Given all the energy and activity that takes place in central Athens, it’s easy to walk through Platia Agia Irini without noticing your surroundings. Historically, the square’s main cathedral was the most important in Athens. However, after the 19th century, the focus moved elsewhere and rendered Agia Irini and its platia a kind of hidden gem with excellent coffee spots, just off some of the capital’s most lively streets.
Now, the opening of the Perianth Hotel in Athens is set to restore the square to its former glory, courtesy of a modernist makeover from Greek architecture firm K-Studio (also the designers behind Scorpios Mykonos and Casa Cook in Kos).
Under the direction of three siblings, the firm has transformed a 1930s Bauhaus building into a neo-modernist dream within walking distance of the Acropolis. The design reflects the aesthetic of contemporary Greece. Terrazzo floors blend with marble furniture, which comes alive within the angular layout of the hotel itself.
Perianth Hotel is very much a boutique hotel, and guests will find themselves well looked after. Each of the hotel’s 38 rooms has a small private terrace that looks out onto the iconic Athenian skyline. But even surrounded by such monumental history, you might find yourself staring more at the room’s interiors, which combine black marble, steel details and curved walls for modern, serene environments to unwind in. Those looking for a more extravagant option will find their desires sated by the sixth-floor penthouse. The veranda here is unbeatable for secluded luxury while enjoying panoramic city views.
Such design not only reflects the colours and textures of the contemporary Greek aesthetic but also speaks to the other exciting aspect of the Perianth Hotel: the Zen Centre. It was started by one of the co-founders of the hotel, eldest sibling Konstantinos Sgoumpopoulou, and offers meditation and martial arts. Guests are encouraged to participate, and such access is perfect for balancing hectic days of sightseeing with a relaxed state of mind.
Throughout the hotel, the founders have also championed Greek artistic endeavour. Contemporary artists are exhibited in the hotel’s brightly lit public spaces. It includes abstract works by Yiannis Varelas, photography from Margarita Myrogianni and works by Maria Papadimitriou. Alongside these artworks are pieces of custom-made furniture by K-Studio, in both the rooms and throughout the communal spaces in the hotel.
Alongside chic interiors, a Bauhaus exterior and the Zen Centre, the Perianth Hotel is also home to the buzzing, open-plan, Italian-inspired restaurant, Il Baretto. Minimalist, industrial design with marble floors and large windows plays host to a confident menu comprising fresh ingredients. In the evening, aperitifs are best enjoyed at the curved marble bar.