Welcome to my multi-part review of our summer vacation. We spent 12 days abroad, predominately in Athens and Paris. We did squeeze in about half a day in Amsterdam before heading home. While I’m writing the series, I’m happy to answer any questions you have ahead of time. We traveled in mid-July, so right in the middle of the Athens financial crisis. Here’s most of what I expect to cover, including links to posts I’ve already completed:
- Planning Our Summer Vacation!
- British Airways First and Business Class Lounges at Philadelphia Airport
- US Airways Business Class from Philadelphia to Athens
- A Speed Bump Upon Arrival At Arion
- Arion Guest Room Review
- Arion & Westin Amenities
- Arion: A Luxury SPG Resort (Various Posts)
- Flying From Athens To Paris
- Hyatt Regency Etoile Paris
- Eiffel Tower
- Arc de Triomphe
- Disneyland Paris
- A Study of Macaroons
- Various Restaurant Reviews
- Taking The Train From Paris To Amsterdam
- Sheraton Schiphol Airport
- US Airways Business Class from Amsterdam to Philadelphia
Between the two hotels there are a number of different meal choices to meet different needs. And, while we did find great restaurants nearby, there’s still good food to be had on property.
I’ll start with the breakfast restaurant, Alia Brasserie. Alia is open for all 3 meal periods but we only enjoyed breakfast there. For Platinum members, this is where the complimentary breakfast is served. They extend the benefit to up to 4 people per room. The views from the restaurant are wonderful and there’s a persistent breeze from the Saronic Gulf if you sit outside. On one occasion, that breeze accelerated to something more significant. But, for the most part it was a calm, enjoyable place to sit outside and enjoy breakfast.
The restaurant is geared towards buffet service though they’ll make you eggs and were happy to make pancakes for the kids the one day they weren’t out on the buffet. The buffet has a ton of variety including a hot buffet with pancakes, eggs, bacon and potatoes.
The cold section had a few dozen items including smoked fish, yogurts, whole and cut fresh fruit. There was an extensive selection of breads as well. There were some cool items I don’t recall seeing elsewhere, like the honeycomb rack where you could retrieve fresh honey.
And, then, there was my kids’ favorite part, the juice machine (it was pretty high on my list as well). The local oranges were unbelievable and the kids loved making fresh juice for everyone each morning. It was something so simple, but it really was one of the best glasses of OJ I can recall having in quite some time. Alia was probably the most enjoyable of the restaurants.
We had lunch at Kymata, which was at the Westin. It’s a buffet/a la carte option close to the pool. The menu was pretty basic, including pasta, burgers, and salads. The food was all fine, though nothing really special. I didn’t think the prices were too crazy given the normal “captive audience pricing” at resorts like this. But, I wouldn’t expect a memorable meal.
We had two dinners on property, Taverna 37 and Il Tramonto. Taverna 37 was our choice for dinner the first night. It overlooks the beach area at Arion and is completely outdoors. It’s mostly shaded and there was a nice breeze throughout dinner.
There was a decent selection of Greek wine. Michelle chose a glass that was reasonably enjoyable. I went with an Alfa, which was a lighter beer a bit happier than Heineken or Stella. It worked on a warm day.
Our meals were all traditional Greek fare. The kids enjoyed hanging kebabs of steak and chicken with hummus, potato chips and vegetables. My wife, of course, added on a salad. The 5 of us ate for a bit over 100 Euro including alcohol, so not terribly expensive by resort pricing. We would come to find that was a high price to pay for standard fare, but served the purpose for our first day in town.
We also dined at Il Tramonto, the Italian restaurant onsite. There’s both an inside dining room and al fresco options. We chose to sit inside though the grass patio is perfectly fine for dinner.
This was the least enjoyable of our meals. The wine list was missing a bunch of options. We settled on a local sparkling wine called Amalia, which was enjoyable. Somewhere between a prosecco and a California sparkling wine, it was suitable for the price point.
Dinner choices consisted of a spicy raw tuna appetizer with mustard and peppercorns, pappardelle with ham and seafood risotto.
Kid’s options were simple but available and included baked ziti and chicken fingers.
We mostly bypassed dessert, but Charlie really enjoyed his ice cream.
We had some really enjoyable meals outside of the complex which meant we bypassed one of the most promising options, Mastuhisa, a sushi place located at the tip of complex on the water.
Overall, there are good options at both Arion and Westin if you don’t feel like leaving property to eat. The better experiences are elsewhere in town, and I’ll cover that in some future posts.