From Place To Space: New Hotel, Athens

31 March 2013 2


I am a lover of weekend city getaways where I am discovering new places, new designs, new treats. This time I was up for a prolonged design weekend in Athens, Greece. It was a sort of ‘revisited’ kind of getaway because I’ve been many times to Athens and a decade ago I used to live there as a student. Now it was time to visit some old friends, good old neighborhoods and discover a new design hotel – the ‘New Hotel’ in Athens’ city center, a ten minutes walk from the famous Plaka and the Acropolis.

The ‘New Hotel’ belongs to the Greek hotel group YES! Hotels owned by one of the country’s biggest art collectors and art connoisseurs. This fact has strongly influenced the hotel’s design: The ‘New Hotel’ was exclusively designed by the Brazilian design brothers Campana in collaboration with Greek students from the art university in Volos. The design blends the old with the new, mixing modern design with three themes of traditional Greek folklore and lifestyle – the ‘Evil Eye Protection’, the ‘Karagiozis’ shadow theater, and old postcards from Athens.

There is one more interesting fact about the hotel. Formerly, this was the old Olympic hotel from the 1950s which was abandoned in the late 90s of the previous century. When YES! Hotels took over the property, it was completely redesigned with a strong reference to its origins. The Campana brothers used the old furniture to reinterpret a modern twist of the hotel’s history – they broke up too worn pieces into wooden fragments and created sculptural elements in the restaurant and reception area called ‘Favela’ in reference to their iconic Favela chair. Other furniture pieces were upholstered and recreated into design pieces that are placed in the entire building.

The rooms, on the other hand, reflect a design concept called ‘fragmented design’. With a sort of scissor cut edges and the use of bamboo wood and brass counteracted by Greek folklore elements, the rooms mirror Athens position as a traditional and modern European metropolis. On the top floor, the penthouse adds a notch to the design experience with a huge private balcony and the best views of the Acropolis. Moreover, as of mid April a brand new bar and restaurant with stunning views of the Acropolis will open on the hotel’s seventh floor and guarantee an unforgettable Athenian sojourn.

I was lucky enough to be guided through the entire hotel by Mr. Katis (thank you very much!!), a hotel manager, who also told me about the hotel group’s other premises such as the flagship Semiramis hotel designed by Karim Rashid (hello colour explosions!). Well, looks like I have to go back to Athens soon.

Happy Monday, friends!

Photography by Igor Josifovic


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  • Reply tinajo 31 March 2013 at 23:09

    Lovely read and pics, thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Reply Krishka Kriska 31 March 2013 at 23:16

    wow, it looks very interesting. i cannot say that I like everything, it’s pretty much eclectic and some parts aren’t combined very well(my opinion)
    i love the view, of course, chairs, all those details and I like that those bedrooms looks very soothing.
    Those pile of old wood reminds me of installation by Raumlabor and they’re

    Thanks for showing this hotel, lovely post. And I love Greece too much, so it’s always nice to read about it 🙂

  • Reply stylencritics 1 April 2013 at 04:45

    its nice to see interesting interiors from my country.

  • Reply tina @ colourliving 1 April 2013 at 05:36

    Well, first off, I’m glad you’re back! Further photos and videos from sunny Athens could have brought about a rift in our friendship:-)

    I’m always in favour of Design Hotels and their attempts to stand out from the crowd and awaken creative juices in their guests. This looks like an interesting concept with interesting details like using reclaimed wood from the 50’s and fragmented design pieces.

    For me, the ideas are great but the execution a little overwhelming and confusing. I’ve never been to Athens so am not sure whether this might go with the cultural landscape.

    They certainly have the basics: beautiful room with great views and killer showers. Done! Take me on your next visit!

    • Reply Igor Josifovic 1 April 2013 at 10:40

      I think the Greek approach to interiors is perfectly executed here: Greeks are rather eclectic with a strong reference to traditions and local folklore. Instead of completely renovating the old hotel, they decided to reinterpret the old into something modern and mix it up with local traditions – very Greek in my opinion:-)

  • Reply Cyndi Murdoch 1 April 2013 at 14:59

    There sure is a lot going on here! I like the sculptural mirror dividing the bath & the bedroom. The view beyond the bed in the penthouse is amazing – no artwork needed there! Interesting.

  • Reply julia I mintlametta 2 April 2013 at 11:39

    m’aresi para poli! have to get back to athens soon – love this city, the people …. thanks for sharing this pics * all the best julia

    • Reply Igor Josifovic 2 April 2013 at 11:47

      Mia xara Julia! Athens always offers me a warm and homey welcome – even in cool design hotels like in the New Hotel.

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey 2 April 2013 at 18:13

    The Campana brothers are an intriguing pair. I can never quite decide if I love what they do or if it just confuses me. They’re certainly original in many ways. To be honest I wouldn’t choose to stay here, although you’ve done a great job of showing the space. It’s a little too madcap for me. I can appreciate from your description that this is a representative approach to Greek interior design (which I don’t know much about).

    Hope you had a great time 🙂

  • Reply Beauty Follower 3 April 2013 at 20:11

    Το καφέ στο ισόγειο εχει πολυ ωραία γλυκά, ακόμη και γι αυτους που νηστευουν.
    ΠΟλυ ωραιο το WC του lobby.
    Πολύ έξυπνη ιδεα να χρησιμοποιησουν τα παλια επιπλα στην κατασκευη των νέων.
    Ακουσα οτι το καλοκαίρι θα λειτουργήσει καφέ στο roof top του hotel… σίγουρα θα έχει απίθανη θέα.

    • Reply Igor Josifovic 3 April 2013 at 20:55

      Ναι, εγώ πήγα στο roof top και οι φωτογραφίες της Ακρόπολης και του bar με τα βιβλία έβγαλα εκεί στο roof top!

    • Reply Justine Alexandropoulos 4 January 2014 at 22:24

      Hi there! have you visited The Margi Hotel in Bouliagmeni? It’s BY FAR my favorite Hotel in Athens

  • Reply Anonymous 18 January 2014 at 07:29

    Hi there! have you visited The Margi Hotel in Bouliagmeni? It’s BY FAR my favorite Hotel in Athens

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