Event professionals from the likes of American Express, Zibrant, Team Umbrella and Wendy Welsh Events travelled from Athens to Costa Navarino on a fam trip hosted by Aegean Airlines, DMC Event Makers and Pearl Representation.
Dining above and below, Athens
Groups of up to 100 can enjoy a private dining area at the Roof Garden Restaurant at the Hotel Grande Bretagne, which offers stunning views of the Acropolis, Lycabettus Hill and the Parliament. The hotel’s Cellar has 3,000 bottles of wine and can be used for private dinners, meetings and wine tastings for groups of between six and 12 people.
"The hotel is iconic and elegant with a wonderful rooftop restaurant offering fine dining and amazing views," says Viki Jones, project manager at Wendy Welsh Events.
Private House, Athens
For a venue with a wow factor and exquisite views over the sea, Simone Clarke, lifestyle manager at The Fixer, recommends Private House, located on the Greek Riviera, in the southern suburbs of Athens and around a 40-minute journey from the city centre.
Private House is a Mediterranean-inspired venue for meetings, events, and private dinners, with a wooden deck overlooking a Zen pool. Groups of up to 600 can enjoy cocktails while the venue also caters for 350 for buffets and can arrange traditional entertainment such as Greek dancing.
Hotel Grand Bretagne and King George Hotel
These two Starwood-owned properties are adjacent to each other in Syntagma Square – a prime location in Athens, and a few minutes walk from major sights including the historical area of Plaka and the Acropolis.
The 102-room King George, which has a more modern, contemporary design with classical touches, reopened its private outdoor pool at its Penthouse Suite earlier this year following renovation. The area can be used for events, catering for 50 for cocktails or 30 for dinner.
Hotel Grande Bretagne, one of the oldest properties in the capital, has 320 opulent rooms and offers 17 meeting spaces for events.
"Hotel Grand Bretagne is a high-end venue that offers heritage and luxury in the city centre," says Anna Holloway, service delivery manager at Zibrant. "Both hotels are a great option if you need to split groups but want to keep them close together as they offer the same standard".
iPad experience at the Acropolis
For a memorable way to view the Acropolis and learn more about the monument’s history, Martin Ellis, managing director at Team Umbrella suggests taking an interactive, 3D tour using iPads, developed by virtual reality provider Moptil.
Groups of up to 150 can use the iPads to view reconstructions of the Acropolis from various angles, visualising the site as it was 2,000 years ago. An augmented reality version using glasses is planned for next year, which will be suited to groups of up to 20.
"This is very interactive and encourages you to look at the sights and take more of an interest in them than you would by simply taking a guided tour," adds Ellis.
Westin Resort and The Romanos, Costa Navarino
The 321-room The Romanos hotel and the adjacent property, The Westin Resort, which offers 445 rooms, are part of the Navarino Dunes development at Costa Navarino. A conference centre, The House of Events, lies between the two hotels and offers 26 meeting spaces, with a Great Hall catering for up to 1,600.
"It’s a great place for events as you can keep groups entertained within the resort but there is also plenty to do in the surrounding area," says American Express’ Jamie Tuckerman. "The meeting space is immense with plenty of indoor and outdoor options to suit all types of events."