The Top Hotels in Israel

Whether you want to stay in a city, on a beach, or at the edge of a crater, Israel has a hotel to suit your tastes. Accommodations range from former Ottoman palaces to art galleries with guestrooms, and many have impressive views of historic sites.

Highlights
Louis HaTshi'i St, Acre, Israel
Tucked into the ancient, magical maze that is Old Acre, the Efendi Hotel looks out onto the city walls and the sea just beyond. Combining two Ottoman palaces, this labor of love from celebrity chef Uri Jeremias—whose nearby restaurant, Uri Buri, is practically a foodie pilgrimage site—took restorers and artisans the better part of a decade to complete under the watch of the Antiquities Authority. The layer cake of history beneath the hotel includes a 12th-century Crusader cellar, where you should head for a wine tasting, and a 400-year-old hammam, where you should book a Turkish bath. Also not to be missed at the Efendi: the 19th-century fresco commemorating the debut of Istanbul’s Orient Express station, the gorgeously preserved ceilings, and the rooftop bar (be sure to go at sunset, when your drinks will be accompanied by a chorus of Muezzin calls). Though you’ll be tempted to linger over the sublime views—and fresh dates—in your room, get out during the day and explore the surrounding alleys, mosques, synagogues, markets, tunnels, fortress, citadel, and port.
Ya'ir St 1, Zikhron Ya'akov, Israel
Essentially a grand-scale gallery and performance space with meticulously designed guestrooms, this seaside retreat south of Haifa defies easy categorization. Built in 1968 as a sanitarium, the sinuous white building won Yaacov Rechter the coveted Israel Award for Architecture. Arts patron Lily Elstein bought and reimagined the space in 2005, enlisting Rechter’s son to oversee the transformation to boutique-hotel-cum-museum-and-theater. In a nod to the property’s original purpose, the on-site spa is truly sublime, so, if you’re not relaxed enough from catching a Debussy sonata before bed or waking up to expansive Mediterranean views, head there for the signature massage, which includes shiva lingam stones and, naturally, music therapy.
Kalischer St 25, Yafo, 6516505, Israel
While it’s located mere minutes from Tel Aviv’s trademark beaches, the Brown TLV Urban Hotel is decidedly city-centric. Not coincidentally, it’s also in the center of town, surrounded by an array of distinctive neighborhoods like the UNESCO World Heritage-designated “White City,” the old Yemenite area of Kerem HaTeimanim, and the seemingly endless street market that is Nachalat Binyamin. Beyond being a strategically positioned home base, however, the hotel makes for a great escape. Once you’ve explored the city on a free loaner bike, you can retreat to the rooftop hot tub, the indoor-outdoor Garden Bar, the den-like living room, or—if you’ve booked one of the Zen-inducing Relax Rooms—your private balcony, ideally after an en suite spa treatment.
Nahmani St 25, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
This beloved boutique hotel in the center of Tel Aviv is named after Norman Lourie, the South African-born renaissance man who became not only a “one-man film industry” in Israel, according to a 1948 issue of Variety, but also the nation’s first luxury hotelier. It comes courtesy of Lourie’s son, who bought two adjacent buildings off King Albert Square—both designed in the 1920s Eclectic style—and had them painstakingly transformed into a modern urban retreat. Guests of the hotel can look forward to a rooftop infinity pool, a Japanese tapas restaurant with gorgeous views, a lengthy menu of unique excursions, and, of course, the Norman Series—a monthly event at the Library Bar, during which you can catch various leaders (think diplomats, economists, artists, and scientists) in conversation. Rooms here are equally singular; no two are alike, though all feature Frette linens, beautiful bouquets, and homemade treats at turndown.
King David 23, Jerusalem, Israel
Since the 1931 opening of the King David Jerusalem, nary a hospitality award has gone unclaimed, nor a foreign dignitary ignored, by this palatial limestone landmark. Though the building’s original splendor—with its Assyrian, Hittite, Phoenician, and Muslim motifs—is still very much on display, local wunderkind Adam Tihany recently refreshed the interiors for 21st-century tastes. The resulting design jives perfectly with the hotel’s location in Yemin Moshe, at the crossroads of old and new Jerusalem. Hotel guests also rave about the spectacular views of the Old City walls, minarets, and golden Dome of the Rock. For the most surreal vistas, book an upper-floor suite, then tear yourself away to visit the hotel’s tree-flanked pool and gorgeous gardens, or take a 15-minute walk to the ancient walls.
החוף הצפוני אילת ת.ד 176, Eilat, 88101, Israel
Though it’s technically part of Eilat and connected to endless local activities via a beachfront promenade, the 375-room Dan feels like an ecosystem unto itself, complete with multiple waterfalls, pools, restaurants, and even squash courts, plus a spa, salon, and disco. Not your average megaresort, the venerable lodging was designed by globetrotting interiors guru Adam Tihany, who grew up just a few hours away in Jerusalem. For the full effect, consider one of the new rooms or suites, which feature muted, desert-chic décor, but know that any room will come with the most important amenity—views of the Red Sea. When you’re ready to leave the property, a whole menu of snorkeling and diving excursions awaits, as does Eilat’s Underwater Observatory Marine Park. The hotel is also happy to arrange jeep tours through the desert (don’t miss the Red Canyon and Solomon’s Valley) and visits to the International Birding and Research Center Eilat, known for its flamingo pools.
David Razi'el St 22, Tel Aviv-Yafo, 6802919, Israel
Why we love it: A 900-year-old fortress-cum-prison reimagined as a luxurious getaway

The Highlights:
- Historical details like artifacts, original ironwork, and a stone arch bearing the seal of Abdul Hamid II
- A fourth-floor infinity pool with uninterrupted views of the Mediterranean Sea
- A full-service spa with a Turkish hammam

The Review:
Located right on the main square in the old city of Jaffa, The Setai Tel Aviv is steeped in history. Built by the Crusaders as a fortress in the 12th century, the property later served as a kishle (jailhouse) under the Ottoman Empire, then a British command post during Israel’s War of Independence. When it became a hotel, the original building, with its stone corridors and inner courtyards, underwent a meticulous restoration that included archaeological digs to uncover several artifacts, which guests can now see in the lobby. Those eager to learn more about the hotel’s history can also walk through the large entry arch, crowned by the seal of Abdul Hamid II, or check out the stone-and-iron prison cells behind the grotto-like lobby bar.

Spread over three newly created floors, the 120 rooms and suites feature an Ottoman-inspired design, complete with richly colored Turkish rugs, laser-cut pendant lamps, dark wood furniture, and sleek, textured headboards. Spacious bathrooms further the luxurious vibe with granite sinks, large bathtubs, and separate rain showers. Elsewhere on property is Jaya, where guests can indulge in an ample breakfast buffet and new-Mediterranean kosher food for lunch and dinner; former prison yards that serve as the hotel’s stunning front and rear courtyards, with comfy seating among verdant lemon trees; and a basement spa, which boasts a traditional Turkish hammam. Still, the hotel’s principal amenity has to be the fabulous infinity pool with panoramic views of the Mediterranean and downtown Tel Aviv—sunsets here are nothing short of spectacular.
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