Tel Aviv's hotel scene gets a much-needed refresh
Large chains have dominated Tel Aviv’s hotel landscape for the last few decades. But with the recent opening of boutique hotels that fuse impeccable service with on-point décor, the city is even more worthy of your next chic Mediterranean getaway.
Set on a quiet, tree-lined street in the heart of the White City is The Norman, a hotel made up of two heritage buildings that recall a bygone era of 1920s elegance and sophistication—complete with rooftop pool, a library bar, and two excellent restaurants. Original details like hand-decorated tiled floors, stair banisters, and hardwood floors have been meticulously refurbished. As expected, the 50 spacious suites feature Egyptian cotton bed linens, impeccable modern furnishings in leather, brass, and luxurious textiles, and bespoke bath products. But it’s the Norman’s exclusive guest experiences—visits to private studios of artists whose works decorate the hotel, walking culinary tours of Levinsky or Carmel Market—that set them apart from the competition.—23-25 Nachmani St. Tel Aviv, thenorman.com
Stepping inside Montefiore, a once-private residence built in 1922 in the eclectic style, is like being invited to your favorite aunt’s marvellously revamped mansion—one where art by local artists grace the walls, where perfectly worn leather armchairs entice you to sit a while with a book, and where a perfectly mixed cocktail is always at the ready. There are just 12 suites and each is uniquely furnished with period pieces and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves stocked with tomes in various languages. Don’t miss dinner at the restaurant, where Chef Moran Yanai reinvents Israeli dishes with an Asian influence.—36 Montefiore Street, Tel Aviv, hotelmontefiore.co.il
Located a stone’s throw from Jaffa’s colorful flea market, Market House Hotel sits on top of the archaeological remains of an 8th century Byzantine Chapel, which you can peek into as you stand on the clear glass floors in the lobby lounge. Upstairs are 44 rooms, many with balconies, decorated with a mix of modern and vintage objects, artifacts, and artworks collected from the nearby Jaffa shops and boutiques. Every evening, guests are invited to mingle in the lounge with complimentary appetizers and Israeli wines. The hotel goes all out for the free breakfast buffett, with a scrumptious selection of local cheeses and spreads, baked goods, yogurt and fresh fruits.—5 Beit Eshel St, Tel Aviv, atlas.co.il/market-house-hotel-tel-aviv-israel
Brown Beach House
In a city where most beachfront hotels are of the large chain variety and decorated with zero personality, the Beach House (pictured at top) is a breath of fresh air. Set on five floors with views of the Mediterranean, the vibe here is a whimsical fusion of Palm Springs meets Miami Beach, thanks to 1950s retro furnishings, black-and-white chevron area rugs, canary yellow sofas, and large verdant potted palms. The open-air, cube-shaped Flamingo Bar + Lounge is a hotspot for locals and guests, who rub elbows under the pink neon light of a flamingo while live DJs spin intoxicating beats.—64 Ha’Yarkon Street, Tel Aviv, brownhotels.com/beach
Opening later in 2016 are the W Hotel Jaffa by architect John Pawson, and the Karim Rashid-designed Poli House Hotel.