As an avid traveler, I’m a big fan of alternative accommodation options like AirBnb, Hostels, etc.- I feel like it’s nice to mix it up your accommodation routine sometimes. Recently I used a new service for the first time called HarbourSpot instead of my usual go-to’s. HarbourSpot is an accommodation booking service for boats and yachts throughout Europe. You can sleep aboard a luxury boat instead of a hotel room while visiting anywhere with a coastline (which is usually where I gravitate). I’ve always loved sleeping near or on the water so this was the perfect option for me.
We stayed at the Glyfada marina, just outside of the city center of Athens, on the “Tommy K” yacht.
Overall, this was a fantastic experience and I would definitely recommend it to others who enjoy the water and want a fresh take on accommodation. In the future, if the need or want arises to charter a boat (and surely it will) it’s good to know how easy it can be.
It’s important to know what to expect, especially from a new service and concept like HarbourSpot. I went into it blind and came out a happy client. My experience is highlighted in review below.
From the booking process online to my interactions with our charter specialist, John, everything was easy and streamlined. Reserving the boat online is as easy as any other booking website like AirBnb or Booking.com. When it came to our actual stay, my expectations were exceeded in every way.
When we boarded the boat we were greeted by our hostess Tammy whose warm demeanor makes you feel at home right away. We had help with our luggage and were offered refreshments immediately. I felt welcomed with open arms and was urged to “make myself at home.” I wish I could literally make myself at home. Life aboard a yacht is the life for me- of this, I am now sure.
Our second night we took our specialist John’s recommendation and went to the restaurant nearby called Delfinia to taste their famous lobster spaghetti (which was delicious!) and wine selection. Before we left Tammy offered to call ahead as she knew the owner and wanted ensure we were taken care of- which we definitely were.
Little helpful gestures make all the difference in the world and there were many of them throughout our stay. Even when it came time to check out, John came back to the boat and ensured we had a good stay and then called us a cab and helped with our luggage. If only every travel day was this easy.
“Tommy K” Highlights
- Three bedrooms and three baths
- Two indoor dining tables
- Fully equipped kitchen and stocked bar
- Back deck patio with dining table.
- Top deck furnished with white leather cushions and plenty of seating space.
- Included amenities (soap, shower gel, toothbrush kit, etc.)
- Heaters in the bedrooms (it can get cold out on the water so this was key)
- Free on-board wifi
- Chef/hostess on board
Within twenty minutes on board we had a bottle of white wine open and were sipping away on the back deck with a complimentary snack plate. This is my kind of welcome!
Breakfast was included which was great. For me, waking up to fresh coffee can make the difference between a good day and a bad day, and Tammy made sure each day was a good one. We were gifted with coffee, juice and freshly made Greek pastries at the time of our choosing, which we arranged the night prior to going to bed. This is a prime example of something you just can’t get in a standard hotel room- and definitely not with an AirBnb.
I felt like a princess during my two nights aboard. Every detail was covered and if we needed anything at all we could just ask Tammy, our stewardess.
Everyone should experience the feeling of luxury that comes with chartering a yacht. I can’t wait to board again. It was wonderful to get a taste of “yacht living” and to be taken care of so well for two nights. We were very comfortable and slept better than we had in days (the beds and sheets are perfection).
My only regret was not staying longer.
Booking a night to stay aboard (accommodation only) will run you around 500 euro per night. This breaks down to an extremely affordable price if you are sharing with even just 2-3 more people, while there is room for 6-7 people to sleep. As for chartering the boat to sail to any neighboring islands, the price is much higher- but definitely worth it.
With Greece having been in an economic crisis, prices have significantly dropped- especially in the realm of tourism. This is partly what drew me to come at this particular time. To charter “Tommy K,” the price used to be 30,000 euro per week and now it’s dropped to 17,000 plus taxes and fees. While this is still quite pricey, when I think about the break down between 6-7 people and the cost a trip to Athens for a week would be, the bill isn’t as daunting.
Another option to experience a boat like this would be to charter is just for a day which costs about $2,500, or $1800 for four hours. This enables you to visit any island you would like and makes it a total experience. Given the chance to do this again, I would opt for a day trip to a neighbor island and watch the sunset at sea.
There are many other options throughout the HarbourSpot website, some far less expensive. I recently saw a listing for a super yacht docked in Ibiza, Spain that ran for only $250 a night- which half the price of the hotel I recently stayed at with friends.
HarbourSpot is bringing a completely new concept to the world of tourism and I think it will soon be the new trend. People want to be comfortable while they travel and they want to feel taken care of. Opting for a boat over a hotel, that comes with a stewardess, is ten times better and much more of an overall experience. And, I’ve said it a million times, I’ll say it again: there is nothing like sleeping on the water.
Life is better on a boat. -HarbourSpot