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Israel hotels

Israel's hotel scene reflects the country's newfound confidence, optimism, and affluence. After years of little to no hotel growth, Israel has seen a miniboom in new and renovated properties. The surge is strongest among hotels in Tel Aviv, Israel's cultural and commercial capital, where historic Bauhaus and Eclectic buildings are being transformed into stylish boutique hotels. Although the trend is still in the early stages, districts such as Neve Tzedek and the central White City are now home to bijoux properties like the Hotel Montefiore that are a world away from Tel Aviv's cookie-cutter seafront hotel towers. Next up is Jaffa, Tel Aviv's sister city to the south, where a slow restoration process is paving the way for a new crop of historic hotels over the next five years, including a rumored W Hotel, Israel's first. Hotels in Jerusalem's ancient center, close to the Old City, are also undergoing a minirevival. The action is anchored near the iconic King David Hotel—within snapshot distance of the gilded Dome of the Rock—where the stylish Piero Lissoni–designed Mamilla Hotel opened in summer 2009. Across the street, the Jerusalem Palace Hotel, a Waldorf Astoria Collection property, should open its doors by late 2010. An hour east along the Dead Sea, Israeli chains including Isrotel and Prima have poured millions of dollars into existing hotels, upgrading them with new spas, restaurants, and more contemporary designs. Deals at Dead Sea resorts and at hotels in Eilat are best scored midweek, as these properties typically fill up with Israelis on weekends.

One word of warning: Israel's hotels have long held a reputation for being overpriced, but that's generally due to a different service mentality. Even nicer hotels have a more hands-off and less attentive service style when compared with their Western counterparts. Also be aware that all hotels make religious concessions. Generally, you won't notice these little changes unless you're looking for them. But they can include things like Sabbath elevators, which stop on every floor so that you don't have to push a button, or altered Saturday menus, when chefs are unable to use the oven.

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American Colony Hotel, Jerusalem

The American Colony Hotel is a converted 19th-century pasha's palace within East Jerusalem, close to the walls of the Old City and the Damascus Gate. The Relais...more

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Editors' Pick
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Nina Cafe Suites Hotel, Tel Aviv

In Tel Aviv's historic Neve Tzedek quarter, Nina Cafe Suites is a five-suite boutique hotel whose style and spirit is inspired by the owner's many trips to...more

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Editors' Pick
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Neve Tzedek Hotel, Tel Aviv

Historic Neve Tzedek is Tel Aviv's original hot 'hood, established in 1887 as the city's first Jewish district. Since that time—and in particular over the...more

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Editors' Pick
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Mizpe Hayamim, Rosh Pina

Located 1,500 feet up Mount Canaan, in the Galilee region, Mizpe Hayamim is Israel's oldest hilltop retreat and a Relais & Châteaux property. Founded in 1967 by...more

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Editors' Pick
Isrotel Royal Beach, Eilat

The Royal Beach serves complimentary drinks and snacks twice a week in its towering atrium lobby, setting the tone for a level of service that is unusually...more

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Editors' Pick
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Hotel Montefiore, Tel Aviv

The 12-room Hotel Montefiore is Tel Aviv's first world-class boutique hotel, with perhaps the most cosmopolitan and stylish clientele in town—if not in...more

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Editors' Pick
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David Citadel, Jerusalem

If it's a room with a view you're after, the 384-room David Citadel Hotel, which overlooks Jerusalem's Old City walls and the Tower of David, is hard to beat....more

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Editors' Pick
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The Brown TLV, Tel Aviv

Located just below the Bauhaus-rich White City and above Ottoman-era Neve Tzedek, this stylish hotel was crafted from a 1950s bank building whose former dull...more

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Editors' Pick
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Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel and Towers, Tel Aviv

Among the numerous five-star hotels lining Tel Aviv's Mediterranean promenade, none can quite compete with the Sheraton Tel Aviv. Located just above prime...more

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Editors' Pick
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Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem

Just one block from the Old City, this 194-room newcomer is a chic respite from the capital's trademark chaos. Designed by Italian Piero Lissoni and Israel-born...more

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Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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