The NEW Taste Restaurant

The vibe Blending traditional and innovative design seamlessly, NEW Hotel perfectly representats Athens' ever-growing cultural scene. With its central location, close to Syntagma Square, but also near to the historic Plaka, NEW is ideal for experiencing everything the city has to offer - if you can tear yourself away from exploring the hotel, that is.

Contemporary art collector Dakis Joannue owns the boutique hotel and persuaded Brazilian brothers, Fernando and Humberto Campana, to take it on as their first interior design project. Along with a group of young architects, the duo renovated the hotel reusing old furniture to create a thoroughly modern feel. Each floor is home to a different chair, either upcycled from the Scandanavian ones found in hotel or based on them. Some of them are ingeniously functional, like the laddered clothes-horse and runged magazine rack.

The rooms Each room boasts a feature wall themed around classic Athenian symbols. I was lucky enough to experience the evil eye light display - the traditional symbol used to ward of evil spirits - which provided a warm glow at bed time. The huge wet room shower, which is decked out with luscious Kiehl's minis, was also a real treat.

Eating and drinking The NEW Taste restaurant has a cosy feel despite its contemporary design. Pillars which resemble trees project through the ceiling - constructed from reclaimed wood - and gold bell-like lamps hang low over the tables. But it's not a case of all style and no substance - the menu is a delicious offering, mainly of modern Mediterranean dishes, and if you love a good steak, then look no further.

What to do Though the city's ancient ruins remain a must-see, if you want to head off the beaten track, there's no more fulfilling way to do it than with a guide from Original Senses. They'll take you behind the scenes of Athens to discover the hidden treasures you won't find in your guide book. In a day with my guide I found myself doing everything from exploring the shops and graffiti-baring streets of Plaka, to viewing a short fashion animation at the Rebecca Cahmi Gallery before dining in her art-filled home, and then winding down with a Turkish bath at Hammam Baths. An truly unforgettable experience.

The details

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To arrange a tour with Original Senses go to