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Vibrant, urbane, and unquestionably chic, Tel Aviv is Israel’s most cosmopolitan city, and one of the world’s great beachfront metropolises. Visitors flock to Tel Aviv for its bustling nightlife, glamorous shopping options, world-class museums, sandy Mediterranean shore, a thriving gay scene and destination-worthy food choices that range from street markets to five-star gourmet restaurants. As home to most of Israel’s international embassies and Israel’s tech and financial hub, Tel Aviv also sees huge numbers of business travelers. The city’s hotels lean toward the swanky and upscale, but budget travelers have lots of good options, as well.
Best Overall: The Rothschild 71
Tel Aviv’s thousands of original Bauhaus buildings are known collectively as the “White City,” and have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The boutique Rothschild 71 is situated in one of these historic buildings, a gorgeous renovated house originally built in 1934, at the height of the city’s Bauhaus movement. Each of the 25 studios and suites is uniquely decorated in a style that blends contemporary modern style with the “modern” style of the original building: pale colors and clean lines dominate.
Egyptian cotton linens and robes, rainforest showers and complimentary Wi-Fi are just some of the in-room amenities that guests can expect, and the hotel additionally offers business services, complimentary coffee and snacks in a cozy library lounge, and a 24-hour reception/concierge. The Rothschild 71’s location at the center of the famous Rothschild Boulevard puts guests within steps of nightlife, cuisine, art galleries and shopping.
Best Budget: Armon Hayarkon
Located just blocks from the Mediterranean near the Old Tel Aviv Port, a bustling shopping and dining center right on the water, the Armon Hayarkon is a tidy and affordable business-style hotel. Rooms are simple, with newly renovated furniture and low-key décor, and most offer a sea view. Each room features both full air-conditioning and a mini-fridge. The hotel offers a complimentary simple Israeli breakfast daily, featuring bread, cheeses, salads, pickled fish and espresso. A lobby bar and small business center cover the business traveler’s basic needs, while the nearby neighborhood offers everything else one might need.
Best Boutique: Yam Hotel Tel Aviv
The Yam Hotel Tel Aviv, part of the Israeli boutique hotel chain Atlas Hotels, is a youthful, surf-inspired design hotel just steps from the Old Tel Aviv Port and Metzitzim Beach, with Mediterranean views from many of the rooms, some of which feature balconies. Fully non-smoking, the white rooms with pops of blue and yellow have a cool, fresh feel, which is particularly welcome on a hot Tel Aviv summer day.
An enormous breakfast buffet, including baked goods, salads and hot dishes such as shakshouka, are on offer each morning, and a happy hour buffet and wine bar are available each night. Bicycles are available for guest use, free of charge — a great option for exploring the nearby boardwalk and surrounding city.
Best for Families: Dizengoff Suites
Serviced apartments, like those of the Dizengoff Suites, are a great option for traveling families. Choose the Large or Duplex Suite and your family can spread out and relax in a comfortable living room and prepare your own meals (or at least store leftovers) in the fully stocked kitchenette.
The Duplex Suite also offers a roof terrace with a great view of the surrounding city. The hotel does not have a restaurant on-site but is located at a bustling crossroads with restaurants and cafes of all kinds within blocks. Gordon Beach is a short walk away, for all the sandcastle-building your family can handle, and Tel Aviv’s extensive public transit network will whisk you right to the Planetarium, Park Hayarkom or any of the city’s other family-friendly attractions.
Best Romance: Hotel Berdichevsky
Escape with your sweetie to this urban oasis just off Rothschild Boulevard, on a quiet street in the heart of the White City. Rooms have a variety of mood-lighting options and are decorated in ultra-chic darker tones: rich chocolate drapes, black leather desk chairs, brushed chrome fixtures, crisp white sheets, rich marble bathrooms and large black and white statement photography hanging on the walls.
An in-house spa offers couples’ massage packages and though there is no restaurant onsite, there is an intimate cocktail lounge, the Bellboy. The beautiful tree-lined streets of the immediate neighborhoods offer a perfect setting for long, romantic walks, and the nearby neighborhood offers a plethora of dining, shopping and sightseeing for all tastes.
Best Luxury: The Norman Tel Aviv
Combining the finest in contemporary luxury with the world-famous architecture of the White City, the Norman Tel Aviv is situated in two separate buildings: one, a grand 1920s-era Bauhaus property and the other from the Eclectic school.
Guestrooms, which range from a simple Classic Room to a 1,614-square-foot Penthouse Duplex Suite, complete with a full chef’s kitchen. All of the hotel’s boldly decorated rooms feature Frette linens, house-labeled toiletries, fresh flowers, turndown service, an interactive entertainment system and more.
The hotel is also home to two gourmet restaurants, as well as bar and lounge spaces, a fourth-floor sundeck with an infinity swimming pool, and a gym complete with a personal trainer on staff. There's also a massive wine cellar and a staff sommelier to help you choose just the right bottle to accompany your meal or simply to enjoy in your room.
Best Nightlife: The Poli House by Brown Hotels
Tel Aviv is one of the world’s great nightlife cities, and club-loving travelers need a hip home base from which to explore. The Poli House, a renovated historic Bauhaus building, fits the bill beautifully. Start your evening at the trendy rooftop pool bar, and then head out and explore the nightclubs along the beach or along Rothschild Boulevard.
Wake up the next morning in your stunning ultra-modern Karim Rashid-designed guestroom and detox under your rainfall showerhead or, better yet, with a massage in the in-house spa. Catch breakfast at the café next door and head into the adjacent Carmel Market, Tel Aviv’s largest open-air market, for lunch and shopping. Take a nap in your Egyptian cotton linens and then start all over again.
Best Business: Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv City Center
There are a number of large business hotels in Tel Aviv, but the Crowne Plaza, whose massive striking shape is a notable addition to the city’s skyline, offers the best combination of comfort, style and amenities. The hotel’s flexible meeting facilities range from intimate boardroom-style rooms to larger banquet rooms that hold up to 100 people and have full A/V capabilities.
A staffed business center covers printing, faxing and other tech needs during your stay. Guestrooms are chic, decorated mostly in white but with brightly-colored desk chairs and throw pillows. They include ultra-comfortable beds, luxurious bedding and in-room aromatherapy kits to help you get the deepest possible sleep.
Health facilities are extensive and include a large gym with modern equipment, a lap pool, a sauna and steam bath, spa services, and multiple on-site restaurants and bars are available. The Crowne Plaza is located close to many of the city’s largest business and government complexes.
Best Hostel: Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv
The Abraham Hostel is a large but surprisingly friendly hostel located just two minutes from Rothschild Boulevard and 10 from the Carmel Market. Rooms include mixed dorms, individual male and female dorms, as well as private rooms ranging from single rooms to family rooms with bunkbeds.
Guests love that the dorm rooms offer individual charging stations in each bunk, and Wi-Fi is strong throughout the hostel. A fully-stocked guest kitchen allows you to prepare your own meals, and a bar, TV room, lounge, and furnished rooftop are all places to meet and mingle with other hostel guests, trade tips for seeing the sights, and find some buddies to go exploring with. T
he Abraham also has locations in Jerusalem and Nazareth, and a shuttle bus that offers door-to-door service between the three, making it awfully easy for backpackers looking to see even more of Israel.