After 58 years, one of the most iconic hotels in Athens closed its doors on January 31, leaving behind a legacy of A-list celebrity visits and cultural and historical significance.
The Hilton served as a prime example of Modernist architecture in the Greek capital with a facade designed by legendary artist Yannis Moralis. An entire neighborhood, the area between the Kolonaki and Pangrati neighborhoods, is even named in the five-star hotel’s honor.
April 20, 1963, marked the opening of the Hilton, adding to the development of Greece’s tourism sector and infrastructure. The opening came at the tail-end of a period of rapid industrialization which began in the 1950s post-war era.
While in operation the landmark hotel on Vasilissis Sofias Avenue welcomed the who’s who of public figures from throughout the world. Actors, artists, singers, politicians, athletes and business tycoons including Aristotle Onassis, Jeremy Irons, Hugh Hefner, Frank Sinatra, Ingmar Bergman, Pierre Cardin, Anthony Quinn, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Madonna were among the star-studded guest list over nearly six decades.
In place of the Hilton, The Conrad is set to open a new hotel in 2024 with 280 rooms and suites and 50 luxury residences. The multimillion-dollar renovation project will reportedly preserve and accentuate the architectural heritage of its predecessor.
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