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We have something to confess: Travel Composer Founder Hani Sand is obsessed with hotels. Like, she knows the jewel-box paint colors on the different floors of the new boutique hotel on Rothschild – and what number thread count sheets are planned for the new Kempinksi. That level of obsessed.
But can you blame her? After all, she was literally raised in hotels – her father’s business brought the family around the world. She also happens to have impeccable taste, and a deep love of Israel. Marrying all these factors culminates in one undeniable fact: Through this obsession, Hani knows the Israel hotel landscape better than anyone out there today. And lucky for you, she’s more than happy to tell you all about it (and book it for you).
It is with great pleasure (and a promise that we’ll try to find Hani a hobby) that Travel Composer brings you its summary of the best new Israeli hotels of 2019.
With the debut of the iconic Norman and then the fantastically stylish, yet quaint, White Villa in 2014, boutique hotels have begun sprouting up all around Israel. New properties have also been mushrooming in Jerusalem, including boutique offerings like The Villa Brown and the Atlas Bezalel. The Atlas is a slightly larger property by the Atlas Hotel Chain and is our choice for best value for your money at approximately $250 per night. The location is right in the center of downtown Jerusalem. The Villa Brown feels cozier, housed in a fully renovated historic villa, complete with a cave bar next to the home’s old well beneath the house. Rooms start at $300.
In general, The Brown Hotels are having a shining moment, with openings happening left and right. In Tel Aviv, the poppy Poli House, designed by Karim Rashid, is a modern outfitted take on colorful, thoughtful interior design, and an Instagrammer’s dream, with rooms starting at $250. Down the street and around the corner, you’ll find the 65 Rothschild – another property by the Atlas Hotel Chain. The lobby is swathed in sumptuous green palm prints, the breakfast is as plentiful and creative as any we’ve found in Israel, and the rooftop view is magical – especially at night. Rooms are very reasonable, starting at $210, and even if you don’t book, meet a friend there for breakfast before a stroll down the city’s manicured pedestrian promenade.
Recently, things have really amped up on the local hospitality front. The Setai opened near Jaffa’s iconic clocktower. The structure was built as a fortress in 1886 but also served as a prison and police station throughout its history. Today, stone and marble corridors connect the property’s five buildings, featuring 120 luxury rooms situated around a central courtyard, a Turkish Hamman, and a rooftop infinity pool. The hotel group also has a property at the Sea of Galilee.
True luxury seekers should head straight for the Orient in Jerusalem’s German Colony, walking distance from the First Station, Liberty Bell Park, and Mishkenot Sha’ananim, as well as charming boutiques and bistros. The Old City and the Western Wall are closeby and the hotel’s 243 exceptional rooms and suites showcase an eclectic design, merging classic motifs with modern innovations.
Likewise, the newly-minted Jaffa Hotel (part of the W Hotel group) in the heart of Jaffa, is just around the corner from the city’s landmark flea market. The 19th century building once housed Jaffa’s French hospital and is situated adjacent to Jaffa’s alleys filled with art galleries, boutiques and antiques shops. The hotel boasts 127 rooms, a spa, an outside deck with a pool, and the onsite restaurant Don Camillo, where guests dine underneath Crusader-era arches.
For extremely boutique offerings, opened in Tel Aviv in the last year or so, look no further that The Vera, Fabric Hotel, or The Drisco – all wonderfully renovated and upscale options with dedicated customer service and stunning accommodations.
What are we looking forward to coming up? The highly-anticipated opening of Six Senses Shaharut set in a cliff off the Negev’s pristine Arava Valley. Scheduled to open at the end of 2019, guest can look forward to a focus on sustainability and wellness, with 58 suites and villas, many with private pools, and accommodations featuring furnishings sourced from local artisans. The hotel’s exterior lighting is particularly unique, protecting the clarity of the Negev’s famed night sky, prized by stargazers. There will be a luxury Six Senses Spa, a camel stable, offering morning and twilight camel rides, an open-air amphitheater beneath the stars, and a tented Bedouin dining experience.