“Central Athens’ first card-carrying design hotel is fresh in every sense: vibrant, original and a little cheeky”
Bedrooms are extremely cool but not over-designed: whites and greys offset by one or two bold strips of colours, be it bright orange, lime green, bubblegum pink or the turquoise of an Aegean bay. You get wide double (or twin) beds, chrome and leather furniture, wooden floors, plasma TVs and full-height windows (most have a balcony outside, but neither furniture nor view for sitting out). Design gurus will appreciate the Artemide bedlamps, the Eames easy-chairs, a ‘lens’ coffee table constructed of glass prisms. Although not huge (22-40 m²), rooms are cleverly laid out to maximise the limited space, but don’t expect much storage room. Above all they are clean and comfortable, with excellent soundproofing against Athens’ 24-hour traffic noise.
Bathrooms are equally funky, with coloured-glass shower screens, sleek chrome taps, marble or corian surfaces, and halogen lighting which casts an other-worldly glow into the bedroom. You’ll find top-class toiletries from Korres, fluffy slippers (and robes in Executive rooms) and huge shower-heads; only a few have tubs, but in the honeymoon suite (707) it takes centre stage in the bedroom.
Standard rooms can be twin- or double-bedded, with an armchair that folds out into a (cramped) third bed. They would be fine for a couple or 2 good friends, for a short stay. Rooms with balconies (called Superior on some websites) are available for the Standard price through i-escape. Executive rooms are a bit larger, with a private ‘micro-garden’ of pebbles and potted palms; those on the 8th floor have partial Acropolis views. The top-of-the-range suites have a sitting room with long, black-leather couch and home cinema system, and kingsize bedroom with motorised black-out blinds.
From 6:30 to 10:30am, the first-floor Magenta Room serves a great breakfast buffet of cold cuts (including smoked salmon), sweet cakes, delicate pastries, cereals and Greek yoghurt with honey – a vast improvement on most Athenian hotel breakfasts. There’s even a non-smoking section (gasp!) and a 'healthy' corner. (If your flight leaves early, ask for a breakfast box – a less exciting combo of a sandwich, boxed juice and piece of fruit.)
The 9th-floor roof terrace, dubbed Air Lounge, is ideal for refreshments, cocktails and light Greek and Mediterranean-inspired meals served from 10am-2am. Cool off on the cushioned couch in the shady bar area or toast the sunset on cream-coloured sofas overlooking the city. At dinner time, sun loungers on the upper-level pool deck are replaced by tables with prime views of the Acropolis. Refreshments run from creative smoothies to favorite Caribbean cocktails. Greek beer and wines are served by the glass and Greek-inspired finger foods put an emphasis on healthy. Room service is also an option.
If you want to eat out, there are lots of grit-and-groove eateries and mezedopoleia (tapas bars) in the newly gentrified Psiri district; or you can walk into Plaka (10-15 mins) for classic / touristy Greek fare.