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29 April 2008

SO we’ve both been busy bees… where have you been in the last fortnight?

I’ve been in Greece exporing and researching for Smith
first started in Athens which was amazing and not at all what I expected

exporing, huh? is that a beauty treatment?
Ha ha – told you I can’t type fast. Butterfingers. Anyhoo Amber and I visited ten hotels and probably will invite just two to become part of the new Smith collection

Ooh la-di-da you and your exclusivity. I can just see you with a clipboard deliberating about whether to let a hotel past the velvet rope!
Hang on two weeks in Greece for two hotels — wow! There are a lot pf places out there that just don’t measure up, hey?
sorry have picked up a call from BlackBerry
<Juliet drums fingers>
<and then starts contemplating uploading pics of her recent trip to Facebook>


Ok – back on track – yes we saw masses of places in Athens – some completely crazy – those Athenians seem to love

their design, that’s for sure
And theming – one hotel was themed as a submarine. I thought that would have been someone’s worst nightmare…
Not Smith – but it had a cool periscope that went all the way up through the building and allowed a view of lots of rooftops
I think I saw the acropolis in the distance
Fresh Hotel was a real surprise. A good
price point and very central near the amazing market
Amber loved the petshop round the corner
It also had a cool rooftop bar and pool – and was very QT/ Zetter-ish. I think people would love to stay in the thick of things
I stayed in a room once at Alton Towers Hotel which had a submarine bunk bed – my niece loved it! Eeek though pet shops in AThens — not exactly RSPCA approved hey?

The other hotel we liked was Life Gallery – which you know. What did you think of it?
No not RSPCA approved at all.

It was too designery for me and sterile atmosphere… also seeing my reflection in glass-sided swimming pool reminded me of that BBC ident with the hippos swimming in a circle

Ha ha ha! Actually I thought it was pretty peaceful though and the food
was lovely. Good for people who are overnighting in Athens as not far from the airport – and a stylish destination hotel.
We also visited Semiramis which was exhausting – too overdesigned.

Other things I’d like to talk about…

Findings about Greece:
How much hair Greek men have – seriously. I am not used to seeing such full head of… they were amazing. And the girls too.
How welcoming and genuine people were. Filoxenia is still live and kicking in Greece.
How much they smoke – you were right – fags permanently in mouths.


1 May 2008

hello again!

That’s often a problem with modern design hotels — and why we exists to navigate people to the right places I guess!

totally – also it was very businessy which is not what Smith is about.

Which in Greece is a big issue I find with the high end hotels…

When you went to Athens just before the Olympics, you seem to have found quite a few cool bars etc

What was your favourite!

I loved the whole Psirri area… really buzzy with a rough-around-the-edges Hoxton vibe (before that became full of City boys and Essex girls)

Yes I got that too – lots of pavement culture there… we ended up in a bar with no roof filled with 80’s styles youths. We left after I ordered a V&T that was so strong it was poisonous.

Did you ever visit Andromeda Hotel, Athens self-declared original boutique hotel – or so I recall they dubbed themselves on their website. From my memory, this translated as small and expensive. Tucked away in a cul de sac it smacks of money, like a shiny Versace suit with solid gold cufflinks.

No we avoided it as I recalled your comments. Sounds a bit vulgar.

I always think a great hotel is defined by that magnetic pull that keeps dragging you back when you know really you ought to get out and about. My dark room had the opposit effect… the scent of a thousand cigar-fuelled business deals, and I craved fresh air – something modern Athens finally has some breaths of.

<cut and paste, moi????>

Ha ha – I also loved your comment ‘the way to an Englishman’s heart ist hrough his liver’ = perfect!

I’m sure I used to be a better writer than I am now. Having a baby has corroded my creative brain.

No way. But that was inspired. Anyhoo – then we had a Hertz car delivered and headed for Nafplion – the weekend playground of glitzy Athenians and only an hour adn a half away.

At least I’ve still been able to travel with my wee one though. Hey — would Greece be amenable to that? More to the point I’m thrilled Athens is now a decent weekend away option…

Delivered, hey? La di da…. <cue blatant product placement> do they have a special service for this?

HERTZ I mean

Yes – they deliver and collect – saves you having to crawl through traffic in central Athens. Slightly expensive though…about two or three times as much as a taxi probably. Travel with kiddiwinks… not sure it’s ideal in terms of the hotels we chose, but the Greeks LOVE children so they would be pinched and cajoled by strangers…

Actually some of the hotels we visited said they tried to keep children to a minimum for the sake of peace & quiet.

That’s true. They such an incredible bunch of people aren’t they? I just saw a friend’s Greek Dad, Mimi, the other day and I could listen to his tobacco-tinged Greek lilt non-stop.

So I’ll take duct tape.

Duct tape relates to your P&Q remark not Louiza’s Dad, Dimitri

Yes – I did have to read that twice. I completely agree about how amazing the Greeks were – the culture of Filoxenia is not dead. I loved all the little treats in Tavernas esp syruppy baklava.

Hmmm think when I talk about him in third person I should spell it diff with an S on the end — one of the Greek languages many indiosyncracies… <cue ‘It’s all Greek to me gag>

So a Smith travel tip is to take toothpaste with extra fluoride hey?

So tell me – WHAT was your fave hotel WHY should I go and WHEN do we launch it on the website?

Very funny! Was shocked at the amounty of smoking and gravelly voices. And that was just the ladies…

My fave hotel was

definitely Perantzada in Ithaca. what a wonderful place.

<Cue moustache joke with the same punchline…>

SORRY to all the non hirsute ladies out there…

Ithaca, hey? <Juliet ponders Ithaca and breathily whispers Ithaca, Ithaca, Ithace…. mmm, Ithaca>

Birthplace of Odysseus… The island has no airstrip so is sompletely un-developed. Amber and I had a Shirley Valentine moment arriving by 18 seater seaplane – and two lovely pilots.

Yeah, except you’re both in relationships and don’t have ham-thick ankles or northern accents.

This IMing stuff is fun hey? I think I’ve found my vocation. Chitchatting over the Web for my job! Now, if I could just get my laptop to make me a latté… x

Yes – would be great but I type so slowly!- Skidding into Vathi had to be one of the most romantic arrivals ever though. It’s a port within a port – so totally hidden if you were sailing round tha island in a marrauding boat.

That’s why it is so un-touched.

Feel bad I’ve been mean about Pauline Collins now. Jeez, can you believe that film was 1989? Sorry, sorry, I digress. Back to travel.

and hotels.


Yes – The hotel was a curious mix of neo classical main building and a new more minimalist wing. Great stone-lined pool and views over the picturesque PORT OF VATHI

The LUXURY BOUTIQUE hotel you mean? You’re an amateur Aline.

Seriously, need to get some lunch… Tell me three more things:





My room in the hotel has some crazy furniture – including winged lightbulbs and Panton (not Pantone!) chairs. It’s billed as an art hotel – so people with a surreal sense of humour would love it.

Wow facto – view of Vathi prt

ipso facto

Sandwich – feta and tomato

Just trying to keep up!

Nice. Greek theme — loving your work.

What to do on Ithaca….

Alrighty then my Grecian goddess, thank you for your time…

<y’have to get up early to keep up wth me sweetcheeks>

Any pics you can send me for the Blog?

Meet any Adonises etc?

hire a small motor boat and find a hidden cove. Will find pics and send them to you.

GREAT. Thank you. I’m off to get that fêted feta. x

No actual adonises met, but plenty spied! Lots of healthy heads of hair. Over and out!xxA



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  • s.d.

    Hello from Greece. Greece isn’t only Athens, Santorini or Mykonos! There are beautiful cosy or special small hotels in the mainland, up in the mountains, around forests having the astonished view of mt.Olympos.. and a very good restaurant,too! The design is not a usual one…Semeliresort its name. Take a look. Its worth it. thank you, yours sd