5 Ways to Experience Tel Aviv Like a VIP

By Sarah Mann | Published on 4/10/2024
Everyone likes a little pampering now and again and being made to feelthat they’re special - and what better way to do that than to take a holiday which revolves around you being the centre of attention?
And if you’re coming to Tel Aviv and looking for a high-end experience on your trip, you’re not going to be disappointed, because this is a modern, vibrant city where everything can be yours - for a price of course…

So if you’re ready to go big (but not go home), then the Non-Stop Capital is yours for the taking.  The only question is where to begin in your quest to feel like a celebrity, which is where we come in.  Here are five ways we think are the perfect way to experience Tel Aviv like a VIP…

1. Use the Ben Gurion Airport VIP Service

What better way to start your vacation than by arriving in style?  The best way to do this is to use the VIP Airport Service at Ben Gurion Airport (about 20 minutes from downtown by cab).  

From the moment you disembark, you’ll feel special.  An airport representative will be waiting for you with a sign that bears your name.  You will be transported by private vehicle with an escort, offered hot food, light refreshments and a variety of soft/alcoholic beverages, whilst an agent will take care of your passport formalities.  

After your luggage has been collected for you, you will be driven in a luxury air-conditioned car vehicle to your destination of choice.

Ways to Experience Tel Aviv Like a VIP

Ben Gurion VIP Transportation service 

2. Enjoy Fine Dining at Chef-Renowned Restaurants

In Israel’s ‘capital of cool’ if you want to feel like a VIP then skip the classic Israeli street food (which is great if you want to ‘grab and go’) and instead opt for a Tel Aviv fine dining experience.  Whether you like classic French fare, Levantine specialties, or Asian fusion, this city is a foodie’s paradise - although it won’t come cheap! 

Taizu - this restaurant, under the helm of talented chef Yuval Ben Neriah, is heaven for those who love Asian food and are inspired by his journeys through South East Asia.  Themed around Chinese elements, the shareable plates are divine… whether you’re into tiger shrimp, sea bream, dumplings, or sashimi.  

Shila - located on bustling Dizengoff Street, in the sedate and bourgeois Old North neighborhood, Shila serves up some of the best seafood in the city, and has a well-deserved name for fine dining - the octopus carpaccio is legendary.   With its intimate atmosphere, it’s also a great place for a romantic dinner. 

Messa - located in the lovely Sarona neighborhood (once home to German Templars), Messa is a chef restaurant that consistently cuts with picky Tel Aviv diners - the lamb pate with brandy sauce, cheek meat ravioli in garlic cream and semifreddo brulee will have you groaning in delight.  

OCD -   book ahead for an experience you will never forget - a select few diners (19 per setting) around a bar and prepare for a 19-course degustation menu, with all food served to come from local artisan producers (you can choose from meat and fish-heavy menus to vegetarian and vegan).  And the pairings of dishes with wines by the sommeliers?  It’s spectacular! 

Chef dressing salad with fresh greens

Chef dressing salad with fresh greens

3. Stay at one of Tel Aviv’s Luxury Hotel 

There are more luxury hotels in Tel Aviv than you’d think, and whilst they don’t come cheap they are a fantastic way to enjoy yourself.  From beach view Hilton and Dan hotels to understated elegance at the Vera and the Drisco, these accommodations are there to fulfill your every whim…whether it’s a 24/7 concierge, a celebrated chef restaurant, Egyptian cotton sheets or artisan chocolates left on your pillow each night.

If you want a beachfront experience, you can’t go wrong either with the Hilton (which overlooks one of the city’s most lovely beaches and boasts a fantastic spa) to the Dan, with its iconic rainbow-coloured facade, poolside bar and ‘breakfast in bed’ service.  

Classics like the Norman Hotel (with its fine dining restaurant, hardwood floors, and famous Library Bar) and the Vera (a contemporary boutique hotel with rooms so plush they’re a haven for design aficionados) don’t come cheap but are guaranteed to make you feel like a VIP.

And of course, don’t forget The Jaffa (a state-of-the-art luxury in a beautifully restored building) and the Setai Hotel (located in a former Ottoman prison, it has an infinity rooftop pool from which you can enjoy staggeringly beautiful views over the sea) in Old Jaffa, where history can be found on every corner.

The Norman Hotel Tel Aviv

The Norman Hotel Tel Aviv, one of the most luxurious hotels in Israel (Credit: thenorman.com)

4. Indulge in Some High-End Retail Therapy

If you’re in the mood to make a dent in your wallet, you could do worse than hit the mean streets of Israel’s most lively city.

From tiny boutiques scattered across the city to high-end brand names in the big shopping malls and Kikar HaMedina (home to Louis Vuitton, Dior and Valentino), there’s all kinds of luxury shopping in Tel Aviv.

For artisan jewelry, explore the Artists’ Quarter in Old Jaffa, where some of the city’s top designers produce wonderful creations from their studios.  Or stroll down Shabazi Street in nearby Neve Tzedek (one of Tel Aviv’s most charming and picturesque neighborhoods) full of upscale clothing and home furnishing stores selling independent labels by local designers.  

Tel Aviv’s also home to a number of shopping malls - from the iconic Dizengoff Centre in the heart of the city to old-style Gan Ha’ir near Rabin Square, the Azrieli Centre (with showstopping views of the city from its rooftop platform) and Ramat Aviv mall, where ladies who lunch love to come home with heaps of shopping bags.

And finally, don’t miss Kikar Ha Medina, which is home to all kinds of luxury brands - Dior, Valentino, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, not to mention plenty of upscale cafes and bakeries where you can enjoy coffee and a croissant where you’re resting your weary feet.

5. Take a Private Guide for the Day

There’s no better way to see Tel Aviv (or another part of Israel for that matter) than with your own private guide.  The whole trip can be tailored to your precise requirements, from the time of pick-up at your hotel to every aspect of your itinerary.  Not only will you be driven around in a luxury vehicle, but you’ll have the undivided attention of your licensed and accredited guide.  

The Clock Square

The Clock Square, at the entrance to Old Jaffa and Jaffa Port - One of the must-see spots

Israel’s a small country, which means you can be in Jerusalem in less than an hour, without traffic, and free to explore both the Old City (home to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall) or stroll in the new city, visit a museum, and take a tour of the city’s lively Mahane Yehuda market.

Or what about a Masada and Dead Sea Private Tour? Combine history and archaeology (the ancient fortress of Masada sits on a plateau in the Judean desert and affords astonishing views) combined with chillout time at the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth!  Or even a day trip to the Galilee, where you can tour ancient religious sites, take a boat out on the water and stop at a local winery for a tasting.

The choice is yours!