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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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Le Méridien Dead Sea, Ein Bokek

On the shores of the Dead Sea, Le Méridien is the most luxurious of the many hotels taking advantage of the medicinal, salt-filled waters. A holiday...more

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King David, Jerusalem

During the era of British rule, the venerable King David Hotel served as a home away from home for much of the English elite. More than 50 years later, the...more

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Isrotel Dead Sea, Dead Sea

Israel's Dead Sea shoreline has always had its fill of spalike hotels, but they've generally fallen short on both style and service. Local chain Isrotel bucked...more

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David InterContinental, Tel Aviv

The splashiest luxury hotel in Tel Aviv, which opened in 1998, lies a bit outside the city center and is a favorite of corporate travelers because of its...more

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Dan Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv

Owned by the same Israeli chain that runs Jerusalem's historic King David, the Dan is as close as Tel Aviv gets to a true grande dame: a landmark built in 1953...more

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Sea Executive Suites, Tel Aviv

Families and business travelers looking for a longer-term alternative to Tel Aviv's big chains should consider a stay at Sea Executive Suites. It's like an...more

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Scots Hotel, Tiberias

Since the Scots Hotel opened in 2004 in the city of Tiberias, it has been a high-end retreat after a day of monument hopping for the Christian faithful on...more

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Hotel Cinema, Tel Aviv

The Hotel Cinema's original building dates to the 1930s, when it was known as the Esther Cinema, one of the first movie theaters in Tel Aviv. Today, the...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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