In the heart of Athens, tucked away in a quiet pedestrian street, you will find the most stunning hotel in the Greek capital. Shila Athens is a boutique hotel situated in a 1920s residence but more than that, it is an experience. Reminiscent of a hôtel particulier, Shila Athens has six different-sized suites. Each one has a unique decor and they are all captivating. Shila means “character” in Sanskrit and this meaning translates very well in the hotel’s opulent atmosphere.

Located in Kolonaki, a chic cultural neighborhood of Athens, you’re a stone’s throw away from all the hotspots. This wasn’t my first time in Athens. In fact, 4 years ago we spent 8 wonderful days in this city and fell in love with it. So when Shila Athens invited me over, I didn’t hesitate. I booked a return ticket to Athens, hoping March would be kind weather-wise!

Suites at Shila

The Shila suite that won my heart over was Romantic Dust. A four-poster bed, French windows, a private garden, it was love at first sight. Falling asleep every night enveloped in the finest Greek linen felt divine. The interior was ethereal and dreamy, with a tinge of fantasy.

Shila Athens is a hotel that exudes both mystery and calm. A hidden gem where the beds seemingly float in the air, the billowy curtains take you back in time, and there is even a swing in one of the bathrooms! At its heart, it is a tranquil escape within a busy city. A place with style and character and a lush rooftop shaded by banana trees. You’ll find it at the foot of Mount Lycabettus, one of many beautiful viewpoints in Athens.

Upon checking in at Shila, you are warmly received by the staff in the beautiful welcoming area. I was instantly mesmerized by the stunning wallpaper that adorns the full wall. I couldn’t believe it was an actual wallpaper because it has a patina of handpainted walls. Opposite it, you can marvel at a Strauss piano with exposed hammers.

This room directly extends into the equally stunning library lounge. Bold design, antique pieces, bookshelves filled with antique novels, plush velvet upholstery. You’ll want to spend hours gazing at all the details. After photographing this splendid lounge area, I sat down and soaked in the ambiance of my favorite room.

As a photographer, I was immediately drawn to Shila. I loved its eclectic style that seamlessly blends rustic and industrial details with bohemian and romantic elements. The exposed bricks and wrought iron perfectly contrast the soft textiles and romantic tones. All the while, you have all the modern amenities at your disposal.

Breakfast at Shila

The breakfast contains a delicious feast of artisan baked goods and local ingredients. Sourdough bread, vanilla butter, heather honey from the island of Kimolos, and more. You can enjoy it at any time in the comfort of your suite. My favorite part of the hearty breakfast was the homemade granola with Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and fruits. Ever since coming back to Belgium, I have been trying to recreate that delicious recipe!

This hotel made me understand how people could go on living in hotels for months and years. I could definitely see myself spending days in any one of Shila’s exquisite suites. Being surrounded by so much visual beauty would feel so fulfilling and inspiring! In fact, I immediately felt at home during my stay at Shila. Moreover, it also transported me into a world of elegance and mystery.

These interiors inspired me so much that I will definitely use these photos to decorate my home one day. In fact, Shila is developing a new project called Shila Maison d’Objets. In essence, you can purchase the furnishing from the hotel and bring it back home with you. By acquiring artisanal products exclusive to Shila, you simultaneously support local designers and craftsmen.

The Shila boutique hotel is your best choice for a stay in Athens. Imbued with style and substance, Shila will make you wish you could stay here forever. This is not a hotel that will only serve as a mere room to rest in between long walks through the city. You’ll want to linger in the bed, marvel at the beautiful decor, and soak in the subdued light coming through the windows. An oasis for creative souls, Shila represents the ultimate escape, a bubble where time has stopped.

Shila’s sister boutique hotel, called Mona, will open its doors later this year in Athens. Slightly bigger, situated inside an ex-textile factory, I’m sure it will be as distinctive as Shila. I’m excited to see what it will look like! In the meantime, I’ll count myself lucky to have spent time at Shila. All in all, it was everything I thought it would be and more. Looking back on my stay at Shila, it feels like reminiscing a halcyon dream. A hazy dream of elegance and time bygone that I will fondly reminisce upon.

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