We did not know what to expect from our stay at the Dan Tel Aviv, but upon walking into the hotel, my fiancée and I were transported into a cocoon of comfort and tranquility.
The first thing you notice about the hotel is the superb location. It’s right on the ocean, and the views are pretty astonishing.
Just the act of walking into the serene and spacious lobby relieved a lot of our daily stress, and the rest of it subsided as the staff efficiently, unobtrusively and always courteously took care of all relevant details. Everyone I encountered there really seems to care.
Tamar Ben David, 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.
The iconic facility has a special place in the city’s history as its first luxury hotel.
The original building was built in the 1930s, starting off as a small pension called Kaete Dan. It was the first lodging of any kind on the beach in Tel Aviv. For a time it served as the headquarters of the Hagana. In June 1947, Yekutiel and Shmuel Federmann bought the building, and adapting the name from the previous owner, formed the Dan Hotels Corporation.
The Dan Tel Aviv is renowned for hosting top international celebrities and making sure they feel as comfortable as possible.
World-famous names on their guest log include Madonna, Barbra Streisand, Lady Gaga and The Rolling Stones.
According to Ben David, the Dan does its utmost to safeguard the celebrities’ privacy as well as cater to all of their needs, no matter what that might entail.
An example of this is a top pop star stayed who at the hotel during her recent summer concert. She requested that her royal suite and the mini bar be emptied of any form of alcohol. She asked that precut fresh pineapple and peaches always be accessible around her in the room. She also requested that her room be humidified at all times of the day and the night from the moment of her arrival.
In all, there are about 280 rooms in the hotel, including 84 Executive Sea View rooms, 34 luxury suites, one Presidential Suite and one Royal Suite. With room rates starting around $400 per night, this is a place to indulge and enjoy.
We had the pleasure of staying in one of the Executive Sea View rooms. What we hadn’t taken into account, however, was the immediate effect our room itself would have on our sense of well-being – an instant switching of gears from “wound up” to “unwound,” without even stopping to take a sip of the courtesy bottle of red wine waiting for us on the table.
Large windows surround the room, enabling us to enjoy the spectacular panoramic sea view. Spacious, clean, light, airy and comfortably furnished, the suite was more than satisfactory, complete with complimentary fruit and chocolates. There is complimentary bottled water, a kettle with tea and coffee and even an espresso machine. The large bathroom contained not only a shower but also a gleaming bathtub.
The “business and pleasure” theme is evident in a number of places throughout the hotel, most notably in the King David Crown Lounge located just past the lobby.
With sweeping sea views, this lounge is designed and equipped to facilitate effective use of the businessman’s time away from the office. The lounge also encourages its guests to unwind with a delicious selection of food and beverages including wine or beer, sodas, fresh fruit, cheeses, salads and more from early in the morning until around 10:30 or so at night.
After a wonderfully relaxing afternoon, we were treated to a delicious dinner at the hotel restaurant Hayarkon 99. The service was first class, as we were immediately greeted by veteran head waiter Pini, who has been with the Dan for more than 30 years. With much enthusiasm he talked us through the wine list and menu. Run by Chef Oved Alfia, the establishment’s enticing menu includes offerings from every major kosher meat group, as well as fish and vegetarian options. What ties them all together is the superior quality of the food, which is based on what is in peak season. The savory dishes are complemented by the finest selection of Israeli wines, both local and international. After a broad range of delicious appetizers, including a Vietnamese chicken soup and yellowtail sashimi, Pini recommended his two personal favorites, the Tournedos Rossini and the lamb osso buco. Both were done to perfection, tender and full of flavor, with the side dishes providing excellent accompaniment. After a wonderful meal, we stumbled back to our room, happy and content.
Our breakfast the next morning was equally excellent. Not only are there separate areas for salads, breads, smoked fish, cheese, freshly made waffles and more, but one has the option of ordering unique breakfast dishes such as Eggs Benedict, French toast and shakshuka directly from one’s table. Plus we had a wonderful view of the beach from where we sat.
All in all, staying at Dan Tel Aviv was a special experience, a great way to spend time away from the city in the city.The writer was a guest of Dan Tel Aviv. For more info visit www.danhotels.com