The New Hotel – Athens, Greece
Owned by Dakis Joannou, an eminent collector of modern art, the philosophy of Yes! Hotels is Young, Enthusiastic and Seductive and denotes a commitment to creating a new form of art in hospitality;
Located in Athens, The New Hotel – Athens, Greece is the ideal destination for unique and unforgettable stay. Offering an entirely NEW approach to young interior design, energetic hospitality, and seductive customer-centered services, NEW Hotel is the first ever hotel project of award winning designer duo, Fernando and Humberto Campana.
Dakis Joannou commissioned the Brazilian brothers for their eco-sensitive ethos and the use of contemporary handicraft practices and local idioms. Drawn to their specific language, which in turn draws from urban street life, contemporary art and the Sao Paulo favela culture, Joannou gave them absolute freedom to dream. The result is an intriguing 79-room establishment, where every public space and every floor has been creatively re-NEW-ed to include remnants of the former Olympic Palace Hotel.
The interiors are simply outstanding, the unusual custom-made furniture and handmade fixtures making guests feel that they live and breathe in a major art installation.
New Hotel is located on Filellinon Str. 16, 200 meters from Constitution Square and within walking distance from the city’s main attractions. Both leisure and business travellers will enjoy this enviable NEW hotel, right at the centre of Athens.
Much like the name suggests, New Hotel is housed in a reanimated modernist structure—a non-conformist in a city of classicism: It incorporates the long-standing history and modern, hip culture of Athens through its beautiful contemporary design and imaginative spaces. It also features an impressive rooftop bar and restaurant and a stunningly unique Penthouse Suite.
The ambiences of the hotel are sophisticated and accurate down to the smallest detail, provided with sleek jagged mirrors and bespoke modern furniture, which were created from the use of recycled materials and wisely made by local art students.
Creativity follows through in every room including bathrooms, hallways, restaurants and bedrooms, where every corner breathes contemporary design in an interactive, fun and colourful way. Various themes are present, including Greek folklore, the ‘evil eye’ tradition and postcards of Athens.
New Hotel’s 79 rooms and suites are styled according to three design concepts, each based on a different notion of Greek culture: postcards showcasing old Athens; evil eye amulets; and traditional “karagoiozis” shadow puppets kept behind acrylic glass plates that float just above the walls, making guests feel like they are linked intrinsically with the art, instead of being its passive observers.
Re-edited Thonet chairs mix with handmade furniture made from the recycled materials from the original Olympic Palace Hotel built in 1958. The spacious rooms offer views of a side street where guests can catch the vibe of this historic Athenian neighbourhood.
There are two restaurants, including a rooftop Art Lounge bar-restaurant, which boasts an impressive view of the city and the Acropolis itself, and fine-dining restaurant New Taste on the ground floor.
Both venues serve Mediterranean and international cuisine, including starters such as the sea-bass carpaccio with roasted spring onion and pimento d’espelette, and main courses like the black Angus beef tagliata with rocket, parmesan flakes and truffle oil. Drinks are best enjoyed at the rooftop. The Very Greek cocktail, featuring masticha, lemon juice, cucumber and grapefruit soda, is one of the house specialities.
Breakfast is also taken very seriously: The in-house bakery is overseen by Christophe Vasseaur from Paris.
The hotel’s Espresso Bar brews organic Napolitano Passalacqua from Naples.
One bite is never enough! NEW TASTE is a culinary haven, with its welcoming ambience, fabulous seating, and simply excellent food. Enter the world of high design, with the Campana brothers showcasing their trademark approach at its very best.
New Art Lounge, rooftop lounge (7th floor) with a panoramic Athens view serving your favorite food & drinks. Designed to be the ultimate penthouse, New Art Lounge features a unique Art library with more than 2000 art book titles. The comfort and scenery of the space is reason enough to visit.
ARCHITECTURE – A PIECE OF LIVING ART
Ever since 1958, when the old Olympic Palace Hotel first pierced the Athenian skyline, it’s been seen as one of the city’s best examples of modernist architecture. Now, after being painstakingly pulled apart and fastened back together in its original site overlooking Syntagma Square, it’s become a piece of living art. Owner and Greek Cypriot industrialist Dakis Joannou, who renamed his creation New Hotel, was keen that nothing from the original building be thrown away.
He enlisted the help of Brazilian interior design legends Humberto and Fernando Campana, renowned globally for their ability to create masterpieces from casts offs and reclaimed materials. Together the three worked to create a space in which the senses are arrested by sights, textures and moods – and objects demand to be interacted with, rather than ignored.
The glut of old restaurant chairs left over from the Olympic Palace Hotel inspired the Campanas to adopt a twin-track approach. Some chairs were left as they were, while others were spliced with atypical objects to create new and intriguing forms.
With the help of a creative team of Greek postgraduate students, public areas are full of unusual chair-art hybrids. Over in the lounges, incredible multi-toned treelike sculptures, lovingly assembled from a jumble of different-colored woods, reach skywards from the floor.
Dakis Joannou, the hardworking owner of Yes! Hotels, is one of the foremost collectors of contemporary European art in Greece. And when it comes to hospitality, he’s just as dedicated to the cause. Working alongside innovative interior designers such as Brazil’s Campana brothers, he has left his cool-as-ice hallmark on a trio of boutique hotels in Athens—Periscope Hotel, Semiramis, and New Hotel. As a member of the Board of Trustees at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, a member of the International Directors Council of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and cofounder of DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Dakis Joannou is surrounded by the subjects that inspire him: art, design, and architecture.
Meeting in a uniquely designed environment will certainly make an impression on business partners, colleagues, and friends alike. The NEW meeting rooms are located on the mezzanine floor, also known as the “Workshop Floor”, a tribute to the creative collaboration of the Workshop team with the Campana brothers. They all feature state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment with WIFI and broadband internet. Bathed in natural day light, the meeting rooms evoke a bright ambience, accentuated with signature design furniture. A foyer area and restrooms complete the luxurious service.With their facilities, their Campana-esque design, and the variety of spaces that they offer, meeting rooms offer an ideal venue to suit guests’ needs, from business meetings and teleconferences, to cocktails and gala dinners.
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Although individuals have endured difficult circumstances since the start of the economic crisis in 2009, the city is on the rise. There is crackling energy in galleries, political debates and even on the walls of derelict buildings. This creates a lively urban bustle, but at the end of the day, Athenians build their own villages in the city, especially in open-air restaurants and bars where they linger for hours.
Beyond Athens, down the Attica peninsula, are more spectacular antiquities, such as the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, as well as very good beaches, such as those near historic Marathon.
Ancient sun-bleached ruins pierce blue skies as the Aegean laps at the endless coastline. And Greek culture is alive with passionate music, inspired cuisine and thrill-seeking activities.
Cultural Treasure Chest
Standing in the shadow of the Acropolis feels other-worldly. Greece is full of such moments. Step into the ring where Olympians first competed. Climb steps hewn out of stone to Meteora’s monasteries, perched atop towering rocks. Contemplate the oracle’s insights from the grandeur of Delphi, take in a starlit drama at an ancient outdoor theatre and be stunned by massive marble sculptures dredged up from the Aegean. But then you’ll encounter bold modern art, the melancholic throb of rembetika (blues songs) and artisans creating new work from traditional techniques. Greece has endless cultural pursuits and a calendar bursting with festivals, holidays and exhibits.
Whether you’re a serious adrenalin junkie or dedicated beach bum, Greece will bewitch you. Days melt from one to the next under wide open skies and a sea speckled with islands that deliver the white-sand, palm-fringed beaches of your dreams. Wander along cobbled Byzantine footpaths, hike into volcanoes, watch for dolphins and sea turtles, and cycle through lush forests. Meander through olive groves, idyllic villages and petrified forests. Thrill seekers will discover world-class kitesurfing, wreck diving, and rock-climbing locations with dizzying views. Or simply hop on a boat and set sail into the glittering blue beyond.
The secret to Greek cooking is often found in the chef’s garden. Basic ingredients such as feta and olive oil are at home across Greece, but the regional produce and cooking styles make travelling here a culinary adventure. Taste herbs and mountain greens you’ve never heard of, mussels steamed in ouzo, bread baked with olives, and fish straight from the sea. Taste-test regional cheeses: crumbling feta, honeyed soft cheeses and sharp, hard rounds. Find Italian influences in risottos and pastas or Turkish spices woven into delicate sweets. A traditional-cooking renaissance has chefs lifting time-honoured recipes to new gourmet heights.
Socialising is more than a pastime in Greece – it’s a way of life. Cafes overflow with teenagers gossiping or older locals in heated debate. Restaurants are filled with long tables for big gatherings and friends amble arm in arm down the street. Squares are the focal point, where life unfolds collectively. Immerse yourself, whether it’s a coffee, a shot of ouzo, a chorus on the bouzouki or a local celebration. Greeks are passionate and live life to the fullest, even at the most difficult times. The result is a country seemingly riddled with challenges, yet full of people loving life.