By some distance the coolest city in Israel, Tel Aviv is home to a range of boutique hotels including retro charmers, Bauhaus builds and ultra-modern luxury affairs.
Tel Aviv oozes style. From trendy restaurants ringing the soaring central synagogue to cool homeware shops dotting Jaffa Flea Market, every corner fuses contemporary trends with throwback Bauhaus glamour and vibrant Middle Eastern energy. The boutique hotel scene is no exception. Tel Aviv has some of the coolest pocket-sized stays anywhere, boasting everything from rooftop bars to library lounges. If you’re looking for somewhere memorable to sleep in Israel’s most thrilling city, here are the best funky boutique hotels in Tel Aviv.
Within striking distance of the Carmel Market – packed with stalls selling nutty halva sweets – Hotel Saul entices for many reasons, not least for its sun-drenched roof deck complete with stripey loungers and greenery. The Bauhaus build has cool rooms too, with white-washed brickwork, mid-century modern-style furniture and pastel throws. Extras like board games in the lounge to paddles for ping pong games in the Meir Garden and popcorn for watching movies, take this place to the next level.
Just off leafy Rothschild Boulevard, a curve of park-lined road popular with Saturday strollers, 65 Hotel Tel Aviv is a glossy modern build that shows off Tel Aviv’s contemporary side. Take to the lounge to sip cappuccinos among foliage-printed wallpaper, then retire to a room with a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing city skyscrapers. Pause to take in the old photographs en route to the 5pm happy hour, where your first drink is free.
Perched right on the coast in historic Jaffa, you can take in the hues of the Mediterranean from Casa Nova’s sweeping terrace and its sleek apartment-style rooms (there are regular suites too if you don’t fancy the self-catering set up). But it’s not just about good looks here. There’s proper hotel history also, with the building complex dating back in part to the 17th century, when the Franciscan Order built a hostel for pilgrims heading to Jerusalem.
Looking for a romantic hideaway? This adults-only hotel in central Jaffa has an intimate, throw-back feel with its historic vaulted ceilings, exposed stone walls, moody lighting and tiled floors. Split a bottle of Israeli red wine, then head out to explore Jaffa’s old alleyways, cool galleries and world-best hummus eateries (the staff on site are helpful and will arm you with top recommendations). Return to cosy up between the crisp white sheets.
Trendy Neve Tzedek is one of Tel Aviv’s most enticing districts, with its brunching locals – perched on café tables out in the streets – friendly resident cats and designer boutiques. And Trieste puts you right in the thick of it all. Décor blends old-world European – think chandeliers, opulent wallpaper, velvet seating – with quirky touches such as swings in rooms and bold splashes of art. Couples will particularly like the jacuzzis, perfectly built for two.
The Brown Hotels are some of Tel Aviv’s most stylish, and this off-shoot channels the same feel but at a slightly friendlier price tag. Primely placed in Downtown Tel Aviv – moments from some of the best bars and restaurants, plus ever-popular Levinsky spice market – Dave Lewinsky is properly vintage in vibe with mid-century furniture, beige print wallpaper and curved-edge mirrors. The lobby is a hub of social life with books, plants and table football.
Between the name on its front door and the retro projector on display in the lobby, it’s easy to guess what this city centre stay is all about. But don’t think that Cinema Hotel is a cheesy, themed hotel; with a broad sun-filled terrace and monochrome rooms with subtle splashes of purple, it’s more about channeling old-world Hollywood glamour than it is about movie kitsch. You’re only a 10-minute walk from the beach, so it’s perfect for summertime sunseekers.
Named after a Russian art critic, this stay near leafy artery Rothschild Boulevard puts art above everything. There’s a diverse and impressive collection of large-scale pieces dotted among Diaghilev Live Art’s various suites, which range from balconied one-bedrooms to a spacious pad large enough for a family of four. Kitchenettes on-site let you whip up breakfasts of pancakes or oozy eggs, saving your cash for scrummy lunches or dinners in the nearby, food-stuffed Sarona Market.
You’re practically inside Carmel Market here, meaning you’re primely placed to feast on fabulous grilled beef from M25 or creamy hummus at Shlomo & Doron. That is, if you can be convinced to leave the hotel. From its strip of rooftop pool overlooking the city to the funky rooms with pops of aquamarine, The Poli House is popular for a reason. A spa room is the perfect place to rest weary feet after a day’s exploring, while the buzzy cocktail bar will help you gear up for the balmy Tel Aviv evenings.
The Rothschild is Israeli elegance encapsulated. Old oak doors; cast iron and brass; Egyptian cotton sheets – timeless luxury is a priority, even though the hotel’s style is perfectly on-point for the 21st century. Moody rooms with herringbone tile floors open up to balconies gazing across verdant Rothschild Boulevard, whilst the romantic Premium Suite even has its own jacuzzi and private roof terrace. Entry-level rooms come with small luxuries such as minibars, though you’ll want to save the serious drinking for the lip-smacking cocktails served down in the bar.
This hotel is in Jaffa – one of the oldest port areas in the world, which has enjoyed a new rebirth as a hipster mecca. Just a short walk from the old city and the vibrant Flea Market, stands this new boutique hotel. The rooms are sleek and elegant, designed with a touch of the local Arab style, so if you’re looking to experience Jaffa (or Yafo, as the locals call it), this is the place for you.
With one of the best cocktail bars in Tel Aviv, the B Berdichevsky Hotel caters to the ‘lifestyle-driven traveler.’ Located just minutes from Tel Aviv’s HaBima Square, the cultural epicenter of the White City, this hotel boasts the charm of a small boutique hotel with the amenities and service of a big chain. The Bellboy – its bar – is a must-see, with designer cocktails it’s well worth a visit on its own. Fancy but not stuffy, the Berdichevsky is perfect for young professionals.
Tel Aviv’s ‘Grand Budapest’, The Norman is a throwback to days gone by. The Norman’s style is reminiscent of the luxury usually associated with grand hotels of the early 20th century, but with a distinctly Tel Avivian aura blending a European atmosphere with Levantine flair. Nested in one of the finest areas in central Tel Aviv, in two historic Bauhaus buildings, The Norman is as swanky as boutique hotels come.
Located near the Carmel Market right off of the trendy shopping street of Shenkin, The Shenkin Hotel shows boutique accommodation at its most local. Leaving you just a few steps away from the city’s vibrant nightlife scene, this gay-friendly inn is the place to go if you want locals to let you in on Tel Aviv’s best-kept secrets – and that includes a special deal with market eateries, though with a rooftop bar and restaurant of its own, there might not be need.
Though more a fancy hostel than a boutique hotel, The Florentin House is the first to open in the infamously cool Florentin neighborhood, usually called Tel Aviv’s Williamsburg. With a great Asian restaurant on the first floor and adjacent gallery, The Florentine House has something for those looking to experience the area first hand. The roof-top suite is in a class of its own and gives all of the city’s other boutique rooms a run for their money.
Set in a historic restored eclectic-style building built in 1922, this 12-room boutique hotel offers the best food and amenities the city has to offer. With its flagship Hotel Montefiore restaurant in the lobby and round-the-clock room service, Hotel Montefiore radiates class and affluence.
Situated in the middle of Tel Aviv’s bustling downtown area, this boutique hotel has preserved the 1930s Bauhaus design and kept the city’s architectural and cultural spirit alive. Boasting 37 rooms, the hotel is filled with memories of the Old Tel Aviv – posters of decades-old pop culture and an assortment of artifacts will definitely leave you nostalgic.