What better way to start off the year than with a trip to Athens? A visit filled with sunshine that made me forget it was still January. However, it was centered around discovering one particular place that is unforgettable. Mona Athens is a newly opened hotel in the center of Athens. Located in the bustling neighborhood of Psirri, this boutique hotel stands out for many reasons. Formerly a 1950s textile factory, today it hosts 20 unique rooms that you will not want to leave.

penthouse room at mona athens hotel

One of its main assets is a rooftop with a wonderful view of the Acropolis. Needless to say, I took advantage of that, day and night. My personal favorite time for gazing at Athens’ most famous landmark was right after sunset. With dusk creeping in and the streetlights slowly turning on, there was a sense of magic about this ancient city. Athens has always had this ability to easily crawl under my skin and I often have trouble explaining the reasons behind that. Words never seem good enough but when dusk falls over Athens, I perfectly understand why I keep falling for this city again and again.

A hotel that is a little romantic, quite mysterious, and utterly gorgeous, Mona Athens is more than just an accommodation. Just like its sister hotel, the incomparable Shila Athens, it’s an escape. Mona Athens is a sensory experience of sweeping marble staircases, soft fabrics, and raw industrial finishes. The rooms look like film sets, evoking a decadent vintage atmosphere. Velvet day beds, ethereal cotton curtains, original metal windows, and inviting bathtubs, all of these contribute to a unique ambiance.

Whereas its sister hotel Shila Athens is an introvert, Mona is clearly an extrovert. Shila invites you into its closed-off universe that you never wish to leave, while Mona is outgoing, alive, and bold. It’s the edgy contrast to Shila’s bohemian spirit. The rooftop that opens up to the city offers fantastic views of Athens. You can have breakfast there, enjoy some cocktails, or have long conversations under the stars. Mona Athens invites you in only to get you out there and connect you to the city even more.

woman relaxing at mona athens hotel penthouse

The versatile spaces at Mona Athens

Aside from being a hotel, Mona Athens offers versatile spaces that you can rent for various events. From pop-up dinners, private affairs, and corporate meetings to photoshoots and weddings. Mona Athens is a stage for anyone wishing to bring their artistic vision to life. The basement is a speakeasy venue, perfect for music gigs or private gatherings. Last year, you could also attend a Pilates session, the first in a series.

Then there’s the living room, a multi-level area meant for breakfast, working, or hanging out with friends. The open-plan layout adds to the versatility of the space. With ceilings that are 4 meters high, it’s a gorgeous and unique space. Covered in design objects, ceramics, and books, it aims to inspire you. Drawn to piles of books, as I always am, I was happy to notice one about Andrei Tarkovsky, one of my favorite film directors!

mona athens hotel industrial interior

Finally, we come to the rooftop, its crowning jewel. On certain Thursdays, this is where CLUB MONAmour comes to life. These are special events reserved for members of the club that hotel guests also have access to. From live music sessions to exhibitions and private soirées, it’s the perfect way to delve into the world of Mona. That is if you happen to be there at the right time! My third visit to Athens turned out to be rooftop-oriented as I spent most of my time climbing up to the many rooftop bars in this city. So if you want to know more about that, head on over here!

On my very last day at Mona Athens, I had breakfast on the rooftop. Fresh fruit, sourdough bread, and pastries from a local bakery, coupled with homemade granola and Greek yogurt; all this is but a part of the breakfast menu. You can pick and choose your favorites if you prefer a savory or sweet breakfast or a mix of both. Mostly though, I couldn’t believe that I was enjoying my breakfast on a terrace in mid-January. It’s moments like that when I fall for Athens the most!

One detail about breakfast that I have to mention is its flexibility. Aside from picking whatever you prefer, more or less food, you can also choose to have it as late as 1 PM. As someone who usually skips breakfast, I loved the idea of having it as late as possible.

Rooms and suites

Overall, there are 20 different rooms available at Mona Athens. I spent two nights in one of the Amour rooms, which can accommodate up to 4 people. Furthermore, I photographed one of the penthouse suites on the top floor. Aside from those two, there’s an even bigger suite available and three other slightly smaller rooms.

room amour at mona athens hotel

Each room differs from the other, even the rooms bearing the same name have their own signature. They are all equipped with an iPad, from which you can easily text the reception, and you have Netflix and a Bluetooth speaker. Honestly, you’re spoiled for choice of anything at Mona Athens. There is also a hand-picked list of dishes from the best restaurants nearby in case you don’t want to venture outside of the hotel. I have to point out how impeccable the service at Mona Athens is, with a cheerful staff that is always at your disposal.

Mona’s interior design is one of its most fascinating features. It feels stripped down and industrial yet chic and sensual, like an open playground. The tall windows let in an abundance of natural light that transforms the rooms depending on the time of the day. The loft rooms have pieces of vintage furniture, low beds, and photography graces the walls. Muted colors dominate the space and soft drapes soften the industrial elements.

Finally, I have to mention the bathrooms, all equipped with white Corian bathtubs and rain showers. During my second day at Mona Athens, I decided to spend the whole day wandering through the hotel. After photographing one of the beautiful penthouse suites, I spent a few hours pampering myself. I also took some self-portraits without a proper tripod, running back and forth until I slipped and fell. Nothing too serious, just a few bruises but I think we can agree that indulging in a long bath was now a necessity!

woman in a bath at mona athens hotel

It was only appropriate that the longest bath of my life happened in such a stunning interior. There’s something cinematic about taking a bath in an open-floor room surrounded by big windows. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I was inspired during every second of my stay. I would oscillate between wanting to capture it all and finally letting go of things and being present. A common predilection among photographers, it’s something that I never had trouble with. If anything, I always choose to capture as much as I can before enjoying the present moment because then I’ll be able to look back on those captures and they’ll bring me right back to that moment. Memories of once-present moments are only so reliable and I disagree with the notion that photographers aren’t present enough. We’re just looking farther ahead into the future!

Just like at Shila, everything you can see at Mona is for sale. From the locally designed garments hanging in your room, bath and kitchen amenities, as well as the art pieces. You might notice works of art scattered throughout Mona Athens, seamlessly merging with the interior. Whether it’s photographs, ceramics, or more elaborate art pieces, you can tell a lot of thought went into making it all work together.

Mona’s location is another one of its strong points. It’s less than a minute away from the bustling Monastiraki square. However, being tucked away in a small street with next to no traffic, it manages to create an area of peace around itself. You’ll find earplugs in your room but I didn’t find them necessary. Also, I liked the idea of waking up together with the city. I will reassure you and tell you that this plan resulted in a decent night of sleep, without waking up too early! If anything, a night between those organic cotton sheets felt like sleeping on a cloud. It had been a while since I got an uninterrupted 8-hour night of sleep.

woman on a bed at mona athens hotel room

In essence, Mona Athens is a design-forward boutique hotel that aims to be something beyond accommodation. By redefining what it is to be a traveler in Athens, they stand out among your usual hotels. And not just because you get to see the Acropolis light up at dusk. It’s luxury coupled with exposed concrete done right. This 8-story building in the heart of Athens combines old with new in the most refreshing way. So let yourself be charmed away by its distinct interior and by the urban landscape of Athens!

woman relaxing in a room at mona athens hotel
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