Andy Mossack uncovers the Athens Flair Hotel in Athens, a neo-classical work of art with a thoroughly modern vibe.
Tucked away in Athens’ swanky Lycabettus quarter, on quiet, pedestrianised Delfon Street, is where you’ll find the aptly bijou entrance to the Athens Flair Hotel. A neo-classical building that once belonged to legendary Greek actress Ellie Lambeti who it was rumoured, was something of a socialite and hosted many a soiree at the residence.
Today, it’s a newly opened boutique hotel that makes perfect use of the building’s neo-classical finery yet still manages to project a chic and contemporary feel inside.
Turn right and you’re in the swish environs of the Kolonaki district; turn left and you’re in the super trendy bohemian Exarchia neighbourhood with its arty boutiques, street murals, restaurants, and cafes.
With just six all-suite rooms, the Athens Flair Hotel manages to combine the sumptuous grandiose of the classic architecture of yesteryear I love so much – the high ceilings, elegant passageways, and the personality of a bygone era – with trendy interior tones, contemporary fittings, and beautiful wall art.
There’s also a fabulous outdoor roof terrace almost within touching distance of Lycabettus Hill, where you can enjoy a made-to-measure breakfast at the time of your choosing or, if the weather doesn’t suit, have it delivered to your suite.
Each suite offers something different. The Cine Flair suite has an outdoor terrace and hot tub with a video projector that can screen from a library of movies or stream your own. The Signature Suite offers another outdoor terrace and hot tub as does the Superior Double with its 16m² bedroom and 20m² terrace.
I stayed in the airy ground floor Superior Suite, a 33m² space with three Juliette balconies overlooking the quiet courtyard of Delfon and its rows of orange trees. The living room area had a comfortable couch/sofa bed and coffee table, while the impressive king bed lorded over the rest of the room patiently waiting to embrace its new patrons with high thread linen and feathered pillows.
Good connectivity on both sides of the bed with outlets and USB slots. A Nespresso machine silently winked at me from a side table adorned with a kettle, various teas, and coffee pods.
The marble bathroom was cosy but very well appointed with a rainforest shower, hairdryer, robes, slippers, and Balmain-branded amenities.
You can sense straight away how this historic address has been repurposed. The discreet entrance for a start, but then a steep circular staircase up to the lobby. With no elevator, the Athens Flair Hotel might not be ideal for less able-bodied guests but fortunately, a strong team member is on hand to transport your luggage upstairs for you. (Thankfully!).
Then, another spiral staircase to the roof terrace where tables and comfortable bench seats await. A lovely sun trap of a spot, fringed by flowers and plants and shared by a few pollinators going about their business. Yet another spiral staircase takes you up to the top deck where a row of sunbeds lay next to a bar area, which perhaps runs a bar service in the summer (we were a little early for that).
What we did enjoy each morning, however, was a lovely freshly prepared breakfast cooked to order. (You fill in a form the night before). They especially made a point of saying “You can order everything if you want – just tick the boxes!” I liked that. It ranged from fresh pastries, fruit and juices to various hot egg dishes. There was even a ‘Greek pie of the day’ option, an opportunity to taste one of those very tasty traditional filo-based street pies that are normally filled with spinach or cheese.
I did feel for the staff who climb the stairs for each guest order, carrying an enormous tray full of food. Turned out our breakfast was delivered by the same lad who lugged up our cases. Not a hint of a moan, just a smile and a wave as he went back down saying “No need for the gym, this keeps me fit enough.”
I found the Athens Flair Hotel a perfect base to get to all of Athens’ famous sights. Its central location is just a short stroll to Syntagma Square, the lively public food market, Plaka, the Benaki Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, and the National Archaeological Museum to name but a few.
It’s in a part of Athens that is still residential, and you really get a feel you’re mixing with the locals. Albeit well-heeled locals. I reckon even Ellie Lambeti would approve of what they’ve made of her former home.
All images (C) Athens Flair Hotel except roof top breakfast (C) Andy Mossack
Tell me more about the Athens Flair Hotel
Athens Flair Hotel, 2 Delfon str. & Didotou str. Athens (Kolonaki) 10680
T: +30 210-3616891 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Suites from €162 per night including breakfast.