Semiramis Hotel is a celebration of modern art and design. The five star retreat embodies the lively aesthetic of its founder, Greece’s most influential art collector Dakis Joannou. Given Dakis’s commitment to modern art, it’s no surprise the first of his YES hotels was to be a spectacular visual treat.
The original hotel opened in 1936, but was acquired and renovated by the YES hotel group in 2012. The new vision for the hotel was led by Karim Rashid, the award winning architect who is known for his bright, industrial designs. Rashid’s commitment to creating modern, beautiful environments is especially evident here, where no part of the hotel experience has been omitted from the vibrant makeover.
From the outside, the unique design of the hotel is evident. The facade is acid pink, lime green and neon yellow. Box balconies fuel the energising atmosphere and visitors are welcomed into the lobby through a vivid pink cube.
Inside the lobby art lovers will truly find themselves at home. A bi-annual rotating exhibition that displays a selection of works by leading contemporary artists including Jeff Koons, Sue Webster and Tim Noble. Karim Rashid’s iconic wave sofas juxtapose with candy-coloured armchairs and large pastel handmade rugs which lie over terrazzo floors. On top of these rugs are bright plastic tables too. Don’t be surprised if you fill up your phone with pictures before you’ve even got to your room – and then there’s the pool… but we’ll come to that.
The hotel offers 51 rooms, making the service and atmosphere pleasantly boutique while still upholding the hospitality standards of a larger hotel group. Whether you’re staying in the standard room, pool bungalows or choose to book into the penthouse suite, guests are continually treated to bold and highly Instagrammable design.
Floors are comprised of coloured concrete with rubber floors, ceramic tiles with metal. Colourful plastic partitions run throughout the bedrooms and bathrooms, and quirky modern furniture is in pastel shades. There’s also an electronic do not disturb message board which proves endlessly entertaining. If you are lucky enough to book into the penthouse suite or studio you’ll also be treated to a large, futuristic balcony with views across the city. Modern art features throughout the hotel, offering additional surprises as you walk around.
One of the highlights of the Semiramis Hotel is its pool. The multi-coloured spaces immerses bathers in an ice cream world. It’s near impossible to leave this heaven and explore anywhere else in Athens. The pool itself is decorated with bright pastel tiles while pink parasols provide a vivid contrast. Modern white sun beds ensure the chicest platform to lie back and enjoy bright blue skies. Sipping a cocktail poolside feels positively cinematic.
Meanwhile the spa is also spectacularly decorated. Green tiles offset orange walls to create a calming atmosphere to unwind in. After a hectic day at the pool and spa, don’t forget to enjoy the artistic surroundings of the restaurant. Nolita’s dark and vintage decor provides a striking contrast to the modernist design of the rest of the hotel. Oak interiors and dark marble detail work with art deco carpets to ensure you feel truly transported after a day in the sun. The Italian-inspired menu and excellent wine list are guaranteed to please.
In short, if you’re looking for a cultural stay in Athens that will make all of your friends jealous, Semiramis Hotel is the one for you.