Long just a stopover city for island-hoppers on their way to glitzy Mykonos or sleepy Sifnos, Athens is having a moment. Award-winning bars, a killer cafe scene and luxury hotels are popping up around this ancient city. From the artistic minds behind the boutique hotel turned member’s club Shila Athens, Mona is among its latest and definitely among the greatest.
Marked by a red rose and subtle signage, you may walk right past the entrance to Mona. Housed inside a converted 1950s textile factory, many of its original exposed concrete and metal beams remain intact, adding to its brutalist charm.
Guests are greeted by a striking glass see-through staircase that leads into a cubby-hole check-in area. Beneath the glass stairs is a view of Mona’s street-level cafe. A supremely relaxing escape from the summer heat, a menu of eggs, Greek yogurt, local honey and homemade cakes are served in the morning. After that, it becomes a meeting space and pop-up for area creatives.
Each of Mona’s 20 rooms retains its original terrazzo floors and industrial design throughout. Concrete coffee table blocks against low-lying velvet couches lead into a plush bedroom separated by thick velvet curtains. Exposed Edison bulbs and locally-made artwork flank the custom-made floor-level beds. A copper shower, sink and Corian bathtub are separated by white bohemian curtains and a raised platform.
As the sun sets, follow the marble spiral staircase up to the rooftop bar with Acropolis views. Designated for guests and Shila/Mona members, there’s a communal metal table, cushioned sofas and crocheted umbrellas where guests can take drinks and snacks from the honor bar. Eight floors down, on the bottom floor, there’s a speakeasy basement designated for art galleries, private events and member’s-only music nights.
Location: Athens, Greece
The Vibe: High on design and laid-back vibes, it’s for travelers in the know and, on occasion, a gathering place for the who’s who of Athens.
Food + Drink: There’s no real restaurant here, well, not exactly. The lobby cafe is more of a living room/hangout space meets breezy breakfast spot. It serves limited breakfast items sourced from Greece, including must-try Greek yogurt with island honey and homemade granola. On the rooftop, local beers and wines are yours to take (after you write them down, of course). It’s the perfect spot to watch the sunset before heading out for dinner nearby.
Amenities: Free WiFi; Room service; Sun deck; Wonderful breakfast; Tea/Coffee Maker in All Rooms
Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: It’s a toss-up between leisurely breakfast in the art-filled lobby cafe or sundowners on the rooftop as the Acropolis lights switch on and music from the neighborhood bar starts playing.
Any Personal Neighborhood Recs?: Located in the more up-and-coming neighborhood of Psirri, Mona is within walking distance of the famous Varvakios Central Market and Monastiraki Square. The Clumsies, ranked #19 by the World’s 50 Best Bars, is less than a ten-minute walk. After a few drinks, head around the corner to Gastone for some lick-your-fingers crackling pork and a life-changing Greek salad.
Pricing: Rates start at $191.
Closest Airport: Athens International Airport (21 miles away)
Other articles you may like: