While I realize it seems like asking too much to have another associate from the Athens Ledra win the Spirit to Serve Award (Kalliopi, now at Cannes, won it in the spring), I would like to nominate Nadia Sakouli, Manager on Duty and Guest Relations Supervisor. I stayed at the Ledra both before and after my four day cruise and each time was given a beautiful suite. On both days, I was sent a large complimentary fresh fruit basket. Liene, who is also amazing, checked me in the first day, and then when I returned after the cruise (at 6:50am no less), I was immediately welcomed back and given a present! The desk associate actually apologized for not giving it to me the previous Saturday. It was from Nadia, who had learned from Kalliopi that I had bought various Greek vases in the gift shop last spring. Beautifully wrapped, it was a statue of Athena bottle with ouzo. That was just the beginning. On the cruise, I had met a new friend, Annemarie, and she decided to come over the last day so we could share last stories of the cruise in the Concierge Lounge. (The CL is spectacular, as always -- I don't have enough superlatives about the Athens Ledra to convey how fabulous this hotel and all its staff are.) I wanted to show her my room because her parents are considering a trip to Greece in the next year or so, and she was stunned at the size and beauty of it. As soon as we got there my phone rang and it was Nadia, whom I had not yet met. She had called the CL but they told her I just left but said she said she wanted to meet me, so to be sure to stop by that evening.
When Annemarie was ready to leave, I asked at the CL desk for Nadia. She was great! She greeted me with the two kisses as Europeans do with friends, and I introduced her to Annemarie and explained that AM's parents might be interested in staying at the Ledra. She gave her her card and told her to have them contact her directly. Then she went out with Annemarie to help her get a cab that could find her hotel in downtown Athens without problems.
I was worried that with the departure of Kalliopi that the experience at the Ledra might have changed. Quite the contrary. I remain convinced this is the best Marriott in the world, and it is because of Nadia, Liene, Calypso, Du'u (I might have spelled her name wrong), the CL staff, other associates and the wonderful housekeepers. I nominate Nadia for a Spirit to Serve Award. Even as the Greek economy continues to suffer, the Athens Ledra goes out of its way to welcome its guests in every possible way.