The Greek capital is one of the world’s oldest cities and filled with ancient wonders. The century-old building that houses the Asomaton might be a relative youngster in comparison, but it has recently been given another lease of life as the city’s newest boutique hotel.
Three years in the making, and blending original industrial features with contemporary amenities, the wood and stone structure started life as a carriage wheel repair shop before becoming an elegant townhouse. For 20 years it was abandoned and fell into disrepair and became an empty shell (Asomaton comes from the Greek word meaning ‘without a body’) before the current owners saw the potential to transform the listed property into something completely different; a project which started in 2017 and was carried out in collaboration with the Greek Ministry of Culture.
Today, a discreet door and several stone steps lead into the entrance lobby and the 19 rooms are spread out over three floors. They range from cosy rooms called ‘nests’ to large suites, some with balconies, terraces and even small gardens.
The rooms and public areas are surrounded by mellow exposed brickwork and the décor is simple and understated to showcase the setting. Large, comfortable beds feature premium bedding and a pillow menu, and bathrooms have a large shower with the option of a fixed or rainfall showerhead. Thoughtful amenities include ear plugs (street-facing rooms can be quite noisy), slippers and classy toiletries. Along with complimentary water, and tea and coffee making facilities, the paid-for minibar includes local artisan beers, another nice touch.
Adding a splash of colour, and a focal point, to each of the rooms are ‘dot pop’ portraits of famous celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Maria Callas, Jackie Onassis and Nana Mouskouri created by Philip Tsiaras, an award-winning artist who has Greek roots and who now lives and works in New York.
Public areas include a plunge pool next to the lobby and small lounge area where you can have breakfast, which can also be served in your room. But, not surprisingly, most guests head to the hotel’s high spot – in every sense – which is the two-level roof terrace offering a wow factor view of the Acropolis. The à-la-carte breakfast is served to the table and includes everything from olives (well, when in Greece!) to tempting sweet treats, breads, pastries and honey. A light menu, featuring local wines, is available in the evening, making the terrace an atmospheric spot for a sundowner.
The terrace and rooms can be accessed by a lift or a series of ‘see through’ stairs and corridors featuring open metalwork which are in keeping with the surroundings but take a bit of getting used to.
Asomaton occupies a great location with attractions including the Acropolis, Acropolis Museum, Parliament Building and colourful Plaka neighbourhood. It’s also a handy overnight stop for anyone embarking on a cruise from the Port of Piraeus.
When it’s time to escape the heat of the city, Asomaton is certainly one of the coolest hotels in town.
Asomaton, Agion Asomaton 10, Athina 105 53, Athens, Greece.
Tel: +30 210 32 49 109
Athens Airport and the cruise port of Piraeus are a 30 to 40 minute drive by taxi and the hotel is a short walk from Monastiraki and Thision Metro stops which serve the airport and Piraeus respectively.
Type of Hotel: Boutique Hotel
Number of Rooms: 19 rooms and suites including tea and coffee making facilities and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Price Band: From €129 per room, per night with breakfast.
Insider Tip: The hotel is a hop and a skip away from Monastiraki market. Look beyond the tourist tat to find quirky outlets selling jewellery, clothes and better quality souvenirs. If you’re staying over the weekend it comes into its own on Sunday when stallholders pile in to turn it into the biggest flea market in Athens.
Reviewer’s Rating: 9/10
Known as the ‘River Cruise Queen’, Jeannine Williamson is an award-winning travel writer, cruise expert and our cruise correspondent, who has clocked up thousands of nautical miles.
Photographs courtesy of Asomaton/Christos Drazos Photography
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