Hotel Periscope

Kolonaki, Athens, Greece Book from

Reviewed by Rachel Howard
Showcasing contemporary art and gadgetry, a mecca for minimalists in swanky Kolonaki, Athens’ top shopping district
This sleek boutique hotel boasts a highly desirable address in Kolonaki, the poshest patch in downtown Athens. The grey brushed-concrete façade is a fitting prelude to the industrial-chic interiors: 6 floors of uncluttered minimalism in shades of black, white and grey... even the staff (young and obliging) wear grey suits.

The street-level restaurant is similarly chic, with metal chairs, chunky stone tables, and walls lined temptingly with jars of food and bottles of wine. A joystick linked to a rooftop camera allows guests to zoom in on their surroundings, a novel twist on the urban surveillance theme, which continues upstairs. Here, 21 rooms and suites make clever use of limited space, with fold-away mirrors and wall-mounted plasma screens. The influence of art patron and owner Dakis Ioannou is apparent: ceilings are wallpapered with aerial cityscapes, light boxes feature panoramas of Athens by day and night, and a giant mural covers one exterior wall.

Highs

  • Handy location on a quiet, central side-street in fashionable Kolonaki
  • Gadgets galore: free WiFi, built-in sound systems, electric blinds, clever showers - and great staff to show you how to operate them!
  • Stylish restaurant for schmoozing with local trendsetters
  • The Penthouse Suite has a wonderful rooftop Jacuzzi (if you can afford it)

Lows

  • Standard Rooms are very compact and lack balconies
  • The grey and black public spaces can be oppressive
  • It's hemmed in by apartment blocks (unless you can afford that penthouse)
  • Rooms on lower floors can be noisy

Best time to go

Whenever work or pleasure brings you to Athens: the hotel is open all year and prices remain constant. Consider visiting over a Greek holiday such as Orthodox Easter, Whitsun (7 weeks later) or 'Clean Monday' (7 weeks earlier), when the city empties but major sites and museums remain open. Carnival time (February-March) is also quite fun. Athens can be stiflingly hot from mid-June to early September, but the roads are quieter in August when Athenians flock to the coast.

Our top tips

Do bear in mind that you're not within walking distance of the Acropolis or Plaka; we think Periscope is best suited to second-time visitors and buzz-seeking city breakers. Also the bedroom interiors are quite minimal; go for the Penthouse if you can, for its outdoor jacuzzi.

Great for...

City Style
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 21
  • Restaurant (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

The focus throughout the hotel is on no-fuss functionality with a designer edge - wooden floors, angular furnishings in grey and black, and adjustable lighting. Ceilings are covered in giant black and white aerial photographs of Athens, so you can lie back and plan your route for the day.

The Standard Rooms are compact, but beds are big enough to bask in, with crisp white sheets and soft grey blankets. Desks double as vanity units with fold-away lap-top mirrors, and built-in wardrobes provide ample storage space. Cream bathrooms with sandblasted glass doors have great power showers, plus bathrobes, slippers and luxury cosmetics. Superior Rooms are similar, with sliding doors opening onto a tiny balcony.

If you check into one of the 4 Junior Suites, you also get a bathtub, an open-plan seating area, and a larger walled balcony. Top of the range (and the building) is the split-level Penthouse Suite, whose pièce de résistance is a glass-walled outdoor Jacuzzi with a bird's-eye view of the Acropolis - an enviable spot for a soak.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Slippers
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

The hotel's restaurant, PiBox, has opened since our last visit, but we hear great reports. Open until midnight, the informal, industrial-style space (black metal chairs, grey tables) is rather austere, but it's softened by shelves stacked with colourful jars of olives, bottles of wine and cans of olive oil (if you aren't feeling hungry, the sight of them will certainly whip up your appetite). Michelin-starred chef Christoforos Perskias has a created a modern Mediterranean menu focusing on Greek dishes with an Asian twist, and the cocktails are top-notch.

Breakfast is served from 7-11am. It's included in the rates and is a cut above what you'd normally expect, with a range of à la carte cooked options and excellent espressos, as well as a continental buffet of breads, pastries, fruit, cereals and preserves.

If you want to eat out, Kolonaki is packed with options, from upmarket tavernas to sushi bars, French delis to Italian trattorias. You'll also find countless cafés for quick pitstops or long, lazy coffees.

Features include:

  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Sandwiched between the trendy boutiques and bars of Haritos Street, the hotel is ideal for city breakers with a penchant for shopping and nightlife: all the major international labels and local designers have Kolonaki outlets

  • There are plenty of cultural attractions nearby too: Kolonaki Square (for posing and people-watching), the Benaki Museum (fascinating folk art) and the Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art (intriguing archaeological treasures)

  • Catch the funicular from Kolonaki up the cone-shaped and unmissable Lycabettus Hill - or, if you're feeling fit, follow the forested trails. From the top you get spectacular panoramas across the city, sweeping down to Salamis and the Saronic Gulf

  • One of the most pleasant oases downtown, Dexameni Square, with a charming ouzeri and outdoor cinema, is a couple of blocks away. Central Syntagma Square, with its famous changing of the guard, is about 10 minutes away on foot

  • Half an hour away on foot is Athens' most iconic sight - the Acropolis, with its Parthenon and Erechtheum temples. On its slopes are the ruins of the ancient agora (market place) and 2 well-preserved theatres - the Theatre of Dionysus and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus

  • And after a day exploring, inhabitants of the Penthouse Suite can return to a Jacuzzi under the stars

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures

Kids

Children are welcome at the hotel, though it's more of an adult hang-out. Extra (folding) beds can be placed in the Junior Suites, and cots can be added to all rooms. Babysitting can be arranged on request.

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly: Junior suite

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
8/
Food
9/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

{{ review.firstName }}{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},
Feedback is only from guests who have booked and stayed through i-escape

Rates for Hotel Periscope