While I already posted in Spirit to Serve, I wanted to include photos as well. While I arrived in the evening for my night before cruise at the Ledra, Liene greeted me like as old friend, caught me up on Kalliopi's time in Cannes, and gave me a great suite with two baths, two TVs, three phones, a living room, bedroom, and corner balcony that ran the length of all sides of the room. I got a different but equally magnificent suite on the return from the cruise, arriving before 7am in the morning. (Read my comments about Nadia and the wonderful associates under Spirit to Serve.) The Concierge Lounge is open for a full breakfast (hot and cold) every day; open for computer use, soft drinks and coffee every day, and open for a full evening's meal of hot and cold hors d'oeuvres from 5-7pm and desserts from 7-9. It includes a small library plus numerous newspapers.
On my return I was exhausted, so I went up to the 8th floor hotel and pool with a stunning view of the Acropolis (see below). The pool was larger than the one on the cruise ship and you conveniently can eat poolside or at a table at the nearby restaurant. Each of the two days I stayed there I was offered a free bottle of wine if I dined at night at the Panorama, similar to what I received previous times at the Zephyros restaurant. Alas, my timing was all off on both occasions, so while I ate lunch there, I had my dinner in the CL. Plus I had the ouzo Nadia had presented me with in the Athena statue bottle along with fresh fruit plates both times.
While you're swimming in the pool you can look beyond the glass and open partitions and see the Acropolis. The photo below was taken from the pool floor with my 35x zoom lens. What an experience!
This truly is one of the great hotels in the world, and in my opinion, THE best Marriott. Please come to Greece, everyone! The economy needs it and the problems for tourists are rare or nonexistent. If you go to the islands, they are nonexistent. In Athens, the Ledra is significantly far from the two centers of protest, Syntagma Square and Oumonia Square, but has shuttle buses that take you regularly to near the Acropolis.
Greece is magnificent and its people spectacular. I'm learning more Greek language and when I was at the airport and handed my US passport to the passport inspector, I greeted him in Greek and asked how he was. I got the broadest smile imaginable. He then talked to me more in English and learned I'd been many times to Greece and wanted to come more. He said I must come 100 more times. I said I was certainly too old for that, and he smiled and said no, you are young and must come to Greece 100 more times. We exchanged Greek thank yous and it was a delightful postscript to yet another great trip to one of my favorite places in the world.