We’ve been wanting to go to Tel Aviv for ages – the food! the parties! – but sadly never got around to it. So when L.A local and occasional travel writer Chloe Popescu offered us her findings on the city’s hip hotels, we were all ears.
As a cute taster to Tel Aviv we think the ‘Happy – Tel Aviv‘ tribute to Pharrell Williams’ video (see right) can only put you in the right head-space! (It was produced by Kino Kitchen Film – give them a shout if you have shooting needs in Tel Aviv).
BROWN HOTEL TLV:
‘Hood: Hip, up and coming.
The Crowd: Hipsters, 20-somethings, cool kids.
What it’s good for: Hot bar scene, travelling with friends.
Tell us about the hotel: The hotel is draped in chocolate tones (thus the name) and immediately feels warm and inviting. The large lobby, filled with worn in leather couches, wing-back chairs and wall-to-ceiling bookcases, invites you to pick a corner, order a drink and not go anywhere for a while. The vibe is warm and very comfortable. Look out for work by local street artist Pilpeled.
What are the rooms like?: Like the bar and lobby of the hotel, rooms are done in dark tones of brown. While the rooms do feel petite, the design details of leathers, linens and plush towels and robes make you immediately relaxed and at ease.
What I loved: Über-cool bar and fabulous design aesthetics.
Room to Improve: Rooms are so ‘cosy’, they verge on tiny.
Neighbourhood Tips: For lunch try Delicatessen cafe, or the excellent vegetarian plates at Mezze, for chilled hipster drinks check out the low-key bar Har Sinai.
Price: Standard rooms from around US$250 a night.
MENDELI STREET HOTEL
‘Hood: Beach-side, tucked away and super chic.
The Crowd: 30-something professionals, upscale bohos.
What it’s good for: Traveling solo, serious relaxation, foodies.
Tell us about the hotel: Because of its location tucked away on a small nondescript road, walking into the hotel feels like you’ve discovered a hidden gem. Designed by local architects Baranowitz Kronenberg it offers understated elegance, quality linens, food and service without a five-star attitude. The design ethos incorporates local elements including a striking ironwork ceiling inspired by Hebrew scripture, design elements by local street artist Know Hope and fashion designer Tamar Primak, and regularly showcases works by local artists. Don’t miss Five, the excellent in-house the restaurant by leading chef Rafi Cohen.
What are the rooms like?: Rooms are made up of clean lines and open spaces. The bathroom vanity sits a few feet away from the bed without the disruption of a wall, giving the whole room an open and spacious feel.
What I loved: The overall vibe – relaxed, casual, wide open and modern.
Room to Improve: Nada – for being the new kid on the boutique hotel block, Mendeli is kicking ass.
Neighbourhood Tips: The beach promenade is just two minutes away; architecture buffs may want to check out the Bauhaus Centre (less than 10 minute walk).
Price: Standard rooms start from US$200, (a delicious) breakfast included.
‘Hood: Centrally located, posh boulevard.
The Crowd: Professionals, upscale families.
What it’s good for: Great location for mixing business with pleasure.
Tell us about the hotel: The hotel prides itself on offering first class service and amenities in a boutique property. As a result, the concierge and front desk staffs offer incredible detailed and personalized service in a lobby that feels more like a friend’s living room. The lobby’s inviting seating, coffee table books and an espresso machine create a welcoming atmosphere – this is a nice place to relax.
What are the rooms like?: Rooms feel modern and are filled with light colors and clean lines. No design awards at being won at this place, but the feel is one of quality. They know what they’re doing.
What I loved: Seriously prime location.
Room to Improve: Breakfast at the restaurant next door is less than inspired.
Neighbourhood Tips: For brunch, head to the Rothschild Blvd branch of Benedict at no. 29; for dinner and drinks head to Cafe Europa at 9b; for underground indie and electronica head to the sceney RADIO E.P.G.B (7 Shadal Street, Tel Aviv, a five minute walk).
Price: Standard rooms from US$200.
ARTHUR HOTEL, JERUSALEM:
With Jerusalem just an hour away you may want to include a little detour into your Tel Aviv sojourn. Jerusalem ain’t no haven for boutique hotels which is a good reason to take note of this address.
‘Hood: Centrally located in the new city, tucked away on a charming cobble-stone side street.
The Crowd: Upscale familes, Solo travelers.
What it’s good for: Exploring the essential pockets of Jerusalem – both the new and old city.
Tell us about the hotel: Around the corner from a bustling boulevard, you’ll catch a glimpse of the Arthur’s bright red door, a beacon that heralds calm and luxury in this bustling city. The hotel features modern amenities that are accented by décor and details that celebrate the region’s diverse cultural influences.
What are the rooms like?: Rooms are spacious and feature large windows looking outwards towards lively Ben Yehuda Street. Bathrooms are especially large and feature luxurious tubs.
What I loved: The relaxed feel of the hotel was a retreat after a packed day of walking, shopping and sight seeing. Happy hour, which features local wines and typical Israeli snacks, allows guests to mingle with one another and unwind before heading out for the evening.
Room to Improve: This is a solid hotel, with good service and a breakfast spread worth getting up early for. No improvements here.
Neighbourhood Tips: The Mahane Yehuda Market, one of the best open market “shuks” in Jerusalem is just a five-minute stroll away. Filled with locals and tourists, the market boasts more than 250 vendors offering the best fruit, vegetables and pastries in the city.
Price: Standard rooms start from US$250
ABOUT CHLOE: Chloe Popescu is a travel writer who has worked for PeterGreenberg.com, EuropeUpClose.com and WWD with a focus on shopping, style and travel. She is based out of Los Angeles.