9 of the Best Boutique Hotels in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is the city that never sleeps (or so they say) But whether you’re a foodie, a culture vulture, a beach summer or a party goer, there’s always going to be a point where you need to sleep! And whether you’re a first-time visitor or returning to the White City, one of the most important questions you’re going to have to ask yourself is where do you want to stay in Tel Aviv?
Tel Aviv is Israel’s cultural capital and with a population of half a million in the city itself, there are all kinds of neighbourhoods to choose from. There are also all kinds of accommodations - from hostels and Airbnbs to budget hotels and high-end places. It’s the last of these four we’re looking at today.
Boutique with the Personal Touch
It’s hard to draw up a list because the choices you have are ever-growing, but today we’ve decided to focus less on the chains along the beach and more on the boutique hotels in Tel Aviv that really offer guests a more personalised experience, especially because they are often small and niche.
And it’s not just in terms of decor and ambience either - these hotels are all about guest-staff interaction - they pride it as much as the facilities they offer. So whether you want recommendations for dinner, a visit to Masada organised, or need help with practical details concerning your trip to the City that Never Sleeps, you can count on these places to be in the know.
OK, prepare to put your hand in your pocket, because none of these will be cheap options. They are, however, all remarkably special and the little touches of elegance, style and luxury will, we are sure, leave you with a huge smile on your face. Enjoy your trip to Israel…
1. The Norman Tel Aviv
The Norman is widely considered to be one of the best hotels in Tel Aviv, with its winning combination of bespoke design, gourmet food and a perfect location. Just a stone’s throw from Rothschild Boulevard, the building sets its tone - actually, it’s two historic (Bauhaus style) buildings, renovated to show off their most beautiful features. And their 1920’s style combined with modern elegance is just one of the reasons it’s held in such high esteem.
The Norman’s decor is unusual - antique and vintage matched with contemporary art and high-tech gadgets. The beds are wonderfully comfortable and there are all kinds of little touches such as fresh flowers, fruit plates or chocolates on arrival. Even their bath toiletries stand out, designed by an artisan perfume-maker in the locale.
The Norman also boasts two excellent restaurants - Alena offers Mediterranean-themed fare and Dinings serves up top-notch Japanese dishes (although it's currently closed for renovations). The rooftop infinity pool, providing panoramic views of the city, is the perfect place to take a dip or sip at a cocktail before heading downstairs to enjoy a drink in the ‘Library Bar’.
This converted reading room is elegant and stylish; perfect for perusing printed matter whilst you sip at a cocktail made by one of their expert mixologists. The mirror-backed bar is also a fine touch, not to mention the bow-tied barmen! Verdict: Contemporary luxury indeed.
Address: Nachmani St 23-25, www.thenorman.com
2. The Jaffa, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Tel Aviv
History seeps from every brick of this building and its dramatic architecture has a chequered past indeed - back in the day, it was both a monastery and a former French hospital. As a result, stained glass windows, stone walls and arched colonnades confront you at every turn, but not without a little minimalist furniture (courtesy of British designer John Pawson) and a Damien Hirst for good measure.
All of the 120 rooms are designed with comfort and style in mind, boasting features such as marble bathrooms, balconies with stunning views over the Mediterranean Sea and even fireplaces. For a sophisticated cocktail, head to the beautifully restored ‘Chapel Bar’ Or if you’re in the mood for traditional food, head to their deli ‘Goldas’, where you can feast on bagels and lox, hot dogs and tuna melts.
Their lovely outside pool is also perfect for ordering snacks and light bites and as the sun goes down, try the food at their restaurant Don Camillo - flavours of New York, Italy and Mediterranean, all on one plate.
Finally, with one of the city’s most vibrant neighbourhoods on your doorstep, find time to wander around the fabled Jaffa Flea Market (‘Shuk HaPishpeshim’), through the narrow alleyways of the Artists' Quarter in Jaffa and along the Jaffa Port area, where local fishermen are reeling in their catch of the day. Verdict: Achingly fashionable.
Address: Louis Pasteur St 2, www.thejaffa-hotel.co.il
The Jaffa, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Tel Aviv. Photo from www.marriott.com
3. The Vera Hotel, Tel Aviv
For design aficionados, who love a chic, contemporary look, there’s no better place to stay than the Vera. Back in the 1950s, the building was office space and the renovation paid homage to that by leaving a few concrete-covered exteriors.
Bedrooms are luxurious, with fruit plates, organic bath products and swanky bath robes and 400-thread Egyptian cotton sheets. The hotel amenities don’t disappoint either - there’s exclusive access to a two-level rooftop ‘oasis’ which boasts sun loungers and a beverage machine, from which Israeli wines flow freely you won’t worry about there being no pool.
The Vera offers yoga and pilates classes and free bikes too, the perfect way to explore Tel Aviv. Located on Lilienblum Street, it’s a great location for heading to Neve Tzedek, Nahalat Binyamin and Florentin, as well as the Carmel Market and trendy Shenkin Street. Verdict: Utter pleasure.
Address: Lilienblum St 27, www.theverahotel.com
Breakfast at "The Vera Hotel Tel Aviv". Photo via TheVeraTLV
4. The Setai, Tel Aviv
If you’re looking for calm in the midst of a city as hectic as Tel Aviv, you could do worse than check into the Setai! This sophisticated five-star hotel is a veritable oasis of tranquillity in busy Jaffa, and the building itself is as historic as the neighbourhood.
The Setai actually consists of five buildings that made up an Ottoman police station and prison. Today, it’s been renovated in an eclectic style, part class, part contemporary. There are marble and stone corridors and a tree-lined courtyard inside which you can enjoy breakfast and lunch.
Rooms are designed using a palette of red, brown and metallic colours, and the cotton sheets are utterly decadent. Oversized bathtubs and rainforest shower heads, along with bespoke toiletries, all make for a very comfortable experience and if there’s anything you need, room service and the concierge will be delighted to help.
In terms of amenities, on the roof of the Setai is an infinity pool (a truly stand-out feature) and renovated Turkish hammam as well as a health and fitness centre. With the help of their excellent sommelier, enjoy a glass of fine wine in the chic bar (designed using custom-made blue Brazilian marble). Verdict: Outstanding.
Address: David Razi'el St 22 www.thesetaihotels.com
The Setai Hotel, Tel Aviv. Photo via TheSetaiTelAviv
5. The Drisco Hotel Tel Aviv
The Drisco markets itself as ‘a superior 5-star hotel’ and many would agree. Located in the heart of the picturesque and pastoral American-German colony in Tel-Aviv, the hotel stands on the spot which was once the Jerusalem hotel, built by the Drisco brothers in 1866.
All bedrooms are equipped with comfortable queen or king-sized beds, Nespresso machines and Carrara marble in the bathrooms (a few of which have bathtubs). A nice touch that Drisco offers is complimentary Israeli juices and chocolate bars which are placed in the minibars.
Special mention should perhaps be given to their restaurant ‘George and John’, run by chef Tomer Tal, which has won numerous accolades. Offering ‘modern Israeli’ dishes with a Mediterranean influence - customers rave about the sweetbreads, steak tartare, crab pasta and mille-feuille.
The Drisco also boasts a lounge, patio, terrace and garden, and its ‘Lobby Bar’ boasts marble columns and plush seats (a shout-out to its heyday). Not too far away by foot is the trendy Noga district (and next to it the Jaffa neighbourhood), the HaTachana (Station) complex and, of course, the beach! Verdict: Lively and inspiring.
Address: Auerbach St 6, www.thedrisco.co.il
The Drisco Hotel Tel Aviv. Photo via Thedrisco6. Lighthouse Hotel By Brown Hotels
This stylish and trendy hotel, operated by the Brown Group, is situated at the crossroads of Ben Yehuda and Allenby Streets, a stone’s throw from the Carmel Market, King George Street and Jerusalem beach. With its central location, modern vibe and high-level amenities, it might not be five-star but it holds its own.
All of the Lighthouse’s 209 rooms are quite spacious (by city standards) and boast high-quality linens, Marshall speakers and English Molton Brown bath products. Each has a wonderful view of either the Mediterranean or Tel Aviv skyline. The hotel also offers an excellent spa, with professional and friendly masseuses and special hot stone treatments.
For those who like sky bars, head up to the 18th floor where you can eat delicious sushi, drink unique cocktails, dance to pulsating beats and enjoy astonishing skyline views at Haiku. And if you’re not a party animal, just take the elevator down to the 5th floor for dinner - they have a lovely terrace.
One last thing - guests comment time and again on how fabulous the breakfast is at this hotel - not just the outstanding produce and how varied the choice is, but the personalised service and how helpful the staff are in taking care of individual requests. Verdict: Hip to a fault.
Address: Ben Yehuda St 1, www.brownhotels.com
7. Hotel Montefiore, Tel Aviv
Hotel Montefiore is the ultimate boutique hotel in Tel Aviv, located just a moment from Rothschild Boulevard in the city centre. Inside a 1920s Art Deco building which has been meticulously restored, you’ll be greeted by sleek design, modern art and exceptionally professional staff.
Each of the 12 rooms screams comfort - lots of space, high ceilings, wood floors, Persian rugs, and floor-to-ceiling shelves filled with books on art, literature and tourism in many languages. The beds are super comfy, with fantastic linens, and the bathrooms have a black and white theme and are stocked with products made by local artisans and plush robes.
The Montefiore also boasts a fine-dining restaurant which is French-Vietnamese fusion style. It’s also considered one of the benchmarks of culinary delight in Tel Aviv and its ambience is delightful; - the dim lighting, chequered floor and mirrors all encourage you to linger for just one more delicious plate of food.
Guests also rave about the breakfast and as the writer has partaken of one herself, she must agree - it is spectacular, with buttery croissants, tempting fruit plates, perfect poached eggs and excellent coffee, served in teeny tiny white jugs. The Montefiore is also well-located if you’re a Bauhaus fan - the area is awash with wonderful buildings, many recently renovated, and it’s a short walk both to Neve Tzedek and the Yemenite Quarter. Verdict: a luxurious and intimate experience.
Address: Montefiore St 36, Tel Aviv-Yafo www.hotelmontefiore.co.il
Hotel Montefiore, Tel Aviv. Photo via HotelMontefiore
8. The Renoma Hotel & Apartments
This seaside boutique hotel, located in the lovely Yemenite Quarter, is the perfect place for an urban vacation since it’s in the heart of the city but also just a block from the beach. The Renoma is a historic building, showcasing beautiful 1930s features and stunning aesthetics throughout the interior.
All of the rooms are spacious with comfortable beds and elegant furnishings with all the modern touches, including Nespresso machines and Netflix. Their delicious breakfast box will be delivered to your room every morning and is delightful, full of pastries from a local French bakery and you can take the cappuccino they bring to you out to your terrace and drink it in the sun.
Renoma also boasts the Bar 51 Restaurant, which specialises in tapas and sharing plates. The dishes are bursting with flavour, the menu changes regularly, according to seasonal produce and the wine list is excellent. It’s an intimate space, with mainly bar seating and a few tables, but the atmosphere is always good.
Last but not least, what guests really seem to love about Renoma is this staff. Hardworking and gracious, they are exceptional at anticipating requests and pay enormous attention to detail - truly, nothing is too much trouble for them. Verdict: A hidden gem.
Address: HaYarkon St 59, www.renomahotel.com
Renoma Hotel & Apartments, Tel Aviv. Photo via hotelrenoma
9. Market House Hotel, Tel Aviv-Jaffa
Situated in Jaffa, a few steps from the historic Clock Tower, the Market House was the first boutique hotel in Jaffa and continues to hold a special place in the hearts of its guests. With just 44 rooms, it’s very much influenced by the neighbourhood in which is set and you see this the moment you walk through the door, in the shape of local art hanging on the walls and - unbelievably - the remains of a Byzantine church at which you can peer through the glass floor in the lobby!
The Market House is comfortable and modern, and the bedrooms - whilst not large - are eclectically designed, all paying homage to the locale (especially the local flea market). Guests rave about the exceptional breakfasts (both rich and healthy), the happy hour with wine and nibbles and the free bikes (complete with helmets and locks) offered to explore the area.
As well as all the beauty of Jaffa on your doorstep, the Market House is a short stroll from HaTachana, Neve Tzedek and the Suzanne Dellal Center, perfect if you’re curious about food or modern dance! Of course, if you’re feeling lazy you can stroll around the Jaffa Port and Artists' Quarter, or simply sit by their pool and soak up the atmosphere…Verdict: Perfect for a romantic weekend.
Address: Beit Eshel St 5, www.atlas.co.il
Market House Hotel - an Atlas Boutique Hotel. Photo via markethousejaffa