Athens is home to ancient treasures as well as contemporary gems, and Shila—a boutique hotel located in the Kolonaki neighborhood—echos that combination with aplomb. At the base of Mount Lycabettus (which offers a stunning view of the city and, of course, the Acropolis), the hotel is discreetly nestled in a quiet, car-free lane. Seamlessly blending 1920s bohemian elements with bold, contemporary design touches and modern amenities, the six-suite hotel feels at once cozy and expansive, familiar and otherworldly, refined and opulent.
Upon arrival, guests enter a salon for check-in, but the atmosphere is unlike regular reception areas. With floral wallpaper, an antique dining table and chairs, vintage lighting fixtures, lush plants and a piano, the only giveaway is a laptop that the staff member uses.
Across from the “lobby” is a sitting room, the Library Lounge, replete with mosaic floors and bookcases bursting with reading material. When safe to do so again, this space is perfect for guests to relax and mingle, and for locals and visitors to host events.
The suites (except Romantic Dust and Garden Retreat) are on the second and third floors which are accessible by stairs or elevator, and while each room is different, the tranquil, old-world atmosphere carries through. Antique fabrics abound, but beds (with natural mattresses) are covered with new, custom linens.
Decorated with an eclectic selection of art, mismatched textiles and light fixtures, and plenty of plants, each room also features practical amenities from air conditioning and heating to a bar stocked with various treats including Greek wines and local snacks. Each morning from 8AM breakfast is delivered to the suite (croissants, toast, eggs, fruit, yogurt and guests’ choice of coffee) and while there’s no other room service, the hotel provides take-out menus from some of their favorite nearby restaurants. Meals can be seamlessly ordered (and delivered) via the in-room iPad.
Courtesy of Pia Riverola + Shila
The bathrooms in particular balance the new and old, with ancient Greek references juxtaposed with contemporary design. In place of traditional taps, there are large stone handles over deep sinks (these organic handles also appear in showers and bar-tops) and while the rain showers are powerful, the bathroom curtain is a sumptuous vintage fabric.
On the rooftop, a vast garden boasts several separate sitting areas, so guests have plenty of room to spread out. A large table with benches is ideal for anybody who needs to work while eating breakfast, and there are four other areas to hang out (some of which are more secluded). Like the rest of the hotel, it’s a plant-covered, charm-filled space that provides a little oasis—with no detail overlooked—in the middle of Athens.
Hero image courtesy of Pia Riverola and Shila