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Lounge area with mirrored walls and yellow curtains

Mariette Sans-Rival Studio brings set-design philosophy to Apollo Palm hotel

Paris-based Mariette Sans-Rival Studio has used floor-to-ceiling curtains, brass lighting and custom furniture to fit out this boutique hotel, set across two Bauhaus-style buildings in the centre of Athens.

Studio founder Mariette Sans-Rival, whose background is in set design, took references from Greek seafaring culture when designing the interiors for the Apollo Palm hotel.

Whitewashed Bauhaus-style building surrounding a courtyard
The whitewashed buildings of the Apollo Palm hotel surround a secluded courtyard

"As my first architecture and interior design project, I leaned heavily on my background in the world of opera and live theatre to create a unique perspective, drawing parallels between set scenography and an inviting hotel atmosphere," said Sans-Rival.

Situated in the lively Psyrri neighbourhood, close to the city's ancient Agora and Acropolis, the 48-key property is intended as a refuge for travellers and locals alike.

Tall white building exterior with a palm tree
Two neighbouring buildings were combined to create the hotel

To house the Apollo Palm hotel, Sans-Rival combined a pair of white-washed 20th-century buildings while creating a secluded courtyard at the centre, where guests can enjoy drinks and fare from the Patio Wine Bar and Bistro in the shade of palm fronds.

A cocktail bar on the roof, which also serves brunch at the weekend, has an unobstructed view of the Acropolis and hosts music events, cinema nights and sunset parties.

Curved brass hotel reception desk
The hotel features a curved reception desk wrapped in brass

During the renovation of the Bauhaus-style buildings, which feature clean lines and curved balconies, the studio also restored a large stained-glass window that spans multiple floors.

A curved reception desk wrapped in brass matches the lighting fixtures found throughout the Apollo Palm hotel, washing spaces in a golden glow.

Lounge of Athens hotel with warm-toned colour palette
Mariette Sans-Rival custom-designed the Lucie chairs for the hotel

"I was challenged to create emotions through a narrative vision in an entirely new setting, building stories into the nascent place and developing recurring patterns to make the hotel autonomous and alive," said the designer.

In the guest rooms, floor-to-ceiling drapery billows over the large windows and in some spaces also continues around the walls.

Guest room of Apollo Palm hotel with floor-to-ceiling curtains
Drapery features heavily throughout the guest rooms

Their largely white-and-cream colour scheme is accented with sunny yellow, soft peach or pale green, used across the bedding, upholstery and plush carpets.

Some of the rooms feature mirrored walls behind the beds, while others are furnished with reflective desks and vanities.

Sans-Rival custom-designed much of Apollo Palm's furniture, including the Lucie range of chairs and stools that are typified by geometric cutouts in their colourful wooden frames.

"I started drawing unusual shapes, which ultimately led to the exclusive Lucie collection of furniture created for the hotel," she said.

Pink-toned bedroom with a mirrored vanity
Peach and pink tones feature in another guest bedroom

Later this year, the hotel will also open a late-night bar and music venue named Studio Olala, which will be open to both guests and locals and available to hire for private events.

Athens is currently experiencing a boom in its creative scene, as artists flock to the city for the fair weather and relatively cheap cost of living, as well as an increase in tourism from those choosing to stay longer when in transit to the popular Greek islands.

Aerial view of a courtyard with cafe tables and palm trees
Guests can enjoy drinks and fare from Apollo Palm's courtyard cafe

As a result, the city has seen a wave of new hotels including the industrial yet sultry Mona Athens, and the Esperinos guesthouse filled with local artworks and modern furniture.

The photography is by Jules Lanzaro.

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