Cost: £££ – it was expensive
Rating: 6/10 – beautiful hotel but not very much to see / do in Thessaloniki itself
Flights (from London) were £290 per person including hold luggage (with RyanAir)
We stayed in the Hyatt Regency Hotel which was absolutely gorgeous! It’s about 10 mins from the airport so perfect if you want a relaxing break without too much travelling.
It boasts a 1,200-square-meter outdoor swimming pool as well as a fitness centre and spa and the rooms are lovely with a nice big bathroom and balcony.
I’m not sure of exact cost as I didn’t pay directly, but I looked online for the same dates in August next year and the advanced booking rate is EUR 183 per night (£163) so for 4 nights it would be £652 for a King Room with a balcony & if you’re splitting between 2 = £326 each.
I quickly scanned Airbnb and if you’re desperate to go to Thessaloniki (although I don’t think you will be) and have a tighter budget, you can stay in an apartment for around £30 a night.
They use Euro in Greece. Check the conversion before you go as it seems to change all the time.
The Hyatt will arrange complimentary transfers to and from the airport, as well as to and from Thessaloniki which is about a 20 minute drive.
We didn’t manage to get to the beaches but if you’re keen to visit them I’d recommend hiring a car and driving as the best ones are about an hour away.
What we did…
We got off to a slightly rocky start & missed the first night as we didn’t make our scheduled flight (if you don’t laugh you cry). When we finally arrived a car was ready to pick us up from the airport (free transfer) and after a short drive we reached the hotel, checked in and spent the afternoon by the pool.
It isn’t too busy by the pool – there are plenty of sunbeds and parasols anyway. Food and cocktails aren’t cheap but it’s lovely having lunch by the pool. There’s also a DJ in the afternoon which was a nice touch!
There are 3 restaurants to eat in at the Hyatt and Ambrosia is the main one. It has a lovely terrace overlooking the pool area.
The food we ate at the hotel wasn’t very Greek but was very good (especially the chocolate moelleux which I couldn’t get a picture of because Adam ate it all). As with all things in the Hyatt, it isn’t cheap – around 25 EUR (£22.50) for a main.
Thessaloniki is a 20 min drive from the hotel and the Hyatt provide free transport to and from – just make sure you book in with the concierge.
In all honesty it’s not the most beautiful place in the world and there’s not a huge amount to see. The White Tower of Thessaloniki was the only ‘sight’ we really saw. It’s a fortress and former prison. You can climb to the top if you want!
We asked where we’d find delicious Greek food and were told to head to the Jewish Quarter. Greek food is actually a lot heavier than I thought – meat + carbs! I wouldn’t rave about the food we ate outside of the hotel (apart from the white truffle and chicken pizza- yum!) but perhaps we chose the wrong places.
There’s a strip along the front of bars and restaurants and they were lively and buzzy.
There are stray dogs everywhere and they’re SO cute! We were a bit scared about touching them but a group of children with no fear went straight over to them with food… they weren’t interested in the food at all – they just wanted cuddles.
The Hyatt has an adopted cat which is very friendly to humans but not to the other little stray kittens which live nearby (which are SO cute but very timid).
We spent the majority of the time at the hotel as that’s really why we went – for a relaxing time at a beautiful hotel.
Adam enjoyed working out in the morning in the fitness centre which has plenty of equipment, steam rooms, saunas, plunge pools, a heated indoor pool & whirlpool!
We had lovely views from our balcony of the mountains.
I think it would be a fantastic venue for an event. There was a wedding reception when we were there and it looked really beautiful!
I loved the hotel but Thessaloniki certainly didn’t wow me. If you want a relaxing break in a beautiful hotel and have a bit of cash to spend then the Hyatt is lovely. I’m not sure what we spent exactly when we were out there but imagine it was around £700 – so quite a lot for 4 days (although we did drink a fair bit)!
If you’re looking for a beautiful Greek destination / an interesting place to explore then I’d suggest you go to one of the islands (hear Santorini / Mykonos / Kefalonia are stunning).
Cost per person
Flights: £290 including hold luggage (don’t miss your flight!!)
Accommodation: *estimate* £652 for 4 nights / 2 = £326
Spend: *estimate* £700 / 2 = £350
Total = *estimate* £966
Other things –
Things I found on google which we didn’t do but might be worth doing –
Beaches – A fair few I found were only a 15 min drive from the hotel. Apparently there’s a really beautiful one 1 hour from the hotel but would require a car to get to.
Perea Beach / Agia Triada Beach / Kalamaria Beach
Aristotelous Square – we walked past this… it’s a square on the waterfront with some cafes. Apparently there are nice views from the Electra Palace Hotel – you can go to the top floor open-air roof terrace with views across the gulf as far as Mount Olympus on a clear day.
Arch of Galerius and Rotunda – iconic monument
Heptapyrgion – fortress overlooking city’s acropolis
Pirate ship boat trip – going from the White Tower – not sure where it takes you but lots of people seemed to be getting on.