Feb 2, 2016
Last year, the boutique Emporikon Athens Hotel reopened as part of The Athenian Revival – an enthusiastic reclamation of the city centre by millennials, who are rejecting international chains in favour of all things Greek.
Emporikon (above), situated opposite Athens’ old cathedral of St Irini, was one of the first hotels built after the new Kingdom of Greece was created in the 19th century. It closed when World War II broke out and then remained empty, being used occasionally as a film set.
Now, each of the hotel’s 14 unique rooms (above) is devoted to a modern Greek hero. I stayed in the Maria Callas, with an ancient piano for company – but there’s also the Melina Mecouri, with a faithful reproduction of the actress’ cuddly toy pig; or the Hatzidakis Suite, with lots of CDs of the composer’s music.
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Each room is a theatrical mix of old panelling, vibrant swags of colour and smooth new white plaster. My photographer wife pined for Room 401, where you wake up to a stunning view of the Acropolis (above) that would have Zorba dancing his toes off.
There’s no breakfast room but the ground floor is leased to Manas Kouzina Kouzina (above), a passionately nationalist cafe where I learned a lot about Greek food.
Emporikon Athens Hotel
27A Aiolou, 105 51 Plaka, Athens, Greece
Rooms from €88 per night (incl. tax)
For reservations: 30 6930 161 566 / email@example.com
– BY ADRIAN MOURBY