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The Drisco Hotel Tel Aviv

Auerbach St 6, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
+972 3-741-0000
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The Drisco Hotel Tel Aviv

Why we love it: A historic hotel is revived with Ottoman-inspired design and luxurious touches

The Highlights:
- Sweeping views of the Mediterranean, Jaffa, and Tel Aviv
- Restored 19th-century Templar murals and an original stone staircase preserved in glass
- A six-room villa next door, perfect for large families

The Review:
Just outside the old city walls of Jaffa lies a hotel whose history tells an intriguing story dating back to 1866 when the Ottomans ruled Palestine. Two American brothers, John and George Drisco (the hotel’s namesakes), made a pilgrimage to Palestine and attempted to build a hotel. When the brothers ran out of funds they sold the unfinished building to a German Templar hotelier who completed the hotel that was soon renowned in the region and frequented by guests including Thomas Cook and Mark Twain. But by the 1960s the hotel lay dormant, its storied past relegated to ancient history. Fast forward to 2018, when The Drisco opened after a 12-year restoration as a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. The entrance of the hotel maintains original German text on the arch and painted patterns and murals from the 1860s were uncovered along the entrance walls, lobby, and in the cellar and have been painstakingly restored. Dining options include the Drisco Bar, located in the hotel’s stylish lobby, and the recently launched George & John Restaurant that pairs modern Israeli dishes with broader Mediterranean influences.

The 42 rooms and suites are easily combined to suit couples or families in addition to a stand-alone six-room villa. Elegant decor mixes European and Turkish elements that recall the hotel’s German and Ottoman roots, like Turkish-style lanterns, chic velvet chairs, and Turkish rugs. Inspired details like Mark Twain books on nightstands, mini bars stocked with locally produced snacks, and artwork by local artists lend authenticity and character, while original wood balconies offer stunning views of the Jaffa, Tel Aviv, and the Mediterranean beyond.