Semiramis, Athens The opening of the Semiramis hotel in Athens in 2004 signalled a veritable revolution. In any case, nobody had dared to come forth until then with such bold experiments in the boutique hotel business. Famous contemporary industrial design specialist Karim Rashid designed the hotel from A to Z – starting with the architecture and ending with the interior decor, including the tables, wavelength sofas, swing chairs and guest slippers.
The Semiramis has since become a classic of its genre and a monument to creative freedom, as Rashid was given free rein to realise his artistic ideas. The establishment is operated under the Greek boutique hotel chain YES! Hotels.
In essence, the hotel can be seen as a work of art. The Semiramis is located in Kifisia, Athens’ greenest residential district, about 15 kilometres or a 40-minute taxi ride from the city centre. The hotel’s colour palette reflects Rashid’s trademark tones, mainly bright pink, orange, green and yellow. One gets the impression that the designer played around with colours, technologies, materials and textures as if they were toy blocks. Here one might find a blue glass sink in one’s guest room, along with bathroom walls of matted glass and a bright green rubbish bin, coloured concrete and rubber floors, and ceramic tiles with metal. A modern art installation sits in the wall behind every bed, and each guest room is identified with a customdesigned symbol rather than a room number.
Guests can type in such traditional requests as “Do not disturb” and “Please clean the room”, which are displayed on electronic message boards installed in the hallway floor by the entrance of each room. The hotel boasts 51 guest rooms, four penthouse suites and five pool bungalows that lead out to the equally colourful pool deck and private garden.