The oldest city in Europe, Athens is an enthralling mish mash of the classic and the contemporary—be it architecture, culture, or cuisine. Discover our selection of exceptional luxury hotels in Athens.
Set in a historical backdrop in central Athens, Fresh Hotel offers an electrifying medley of sleek formality and ancient splendor, where bold design fuses with a traditional location. This urban resort, the creation of owner Ada Yfanti, remains true to its name with a fresh palette of striking tones such as lime, fuchsia, and tangerine set against a simple white backdrop. The design and architecture, courtesy of local studio Tassos-Georgiadi + Associates, uses natural materials that seamlessly merge with bursts of intense color. The choice of materials was intended to simultaneously contrast and enhance Fresh’s surroundings. Peppered with an impressive selection of design furniture handpicked by Yfanti, pieces by Charles Eames, Philippe Starck, and Zaha Hadid inject Fresh with a thoroughly distinctive interior.
For Greek Cypriot art collector Dakis Joannou, restructuring the tired Olympic Palace into New Hotel has been a true labor of love. Throughout the chunky modernist building, chairs and doors salvaged from the old property reappear as artworks that awaken guests’ senses. Thanks to interiors by Brazilian visionaries Humberto and Fernando Campana, who have earned a reputation for creating living art from castoffs, key elements of design and culture collide on every floor. From the spa and fitness area to the top-floor terrace, which affords one of the best views in Athens, the designs are consistently intense. Each of the hotel’s 79 rooms and suites lets guests feel like they’re a part of the vivid in-room installations. This theme even pervades the bathrooms, where blocky, sharp-edged washbasins based on the shape of diamonds reach into spaces normally left unused.
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Periscope Hotel in Athens is an experimental foray into contemplation, characterized by minimalist shapes and contemporary style. Located high above the up-market shopping streets of the cosmopolitan quarter Kolonaki, Dakis Joannou’s art-filled Periscope urges guests to explore their thoughts on modern-day surveillance. Guests can feel a kind of periscopic control over the entire property, from the top floor to the lounge bar. Art is present outside Periscope Hotel, too. On the right wall of the building’s façade a magnificent work of art reproduces the movement of the shadows cast by the surrounding buildings: the effect is stunning. Inside, huge screens show dystopian images of an Athens stalked by giant three-dimensional animals. All 21 bedrooms and suites are a study in pared-down style, with celluloid cityscapes and splashes of blue, red, and black adding warmth to the functional decor. But the views of Athens, including the classical pillars of the Parthenon, will tempt you into a day of city-center exploration.
Design star Karim Rashid’s dazzling display of lollipop colors and organically shaped furniture plays happily alongside a rotating collection of contemporary fine art, handpicked by owner and art collector Dakis Joannou. Semiramis is a feast for the eyes for any guest, with works by Tim Noble, Sue Webster or Jeff Koons adorning the walls and representing the best of contemporary art. With an extra element of cheekiness, guests are encouraged to play with Rashid’s device for communicating with the outside world. Instead of the boring “Do Not Disturb” signs, he offers electronic message boards, which guests can personalize from their in-room keyboards. He describes his overall view of Semiramis as, “an intimate hotel that focuses on positive energy, heightened experiences, culture, design, and art. Semiramis is a place for new contemporary experiences – to enjoy, relax, work, and engage a new memorable experience unlike any other or anywhere else in the world.”