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    Where to stay in Athens

    As we launch our Green Traveller's Guide to Athens, Clare Hargreaves picks out a selection of characterful places to stay in the Greek Capital.


    Athens’ hotels have undergone a revolution in recent years as industrial buildings have been repurposed by world-famous architects to create stunning boutique hotels housing eye-catching contemporary art. Natural materials such as brick, marble, and wood create gorgeous soothing interiors, and Art Nouveau buildings have also been given new life and furnished in style. If you want small, there are plenty of vintage-styled hideaways too.

    18 Micon Street (foyer pictured above)

    Another hotel in Psyrri that has harnessed its industrial past to create a beautiful modern space housing 15 beautiful rooms, each completely different. The building was once the storehouse of Mr Kostas, one of the first tool traders in Athens, and the hotel has cleverly honoured its history through its combined use of brick, cement and wood. Designer fabrics and wallpapers, along with ‘antique’ patterned tiles, complete the harmony. Honeymooners will want to bag the penthouse room at the top from where you can see the Acropolis from bed. There are rooms for families too. 18miconstr.com


    Athens 4

    This is the sister hotel of 18 Micon Street, located a few streets away in a district that’s famous for its textile factories. As at 18 Micon Street, rooms make a nod to their industrial past - here mainly through their use of textiles and wallpapers. At the top there’s a loft with a jacuzzi and private terrace, and superior suites also have balconies from where you can take in the views. Belter breakfasts, which include freshly squeezed orange juice, pasteli (sesame brittle) and divine homemade cakes and pies, are served in the soothingly spacious grey-marble-floored lobby. athens4.com


    The Artist Athens

    Right in the heart of Athens city centre (in the Psyrri area - amid street artists, musicians and Athens cafe culture), new life has been breathed in an industrial building (once home to graffiti artists) turning it into a stylish urban artistic abode with lounge bar, restaurant and roof garden bar with views of the Acropolis. Close to Monastiraki Square, Monastiraki Flea Market, and the National Theatre of Greece. theartistathens.com


    The Foundry Suites Athens

    Not many Athens apartment-hotels can boast views of the Acropolis and fabulous industrial-chic interiors as well as a rooftop garden where you can picnic. But The Foundry, in the fashionable central neighbourhood of Psyrri, is not your everyday apartment-hotel. The building housing its 12 luxury suites was originally built in 1930 as a font foundry, before later being turned into a printing press and then a cultural centre. Today relics of its industrial past are skilfully married with contemporary furnishings and wallpapers, providing a stylish oasis of tranquility in the heart of this hectic metropolis. thefoundrysuitesathens.com


    Urban Frame Hotel

    A stylish new boutique hotel in the heart of the Plaka close to Syntagma square, Ermou street and the national garden. Think chic wood, vases and bowls, designer furniture and crisp white bed sheets. Light-flooded airy double rooms have large windows - most overlook the buzzing streets, though some premium and deluxe rooms have wonderful views of the Acropolis. Bike rental available. urbanframehotel.com


    A77 Suites by Andronis

    A collection of six modern suites in Psyri in the heart of historic Athens with private balcony views of the Acropolis, and close to Syntagma Square, Roman Agora and Ermou Street. The stylish rooms have large double beds and walk-in showers. a77suitesbyandronis.com


    Ergon House

    Style-loving foodies will love this sleek contemporary hotel that combines accommodation, a restaurant and a market. Ergon’s owners run a string of delis, one of which is on the ground floor agora (market), selling everything from fresh fish to herbs and cheeses. The agora also houses a restaurant which serves breakfast (sweet and savoury pies) and during the day assorted Greek meze. Cookery classes are occasionally held here too. Upstairs rooms are furnished in soothing natural materials, including plenty of wood and grey marble. There’s also a gym and a roof terrace where you can picnic while viewing the Parthenon. house.ergonfoods.com


    Perianth Hotel

    The creators of this central hotel have used a lovely 1930s building to produce a stunning Modernist-style 38-room hotel, using natural materials such as metal, wood and marble alongside carefully chosen items of modern art. Bathrooms are in black marble. Some rooms also have balconies offering views over the Acropolis, and the two-bedroom penthouse suite even has a private jacuzzi and swimming pool. The lobby has a calming waterfall, which will get you in the mood to join meditation and yoga classes at the in-house Zen Center Athens for free. There’s also an Italian restaurant called Il Baretto. perianthhotel.com


    Emporikon

    After half a century of neglect, this well-loved Art Nouveau building in Agias Irinis Square, one of Athens’ prettiest, has recently been restored and brought back to life as a comfortable hotel. Inside are 14 bedrooms that blend contemporary furnishings with the building’s historic architectural features. If you can afford it, splash out on the superior room with a balcony looking out to the Acropolis. The position of the hotel couldn’t be better, being within easy walking distance of Syntagma Square, the Acropolis and the pedestrian shopping street of Aiolou. emporikonathenshotel.com


    AthensWas

    Housed in a modern apartment building bang opposite the Acropolis and its new museum, this design hotel is a homage to mid-century Modernism. Look out for Elieen Gray divans, Le Corbusier armchairs and soft lighting by Flos, plus wood-panelled walls, graphic-print carpets and lashings of grey marble. Calming, minimalist rooms all have worktables and furnished balconies, while suites on the 5th and 6th floors have Acropolis views. The 7th floor houses the hotel’s rooftop Sense Restaurant serving modern Greek cuisine from an open kitchen as you enjoy the panoramic views. Expect belter breakfasts, in the lobby, too. athenswas.gr


    in[n]Athens

    The handsome white building housing this hotel, built around a pretty tree-filled courtyard and hidden away at the end of a shopping arcade, is just minutes from Syntagma Square and hectic Ermou Street, but you’d never guess it once inside its 37 clean-lined rooms. All are individually styled in soothing fabrics and natural wood floors and furnishings, while bathrooms are crafted in Greek marble and steel, combining design and comfort. Mattresses and linens are by Cocomat and Simmons and toiletries by Zealots of Nature. Eat breakfast under the lemon tree in the courtyard or in the industrial-chic lobby. innathens.com