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Suite inside The Modernist in Athens

The Modernist Athens – designed for the urban explorer

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Modernist Athens – designed for the urban explorer

With a statement as grand as that headline, it was only ever a matter of time before Hotel Designs took a sneaky peek inside the latest boutique beauty to arrive in Athens: The Modernist. Sheltering a design that is said to inspire curiosity, we find out how this new 38-key hotel is settling in to its city surroundings…

Suite inside The Modernist in Athens

For many design enthusiasts, including myself, Athens is the etherial Goddess of boutique hotels – and therefore any brand entering this built-up authentic metropolis should do so with caution. In a destination where culture actually rises from the earth – I’m talking about the acropolis, of course – any hotel planning to open without a personality will be exposed and swallowed up by the noise of disobedience that echoes through cobbled streets.

Cue the opening of The Modernist, a 38-key gem that is perched aptly on a street corner. It opens with the aim to authentically connect its guests to the real Athens; to entice its guests to “explore its soul through culture and meaningful connections with the locals.”

The boutique hotel stands as the sister property to the award-winning Modernist Thessaloniki and marks a second chapter in the expanding hospitality brand created by entrepreneur Kostis Karatzas.

Located in the former Canadian embassy in Kolonaki, this new project maintains the same playful juxtaposition of art deco elements, mid-century detailing and Danish design found in its companion Thessaloniki location. Its high-quality offerings are grounded by the interior and exterior’s cool, well-honed character. The result is a relaxed, elegant environment that makes guests feel at home from the moment they set foot in the lobby.

“The Modernist is about contemporary hospitality that inspires curiosity and authentic experiences,” Karatzas says. “Ethics and aesthetics course through everything we do, as an invisible thread that connects us with the world. Following the opening of our first property in Thessaloniki two years ago, Athens was a natural next step for us. And this is only the beginning for our brand.”

Image of the staircase inside The Modernist Athens

Image credit: The Modernist

The building itself commingles the minimalism of post-war 1950s architecture with the nowness of sleek yet subtle contemporary spaces. With clean, symmetrical lines that stay true to the brand’s design philosophy, the exterior of The Modernist Athens is a sight to behold amid the vibrant cityscape.

Inside, guests are greeted by sharp contrasts in colour and shape, which anchor them back in the present day. The raw assertiveness of the marble, plaster, bronze and black glass within the lobby perfectly juxtaposes the softer, more refined nature of the oak wood floors, leather headboards and artful midcentury-inspired furnishings found inside the rooms.

An image showing exposed wardrobe and work area inside suite - The Modernist in Athens

Image credit: The Modernist

“We want its guests to be able to move and thrive in this space.” – Konstantinos Theodoridis and Eleni Papaevangelou, Co-Founders of FORMrelated.

Collaborating architects FORMrelated made use of an eclectic mix of local and international interior design brands, while employing custom builds such as embossed veneer panels and bronze details to articulate the second, equally cool addition to the Modernist name.

“We see The Modernist Athens becoming a compelling value proposition not just in living but in the experience industry as well,” explains Konstantinos Theodoridis and Eleni Papaevangelou, the studio’s co-founders. “We want its guests to be able to move and thrive in this space, in this small and intimate unit that manages to encapsulate contemporary luxuries in such an understated way.”

The 38 rooms are spread across six floors. Designed to be modern living spaces, each guestroom offers an uncomplicated aesthetic that is elevated by custom lighting and made-to-measure furniture, ensuring elegance across the board. Meanwhile, a meaningful sizing nomenclature (S, M, L, XL) makes it easy for guests to select the option that best fits their individual needs.

Image of a guestroom with contemporary interiors inside The Modernist in Athens

Image credit: The Modernist

Elsewhere, the lobby maintains an aura of refinement thanks to its midcentury vibe, with dark tones and bronze details marrying minimalism with opulence. At the same time, true to the brand’s overall intuitive approach to spatial planning, it acts as the hotel’s beating heart, orienting and guiding its patrons organically between different floors and services.

On the ground floor, the breakfast buffet transforms into an all-day cafe bar, ideal for relaxation. Plywood and marble blend together to create a warm atmosphere, while minimalist shelves are filled with a refined selection of modern and limited edition books.

The rooftop garden, which can double up as an open cinema, features verdant greens and frames breath-taking views over Athens and the Acropolis, which serves as the jewel in the crown of this urban oasis.

Image of rooftop garden overlooking Athens

Image credit: The Modernist

The Modernist project began in downtown Thessaloniki as the perfect hub for constant travellers. While ideating its Athenian counterpart, the main challenge lay in staying true to the spirit of the brand, and at the same time expressing the individual spirit of each city.

A respect for the existing exterior architecture has remained one of the brand’s common denominators, as has the propensity towards using natural, reusable materials in the interiors.

Still, by far the most important element of both Modernist hotels is the symbiotic relationship they maintain with their respective creative communities.

Given Athens’ vast cultural heritage, the hotel has a plethora of options to connect its guests to locals through highly curated experiences. The introduction to a refined couleur locale starts from inside the hotel, where various artists have put their stamp on everything, from ceramics and the artwork on walls to tailor-made music playlists, and even a vinyl collection that’s in the works. The hotel also offers itself as an events epicentre, with its rooftop garden doubling as an open cinema and its ground floor as a space for workshops and talks by guest artists.

Aiming to inspire curiosity and meaningful connections with the city’s creatives, The Modernist Athens is an exciting new chapter not only for the brand which celebrates metropolitanism in a collected, understated way but also for the hospitality scene in Athens, which has taken a battering this year due to the on-going Covid-19 crisis.

Main image credit: The Modernist

Four seasons opens its first Greece hotel

1024 576 Hamish Kilburn

Long a favoured playground of Athenians and international celebrities, the Astir Palace Hotel is now being transformed into the first Four Seasons experience in Greece. Following a significant renovation and reinvention, a new generation of travellers is poised to fall in love with this very special seaside enclave…

Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel AthensJust minutes from the historic city centre of Athens stands a pine-clad peninsula jutting into the Aegean Sea. Now home to the new Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel confirmed to open March 29, 2019.

Guests will have a choice of rooms that include: Mid-century modern Nafsika building with azure sea views, laidback relaxation in the Bauhaus-esque Arion and the ultimate in beachside luxury with 61 renovated Bungalows nestled among the trees at the water’s edge.

Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel AthensSam Ioannidis, the Hotel’s General Manager, said: “Nowhere in the world do ancient culture and modern lifestyle come together so beautifully than in Greece.

“With our close proximity to the city – just 30 minutes from both the Acropolis and the airport – the ideal Greek vacation has never been more accessible. Whether taking a quick break or staying a few weeks to take in all the sights and immerse yourself in the glamour and fun of the Athenian Riviera.”

Hyatt Hotels expands to Greece with new hotel opening

1000 597 Katy Phillips

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has revealed that a Hyatt affiliate has joined forces with Henderson Park and Hines to develop the first Grand Hyatt Hotel in Greece.

Set to boast 310 rooms, the Grand Hyatt Athens is scheduled to open during Q3 2018 and will be managed by Kokari Limited.

Centrally located on Syngrou Avenue in Athens’ Koukaki district, the hotel will be designed to reflect its Greek culture with dramatic architecture and an innovative design.

Meanwhile, a rooftop bar, restaurant and outdoor swimming pool with a view of the Acropolis will keep guests entertained during their stay.

“We are thrilled to announce plans for the first Hyatt property in Athens with Henderson Park, Hines and Kokari,” said Takuya Aoyama, VP of development for Eastern Europe, Russia and CIS at Hyatt.

“We have long sought to bring the Grand Hyatt brand’s celebratory luxury to the Greek capital. This deal represents a significant milestone in Southeast Europe, an important growth market for Hyatt with recent Hyatt development announcements in Turkey and Bulgaria.”

With its premium offerings and central location, Grand Hyatt Athens will appeal to business and leisure travellers.

Plus, more than 11,600 sq ft of meeting space will also be included on site, as well as a spa and fitness centre.

Paul Gomopoulos, MD of Hines Greece, added: “We are delighted to work with Hyatt on this Grand Hyatt hotel, a global brand with the caliber of offerings we need for this market. We look forward to delivering an experience in Athens worthy of celebration.”

The new hotel, which us undergoing a renovation, will join its sister property Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki, making it the second Hyatt hotel to be built in Greece.

Wyndham Grand Athens

Wyndham Hotel Group opens luxury property in Athens

750 505 Daniel Fountain

Wyndham Hotel Group has announced that accessible luxury is coming to Athens when the Wyndham Grand Athens, the first Wyndham Hotel Group hotel in Greece, opens in the city centre early next year. Travel is the best excuse to enjoy the grand things in life, and Wyndham Grand hotels and resorts offer truly unforgettable travel experiences.

Wyndham Grand is decidedly not pretentious, but approachable by design, featuring pristine guestrooms, relaxing spas, one-of-a kind dining experiences, and more. The Wyndham Grand Athens will be situated on Karaiskaki Place, where Zeus International, a company that operates nine hotels across Eastern Europe, is transforming the building owned by VIOHALCO which formerly housed the Hotel Athens Imperial.

When renovations are complete, the Wyndham Grand Athens will boast 273 rooms, 2,500 sq. m. of conference and event space, a restaurant, a bar, a spa and an amazing roof-garden of 450 sq. m. with a pool and a 360° view of the city skyline. In addition, the hotel’s proximity to the Metro and many of Athens’ cultural points of interest will make it a destination for business and leisure travellers alike.

Dan Ruff, President and Managing Director EMEA, for Wyndham Hotel Group, said: “Wyndham Grand hotels are located in some of the world’s most sought after destinations, including Shanghai, Istanbul, Doha, Salzburg, Chicago, Orlando and now Athens. This is only our first stop in Greece, as we see opportunities for many of our brands across the country, from city centres such as Athens and Thessaloniki to resort destinations in the Greek islands and mainland.”

Haris Siganos, Founder of Zeus International, noted: “Our Company is engaged in a variety of consulting and advisory projects from hotel management and development to turnaround management. We have been monitoring the Greek market for the right hospitality investment opportunity. We believe that Athens has been missing a flagship hotel offering a one-of-a-kind experience with a compelling local flavour, and we intend to change this when the Wyndham Grand Athens opens next year.”