I have visited many times these particular small hotels with the special decoration, called boutique hotels. But for the first time, I came across a hotel that manages to combine high-level aesthetics embracing it with the warmth of homely, family hospitality.
This is exactly what the Doris family has achieved at Carpe Diem, since a few years ago had this dream: to build a hotel that goes beyond the ordinary, to stand out for every detail and, above all, to focus on human contact.
The dream was bold, as there was no previous experience in the hospitality business, but the family gave almost everything to make it happen. And so, an old hotel was found and with the help of local collaborators and artists, such as the decorator Sofia Athanasakou and the painter Konstantina Klironomou, it was rebuilt, renovated, decorated and in December 2019 one of the most beautiful boutique hotels in Nafplio was born!
The warmest welcome
Its location is ideal, as you will find this corner building in the picturesque alleys near Filellinon Square, a breath away from the port and Syntagma Square.
Passing through the door, the first image you come across is a wide, spontaneous smile, that of Maria or of her sister Georgia, welcoming you at the reception. At that moment, you still don't know that this first impression will follow you every moment in Carpe Diem...
Right next door, the lobby area with its windows allowing the sun to illuminate every detail, invites you to relax enjoying a fragrant tea accompanied by a homemade cake or some cookies and riffling through one of the books you will find on the shelf.
Here, you will admire the colonial-style decorative objects and you will travel with your imagination as a luggage, kindled by the painting of a beautiful African woman decorating a door, the work of the painter and family friend, Konstantina Klironomou. And you can't help but focusing on the special vintage lightings, that mom Menia discovered in an antique shop, and after they were dressed in velvet and color, they turned into real works of art.
Feeling at home
Personally, I loved the living room-breakfast area, with its tables, a beautiful collection of dishes hanging on the wall by the artist Sophia, a painting of Mrs. Klironomou, which captured my sight and mind for some time, the carafes with homemade liqueurs, but also the elegant kitchen bar full of trays with mom’s delicacies and treats.
At the tables inside or outside, on the pedestrian Queen Olga street, the Dori family has created cozy spaces to enjoy a coffee and a chat, feeling like you are in a house full of smells and love.
Breakfast to seize the day
Here you will enjoy your breakfast, which will be served warm and fresh when you descend from your room. How is this done? With an original and zero waste food idea, called "Tick & Point Menu".
From the previous night, you choose which dishes you want for your breakfast and you inform about what time you wish to enjoy it. The next morning, Menia will have everything ready on time! This way you eat exactly what you want, and there is no waste of food. Ecological consciousness: another plus in the advantages of Carpe Diem!
I chose fluffy omelet, butter croissants, sourdough bread with homemade strawberry and orange jams, and warm cheese pie, a breakfast that made me give my congratulations to Menia, who prepared it!
The rooms of the dream
The ground floor of the hotel was already in my heart, but nothing had prepared me for what I would encounter on the upper floors. Going up the stairs, I couldn't help but stand in front of the exquisite painting of Konstantina Klironomou based on an idea by Sofia Athanasakou.
And while all 9 rooms - two of which are suites - are connected to a common place by modern aesthetics and earthy colors of calm and relaxation, each one manages to stand out with its uniqueness.
Elements such as handmade tables, paintings, vintage mirrors, wood-paneled ceilings and marble bathrooms add extra touches to the living space, proving that everything has been carefully selected based on the family's personal taste.
The top of all
There is, however, a room that excels, not only because it is a junior suite, not only because it is located on the 3rd floor, but because it may enclose all the philosophy of Carpe Diem. Here, a painting by Mrs. Klironomou was harmoniously combined with the blue headboard in the comfortable bed, while the opening recliner is accompanied by the equally elegant round handmade tables.
In the bathroom you can enjoy, in addition to your shower, hammam, color therapy and hydro-massage, while the onyx sink, located just outside, sets the tone in the space.
The revelation, however, comes when you go out on the terrace and there, next to the petrol walls and the green bamboo plants, you sit in the bamboo armchairs and with a glass of homemade pomegranate liqueur left on the handmade table, you enjoy moments of exaltation as it spreads before you the view of Acronafplia fortress, Bourtzi castle, the sea, the beauty of the landscape and of life…
Just a few days stay at this cozy, intimate and at the same time special boutique hotel is enough, to understand how becoming its name is. We thank Leonidas, Menia, Maria, Froso, Georgia, for seizing the day and sharing with us the dream, that answers to the name “Carpe Diem”.
Did you know that?
Breakfast is served from 8 to 11 a.m. and is included in the room rate.
All rooms at the Carpe Diem have their own balcony with table and chairs, to enjoy the views of Nafplio.
On the ground floor there is a shared bathroom, and yes, this is also special! Notice the iron tree-like structure.
For all information you might need during your stay, Menia, Maria and Georgia are always available to provide it to you, with a nice smile.
Licence Number: 1130540