NEW Hotel, Athens, Greece

NEW Hotel, Athens, Greece

Though it’s set in a 50s building, the NEW Hotel is far from dated. Within walking distance of Athens’ headline ruins (read: the Acropolis and the Parthenon) and the cultural Monastiraki district, it’s a design-forward haven for those who appreciate a mishmash of past and present.



From
democracy and philosophy to sport and drama, the ancient
Greeks bestowed many gifts on western society, not least
Athens
itself, a city akin to popping candy for the senses.
Roam the crumbling streets here and you’ll be met not only with
centuries’ worth of mind-boggling human history but also a thriving
creative scene that fizzles, a phoenix risen from the ashes of
economic crisis. It’s an exhilarating mix for curious minds; one
that propels you head first into an acute state of exploration.

Consequently, places such as the centrally located NEW Hotel are
a haven, offering somewhere comfortable to rest weary feet after
days spent plodding around as many historical sites (and vintage
shops) as time permits. One of the city’s most contemporary hotels,
NEW is luxurious but with a surprisingly avant-garde twist. The
celebrated
Brazilian
design duo behind the hotel’s aesthetic, Humberto and Fernando Campana, have repurposed
vintage furniture to create statement art in many of the hotel’s
rooms and communal spaces. The result is a hotel with a distinctly
unique feel – a reminder of the city’s optimistic march towards the
future as much as its storied past.

Rooms

Each of the 79 rooms has a contrasting feel, though the themes
of
Greek
folklore, the evil eye and postcards from old Athens are
a uniting presence. Brightly coloured walls in various shades are
accented with bamboo furniture. Bathrooms, meanwhile, are
delightfully kitsch, with golden taps and showerheads and
cubic-style sinks. Larger rooms have balconies primed for observing
the bustle below.

What’s for breakfast?

An unmitigated feast, of course. Fill up on continental options
such as charcuterie and cheese or
British
favourites including scrambled eggs and sausages. Of
course, you could plump for the healthy option of fresh fruit and
yoghurt. Bread is baked fresh daily and à la carte options are also
available, so take the not-so-subtle hint and fill your boots
before setting off in search of mythological adventure. In Greece,
after all, one mustn’t leave the table with anything less than a
full stomach.

How about lunch and dinner?

There are two restaurants. NEW Taste on the ground floor serves
a
Mediterranean
-inspired selection of salads, pasta, meat and
fish, and there’s an extensive weekend brunch menu featuring
pancakes, croque monsieurs, burgers and a range of punchy bloody
marys with plenty of kick. But it’s for Art Lounge on the hotel’s
rooftop that accolades really roll in, not least because of its
incredible views of the Acropolis and the glittering city below.
Try the homemade pitta bread and the trilogy of Greek dips followed
by rack of lamb or grilled salmon. And remember to leave room for
the supersized desserts – the tiramisu is a thing of creamy
beauty.

Is there a bar?

Head up to Art Lounge for sundowners – the most magical time to
see the city’s ruins is when they’re silhouetted against a roaring
sky.

Amenities

There’s a small spa with massage options, a 24-hour fitness
centre and 24-hour room service.

Things I should know…

The hotel’s penthouse is a knockout, from where guests can soak
up some of the finest panoramic views in the entire city.

Within a short walk I can find

The creaking ruins of an ancient civilisation – the Acropolis
and the Parthenon are only a 15-minute walk away. The tourist
district of Plaka is also nearby, as is Monastiraki, the newly
emerged hub of the city’s effervescent cultural scene. The National
Gardens lie a few blocks downtown and you’re also very well
connected to the rest of the city, as Syntagma metro station is
just a five-minute walk away. There are also great connections to
Athens International Airport.

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The Heart of the City: Athens, Greece