Lumina at Carlton Tel Aviv..
(photo credit: Courtesy)
I didn’t know what to expect from my stay at Carlton Tel Aviv, but upon walking into the hotel I was transported to a cocoon of tranquility. The first thing you notice about the hotel is its superb location. It’s right on the beach, and the views are pretty astonishing. It is also within walking distance of many restaurants and bars.
From the moment we walked in, every single staff member was friendly and incredibly helpful, checkin was seamless and easy, and the clerk at the front desk was prompt and polite. Gila, the hotel’s guest relations manager who greeted us said she wanted us to enjoy ourselves during our short stay at the hotel – and that we did.
There are 268 rooms in the hotel, including their royal executive sea view rooms, luxury suites and a presidential suite. There is also a luxurious rooftop spa and health club, with a swimming pool that offers a 360-degree view of the city and the beach. With room rates starting around $400 per night, this is a place to indulge and enjoy.
While our room was being made ready, we were invited to go up to the executive business lounge on the 14th floor. The lounge – which features panoramic sea views stretching from Jaffa to North Tel Aviv – is designed to facilitate the business-person’s time away from the office by offering easy computer and Internet access. The lounge encourages guests to unwind with a delicious selection of food and beverages. Wine, beer, sodas, fresh fruit, cheeses and salads are available from early in the morning until 10:30 at night.
We had the pleasure of staying in one of the royal executive sea view rooms. The suite was more than satisfactory – spacious, clean, light, airy and comfortably furnished – complete with complimentary bottled water, fruit, chocolates and red wine. There was also a kettle with tea and coffee. A major plus was the balcony from where I could enjoy the spectacular sea view. It was nice to be able to sit there and enjoy the lovely weather while sipping a cup of coffee and watching the bustling city life.
THE ELEGANT room comes equipped with all the amenities one could ask for. The beds are a bit of heaven into which you can easily sink and wonder where the time went. The shower and toilet are in separate compartments inside the bathroom. Double sinks were also a nice feature.
After a relaxing afternoon on the beach, we were totally famished, and made our way downstairs to have dinner at Lumina, one of only two kosher establishments – both housed in the hotel – to bear the imprint of celebrity chef Meir Adoni. Lumina takes kosher-meat dining to a whole new level. It’s easy to understand why locals and tourists alike have taken to the place, given the variety and excellence of its offerings. The service was first- class. We were immediately greeted by our waiter, who animatedly talked us through the wine list and the menu. An especially nice touch is the view of the chefs creating their culinary magic in a very large open kitchen that feels like a natural extension of the restaurant. After a wide variety of delicious appetizers, including a Hungarian crêpe filled with oxtail ragù, our waiter recommended his two personal favorites – the confit goose leg and the veal fillet. Both were done to perfection, tender and full of flavor, with the side dishes an excellent accompaniment. As my wife is allergic to almonds and all of Lumina’s desserts are made with almond milk, the manager escorted us up to Blue Sky, which is the kosher dairy restaurant located on the rooftop. Once there, she could choose from any of the dessert options. We thought that was a lovely and thoughtful touch to end the meal. Finishing off with some espresso shots, we stumbled back to our room for the night, happy and content.
The Carlton Tel Aviv has mastered the morning meal. Nearly every hotel has the famed Israeli breakfast, but only a handful ensure that the ingredients are top quality. Carlton is one of those places. Located in a separate building across from the hotel, Carlton on the Beach serves up a delicious buffet breakfast by the shoreline with a magnificent view of the Mediterranean.
There are separate areas for omelets and eggs, waffles, salads, smoked fish, cheese, cereals and homemade bread and pastries. Also offered are an actual honeycomb with fresh honey; a variety of fresh fruit juices squeezed to order; some delicious halva; and Turkish delight delicacies. We enjoyed our scrumptious breakfast while sitting at a table on the veranda overlooking the sea and taking in the views of surfers on the beach. The staff was once again very warm and helpful.
All in all, staying at the Carlton was a special experience, a great way to spend time away from the city in the city. Every employee was extremely personable and genuinely wanted to help make our stay the best it possibly could be. We look forward to our next visit.
For more information about Carlton Tel Aviv, visit www.carlton.co.il or call (03) 520-1818.The writer was guest of Carlton Tel Aviv.