Delice Hotel & Family Apartments is part of Athenian history, a true landmark in the historical center of Athens. As part of the 70-year anniversary for this remarkable establishment, we have decided to unravel and present its history and honor the contribution of the people who made Delice into what it is today.
It was in 1948 when Lambros L. Giokas, with the support of his wife Irini Gioka-Zomopoulou, founded the legendary Delice Patisserie at the corner of Solonos and Omirou streets in central Athens. ‘Mastro-Lambros’ (popularly translating into ‘Lambros the able one’) as those who knew him used to call him, had held an apprenticeship under the supervision of a widely recognized chef and patisseur at the time, Ioannis Gaitis, for several years. This had already given him the opportunity to work in prestigious historical Greek establishments in the areas of Kifissia in Athens, and the coastal town of Loutraki, exclusive holiday destinations for many wealthy Athenians and international visitors of the era.
Lambros’ dream of creating his own space was not only accomplished with Delice rising to fame as one of the most respected and visited patisseries in Athens, but would also lay the foundations for what later evolved into Delice Hotel and Family Apartments, at the location it sits in until the present day. The sweet creations of Delice Patisserie have evolved into something of a legend for those who were lucky enough to have been introduced to them back in the day. The chestnut cake, literally considered the ideal gift for any Christmas visit during the mid-20th century in Athens, the irresistible charlotte and the unique profiterole certainly left their mark on the prominent Athenian society of the time. Just a glimpse of a Delice packaging was enough to create high culinary expectations which, most importantly, were always satisfied.
In 1958, 10 years after it was founded and having followed a remarkably successful trajectory to fame, the Delice Patisserie moves a few streets up towards the north. Now located on the prestigious Voukourestiou Street, Delice manages to establish itself even further, linking the busy chic quarter it had moved in with the sweet and tantalizing creations it offered. In 1971 the Giokas family decides to take the next step. Delice Hotel & Family Apartments opens its doors in Pagrati, one of the most hip areas in the capital at the moment. With numerous entertainment choices at its doorstep, it is ideally located a 2-minute walk away from ‘Evangelismos’ metro station between the Hilton Hotel and the Caravel Hotel, on Vasileos Alexandrou 3 and Vrasida Street, its current location.
Delice Hotel & Family Apartments boasts one of the most beautiful and unique views towards the impressive Lycabettus Hill in the heart of Athens. Offering comfortable and tastefully designed furnished and serviced apartments, it is ideal for the avid Athens visitor with a taste for high quality accommodation services. Perhaps this is one of the reasons Delice Hotel & Family Apartments has been and still is the prime choice for thousands of regular visitors associated with foreign embassies and consulates, diplomatic missions, Government Ministries, the Greek Parliament, as well as for a number of international and Greek artists.
As part of the natural evolution of things, in 1974 Delice Patisserie moves next to Delice Hotel where it will establish itself and expand its reputation further consistently for another 30 years. Overall, in its 48 years of operation it succeeded in becoming a milestone for the city of Athens as the most respected patisserie of the 1970s. Its mission accomplished, it succeeded in ‘sweetening’ the lives of Athenians who would often endure long queues to purchase their favourite delights, and gained the appreciation and customer dedication of prominent members of Athenian society spanning from the Greek Presidency to the artistic, cultural, and business elite of the capital. The local press honoured Delice regularly with countless articles throughout its lifespan. One can also even find references to Delice in literary works of the era, and several movies of what are popularly considered the ‘golden decades’ of Greek cinema (notably the 1960s and 1970s) have had scenes filmed there.
Our journey brings us to 2018. Delice Hotel & Apartments remains the family establishment it always has been, managed by Lambros’ grandchildren. Brought up in its spaces, and having nurtured a deep respect and awe for its history and legacy from their early years, their vision is to evolve and progress while staying true to the ideals and ethos held by their grandfather. Having just completed a successful partial renovation, while going at great lengths to retain and highlight the most classical elements of the initial design, Delice initiates a new cycle, 70 years after its foundation.
Boasting a brand new lobby as well as new breakfast and reception areas, all renovated with respect to the authentic historical design of the establishment, the aim is to offer a space where the unparalleled 1970s aesthetic merges harmoniously with functionality, comfort, and relaxation. The impressive original ‘Delice’ sign in the sitting area serves as a central point of reference, linking the past with the present and engaging visitors in a dance of sweet memories, present enchantments and future hopes.
Through seven decades of operation and the recollection of the people who worked hard for its creation and evolution, Delice brings us a step closer to the historical eras it evolved through, the myriads of people whose trust and appreciation it gained and the quality of the culinary and hosting experiences it offered through the years. Finally, the recollection of all these memories also honours the spirited and inspirational effort invested in Delice retaining its place as a deeply respected reference point for Athenian society, and a real landmark in the centre of Athens, for 70 years.