Following Emirates‘ launch of daily flights to Tel Aviv in 2022, the Mediterranean party city has grown in popularity. Known for its Bauhaus architecture, and just 3.5-hours from the UAE, the ‘White City’ has a thriving culinary and hospitality scene, home to some of MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants and offering pristine beaches and thriving nightlife. From Bauhaus boltholes and beach hotels to historic former monasteries turned five-star retreats, here are the best hotels in Tel Aviv for a stylish stay in the White City.
A former convent and monastery set the scene for one of Tel Aviv’s coolest hotels – a hotel where the cocktail bar is nestled in the former chapel, and the historic cloisters now lead to 120 stunningly designed rooms and suites that hide a serene outdoor swimming pool. Minimalist British designer John Pawson reimagined the imposing neo-Gothic, 19th-century building, keeping original features like high vaulted ceilings, arched windows and marble tiles while adding more modern touches like chrome minibars, angular beds softened by a palette of faded golds, creams and pinks. The hotel sits atop a hill overlooking the historic Jaffa port – the oldest district in Tel Aviv – and guests can wander to the nearby Jaffa Flea market, the many cool cafes, bars and concept stores and the Museum of Antiquities. Dining is themed around typically New York-Jewish cuisine, with a counter deli serving hearty bagels, homemade falafel and Israeli street food, while Giardino serves northern Mediterranean cuisine with locally grown and fishes ingredients in a beautiful courtyard in the hotel’s oldest wing.
Doubles from AED 1,925; marriott.com
Also located in the ancient port district of Jaffa, The Setai is one of the city’s slickest hotels, with a rooftop infinity pool overlooking the port, a hammam spa, an elegant garden courtyard and quirky history. The hotel is housed in what was once an Ottoman prison, and remnants of the original structure like stone staircases and walls still remain. Of course, the five buildings that make up the luxury hotel have been fabulously restored, all earthy tones and design-led furnishings. A three-minute walk from the beach makes this a must-visit stop in Tel Aviv for acolytes, culture vultures and beach bums.
Doubles from AED 1,800; thesetaihotels.com
Divided between two historic 1920s buildings, The Norman is a bright and breezy hotel that fuses contemporary elements with its classic pre-Bauhaus character. A rooftop infinity pool gives it a modern, Mediterranean edge, while two well-established restaurants, including one of the district’s coolest Izakaya-style Japanese restaurants, Dinings (temporarily closed), draw a well-heeled set of hotel and non-hotel residents. Pastel tones and modern comforts dictate the tempo of some 50 guest rooms, while further facilities across the hotel include a first-rate spa with a separate wellness terrace and the Library Bar is one of the city’s most well-known drinking dens. A shuttle bus takes sun-worshippers straight to the beach, while city dwellers can make the most of the pulsing after-hours food and drink scene right on the hotel’s doorstep.
Doubles from AED 2,680; thenorman.com
Brown Beach House
Part of Brown Hotels, Israel’s coolest hotel group, Brown Beach House set the standard for boutique hotels in Tel Aviv with its quirky design touches, statement interiors and perfect positioning in the heart of the action. Mere metres from the beach, as well as an array of casual-cool cafes, restaurants and bars, the hotel is home to a restaurant that serves delectable Mediterranean-Middle Eastern breakfast, a decadent bar and its own spa, complete with an alfresco relaxation garden. Some 80 guest rooms, all finished in striking monochrome prints with vibrant pops of yellow, come in a myriad of room categories, ranging from standard and deluxe rooms in the main building, to the more sumptuous suites located in the newer Del Mar wing. Those looking to embrace Tel Aviv’s many attractions are well located: Carmel Market, Mier Park and The Bauhaus Foundation Museum are all within walking distance.
Doubles from AED 440; brownhotels.com
Soho House Tel Aviv
Nick Jones exclusive private members’ club opened its first outpost in Israel last year, located in the trendy historical neighbourhood of Jaffa, near the vibrant port and flea market. Housed in a converted turreted building dating back to the 19th-century, the club features a garden, serene courtyard swimming pool and 24 bedrooms, with the Middle East meets Europe design inspired by Tel Aviv’s culture and colours – while maintaining many original features of the building.
Doubles from AED2,000 a night; sohohouse.com
An intimate, boutique hotel of just a dozen rooms in the heart of Tel Aviv, Hotel Montefiore has been perfecting the art of welcoming hospitality for over a decade. There’s a relaxed and informal atmosphere derived from the hotel’s passion to retain the feeling of stepping into someone’s home – the building was previously an eclectic private residence, while still feeling impossibly chic and sophisticated. Grown-up glamour is the chosen aesthetic for the guest rooms, many of which feature balconies and all come complete with gourmet-stocked minibars and a wall-length library. The hotel restaurant is a meeting point for the city’s it-crowd, and its French-Vietnamese food created using seasonal, local ingredients draws locals and tourists in equal measure.
Doubles from AED 1,350; hotelmontefiore.co.il
The Poli House Hotel
Another uber-cool boutique hotel in Tel Aviv from the Brown Hotels group, The Poli House is a colourful addition to the White City hotel scene. South Tel Aviv’s unfiltered, street art-lined streets are incorporated into the hotel’s aesthetic, with colourful elements laced into the panoramic rooftop pool, and spacious sun deck, complemented by rooftop hot tubs and saunas. Housed in a luxurious 1930s Bauhaus building, 40 guest rooms mirror a similar style to that of Brown Beach House, decorated in monochrome prints and home to furnishings in playful pops of lime and turquoise as well as luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets. A bonus for those looking to make the most of their time in Tel Aviv, the popular Carmel Market, the main drag of Rothschild Boulevard and the beach are all within easy access.
Doubles from AED 630; brownhotels.com