ATHENS, Greece, 2013-04-25— /travelprnews.com/ — In April 1963, exactly 50 years ago, a landmark hotel opened its doors in Athens marking a new era of prosperity and development for the Greek tourism. The official inauguration of Hilton Athens, which took place on the 20th of April 1963 followed by a two-day celebration, attracted distinguished guests from all corners of the world and is remembered as a historic event for the capital. The founder of the company, Conrad Hilton, who was present during the inauguration ceremony, said: “Hilton hotel in Athens is the most beautiful Hilton hotel in the world”.
The first international chain hotel to open in Athens was indeed a remarkable building of an unprecedented size and innovative services, while from an architectural point of view it combined an imposing magnificence with the minimal style of Ancient Greece. The architectural team consisted of Emanuel Vourecas, Procopius Vassiliades, Spyros Staikos and Anthony Georgiades. As one of the buildings which defined the architectural aesthetics of the ‘60s in Greece, Hilton Athens also featured some powerful Greek elements, such as Pentelic marble and the monumental artwork of the façade by Yannis Moralis, one of the most important 20th-century Greek artists.
Throughout the years, many celebrities have passed the doors of Hilton Athens: heads of states, famous artists and renowned scientists. From Aristotle Onassis to Frank Sinatra and from Ingmar Bergman to Anthony Quinn, Hilton Athens has been a home away from home for the international jet set. At the same time, this emblematic hotel has been the favourite meeting place for local Athenians, introducing many to the American hamburger and club sandwich at the Byzantino Restaurant or classic cocktails at the Galaxy Bar.
On the occasion of the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games, the hotel was fully renovated by the renowned Greek architects Alexandros Tombazis and Charis Bougadelis. During this sporting event, Hilton Athens was the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee, while in 2011 it played host to the organizing committee of the Special Olympics World Summer Games.
Hilton Athens established the first art gallery in Athens, the so-called ‘Hilton Gallery’ in collaboration with Marilena Liacopoulou which resulted in a series of historical exhibitions from 1968 until 1972. Today, Hilton Athens does not only feature art throughout the hotel decoration, but is also constantly investing efforts in culture by hosting periodical exhibitions of Greek and foreign artists. These initiatives enhance the commitment of the hotel to the enrichment of the Athenian art scene.
Hilton Athens is not just a hotel, but an integrated part of the city’s social, cultural and business life. On the occasion of its 50-year anniversary, Hilton Athens has created an anniversary accommodation package (www.hiltonathens.gr) and has launched a photo exhibition on Facebook (facebook.com/HiltonAthens). The hotel will also publish a special anniversary issue of the Hilton Athens magazine at the beginning of May.
Media can access additional information about Hilton Athens at http://news.hilton.com/Athens.