Monsieur Didot | Design Hotel Athens, Greece | The Aficionados

Athenian Chapters

Monsieur Didot | Design Hotel Athens, Greece | The Aficionados

Intro

Monsieur Didot | Design Hotel Athens, Greece | The Aficionados

Located in the beating heart of Athens' creative scene, the design guesthouse-hotel Monsieur Didot, found in the Kolonaki Quarter – where legends John Lennon and Yoko Ono once wandered – is a gorgeous urban residence of considered, bohemian charm. A discreet hideaway of luxury that captures the modern Athenian's sense of heritage style.

This little restoration number, of just six suites, is painted in a peachy hue of wet-plaster and graupel blues, which hug in contrast to the Neoclassical stone masonry. Built in 1890, the two-storey mansion-house fosters a seductive design of Athenian culture, filled with imaginative detailing, artworks, and bespoke furnishings.

It was the perfect project for civil engineers and soul sisters Natalia Georgopoulou and Margarita Papaioannou, who met at university in Athens and share a creative love of the city. It was an obvious choice that they would reach out to like-minded design studio BaBatchas, also based in Athens, whilst simultaneously headlining the interiors brief with their specific theme for the hotel. The founders wanted the original Neoclassical house to pay homage to Ambroise Firmin Didot, a French man who was a committed philhellene and came from a family of pioneer printers, stereotype inventors and creators of the famous Didot font and were the first entrepreneurs to set up a printing press in the newly independent Greek state in the 19th century.

Fitting snug into the creative locale on Didotou Street and Sina, this corner of Athens is filled with a haul of bookstores, museums, galleries and independent publishers – the hotel’s aim was to embody Monsieur Didot – a global citizen with a love of Athens, a curator of art, a purveyor of literature, a collector of books and a man who liked elegant design with roots. This became the design template of Monsieur Didot – and BaBatchas had the strict remit to preserve the building ‘with the minimum possible alterations to the existing core.’

Enter soaring hallways, textured walls, hand-painted ceilings, the restoration of a rare solid marble balcony, an eye-catching wooden staircase, vintage mosaics and carved fireplaces. Add to this a curated selection of culture: libraries, colourful posters and paintings. Layered on top, BaBatchas added a modern interior sheen - custom designed lighting, bespoke furniture and polished concrete bathrooms.

Staying in this elegant, rarefied setting is sheer pleasure, imbued with a sense of sophisticated heritage yet so rooted in the needs of today’s nomads of style. The hotel also offers whimsy – look out for secret doors, hidden rooftops and a gateway to some of Athens’s most interesting and under-the-radar experiences.

An Athenian residence for those who seek style, privacy, design and luxury – all nicely chilled and relaxed.

Monsieur Didot – a global citizen with a love of Athens, a curator of art, a purveyor of literature, a collector of books and a man who liked elegant design with roots

Rooms

Monsieur Didot | Design Hotel Athens, Greece | The Aficionados Monsieur Didot | Design Hotel Athens, Greece | The Aficionados

Have you ever heard of bedrooms with such beautiful names? Running off the tongue like poetry, let us introduce you to ‘The ballad of a singing window’, ‘The novel of a platonic tree love’, ‘The anthem of marble’ and ‘The tale of a special child’. These intriguing names nod to a interior design remit of luxurious imagination and elegant style.

With just four rooms and two suites, the hotel is intimate – committed to a high quality of guest experience. Showing urban character as well as upholding the charm of its neoclassical roots, the rooms have original features, high ceilings, shuttered windows, antiques, handmade ceramics and books. Each has its own unique feature: for example ‘Sonnet’ has a marble fireplace and secret door; ‘Anthem’ a balcony and the crowning glory - ‘The ode to the light’ is a modern penthouse with a contemporary layout, metal-framed windows and a private terrace.

Foodie

Monsieur Didot | Design Hotel Athens, Greece | The Aficionados

Just like the rest of the hotel, its foodie offerings allow touchpoints into Athens’s day-to-day life. Breakfast like an Athenian with an in-room smorgasbord of mouth-watering treats, focusing on quality, exclusively Greek. Expect slivers of delicious Cretan smoked pork, sausage from Mani in the Peloponnese, cheeses, Greek yoghurt of course and the delicious kayana, a speciality made with tomatoes and eggs.

If you prefer you can take breakfast on the rooftop, where an airy open-air terrace gives you an alfresco start to the day, you can also pop up here for a glass of wine in the evening, accompanied by the hotel’s small but perfectly formed selection of all-day deli items and pastries. For a treat, try Monsieur Didot’s wine tasting paired with Greek dishes – five wines and five tasting plates – the ideal introduction to how Greeks eat and drink.  If you’re planning on exploring the nearby gastronomic scene, let your hosts know and they can make reservations at the best local foodie outposts, cocktail bars, cafes and bistros.

Monsieur Didot | Design Hotel Athens, Greece | The Aficionados

Location

Wander the bohemian upmarket neighbourhood of Kolonaki, home to Monsieur Didot and uncover its bookish publishing history with its plethora of historic bookshops, publishers and stationers that stretch into neighbour, Exarchia and few blocks north of the Benaki Museum.

The Panepistimio metro station is a five-minute stroll away, past theatres, museums, cafés, bars and boutiques including the iconic I-D concept store; a walk away is Athens’s most famous monument: the Acropolis and the French Institute and Archaeological School are just up the road. If you fancy a hike through the pine-shaded trails up to Mount Lycabettus. 

Owners

Soul sisters Natalia and Margarita, co-founders and owners of Monsieur Didot met on their first day of uni, studying civil engineering in Athens bonding over their love of music and theatre, activism and endless conversation. With such shared ideals it seemed inevitable that the two would collaborate on a project which combined what they loved the most, namely Athens, people, ideas, books, art and everything true and authentic.

Joining the host team is the charismatic Tatiana, Natalia's younger sister, who runs the hotel on a daily basis, filling the house with her joyful approach. Together, they bring a genuine warmth and affection to Monsieur Didot and in particular Athens, their commitment to the guest experience in Athens runs deep – they are just the type to match you with your perfect activity, restaurant, gallery, bike ride – their knowledge is as intrinsic as their passion for Athens. The ideal hosts for those that like to explore and scratch beneath the tourist hotspots.

Soul Sister Natalia and Margarita - owners of Monsieur Didot | Design Hotel Athens, Greece | The Aficionados

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