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Nestled among pine trees on a hillside overlooking the Aegean, the Skiathos Blu hotel opened its doors this past summer after a thorough renovation by interior architect Afroditi Bonatsou and her Athens-based interior design studio Stones & Walls. Combining a modernist aesthetic of pure cubic forms and clean-cut lines with a vernacular sensibility, the revamped hotel welcomes its guests into an elegant environment perfectly harmonized with its natural surroundings. Located on an excessively verdant peninsula on the Greek island Skiathos’ south-east coast, the hotel is built on a hillside with the main building on the top and rows of bungalows lining the slope below. The renovation has preserved the hotel’s tiered configuration while overhauling the interiors to achieve contemporary hospitality standards as well as an atmosphere of polished elegance.

The lobby, restaurant and bar areas have all been designed to float into the surrounding landscape though large areas of glazing, their North facing orientation eliminating the problem of solar glare, which both permit unobstructed views from all vantage points and allow the Mediterranean light to flood in. Meanwhile, a combination of built-in sofas – a nod to local architectural practices – light-weight chairs and tables, white-washed walls and a palette of natural materials like wood and straw, give the spaces a sense of vernacular authenticity while retaining a staunchly modern aesthetic. Eliminating all unnecessary or obstructive elements, the guest rooms have been designed with elegant simplicity as bright, extroverted spaces where the balcony views are the main focal point.

Bulky furniture such as wardrobes and desks have been reduced to light metal structures and floating surfaces respectively, whereas glass partitions bring daylight into the bathrooms while making the rooms feel larger. Αs is customary on the islands in the Aegean Sea, the walls are painted white but also feature a light grey zone that harmoniously blends in with the natural stone floors while black linear details provide visual clarity. Complementing the minimalist aesthetic, the designers have added a few key decorative elements inspired by local crafts such as the coloured tiles in the bathrooms featuring geometric patterns that allude to folk rugs and the bedside lighting pendants with straw lampshades or fabric lanterns.

Design: Afroditi Bonatsou – Stones & Walls

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