What is it?
A sleek beachfront stay spitting distance from Athens.
What's the deal?
In the summertime, Athenians flock to the so-called “Athens Riviera” – a 16km-ish coastal area that snakes from Athens’ southern suburbs all the way to the very tip of the Attic Peninsula. Though it’s some areas are just a hop-skip away from the city, much of the strip is untouched by foreign tourists, who normally make a beeline for the islands after a quick tour of the capital. So this long strip of land is chock-full of sleepy villages made up of seaside tavernas, quiet beaches, and little else, all populated by locals and city-dwelling Greeks on weekend breaks.
Corinthia is one of the crown jewels of the Athens Riviera. The region is known for its rigorous hikes, tradition-steeped wineries, and crumbling ancient temples – but less for its boutique resort scene. But now, the Isla Brown Corinthia – a new outpost from the stylish Israeli hotel brand – is set to change that. Elastic Architects ripped up the musty 70s interiors from the former Hanikian Hotel, turning the formerly modernist building into a sensual, 166-room bolthole that takes design cues from Corinthia’s natural landscape. Outside, the distinctively curve-edged building looks like a towering stack of white pebbles; inside, there isn’t a hard edge in sight, from the rounded columns of the lobby to the undulating ceiling above the sea-view bar. Gilded accents also lend the spaces a dash of opulence – clock the reflective bronze bartop and reception desk.
Rooms – outfitted in calming earth tones that drive home the hotel’s nature-inspired design – come either with a sea or inland view, both with balconies. So-called “family suites” are roomier than standard rooms, but only contain one double bed – parents travelling with a little one need to plump for the “deluxe family” room with a king bed and a modular single. Other amenities include a gym, spa, and open-air taverna that, truthfully, is best skipped over in favour of the many cheap and cheerful restaurants that dot the nearby boardwalk. But you won’t want to skip over Isla Brown’s private beach – a blissfully quiet strip just steps from the hotel, kitted out with plush deck chairs, a bar, and a water sports rental centre. There’s also an outdoor infinity pool, plus an adults-only rooftop bar with hilly panoramas almost all the way out to Athens – which, by the way, is only an hour’s drive, or a two-hour train ride to the centre.
The best stay for...
Families and couples who want to cram both city and beach into a short break.