(photo credit: Courtesy)
It was a true delight last week to discover a great boutique hotel that is simply perfect for couples. Nestled in the Tel Aviv Yemenite Quarter neighborhood, is the Eden House. Definitely not Yemenite, the Eden House is, instead, a Russian hotel designed with luxury and comfort in mind.
Walking down Yishkon Street, one would never guess that such a place exists. The exterior looks just like any of the other buildings lining the way. But, once you've found it and have entered, an entirely new vision unfolds.
Hearkening back to earlier parts of the 20th Century, the walls are alive with vibrant pink colors and patterns. The mirrors, chandeliers and lights upon the walls that are reminiscent of oil lamps fill the place. Cherubs of various sizes are everywhere. Soft couches and chairs with even softer pillows line the entrance along one wall on the left, while the hotel's dining room is immediately to the right. Wonderful aromas of coffee, various foods and desserts fill the air.
When asked, the hotel's owners, a pair of Russian businessmen, Sergey Solovyov and Michael Ustinov told me that the aim was to make guests feel all the comforts of home. When I asked what sort of home, Sergey's eyes lit up as he explained the look and feel of many Russian homes during the 1960's...particularly his grandmother's home.
Indeed, when one looks at the china tea sets used in the dining room combined with the look and feel of everything else, I had to admit there was something about it that reminded me of my grandmother too. A feeling of nostalgia definitely resides at the Eden House!
My partner and I enjoyed the executive suite while there. There are two ways to get to all the hotel's rooms which are on the upper floors. One option is to take a spiral staircase, which is very nicely decorated with flowers and vines, but that is rather steep. Taking the elevator is the other option. For guests that have problems with their knees, the elderly, or for those who perhaps have had a glass of wine too many in the dining room, the elevator is the safer choice.
The level of comfort in our suite was exquisite. There was a large king sized bed that had a mattress one could sleep on, non-stop, for days. A large antique looking wardrobe sat in one corner and was quite suitable for hanging up clothes with plenty of space. Inside, there were large, fluffy, white bath robes and slippers ready for the moment you step out of the incredibly deep bathtub that also resides in the room. Oils, shampoos and various soaps lie set out ready for immediate use and each has the arousing, refreshing scent of lemon or another essential oil.
Of course, there was every modern amenity as well. A large, flat-screen television adorned one wall and the number of channels available was truly dizzying. I actually went through them all and I believe there was well over a thousand. A balcony attached to the executive suite completed the room. With a small table and two chairs, overlooking Yishkon Street below, the balcony was a lovely place to take a morning coffee. Room service, is of course, only a phone call away.
Just one, slight hiccup occurred the next morning when there was a small problem with the hot water to the shower. It was ice cold. However, the staff was very helpful and honestly caring. A call down to the lobby and we were assured they would do everything they could to rectify the issue. Although it took about thirty minutes or so, in the end patience was a virtue. Hot water began pouring and we were able to get in our morning showers.
Breakfast made up for the slightly annoying shower issue. The chef was amazing, the service wonderful, and the food absolutely delicious. From Eggs Benedict, to a traditional Israeli breakfast, to more European croissants and so on, the selections were very tasteful and satisfying.
On the way out, we made sure to ask about various activities in the area. In fact, we learned that when making a reservation there is the option of letting the hotel know a bit about personal interests in advance. They'll make up a list of restaurants and fun places to go throughout the area.
Some things that bear mentioning are the facts that the hotel does not allow pets or children under the age of twelve. It’s also worth calling to ask about parking if not arriving by foot or by taxi. With that said, the place is a dream for those romantically inclined. Prices run from $175.00 to $399.00 per night which is quite reasonable considering the amount of pampering to be enjoyed there.
Overall, the experience was quite satisfying and Eden House, a hidden gem that couples should take advantage of.Will Blesch is a Travel Writer and Copywriter www.willblesch.com