Designed by the Brazilian architects Campana Brothers, this remarkable hotel in the heart of Athens is alive with energy and passion.
Formerly Olympic Palace Hotel built-in 1958, the building went through years of architectural restoration, providing a shell for a unique and fresh realization.
The design of the New Hotel merges old with new—some of the original features remain perfectly intact, such as the sweeping black marble staircase, which creates a dramatic backdrop to the hotel’s reception. But the Campana Brothers took the project to a new level. Combining unusual materials, objects and fabrics, the designers have created a truly unconventional place.
The pillars interspersed around the communal area recycle old furniture from the previous hotel: the pieces ‘pasted’ to the pillars contribute to a delightful aesthetic of the lobby area. Then corridors are covered in bark cloth from Uganda—a natural wallpaper produced by processing bark from the Moraceae tree.
Working with students for an insight into the local culture, the Campanas brought folk themes and historical references to interiors. Golden fairytale characters adorning the walls pay homage to Karagiozis, a mischievous shadow puppet. Handmade glass eyes, illuminated for an arresting effect embrace the ‘evil eye’: a bead charm used to guard against ill omen. Finally, a wall collage of historic postcards offers a glimpse of old Athens.
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The hotel offers 79 suites, all sumptuously furnished with mostly handmade furniture and decoration, complimenting the boutique style of the hotel. Almost all items are individual, carefully selected by the designers.
The bedrooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, bamboo wood tables and floors, while the bathrooms showcase solid brass washbasins in the striking shape of fragmented rocks.
Every work of art has its apex—at New Hotel it’s the top-floor terrace. Linked to an executive lounge filled with art and business-friendly technology, it boasts one of the most breathtaking views in the city.