During the first six months of 2017, over 1.7 million tourists entered Israel, up 26% from the first half of last year, according to the country's Central Bureau of Statistics.
Hotel occupancy has benefited from this rise, reaching 73.4% in Tel Aviv for the first half of the year (vs. 68.9% in the first half of 2016) and 64.8% in Jerusalem for the same period (vs. 50.7% in 2016). Set to greet this influx are a trio of new and upcoming hotels.
• New to the Tel Aviv skyline, the Vera will open its doors in November. This urban boutique hotel will open adjacent to Bauhaus Rothschild Boulevard.
Inside guests will find 39 rooms in four categories — classic, deluxe, superior and garden room — as well as a spa treatment room and two rooftop terraces.
For its in-room magazine, the hotel is collaborating with local lifestyle magazine Telavivian to provide advice to guests who want to see the city like a local.
The hotel lobby will have a vending machine that dispenses cocktails created by local mixologists, who will also operate the hotel's bar, offering made-to-order beverages and small bites.
The lobby of the Villa Brown Jerusalem. The walls of exposed stone are over 100 years old. Photo Credit: Assaf Pinchuk
• In Jerusalem, the Villa Brown Jerusalem is officially open. The newest addition to the Brown Hotels group, this 24-room boutique hotel is built within a restored private residence from the Ottoman era.
A five-minute walk to the Old City, the Villa Brown Jerusalem is equal parts opulent and modern. According to a statement from the hotelier, the aesthetic is East meets West, merging neoclassical, Ottoman and eclectic design styles with bold, regal colors like red, emerald and mauve.
The building was once a private villa belonging to a famed doctor and general manager of Jerusalem's Rothschild Hospital.
The original walls of exposed stone date back more than 100 years. Hotel features include a lobby, outdoor spaces, restaurant, underground bar, bedrooms and suites. A complete restoration of the building saw the addition of two extra floors, as well.
Amenities include a Garden Bistro-Cafe; daily breakfast; high tea; subterranean Cave Bar, located in the one-time cistern from the private residence; rooftop spa and open-air Jacuzzi; rooftop terrace lounge overlooking the city; and a lobby library.
A guestroom in one of the restored buildings of the Orient Jerusalem, a 243-room property on a site that once belonged to the German Templar Society.
• Also in Jerusalem, another luxury hotel hit the scene this year. Situated on a site that was once held by the German Templar Society in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Orient Jerusalem sits in West Jerusalem's German Colony, 20 minutes from the Old City and closely located to HaTachana, the city's historical train station, which is situated in what now is a lively district of boutiques, cafes, restaurants and galleries.
A massive renovation and restoration has resulted in a lobby with tapestry-lined ceilings and a glass pavilion that faces the courtyard.
As a tribute to the Templars, a small interactive museum on site enables guests to connect with the neighborhood's heritage. The museum features a selection of artifacts from the Templar era. A collection of contemporary art is on display throughout the property.
A spa and wellness center offers Turkish hammam and Eastern-style treatments, including ayurveda and shiatsu therapies. The facility has two pools, including a rooftop infinity pool overlooking the Old City and surrounded by private cabanas.
The property comprises 243 rooms in a newly constructed central building and two preserved Templar buildings from the 1880s.
Additional amenities include lobby restaurant Khan, which serves gourmet kosher offerings. There is also a variety of venue and meetings rooms, including a large conference and banquet hall that accommodates up to 900 people.