One look and it’s obvious that Semiramis is a radical departure from the norm: bold swathes of day-glo color set it immediately apart from the icy cool of most modern boutique hotels, not to mention the monochrome white of the typical Greek luxury hotel. Puzzling, unless you happen to follow contemporary industrial design, in which case two words explain it all: Karim Rashid.
He’s the prince of plastic, the Sultan of sensory overload, maybe Baron von Blobject if you’re inclined to take it a little too far: his designs strive toward a futuristic fusion of the organic and the high-tech, all rendered in colors that move otherwise cool-headed journalists to metaphors about psychotropic drugs. Ironically, he himself dresses entirely and exclusively in ascetic white, the implications of which are probably beyond the scope of this review and frankly beyond the interest of most prospective Semiramis hotel guests.
However unconventional, Semiramis is underneath it all simply a luxury boutique, albeit one imprinted with Rashid’s utopian vision. It’s soft-edged and garishly colored, but beyond that it’s the sort of place you can check into for a weekend or longer without feeling the need to leave — this is fortunate, as its location in the upmarket northern suburb of Kifissia means it’s not exactly in the thick of it all.
So instead of sightseeing or rampaging through some city-center nightclubs, guests avail themselves of luxury-hotel pursuits both traditional and not: they loll by the poolside, take all manner of spa treatments, wander about indoors perusing the owner’s prodigious and ever-rotating art collection, and if they’re design junkies, spend time appreciating some of the most bizarre fixtures and furnishings in any hotel anywhere. Kifissa does have its own modest though upscale collection of shops and restaurants and bars — the Semiramis restaurant, though, is not to be missed, for the artworks, the industrial design, or for that matter the food.
48 Charilaou Trikoupi Str., Athens