Wandering the alleys of the old town, the first capital of Greece, is like a journey through time, even if you are not familiar with the local history... Mrs. Mimi, owner of this unique hotel, the Ilion Hotel - Suites, opened the door to welcome me, mainly opening before me an horizon of knowledge, incidents, events and urban myths that haunt the city, which I ultimately now noticed with a different eye.
The allure of the Ottoman Baroque
Ilion Hotel - Suites is centrally located in Nafplio, as it is just two steps away from Syntagma Square and the port, while a few steps above is the picturesque Psaromachalas district and the infinitely beautiful Akronafplia castle.
The building was built in 1620, it was the residence of important personalities (such as the Prefect-Mayor of Nafplio Kon. Efthymiopoulos after 1821), while today it is one of the 6-7 Ottoman listed buildings that exist in the city. It is renovated and equipped with all modern comforts.
Even from the outside entrance, you understand that this hotel is unlike any other. A large wall-painting with battle scenes occupies part of the walls, statuettes and a burgundy-purple color on the door welcome you and give you an idea of the inside...
Upon entering, you see the reception on a lower level in your left hand, but surely the endless drawings and paintings everywhere, the hanging chandeliers, the bare skin on the figures on the walls and ceilings, the abundant blue and burgundy, while you smell the old. As the hotel with its 10 suites spreads over two floors and two wings, you go up stairs, turn, go down again, you reach the breakfast area - in a maximalist mood this too, with its buffet, its old furniture, retro photos, the old retro china...
In the rooms, the decoration is based on the bright blue or the red-orange, where the walls are dipped -you think- and the paintings, which the eye meets everywhere: on the bed, on the ceiling, on the screen, on the bathroom door. The floor is wooden, as used to be made in the old days. The baroque armchair, the couch and the antique furniture make you look at your clothes and want to change them off, to wear a luxurious ball gown, like to participate in the ones that were hosted in the past by the owners of the mansions. In the top floor suite, the bathroom spreads majestically in its square meters, while the bright red on the walls emit the dynamics and energy of the particular color.
With decoration "heavy", as history
At first glance, the decoration may seem a little "heavy" to someone. "This happens when you look through the eyes of today, but without knowing the past", Ms. Mimi explains to me. And so, we turn the clock of history back in 1828, when Governor Ioannis Kapodistrias set up the capital of Greece in Nafplio, deciding the transition from East to West. At that time, the town planning, architecture and layout of public buildings were reminiscent of the East, with narrow and dirty streets and two-storey / three-storey houses with ledjes (en projections), which brought very close one home with the other -not the best thing for hygiene. Kapodistrias therefore, brought Stamatis Voulgaris, the first urban designer of the liberated Greece, which implemented 100% the urban city street-plan, while then it was also decided to be build in the classic-romantic style. Residential interventions were made and buildings were constructed, most of which are samples of the early Greek neoclassicism.
I hear Mrs. Mimi unfold pieces of history for me, and I think that learning more and more about Nafplio, I start to explain what I saw before without understanding, without going deeper. And only for that, in order to acquire the knowledge, which is power, it is worth staying in the unique Ilion Hotel - Suites!
Did you know that?
17 years ago, when the building started operating as a hotel, its owner, Mrs. Mimi, owned an antiques-shop. As a result its characteristic decoration came out, with authentic antique furniture in classic 18th and 19th century lines, so becoming to the building! Then, like that it was rented by two other hoteliers, until she returned to have it back, as its regular owner.
If at breakfast you are impressed by the exquisite taste of the jams and pies, you will be more impressed to know that... most of them are made by the hotel owner herself!
Double, Triple, Quadruple, all Suites!
Breakfast in the room
Public parking at 80m
Distance from the beach
The nearest beach is Arvanitia at 200m