Netanya’s high-end home away from home

A ROOM with an ocean view – like being on the inside of a conch shell (photo credit: ORI ACKERMAN)
A ROOM with an ocean view – like being on the inside of a conch shell
(photo credit: ORI ACKERMAN)
Towering above the horizon in Netanya, perched by the edge of the sea, the high-rise Island Luxurious Suites Hotel can’t be missed. It is a pillar that like its namesake draws a line between sand and sky.
As you step into the hotel lobby, relaxing music and fragrances immediately invoke calm and relaxation. Upon my arrival, I sat down for coffee with the hotel’s CEO, Sharon Saida, who told me her brother and her daughter both hold key positions in running the place, which makes for a large-scale family business that adds to the comfort you feel.
Rooms
The Island has 137 suites, each of which has bedrooms suitable for up to six people, a fully furnished kitchen, a spacious living room and an office area. Each suite boasts a balcony with a direct view of the Mediterranean. Looking out the windows from our location on the 15th floor, we could see gushing waves and clear blue water.
The walls, appliances and decor all adhere to a modern white-and-black theme, save for the coral-evocative plant in the corner of the living room. This pristine whiteness and clarity combined with the ocean view make for an experience akin to being on the inside of a conch shell, or, as the hotel’s name suggests, on an island.
The suite was clean and equipped with everything one could need for either business or pleasure.
Dining
The hotel has two dining areas, the main dining hall and Emmy’s Art Cafe.
Chef Oded Saida – who previously partnered with Israeli celebrity master chef Yonatan Roshfeld – is in charge of both.
After checking in to the hotel, we sat down at Emmy’s for a cup of iced coffee and mid-morning sweets: tiny chocolate bonbons that were creamy, rich, and not too sweet, as well as sugar-coated, fruity marmalade candies. Later that day, I wanted to nibble something small, and Saida catered to my dietary preferences with a piping hot Catalonian-esque plate of focaccia in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and grated tomatoes, improvising something that wasn’t even on the menu.
Dinner and breakfast in the main dining hall were excellent, no less because of the atmosphere than because of the food. The buffet-style dinner was accompanied by guitar music that prompted the people next to us to start discussing the Gypsy Kings. Of the large culinary selection, the highlight was no doubt the creamy pumpkin soup (which was, in fact, creamless, as the kosher hotel serves a meat-based dinner.) Breakfast, too, was varied and delicious and even included a squeeze-your-own orange juice station.
If you’re not feeling up to dining downstairs, everything on the menu can be ordered via room service to your suite.

Pool/Spa
I spent the afternoon enjoying a blissful massage, Turkish hamam and sauna at the hotel’s spa. I was handed a bathrobe and various lotions the minute I entered, and then taken to the waiting room where I munched on pastries and sipped tea before my treatment began. Besides providing an excellent massage, the spa staff was patient and professional, taking the time to explain to me how to properly use the hamam and, based on that, how long I should spend in the sauna.
In addition to the spa, a large, oceanfront pool is situated outdoors just outside the lobby, and the hotel is also walking distance from the beach.
Everything else
Island has a gym for its guests, as well as various exercise classes one can attend throughout the week. There’s also a synagogue located inside the building. Right outside the lobby is a staircase that leads to the Island promenade: a boardwalk along the beach full of cafés, shops and restaurants from which you can easily hop down for a quick dip in the water. The hotel is situated not too far from several nice bars, including an Irish pub, and the staff at the hotel will be happy to point you in the right direction if you’re interested.
The Island Luxurious Suites is an ideal destination for Israelis and foreigners alike. Situated in the center of the country, just a short drive from bustling Tel Aviv, it is also not too far from the beautiful hikes of the Sharon region. Anybody who wants a convenient location from which to tour the country can confidently book here. Likewise, if you need a place from which to work, hold meetings, or conduct business, the Island’s thoughtful staff will provide you with just that. The seven-year-old hotel, with its futuristic design and familial feel, is a good choice for almost any Israeli vacation you have in mind.
For more information: http://islandsuites.co.il/ or 077-266-6666
The writer was a guest of Island Luxurious Suites.


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