David Tower - a crown jewel in Netanya

July 21, 2019 04:43
3 minute read.
THE DAVID TOWER – elegance with a Turkish accent.

THE DAVID TOWER – elegance with a Turkish accent. . (photo credit: ITAI SIKOLSKI)

Staring at the pristine coastline and sea just across the balcony of our seventh floor room at the David Tower boutique hotel in Netanya, the infamous Park Hotel is clearly seen off to the side of the street.

It’s a dichotomy not uncommon in Israel, where its often-bloody history is recalled through battle sites and terrorist attack locations. It has taken Netanya many years to recover from its most notorious terror attack – the Park Hotel Passover Massacre in March, 2002 – in which 30 people were killed and 140 injured. It was the Second Intifada’s worst incident.

The city’s rehabilitation has been slow but steady. Despite its justified claims for having one of Israel’s nicest beaches, Netanya isn’t the first destination most people think of when planning a quick getaway.

But, only 15 minutes from Tel Aviv and boasting a growing leisure, nightlife and culinary scene, the coastal city has attracted many French, British and Russian immigrants who have injected new life to the lazy beach town. Hotels of every variety abound, but for those seeking a more upscale stay, you can’t do better than the David Tower boutique hotel, just off the town square.

Opened two-and-a-half years ago, the 75-room establishment – large for a boutique hotel but small for a full-sized one – the David Tower is called an “urban spa resort” by its manager, Daniel Ronen. “It’s our raison d’etre.”

The entire second floor of the seven-floor hotel is a sumptuous leisure paradise that includes an indoor pool, heated pool, fitness center, nine treatment rooms for specialized massages (guests receive a 20% discount), a sauna, and a tantalizing Turkish hammam.

Turkey, the Ottoman empire and Mediterranean ambiance play a big role in the décor and vibe of the David Tower. Oriental tiles are featured in the rooms and lobby, illustrations and photos of a Turkish pasha and his concubine grace walls and elevators, the lobby bar features a signature arak cocktail, and shakshuka is served at breakfast.

The David Tower is a hotel most suitable for adults. There’s a sense of entering a quiet, calm space the moment of crossing the threshold from the easily accessible underground parking lot.

“We don’t turn away families with children, but you can’t reserve rooms with children online, you have to call our reservations desk,” said Ronen. “Our spa area is restricted to ages 16 and up, so we want to explain that to guests so they know ahead of time.”

As guests tend to be a mix of Western and Eastern Europeans, businesspeople, and (especially on weekends) Israeli couples out for a relaxing, romantic rendezvous, the frenetic quality that abound in most Israeli hotels is replaced by tranquility.

Half the rooms boast a gorgeous sea view and come equipped with all the amenities one would expect – including a great coffee machine. The kosher breakfast is stellar, featuring a wide selection of buffet items (including fresh-baked croissants) and made-to-order egg dishes and pancakes from a menu.

For guests staying on Shabbat, there is a Friday night dinner in the dining room, but for other meals, guests are on their own. Luckily, there’s a plethora of dining options within a walking distance, including the wonderful Italian dairy restaurant Rafaelli on the other side of the city square.

Guests will pay more than at one of the mass-assembly line hotels. A mid-week stay including breakfast and spa will run between NIS 900 and NIS 1,300, and weekend rates will be higher. There are also packages that include one of the treatments (be sure to order in advance), as well as day visits including spa and treatments.

“We are not inexpensive, but in our quality, we differentiate ourselves from the others,” said Ronen. “We’re a hotel designed for couples to relax.”

Amen to that.

The writer was a guest of the hotel.

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