21 Kolokotroni St, Athens, Greece, 14562
- Recommended for:
- Business travellers, Couples, Art, Escaping the crowds, Shopping
Expert review of Twenty One
One of construction tycoon and art collector Dakis Ioannou's four Yes hotels, this 21-room hideaway has slipped under the radar since opening in 2004. Designed by Deca architects - the team behind Hotel Periscope - it features similarly minimalist, almost stark interiors. The focus is on form and function, rather than frills.
In Kefalari, a wealthy, leafy suburb 45-minutes north of the city centre. Not great if you’re in Athens for sightseeing, it’s a handy location if you’re in town on business – many multi-national companies and advertising agencies have their offices in nearby Maroussi. There are ritzy boutiques and cafés whichever way you turn.
The main design feature of the bedrooms is the intriguing 70-metre mural by Greek artist Georgia Sagri, with a different section in each room. Block colours and clean lines create a soothing ambience, but there are lots of clever surprises – charcoal grey closets have scarlet interiors; a hidden vanity unit opens up like a laptop. Five split-level loft suites have a compact living space (basically, just a sofa and flat screen TV), below a skylit bedroom. A few rooms have tiny balconies constructed of metal cages – not for the faint-hearted.
There’s an anteroom off the small lobby, with a sofa and a few newspapers where you can wait for your date. The loud wallpaper is rather out of keeping with the low-key design elsewhere. Wide corridors are lined with sisal carpets and futuristic stencils. You'll have to get past the bouncers if you want to hang out on the lovely terrace shielded by plants and oversized parasols, which has been taken over by a fancy restaurant
The red, black and grey colour scheme runs through the glamorous 21 restaurant, a destination in its own right. Sloaney local couples with designer-clad toddlers come for lunch; businessmen tuck into steak and sushi at dinner. Don’t be put off by the pretentious door policy: the Med-Asian menu (which ranges from chicken teriyaki to truffle and pecorino risotto) is delicious (and expensive). The selective Greek wine list is also worth sampling. Breakfast is basic – a bit of a letdown in a setting that promises so much.
None - but guests can use the gym and pool at the Semiramis hotel, a three-minute stroll across Kefalari Park.
With just 21 rooms, the hotel operates with a shoestring staff – usually just one receptionist. But there's a turndown service every night and housekeeping is meticulous.
Mainly business travellers, due to the out-of-the-way location and rather masculine design.
There's a good selection of DVDs and CDs you can borrow for no extra charge.
More information on Twenty One:
- Price from:
- 21 Kolokotroni St, Athens, Greece, 14562
- Free tags / Keywords:
- art, business, Contemporary design
- High-Speed Internet, Restaurant, Room Service