One factor that played a key role in the development of Kifissia was the railway connection with Athens in 1882. Steam locomotive in the beginning the “Beast”, as they it was called in awe by the inhabitants of Attica the train reached to Kifissia, later converted in 1902 to electric. At about this era appeared and the first Hotels: Hotel Melas (Grand Hotel de Kifissia), Hotel Renaissance, Hotel Aigli and Hotel Pyrna. All of the above except Hotel Pyrna were located near Platanos Square. In 1934 began the institution of Kifissia Flower Exhibition. The exhibitors were not flower producers as they are today, but the owners and the gardeners of this beautiful suburb. In 1936 opened the Hotel Semiramis and the Hotel Pallas.
By Efi Michalarou
Photo: Archive of Semiramis Hotel, Athens
A few years ago the historic Hotel Semiramis, passed on the property of the Company Yes, the Chairman of Yes Company is the largest collector of contemporary art in Greece Mr. Dakis Joannou, who dreamed and dared not only to change a classic so far Hotel, but to innovate, by delegating the design to the most famous Interior Designer of the world, Karim Rashid, this project was his first project of that size. Which faced collectively as a single project since not only designed the interior, exterior and the swimming pool where created a mosaic-work, inspired by Ancient Egypt, but even the carpets, the artwork in rooms, the coasters, the placemats and any utilitarian object that surrounds the space, thus constituting a comprehensive, impressive and unique picture of the world, a Hotel, which opened its gates a few days before the start of the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004. At the Lobby the forefront is respective artwork Yes, of: Tim Noble & Sue Webster, while at the restaurant initially placed artworks of Jeff Koons that converse directly with the design of Karim Rashid, with the purpose as happens to change at regular intervals, with artworks of Joannou Collection, creating a living relationship with guests. Noteworthy is the fact that the dishes at Gourmet Restaurant of the Hotel Semiramis, held a nd hold the lead equivalent, with a compendium of lavender sorbet recorded indelibly in our memory (!)