My parnter and I are going to be taking a cruise from Athens to Istabnbul next summer. We plan to stay a few nights before and after the cruise in Athens and Istanbul to explore both of these cities a bit more. What neighborhoods do you recommend for a hotel and do you have any specific hotel recommendations? We do not like to stay in the touristy areas (Times Square in NYC, Fisherman's Wharf in SF) as they are full of chain stores and chaos and we do not like to stay in the Financial Districts as they tend to die out in the evenings and on weekends. We have enjoyed hotels that are close to the action but have a more local feel (Meatpacking & West Village in NYC, L'Eixample in Barcelona, etc). We are both lovers of design and asthetic and our hotel "experience" is important to both of us. We have had great experiences in 12 room boutique inn's such Casa de Janelas in Lisbon and have loved our stays in large hotels that "get it" such as The Standard in NYC. Looking for that special hotel with the right touches in Athens & Istanbul. Thanks so much for your thoughtful information. Appreciated.