Since its much-anticipated opening in 2011, the New Hotel has easily maintained the architectural cutting-edge style that made news headlines at the time. Part of the chain of Yes! hotels masterminded by modern art collector Dakis Ioannou, it is the first large-scale interior design project by the Brazilian architectural duo of the Campana brothers. Excellent central location? Check. Good service? Check. Rooftop bar with Acropolis views? Check. Hefty price tag? Check. Haute architecture comes at a cost.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The New Hotel’s post-modern, funky design approach might not be everyone’s cup of tea and it will be interesting to see how it withstands the wear and tear of time. For the time being, however, it is a hip and youthful accommodation option.
Ultramodern guestrooms integrate three Greek-inspired retro themes in their decor--the Karagkiozis shadow theater puppets (for example, you find six of these silhouetted on a flamingo-pink wall), the traditional "evil eye" charms, and those kitschy vintage postcards of Athens spanning the 1950s to the ’80s and, here, decoupaged on walls in striking groups. Super comfortable beds are an added bonus.
For better views and quieter nights, book a guest room on the sixth floor. You may also want to ask for a room away from busy Filellinon avenue.
Funky conceptual bathrooms that are uniquely designed. A ‘flashlight’ mirror wall separates the main sleeping area into two and hides a gold-colored sink, which is exposed outside the rest of the bathroom.
YOU SHOULD KNOW There is a frosted glass separating the bathroom from the sleeping area, which means that privacy is somewhat limited and the light from the bathroom could wake someone up in the middle of the night.
The Campana brothers have put their personal stamp in the lobby. The wall opposite the entrance is a gigantic and pretty impressive "art piece" comprised of broken, recycled wood furniture from the old hotel that used to stand here. Otherwise, the space is fairly small, with two desks acting as check-in desks. Everyone is helpful and responsive to queries. There is only one elevator at the hotel.
Fresh water and snacks are on offer daily.
The New Sense wellness lounge located in the basement offers sumptuous treatments such as the hot sea massage and the jet lag aromatic remedy, perfect after a long transatlantic flight.
You need to make a reservation for use of the steam room and jacuzzi.
The gym in the basement features an elliptical trainer, a treadmill and a weight machine. It is more than adequate for a quick workout.
Breakfast is served in the New Taste dining room, with decor inspired by Brazilian favelas. It is located just off the lobby and offers a fairly standard buffet selection with cold meats and warm dishes. A popular weekend brunch is served here as well. The Art Lounge is a Mediterranean bar and restaurant on the 7th (top) floor, and the menu offers attractive choices such as meat platters and some tasty seafood dishes.
The rooftop terrace bar Art Lounge has an extensive selection of drinks (try especially the in-house cocktails) and great views of the Acropolis and the city skyline if you have the right table.
The New Hotel is within walking distance of everything you want to see and do in Athens. The hotel is in a smart up and coming area near the main Plaka axis of Kidathinaion street and close enough to the Acropolis and the National Garden. Filellinon is a busy thoroughfare, and there are buses passing by at all times of the day. Syntagma square with its central metro station and bus stops is a 5-minute walk away. If you have a car there is a private parking lot right next to the hotel. Taxis abound in front of the hotel but you will need to flag them down.
For a healthy vegetarian option that will be approved by meat lovers alike, try the crispy tofu and the vegan spinach tart at Avocado (1-minute walk). For good, honest, everyday meals try Makalo (5-minute walk) serving traditional Greek dishes with a modern take such as a delicious Hallumi and chicken salad. 2Mazi (3-minute walk) is an upmarket, Michelin-starred eaterie serving imaginative and adventurous cuisine in its elegant neoclassic courtyard and it would be a top choice for a special occasion.
Wine bars are undergoing a renaissance in Athens right now and The New Hotel is very close to By the Glass (3-minute walk), one of the best in town. More than 100 mainly Greek but also international wines are available to taste by the glass accompanied by cheese and meat platters (smoking is allowed in the outside seating area). For more wine and some unique coffee blends try Warehouse CO2 (5-minute walk). Trendy Hpitou street with its happening street party atmosphere is just down the road, take a pick among bars Kiki de Grece, Blue Bird and Hpitou (5-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
New Hotel exudes an architectural prowess and a joyful vibe spearheaded by the designs of the imaginative Campana brothers (which however might not be to everyone’s taste). It is funky and youthful and fun, and you get to stay in a uniquely designed environment as well as visit Athens. The service is as should be expected for a top tiered hotel, as is the cleanliness (and perhaps also the price). The location is ideal for visiting some of the most popular Athens attractions, while the Art Lounge rooftop bar is a must for evening drinks, with that mandatory and oh so precious Acropolis view.