Tel Aviv hotels getting boost from city's bustling nightlife

By Laura Del Rosso
Tel Aviv Rothschild hotelTel Aviv's growing reputation as a vibrant city that buzzes 24 hours a day with lively bars, nightclubs and restaurants has sparked a rise in hotel occupancies.

Hotels in the Israeli city of more than 3 million, named one of the world's hottest destinations by Lonely Planet in 2011, are operating with average occupancies of 85%, often rising above 90%, said Haim Gutin, the Israel Tourism Board's commissioner for North and South America.

"It's happened because Tel Aviv has become very well known as a city with lots of young people, a lot of good restaurants and nightclubs," Gutin said. "It's fun and sexy. It's a city that people who enjoy a good lifestyle love. They can go to the beach, have a nice lunch and go back to the beach. At night, there are lots of good restaurants and discos. It's all there."

Among the hotels under development in or near Tel Aviv are the Ritz-Carlton Herzliya, being built overlooking a marina in Herzliya, just north of Tel Aviv, and a fashionable area known as the "Palm Beach of Israel." The hotel, with 197 rooms, including 82 suites of one, two and three bedrooms, is scheduled to open in 2013.

Also expected to open its doors in 2013 is Isrotel's Royal Beach Tel Aviv, part of the Isrotel hotel chain's Exclusive Collection of upscale properties.

The Royal Beach, scheduled for a May 1 debut, is on Herbert Samuel Street on the waterfront, just minutes from Tel Aviv's restaurant and nightlife districts. The 23-story property will offer a four-story-high lobby, a spa and views of Tel Aviv and the Mediterranean. Rooms will feature sofa beds, balconies and lavish bathrooms.

Several chic boutique hotels with distinct personalities have opened in Tel Aviv recently, attracting travelers from around the world.

"The boutique hotels are booming, and they are very much the trend right now," Gutin said. "The ministry [of tourism] is investing lots of money to encourage investors to come and build hotels. People love the boutiques for their service, and people love to feel like they are staying with family."

Tel Aviv Hotel Berdichevsky spaLeading the way is Leopard Hotels, which opened the stylish Brown TLV Hotel in Tel Aviv in March 2011 in the hip Neve Tzedek neighborhood. The hotel, a member of the Design Hotels group, has a spa and rooftop bar with views of the city and the Mediterranean. Guests are offered a glass of champagne upon check-in and a complimentary bottle of local wine and cookies in their rooms.

Brown is expanding with two other properties in Tel Aviv, including the Bau TLV Urban Resort, expected to open in summer 2014. The Bau TLV is planned as a 37-room boutique hotel in a renovated historical building that is an example of Bauhaus architecture popularized by German architects in the 1920s and '30s. The building will have a rooftop pool and bar when it opens as a hotel and is in central Tel Aviv on the Nahalat Binyamin pedestrian mall, steps from the Carmel Market.

The newest boutique hotel in Tel Aviv is the Rothschild, on a corner of Rothschild Boulevard, a vibrant area with cafes, bars and restaurants.

The hotel was formerly a hospital opened in 1920 by the grandparents of co-owner Udi Kreiger. The 25 rooms at the Rothschild have private kitchens, business areas and flat-screen TVs. A 24-hour concierge and a patio garden where guests are offered complimentary champagne and cappuccino any time of day are among the services.

Nearby is the Hotel Berdichevsky, another upscale, boutique hotel that opened this year. The 23-room hotel offers a cafe, 24-hour concierge, a bar and spa. Rooms have Italian marble bathrooms and private-label Dead Sea toiletries. Within a short walk is the Habima National Theater, the newly renovated Tel Aviv Cinematheque and the art galleries, restaurants and nightlife of Rothschild Boulevard.

The Eden House Premier Hotel is in Tel Aviv's Kerem HaTemaneim neighborhood near the bustling Carmel Market and the city's beach promenade. The 12-room property, which opened in late 2011, has the character of an intimate, European-style inn. Luxurious bed linens and bath towels are featured. The hotel's cafe is reminiscent of a cozy Russian teahouse, and the bistro-style restaurant provides room service 24 hours a day.
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