Following a global trend, Tel Aviv’s hospitality map has changed in recent years, as more and more tourists, as well as Israelis, are favoring small and uniquely designed boutiques in the center of town to the large four and five stars hotels lining the city’s shores.
If a room overlooking the Mediterranean is what you have in mind when planning your next vacation, then there are plenty of hotels crowding the sandy strip. But savvy travelers, who value character and design over a swimming pool and a large lobby, wishing to feel the real heartbeat of the city, can ing, Alma offers personal service and an incredible chef restaurant, within a few minutes walk from the hottest spots in the city.
Unlike other hotels in the neighborhood, few of which boast a “home away from home” experience, Alma takes guests on a magical mystery tour, offering an exotic, fantasy-filled experience, very different to what most of us have at home.
Owned by brother-and-sister team Adi and Irit Strauss, (Adi’s Lifestyle Group), the exquisite listed building was restored by architecture and interior design studio Shaltiel Kastiel in collaboration with mosaic and glass artist Lauri Recanati, who were inspired by the original residents’ personalities, histories and styles.
Earlier this year the hotel had reached one of its goals when it was included in the 2014 “It List” of the American Travel & Leisure magazine, rated as one of 70 new hotels world-wide that have changed the international vacation map. Alma was chosen in the High Design Havens category alongside hotels such as the Mira Moon in Hong Kong and the Sparrows of Palm Springs.
Each of the rooms and suites have been specially designed and named, telling a different story, creating an exotic, fantasy- like experience for the guests: Large headboards are decorated with mysterious figures, rooms are painted in bold colors and exquisite rugs cover the floors.
The room we stayed in was eclectic in style – with antique furniture and designer items – the bookshelves were filled with a mixture of modern art and design books as well as old novels and a number of quaint artifacts. The high bed, made with crispy white beddings and plenty of soft pillows, was very inviting and the bathroom stocked with cutely packed luxury amenities.
But don’t worry, despite the pre-war European vibe, modern-day comforts are not missing – all rooms and suites are equipped with super kingsize beds (and one can even choose between soft or hard mattresses), there’s a mini bar, 3D TV, iPod docking station, safety deposit box, lift, heating, air conditioning and in our room there was even an espresso machine with complimentary capsules. Another important item for the modern day tourist is the free wireless Internet access available throughout the hotel.
Alma boasts an upscale culinary experience at the groundfloor restaurant, the Alma Lounge, run by chef Yonatan Roshfeld and his on-location chef Tomer Tal. We had a great dinner there, only to return the next morning for an elegant and very relaxed breakfast.
There is a roof-top lounge that offers an urban view of the area, a downstairs patio with herb beds and sitting areas, perfect for an afternoon cocktail or if you prefer dining al fresco.
The Alma 24-hour concierge services include organizing fitness reservations with a personal trainer and cooking lessons with the top in-house chef, as well as car rentals and chauffeur-services, tours in Israel, wine tastings and excursions, massage-and-beauty room services and more.
Address: 23 Yavne Street, corner of Rothschild Ave. For reservations: (03) 630-8777 www.almahotel.co.il.