Check-in: for a fresh concept—the deconstructed hotel. This hive of 14 like-minded stays is scattered across Athens, but still offers traditional hotel services like airport transfers, breakfast goodies, toiletries, and in-room cleaning on request. The Heloni angle—it means tortoise—is to provide safe bases for urban safaris in smart, homey spaces, equipped with kitchens and laundry appliances. Bunker down in freshly-renovated 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, named after Greek Gods and Goddesses, in secure residential buildings, alongside regular Athenians (their bicycles in the entry will make you feel right at home). Décor is more friendly than fancy (picture stripy sofa throws and “Things to Do”chalkboards), making Heloni a savvy choice for families and pal groups. Stay in the thick of Plaka; choose cool Athenian neighbourhoods like Pangrati and Koukaki; or park yourself in Piraeus. “Every neighbourhood in Athens has its own soul,” says Heloni’s Konstantina Vogiatzidou.
Check-out: Handy “mates’ rates” at local shops and restaurants who’ve buddied up with Heloni; Apollo’s smashing roof terrace where you can dine or sunbathe with the Acropolis for company; Hadrian's unbeatable location, slap bang on Plaka’s Adrianou Street; and delightful Kleio with her plush dressing room and vintage rockers.