Looking for your next city break destination? Why not consider Athens? Greece`s capital city is great year round - maybe excluding July and August when it gets a bit crowded although you may like the outdoor life in the streets. I have always enjoyed my visits. Sure, you see run-down buildings and homeless people here and there - like in most other big cities - but, as a tourist, there is no real evidence of the economic crisis. Greek people love to go out and party and most of the cafés and restaurants are pretty busy. Join the crowd and celebrate life!
And the location of Athens is hard to beat - the Mediterranean Sea on one side and the mountains on the other, with the famous Acropolis hill as THE eyecatcher (in particular at night). So - why not spending a few days in this exciting, bustling metropolis and maybe combine it with a visit to my favorite hotels in Greece, the Kinsterna on the Southern Peloponnese and the Poseidonion Grand Hotel on the island of Spetses? Both combinations promise awesome contrasts and experiences off the beaten tracks in Greece. You can book tailor-made packages with the high-end agency Fly me to the Moon Travel.
Photo: Athens - courtesy of Fly me to the Moon Travel
Sure, Athens is offering all kinds of hotels, with the traditional Grande Bretagne at the Syntagma Square probably being the best (at least the most known) but how about staying in a small luxury boutique hotel with just 79 rooms? The New Hotel is perfectly located between the Syntagma area and the Plaka, which is experiencing sort of a comeback as a trendy neighbourhood for locals (and for tourists in any case) - endless opportunities for sightseeing, shopping, wining and dining and ... partying! The New Hotel belongs to the small chain of YES - very unique places with a special charme.
Photo: Lobby of the New Hotel - KHL
Why is this hotel called the NEW? Easy to answer - during the renovation, the owners wanted to integrate new ideas. And they succeeded. Fernando and Humberto, two award-winning Brazilian designers, formed The Campana Workshop with international architecture students. The result is amazing, thanks to the owner of YES!Hotels, the international arts patron Dakis Joannou who gave them every freedom to realize their crazy ideas. Most of their masterpieces reflect an eco-sensitive contemporary art and the Sao Paulo favela culture. Keep your eyes open when you walk through the hotel - there are so many details to see, just stunning.
Photo: Cool artwork at the New Hotel - KHL
You should certainly not miss the New Art Lounge on the 7th Floor with its awesome rooftop, overlooking the city and the Acropolis hill with the Parthenon. No better place for your sundowner "al fresco"! - Breakfast is served in the NEW TASTE restaurant - again, very upbeat and with an interesting design created by the Campana brothers. Recycled artwork all over the place with golden bell-shaped lamps - what a cool place. Thumbs up for using local organic products and for the authentic espresso bar serving the excellent Napolitano Passalacqua coffee (second cup will be charged though).
Photo: Spectacular view from the rooftop lounge - New Hotel
Yes, gold all over the place in my bathroom - even the toilet paper holder! The chair in the room is a real eyecatcher - and so is the wooden floor lamp which you can change by playing with the timber braces. Framed old postcards on the wall show various decades of life in Athens - cool ideas. Due to the very centric location it may be a bit noisy at night, so better bring ear plugs. Needless to say that you have free WiFi all over the place. Ah - and I got the most charming wake-up call ever! What a beautiful female voice - a great incentive to get up (or to stay in bed an go on dreaming...).
Photo: Ever seen this before? - KHL
The gym in the basement is small but nice. Enough machines to warm up and to strengthen your muscles before enjoying the evening entertainment. I did not check out the spa - next time I will definitely go for a relaxing massage after a my workout.
Photo: Even the gym is golden ;-)! - New Hotel
You will find more details on all the cool YES Hotels here:
Don`t miss to visit the Russian Church just next to the hotel - lots of history.
Are you into wines? Then this place is a MUST! Probably one of the best wine menus in all of Greece.It is actually one of the favorites of Elena Papanicolaou, founder of FLY ME TO THE MOON TRAVEL - and she knows the best places in Greece!
THE museum in Athens - not to miss! It is only 300 metres from the Acropolis and approximately two kilometres from Syntagma Square, the main square of the city of Athens.
Photo: Night view of the museum - by Nikos Daniilidis
Stefania Flenga is the Managing Director of the YES Hotel Group - born in Athens. Here`s what Stefania recommends:
Great food all day, very nice concept - a cool place! - www.itrestaurant.gr/en
Great vibes and dancing until dawn - my recommendation for winter! - https://www.facebook.com/Cinderełla-Discotheque
Photo: Cool vibes at Cinderella
Top club in Athens during summer - just next to the sea! - www.islandclubrestaurant.gr
Greek design at its best! - www.yannissergakis.com
Photo: The shop of Yannis Sergakis - très chic!
Dimitris Tsiavdaras and his wife Yiota are a young couple from Athens who recommend these places:
With the right mix of historical Athenian aesthetics and the modern philosophy of entertainment, the Otto Restaurant is located in a historic building in the heart of Athens. The menu is exclusively based on Greek ingredients and at the same time enriched with creativity, while the food is presented in an arty way.
Photo: Otto Resto and Bar
Get a taste of the modern version of Greek cuisine! - http://athinaikon.gr/?lang=en
Photo: Athinaikon Restaurant
In this new fairytale-like spot you can find more than 200 drinks, coffees, smoothies, bubble teas, marshmallows & cupcakes. Feels like a luna park. - www.bubbletale.gr