This New Hotel on the Athens Riviera Is Bringing Back the City’s Glamorous Golden Age

Really, it’s this that serves as One&Only Aesthesis’s unique selling point—and what a draw it is. Where, traditionally, most travelers would spend a few days in the hustle and bustle of Athens before hopping on one of the ferries to take them to one of the many thousands of more secluded, peaceful islands whose siren call has continued to lure in tourists over the decades, One&Only Aesthesis offers the best of both worlds. Spending an afternoon on a sun lounger by its sweeping pool, or taking a boat trip to a nearby island for grilled octopus and ouzo, you can attune yourself to the lazy rhythms of a beach or island holiday; after a few days, when you’re starting to feel that itch to, you know, actually get up and do something, you can easily catch a $20 taxi into the city center for shopping and sightseeing.

Photo: Rupert Peace

Even if they’d be reluctant to say it themselves, so too does the resort serve as a clarion call to the wider world that Athens—and Greece more broadly—has rebounded. Despite the well-documented woes the country suffered throughout the 2000s—and the narrowly-missed possibility of its so-called “Grexit” from the European Union—the economy is now on an upswing, with a 2023 report from The New York Times reporting that its growth is currently twice the eurozone average. It’s visible even on the route from Aesthesis into the city, where the enormous white carapace of the former airport, an architectural masterpiece courtesy of Eero Saarinen, is being transformed into a development that will include shops, restaurants, and apartments—if there’s one corner of Athens that is firmly on the come-up, it’s here.



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