St George Lycabettus

St George Lycabettus | Lesoleilfoundation

St George Lycabettus

St George Lycabettus

The prominent St George Lycabettus Hotel is one of the most famous, most awarded 5-star hotels, located at the very heart of Athens, on “the energy line connecting the Acropolis to Lycabettus Hill”, as Deepak Chopra used to call it when he stayed at the hotel for the first time. The owner, Ms Irini Manzavelaki Vassilopoulou, managed to steadily turn her family home into an exceptionally hospitable hotel, which succeeded early on to earn fervent supporters, ranging from super stars and royalty to avid guests! The multidimensional personality of its owner is yet another advantage for the hotel, which can be counted among the numerous awards received from time to time by both St George Lycabettus and herself thanks to the high-quality design, her ideas and remarkable charitable action.

L.S.: How did you decide to transform your family home into one of the most famous hotels in the whole world?

I.M.V: It was actually my father, Antonis Manzavelakis, who took the decision. Back then, I was a first-year student at the University of Athens. I studied Law and not Hotel Management, given that SGL did not exist yet at the time, but my children did study tourism-related fields. We share special bonds with this place, given its past, which imbues the hotel with the feeling of a luxurious home, which always lovingly awaits its guests.

L.S.: From time to time, several well-known guests have stayed at the hotel. Would you mind sharing a few names and perhaps a few distinct stories?

I.M.V: Indeed, many people from different walks of life, like literature, fashion, cinema or even heads of state and princes have stayed at our hotel whenever they wished to stay in Athens but avoid publicity. Among others, Paulo Coelho, Pierre Cardin, Princess Michael of Κent, the King and Queen of Belgium, Joan Kennedy, Jeremy Irons are included in our special edition album of great personalities who have honored our hotel with their presence. Without specifying any names, I vividly remember of a well-known actress who did not wish to be in the presence of another much younger colleague of hers and had stated so from the very beginning!

L.S.: What is the hotel’s new concept?

I.M.V: The new concept is called “a tank of ideas”, a wordplay based on the homonymous historic area of the Kolonaki neighborhood called Deksameni (Tank). It is actually the next step from our previous concept Tourism and Civilization, which was developed by our hotel, for more than 20 years.

L.S.: Is there something truly worth doing this year at the hotel or perhaps something launched this year for the first time ever?

I.M.V: Upon arriving at the SGL, our guests can wander around at the hotel corridors to take a quick look at the Greek history and culture, walking the “Short stroll”. They are welcomed by a different era in each floor, ranging from Ancient Greece with the respective ancient jars, to Old Athens gravures or a reference to Byzantium through the “Dodekaorton”, the twelve most important Orthodox Christian days. Our guests can also indulge into more recent history, through the paintings of modern Greek artists or explore the history of Greek fashion, starting from traditional garments and reaching to modern designers, at the floor that includes rooms also dedicated to designers such as Jitrois, Pierre Cardin or Anna Molinari, among others.

L.S.: What is the secret of a truly good host at a 5-star hotel like St George Lycabettus?

I.M.V: It is to offer your guest something more than what is expected or even promised. It is the little gestures that actually establish the big picture.

L.S.: How easy or how difficult was it for you to be the person who awakens a dream into people’s hearts? Did you ever imagine that at some point you would be the one that makes people’s dreams come true?

I.M.V: Each one of us creates a dream, in our own way, at the place we are. Without that, there is no magic. And it is only through magic that one offers the opportunity to others to have their dreams come true.

L.S.: Would you please share a list of the hotel activities in detail?

I.M.V: SGL has indeed pursued an innovative approach, regarding several aspects, such as for instance the screening room, a small cinema with a capacity of 40 people, used for the projection of documentaries regarding Greece with a voice-over by Nia Vardalos, but also of foreign productions, which were filmed in Greece. There is also a dedicated area for recreational activities, with gaming tables for billiards, table soccer etc. Another distinctive trait of SGL is the gallery created at the hotel premises, focusing on Greek designers, given that SGL is a Greek hotel and insists on that concept.

L.S.: Let us note that the hotel is children friendly.

I.M.V: I would like to mention our special Κids room, destined to our young guests who can spend some creative time there. There is of course the very popular Sunday Brunch with dedicated instructors and children’s movies.


L.S.: In the end, who establishes a hotel’s personality? Is it the one who loves it and works for it or the ones that dream of staying there and they finally make it?

I.M.V: There is actually a chain-like connection. It is something I keep saying: we must love what we do in order to share this emotion with our guests.

L.S.: Is there something that you learned from your involvement in the hotel that changed you forever? Would you share a proverb that tells everything about you?

I.M.V: What we normally say about our hotel is that we always strive, at all costs, to make sure that “Our guests arrive as visitors, leave as friends and come back as family”!


• Graduated with Excellence from Arsakeio Psychiko.
• Graduate of the Law School of the University of Athens
Owner & President of the St. George Lycabettus Lifestyle hotel in Athens and Paradise Art Hotel in Andros Town.
• Speaks ​​English, French, German & Italian
• Has written two books "Tracing the parallel" and the historical album "Andros Dreams and Times".

• Presentations of her books have taken place in New York & London.
Since 1995 she has worked hard promoting the concept 
"Tourism & Culture" by organiz ing and sponsoring a series of cultural events with international guests.

• In 1999, she founded the Museum of Folklore and Christian Art on the island of Andros and with the help of the Professor Katerina Korres, and in cooperation with recognized scientific institutions abroad, exchanges, meetings of prominent personalities and events of international conferences have been realized.
• She is the Founder & President of the International Organization

" Greek Women in Tourism" and of the “Museum of Tourism”


• She was awarded “Business Woman of Europe” in 2003 at the Prix des Enterprises et Commerce, a prize awarded by France's first female Minister, Simone Veil. and  supported by Frances former President, Jacques Chirac
• She was recently awarded by the Minister of Tourism for the foundation of the “Museum of Tourism”
• In 1998, she was awarded by the International Organization of the Euro-American Women's Council, who each year chooses a woman from all over the world and awards her for her contribution to the community..