Imagining Athens, one immediately thinks of the Acropolis or the Agora. The ancient allure is so strong one might miss the alternative Athenian experience. Climbing the Lycabettus Hill to catch a glimpse of the impressively wide landscape of the city. Strolling down the streets of what’s called the capital’s most elegant neighborhood – Kolonaki. And right in its center, The Modernist – a minimalist design hotel overlooking the lush greenery of a small residential park.
Settled into the former Canadian Embassy, the hotel is tucked into one of Kolonaki’s side streets. Still it’s not too quiet since the capital’s buzz can be sensed just a few blocks away. It’s this part of the city where you meet locals sipping on an espresso freddo, reading morning papers, chatting & naturally resisting all kinds of haste. That’s why staying at The Modernist feels like diving into the heart of Athens that does not beat to the drum of its ancient history. The beat here is much more contemporary.
Fusing mid-century details with Athens’ signature Modernist style and carefully selected elements of Danish design, the hotel features a sober color palette of black, grey, and white. Designed by architects of FORMrelated studio, it is a sister hotel to the one in Thessaloniki where the concept became a big success. Spread across six floors, it offers 38 minimalist rooms of various sizes equipped with custom-made furnishings & lighting. Embossed veneer panels meet oak & leather surfaces alongside elements of bronze – a harmonious mix that appeals to a modern traveler familiar with design history as well as more recent trends. Each rooms offers a personalized selection of books and magazines that add a personal touch to the space, encouraging the guests to sit outside at the balcony and slow down, turning a few pages of “The Odyssey”.
The social areas are a seamless extension of the rooms’ private ambiance. The lobby boasts a small souvenir shop with a thoughtful selection of artisanal products and The Modernist’s beautiful merch available for purchase – a very tempting idea considering hotel’s edgy branding. Walking past the lobby, the space transitions smoothly into a small restaurant where a delicious breakfast is served – a selection of local delicacies together with exceptionally good coffee. In the afternoon, one can pop in for lunch to get a taste of freshly made poke bowls and local wines.
Once you take the elevator to the 7th floor, you realize your experience wouldn’t be complete without munching on Greek tidbits on The Modernist’s rooftop. Offering the view of the Acropolis, plenty of lounge chairs and lush plants, it’s a spot to work, chill & explore the city’s topography – anything you want as long as you make sure to order a drink or two from The Modernist’s short (yet very sweet) menu of refreshing cocktails.
Reading about The Modernist, I come across the quote from Konstantinos Theodoridis and Eleni Papaevangelou – the architects who conceived the concept: “We want its guests to be able to move and thrive in this space”.
The wish that came true considering hotel’s unassuming, relaxed character combined with modern sophistication that reflects the character of Athens so well. Because The Modernist makes you feel present and it’s a real luxury. A luxury that’s worth traveling to the other side of the world.