This month, New Hotel Athens, part of the Yes! Hotels chain, opened its doors to guests. Owned by Greek Cypriot art collector Dakis Joannou, the former Olympic Palace Hotel, originally opened in 1958, has been restructured, piece by piece.
Brazilian designers Humberto and Fernando Campana were commissioned by Joannou to transform the 79-room hotel. The duo best known for their carnival-inspired designs and love of recycling and restoration also worked with local architecture students from the University of Thessaly on the interiors. The building features artwork created from salvaged doors and other cast-offs from the old hotel as well as design themes inspired by shadow puppetry and Greek folklore.
The hotel opening comes as the Greek economy battles a crippling debt crisis and the country experiences social unrest. In June, Athens was hit by riots following protests against proposed austerity measures by the Greek government. Stefania Flenga, sales and marketing director of Yes! Hotels remains undeterred and said to Stylus: “Athens is and always will be an important and timeless destination.”