"This abandoned warehouse was repurposed into an intimate hotel with a cool, industrial feel. Distinctive design, warm service, and a lively"
An intriguing jumble of graffiti-ed cottages, antique shops, and ouzeris, Psiri is one of the most characterful districts in downtown Athens. Traditionally an area of tanneries and tinsmiths, these days it’s full of shabby chic bars and small hotels. Partly pedestrianised, it’s a great place to wander at will, stopping for iced coffee at Barrett, home cooking at Nikitas, and cheap cocktails at Cantina Social.
It’s a five-minute walk to Monastiraki flea market and metro station, with direct links to the airport. Just beyond is the old town of Plaka. You can walk to the Acropolis in under 20 minutes.
Built by a tool trader in the 1950s, the corner building at the intersection of two pedestrian streets still has a distinctly industrial vibe. All flinty grey, pale marble, and weathered terracotta, the design pays homage to cement, brick, and wood (although the wallpaper is more urban chic than industrial grit).
The whole ground floor is an open-plan lobby-cum-living-room, with windows on all sides for people-watching and a communal table for socialising over complimentary coffee. The tiny shrine by the entrance displays an icon unearthed during construction — a quirky touch that sums up the hotel’s idiosyncratic style.
In the lobby lounge, you can browse magazines and guide books and help yourself to complimentary tea, coffee, fruit and cookies. The cosy Decompression Room features showers, lockers, changing rooms, comfy sofas and games, and is available for guests from 7am on the day of arrival until midnight on check-out day.
The best in-room perk are Handy smartphones pre-loaded with local recommendations; guests can surf and call anywhere in the world free of charge. The small, informal team are unfailingly friendly and helpful. A fellow guest’s lost passport was handled so speedily and smoothly that the concierge was rewarded with a bouquet of flowers.
Although it has only 15 rooms, the hotel never feels cramped. Even standard rooms are bigger than average. Suites and lofts on the third and fourth floors are positively huge, opening onto generous balconies with daybeds for soaking up the sunshine. Sound-proofed picture windows make the most of quintessentially Athenian views: a haphazard skyline spiked with television aerials, with the Parthenon peeking through the urban ruins (rooms on the lower floors might be too noisy for light sleepers on summer nights).
Spotless marble bathrooms have walk-in showers stocked with locally made Olivia amenities. Every room comes with a Nespresso machine, minibar (stocked with Greek beer, soft drinks, and water), bathrobes and slippers, a safe, hairdryer, and television. The only quibble with Room 14 was the tiny wardrobe and rather bulky pillows.
The buffet breakfast (served 7.30am to 10.30am) will set you up for the whole day: choose from home-made jams, spinach and custard pies, Greek yogurt with all kinds of healthy toppings, cereals, Greek cheeses, squeeze-your-own orange juice, and a changing array of cakes, breads, crostini and cookies.