered was a tech lab of Motorola. No ashtrays were available in their facility include the backyards, but we begged an ‘exception’ to puff a little if we made over 100 yards of distance from building. So we went into the forest and ‘recharge’ for next several hours. Being smoker is a tough job these days.