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01/24/24: Sun, Snow, and Souvlaki

A former magazine editor becomes an Athens tastemaker; we get a closer look at your next trip to Miami; and plan your future ski trips.

January 24, 2024 By MAURA EGAN
Athens transplant Andreas Kokkino. Photo: Yiorgos Mavropoulos

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It’s so bitterly cold in New York, so I’m thinking about the warm places I want to go this spring. Especially Tangiers and the Villa Mabrouk, Jasper Conran’s beautifully restored retreat where friends tell me the service is beyond anything you’d experience in a five-star city hotel. I’m also very curious about Nice, which is finally getting a proper hotel with the arrival of the Hotel Du Couvent, a 17th-century convent that’s being restored by Valéry Grégo, the creative force behind Les Roches Rouges in the French Riviera, and Le Pigalle in Paris. Athens and Greece seem to keep coming up in conversation as well: I’d like to check out the New Hotel, the art-filled spot owned by Dakis Joannou, and a new hotel called Odera that will open on Tinos this summer. —Maura Egan

Hyper Hypo in Athens. Photo: Aaron Gabb

Is Athens Still the New Berlin?
I first met Andreas Kokkino when I was working at Details in the early aughts and he was xeroxing pages of lookbooks for fashion shoots. I noticed he had a great sense of style—he was doing the ’80s color-blocking look way before it was back in vogue. A few years later, we were both working at T magazine and Andreas was always a font of knowledge about design, fashion, and pop culture, and a truly inspired colleague to make a magazine with.

Five years ago he left New York and moved full time to Athens and opened Hyper Hypo, a design and art bookshop housed in a 1960’s building. “There were no cool bookshops here and I really wanted a place to go,” says Kokkino, who runs it with his business partner Stathis Mitropoulos, a graphic designer and DJ. The bright blue walls are lined with photography and design books as well as zines and objects. They’ve recently started their own eponymous book imprint with books like the Greece Notebook, which features Micheal McGregors’ whimsical drawings of everyday life here. I asked Andreas to give me a few of his favorite places in the city that has been called the new Berlin. “There are a lot of people moving here from Berlin, but also Paris, Israel and America. It’s getting a little touristy but I still love it,” says Kokkino.

Perianth Hotel
“I like the Perianth hotel designed by K studio. It’s in a 1930s Bauhaus-style building and the rooms are thoughtfully designed. All the furniture is custom made. It’s not flashy and there are great views of the Acropolis.”

Alkinois Project Space
“It’s a gallery located in a repurposed warehouse run by a Belgian woman and French man. They show a lot of artists who have a real craft sensibility like Mike Cornford and Steven Petrides. It’s not slick. It’s all very handmade.”

“The gallery started in Beirut in 2011 but moved to Athens a few years ago in the area of the port of Piraeus. It’s an incredible design gallery and they do events including a recent one with India Madhavi which we collaborated with them on. They’ve been really supportive of us.”

“This skate and surf brand was started by two friends who grew up together. But it’s not your typical skate label with just a graphic tee. They cut and sew all their sweatshirts and find deadstock fabrics to make really cute menswear clothes.”

Wine is Fine
“The name is funny but it’s a tiny restaurant run by two French guys (in charge of the wine) and a Greek guy (in charge of the food). It’s an unassuming place but it draws a crowd because it has great French bistro food, which is rare in Athens. On any night there will be about 50 people drinking wine outside in the street. It’s a very cool crowd.”

“It’s a cool space with multi-levels and a DJ playing music. They serve Greek food but it’s all locally sourced so the cheese is from one farm and the fish comes from one local fisherman. It’s simple but delicious food with hipster vibes.”

“There are so many islands that I don’t even have to tell you the one I truly love. I can keep that a secret. But right now I think Tinos is my favorite. It has the best combination of beaches and the most traditional villages. My favorite thing to do is rent a car and travel from village to village, stopping at cafes.”

The Sun Bar at the Faena Hotel in Miami. Photo: Courtesy Faena

Postcard from Miami: Go for the Weather, Stay for the Art
I didn’t stay at either the Four Seasons at the Surf Club, or the Faena, but they certainly seem like the two winners on South Beach—the former for its stealth-wealth elegance, and the latter because it’s just that perfect amount of sexy South American va-va-voom you want in Miami. The rest of the strip looks like one big construction site, but I’m excited to see what the Rosewood folks do with the Raleigh when it opens back up.

It’s all about staying at the beach, which is much nicer than last time I was here. New hotels like Esme and Goodtime look bright and cheerful on Instagram, but up close, not so much. And who wants to be a few blocks inland away from the water and next to pedestrian plaza dotted with midchain stores?

When it comes to dining, there’s a reason the New York spots like Lucali and Cote are packed, mainly because the food and service are up to New York standards. I couldn’t get into either and I’ve never understood the fuss about Joe’s Stone Crabs. I did, however, have a perfect Cubano at Sanguich’s takeout counter in Little Haiti (check out the excellent vinyl store Sweat Records nearby) and ate Florida lobster at Garcia’s, an old-school seafood spot that’s been operating along Miami River since 1966.

Some people think Art Basel sullied the indie art scene in Miami years ago, but it’s given a real boost to the local museums. I interviewed Jorge Perez for AD years ago and found him to be a really thoughtful collector, and you get that sense just walking around the Pérez Museum Miami. (It’s also thanks to the museum’s very savvy director Franklin Sirmans.) There was a searing show by L.A.–based artist Gary Simmons examining the legacies of race and class in American pop culture and a clever Joan Didion exhibit pairing her writing with various artworks when I visited. The Rubell Museum is always a fun way to spend the afternoon with large scale works by Henry Taylor Wood, Neo Rauch, and Thomas Houseago. But the Bass Museum, which looked a little worse for wear on the outside, was the standout. There was a trio of knockout shows from the late Korean video artist Naim Jun Paik, the late Lebanese-American poet and artist Etal Adnan, and Miami-based artist Hernan Bass, who IMHO is one of the most interesting painters making art today. The good news is that they’re all up for the next few months.

The Lodge at Blue Sky. Photo: Auberges Resorts Collection

Snow Days Ahead
When it comes to snow, the Alps have become unpredictable in recent years. Hokkaido, Japan, gets dumped on, but now with tourists flooding back to the country, the region is swarming with snowboarders and selfie sticks. And does anyone ever really want to go to Chile or Argentina to ski in the summer (their winter)? No. So luxury hoteliers are investing big money in the States for the future of ski resorts.

Aspen, Montana
America’s answer to St. Moritz keeps upping the glitz factor with new restaurants like San Ambroseus and upcoming hotels like an outpost of Nantucket’s White Elephant. Talks of an Aman coming in are always happening. But the big news is that a new section of Aspen mountain has opened. The new high altitude terrain, known as Hero’s, is made up of 150 acres of chutes, glades and trails.

Telluride, Montana
It might be hard to get to this former mining town nestled high in the San Juan Mountains, but it’s worth the haul. There’s a reason Ralph Lauren escapes to his Double RL ranch here, and everyone from Oprah to Tom Cruise have owned second homes here. The Four Seasons is working with the architectural firm Olson Kundig, and it’ll soon break ground on a hotel and private residences in Mountain Village.

Deer Valley, Utah
Set on 3,500 acres in the Wasatch Mountain Range, The Lodge at Blue Sky, part of the Auberges Resorts Collection, is a stunning collection of modern-looking suites and Scandi-style wood cabins. The resort’s new Edge Sanctuary, a private area overlooking Alexander Creek, is a great place to recover after a thigh-burning day on the slopes. There’s vibrational healing, sound baths, and cold plunges among other treatments to soothe sore muscles.

Big Sky, Montana
Located just an hour from Yellowstone National Park, this rugged resort area, with 5,850 skiable acres, has been a well kept secret among celebrities and rich tech types. The Montage, which opened in the winter of 2021, offers understated rooms with Western touches, ski-in/ski-out access, a 10,000 square foot spa, and the buzziest bar scene in the area that attracts all the area’s big cats. Next up: the One and Only will debut its first American resort (also designed by Olson Kundig) here.

Windam, New York
Yes, upstate New York—the place where you can still spot people skiing in jeans—is finally getting a glow up. The owners of Tennessee’s Blackberry Resort, among others, have taken over the Windham resort (now rebranded as the Windham Mountain Club) and are in the middle of multi-year renovation with better groomed trails, a gourmet food hall, an Italian Alps-style restaurant opening mid mountain, as well as a pricey annual membership. While many locals are griping about the price hikes, after a recent visit I can attest that the food—French fries, mac and cheese, and squash salad—is all top notch. And Roxy Music crooning through the sound system at the base stations is a lot more soothing than REO Speedwagon.

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