“Having been working here for 13 years, I knew exactly what I wanted to provide: an Athenian loft with many uses.” Alexis Bolotas is giving me a tour of ApArt, the newest arrival in downtown Athens. Located at 15-19 Praxitelous St. on the fourth floor of a 1970s office block, the ApArt Suite is a space that takes you by surprise.
Expansive windows fill the rooms with light and offer views of Klafthmonos Square down to the central thoroughfare of Stadiou, and Lycabettus Hill. One feels as if one has discovered a secret hideaway right in the commercial heart of the city.
“My goal is for the guest at ApArt to be and act as a host from the very first moment,” says Bolotas who from his experience as a jewelry trader has developed a sense for the needs of the city and its visitors. But what sets ApArt well… apart is that it is not just aimed at visitors to the city but anyone needing an an attractive space to stay or somewhere to host meetings, presentations, dinners and the like. All the necessary infrastructure and support for such activities is on hand.
Alexis Bolotas first modified the space in 2003, uniting two ‘faceless halls which until then were being used to store clothes,’ to form a single office and showroom for jewelry samples. Today it has become a state-of-the-art space that strikes a balance between luxury and function, filled with artworks but with a minimalist aesthetic and sense of eclecticism where required.
“The first piece of furniture I obtained was the most decisive,’ Bolotas says. ‘An oak bench from a tobacco shop, reliably dated to 1903 inspired architect Epameinondas Daskalakis’s configuration of the surrounding area and the office. Working again with Epameinondas 13 years later in the summer of 2016, we oversaw the renovation of the space and its transformation into ApArt. The interior decoration of the space was completed with much-loved vintage and design furnishings and with artworks from my family’s collection, with assistance from my wife, the art historian Iris Kritikou.
ApArt has a wisdom to it. It is not imposing. Its good taste and functionality make for a relaxing vibe and guests are effortlessly transformed into hosts. The space also has the flexibility to be adapted for any sort of occasion. The discreet sleeping area can be converted to a reception area, the large bathroom is out of sight and the supporting rooms are discreetly placed such that function and ease are paramount.
“In the short time it has operated,” Bolotas says, “ApArt has already hosted company events, speeches, private meetings, dinners and lunches, product demonstrations, team workshops, sample presentations and of course hosted professionals who wish to link their stay with their work in the same space, as well as clients who choose it as a unique place to stay, one which combines the independence of a private residence with the advantages of a luxury hotel suite with a full range of services available.”