Rebecca Hall knows a thing or two about Athens, and was intrigued to explore the newly opened Dave Red, Son of a Brown hotel
Come and stay in Athens for a city break or on your way to the islands and more than likely, the last place you’ll think of staying is the Omonia district–but don’t overlook this beating heart of the city.
Dave Red is the youngest hotel of this international hotel group with properties in Israel, Croatia, Germany, Cyprus, the UK, other destinations in Greece and more to follow. Dave Red follows the ethos of the group as a whole; to create a signature place to show tourists the real culture and creativity of a city, combined with the desire to benefit the local population by expanding the nightlife and neighbourhood for them.
Dave Red certainly does this.
As the mural on the first-floor breakfast room highlights–Dave Red is no ordinary building. It’s housed in the formed Headquarters on the Greek Communist Party–the KKE, which has ‘helped shape contemporary political life for over a century.’ Hence the décor throughout pays homage to this in order to honour the building’s roots.
You can expect literature in their bookshelves by the bar to reflect this such as Orwell’s 1984, and with a choice of 87 rooms of different styles and sizes, you may be lucky enough to see original artwork of Lenin, Marx and the Hammer and Sickle on the wall left over from its KKE days.
Dave Red Rooms And Facilities
‘Playful’ and ‘unconventional’, not to mention ‘laid back’ yet not lacking in professionalism are words and phrases that spring to mind when stepping foot into the lobby of this 87-roomed property.
You’ll find original vintage pieces from the 70s scattered around reception that have been sourced from local flea markets, no doubt from the nearby Monastiraki. Popcorn? No problems. There’s a machine there where you can help yourself or a retro fridge with beer.
Four unique room types are on offer;
Urban –11 sqm and perfect for a solo traveller
Foxy –12.5sqm with Queen size round bed
Foxy+ –15sqm with Super King size bed and love couch
Urban+ Balcony –15sqm with balcony and Queen size bed
Despite the size difference, all have that industrial style throughout with exposed piping and signature red walls. The vintage theme continues with a Vinyl player and a selection of records, rotary phone, 43” TV screens, Nespresso Machine and walk-in shower with luxury gel, shampoo and conditioner (thoughtfully ecological as they come in large bottles that cannot be taken away).
True to the building’s roots, the designers have left the original murals that can be found in some of the rooms; unique artwork depicting a hammer and sickle or Lenin and Marx, testament to Brown Hotel’s philosophy of creating signature places.
The buffet breakfast with a big selection of fresh breads, preserves, croissants, yoghurts, cheeses and cold cuts is served in the mezzanine ‘adults playroom’–referred to as such because once you’ve filled your stomach and before you head out to explore for the day, why not play a game of pool, original Nintendo or Packman on consoles or relax on a hammock on the intimate balcony.
Just off reception, you’ll find a Café area where I ate, hand on heart, one of the best burgers in Athens. And with such a choice of burgers–including vegetarian options–you’re spoilt for choice. Or just sip a coffee and choose an interesting vintage magazine to flick through or a book.
The Rooftop–ten floors above the city–offers fabulous 360-degree views to the nearby Acropolis and as far as the surrounding mountains. In the summer, relax on a sunbed and dip in the jacuzzi.
About the Omonia neighbourhood
This is a truly eclectic Athenian district, gradually transforming into one of the city’s trendiest areas. Omonia Square was once the hub of the newly formed Greek state. Originally built in 1846, it was called Plateia Anaktoron (Palace Square).
The 1960s was a popular era for the Square with a beautiful water fountain and grass and flowers built, making it the perfect backdrop for Greek films of that era.
After many false starts, 2018 saw a rebirth of Omonia, culminating in the re-opening in 2020 of a new fountain–one of the largest in Europe in water volume- illuminated by LED technology and a thermo-neutral surrounding surface.
Tell Me More About Dave Red–Son Of A Brown
Dave Red Athens, 25, Veranzerou St. & M. Kotopouli St.,
10432, Athens Tel: +30 214 402 7660
Rooms from €65 per night, depending on the category of room and season. One might consider it a ‘themed’ hotel in a central and edgy part of town. Definitely one for the hipster brigade.
Booking Tip: Ask for a room at the back of the building. Despite the lack of balconies there, it is quieter not having to face the main road. And the hotel is pet friendly, so if you’re doing a road trip with your pooch, Dave Red will welcome ‘Fido’ with open arms.
Check out Rebecca’s Athens Guide in the palm of your hand. Top tips on restaurants, itineraries and sights.