Owned by the world-renowned art collector Dakis Joannou and smartly decorated by quirky Brazilian designers the Campana brothers, the New Hotel is the city’s coolest upscale design-centric property, with 79 rooms (including seven suites) and an intimate restaurant. Although centrally located, just a five-minute walk to Syntagma Square, it's tucked back in a modernist building on a side street so it feels hidden and discreet. The interiors are both playful and smart; the Campanas created much of it with items recycled from the previous hotel. Imagine puzzlelike walls and chairs constructed of layered, repurposed wood intermingled with sculptural chairs of their own design. In the rooms, they had fun riffing on Greek cultural objects, like the Karagiozis, a shadow puppet, and multiple versions of the glass "evil eyes" used to protect against ill omen. Bottom line: stylish contemporary design, excellent location, and friendly service.
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The New Hotel is just steps from Syntagma Square, the city's most elegant central neighborhood, home to some of Athens’ most important landmark buildings including the Old Royal Palace, the surrounding National Gardens, and the Parliament. It's also an easy walk to the developing area around Agia Irini Square, where lively cafés and bars have been popping up faster than you can say “fair-trade coffee beans.” The adjoining lane of Aiolou has turned into the city’s youthful new foodie street.
Need to Know
Rooms: 72 rooms and 7 suites. From $179, including breakfast. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The hotel's small dining room is both cozy and cool, with an upscale menu offering international comfort food. On Sundays, it attracts many of the city's creative locals who come for the excellent brunch spread—including fresh-baked bread and pastries. Spa and gym details: A small workout room and spa sit below the lobby. The spa is made up of a hammam, treatment room, and Jacuzzi, and it specializes in jet-lag remedies.
Who's it for: Design buffs with a modern sensibility. Our favorite rooms: It's worth the splurge for the 650-square-foot Penthouse Suite with 360-degree city views, a sprawling private terrace, and a window framing the Acropolis directly over the bed. Although the windows throughout the hotel are soundproofed, it can still be noisy. Book a room on the fifth floor for a guaranteed quiet night of sleep. Sundowner: Make sure to have an early evening drink at the rooftop terrace bar.