A touch of whimsical hospitality in Herzliya

The Publica Hotel, where there is a time and place for everything.

(photo credit: ELIRAN AVITAL)
At the Publica Hotel, nestled minutes away from the sandy beaches of Herzliya Pituah, business people can tap into their own inner child. From the adorable teddy bear perched on the bed, to a heartwarming message stenciled on the glass shower partition (backwards, of course, so that inveterate selfie-takers can have the words Instagram-ready) to the large glass jar of gumdrops in the public bathrooms, the hotel realizes that even serious professionals can use a touch of whimsy.
But at the Publica Hotel there is a time and place for everything.
It knows that when people come to a hotel located in Herzliya’s bustling hi-tech sector, there is also a need to be able to work in comfort. When guests enter the modern guestrooms, among the comfortable mattress and plush armchairs, there is no workspace in the room. There is a reason for that: the hotel is designed to encourage guests to sleep in their rooms and enjoy the amenities and leave work at the door.
With a nod to Generations ‘X’ and ‘Y,’ it promotes the separation of work and relaxation, particularly in its networking hubs that allow collaboration with others.
In the hotel’s workspace hubs, located on the sixth floor, the tables are long, rather than individual pods, so that fellow guests can interact with one another – perhaps even over a beer, which is on tap or a fresh latté from the coffee machine. In the less-formal style of the Publica Hotel, which is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection but has its marketing handled by the Isrotel hotel chain, these are self-service options.
Lior Raviv, CEO of Isrotel, whose motto is “Hospitality is a way of life,” explained how this newest edition to the company’s extensive list of hotels fits into the chain’s ethos.
“Each hotel has a different style,” he said, “and we work hard to orient that for the satisfaction of our guests. We are committed to going the extra mile – something different – so that our hotels are not just considered a bed and a pillow,” he told reporters.
As for the food, that too, has a functional yet stylish theme. From upscale bar food served at dinner such as tomato mozzarella pizza, gnocchi with chestnuts and parmesan cheese and beetroot carpaccio, guests can have their pick from an array of foods that are short on frills, but high in flavor.
“We serve substantive bar food. It’s filling, but simple,” chef Ben Rafael explained. “The idea is you sit by the bar, have a bite to eat and you leave feeling satiated.”
Its breakfast employs the same approach of providing individual portions for popular morning eats that are straightforward, but tasty. Dishes such as potato kugel in cream sauce, shakshuka and spinach smoothies provide guests the option to choose to be indulgent or health-conscious as they kick off their morning.
Although most of their guests are busy professionals, Publica never forgets the need for relaxation at the end of the day, which is why on most nights live music is offered in the lobby. Guests can unwind listening to musical acts.
During our stay, the duo Fawa crooned contemporary hits covering an eclectic array of musicians from Amy Winehouse to the Buena Vista Social Club.
The hotel also has an expansive rooftop with a narrow pool, large enough to cool down after being out in the Herzliya sun, and which also acts as the perfect backdrop for poolside yoga.
The sea’s proximity to the hotel – only 800 meters away – is an added bonus.
For those looking for something more strenuous, the hotel also offers a wellstocked gym, with trainers on site, state-of-the-art running machines and weights equipment. A nice extra touch is that each of the gym’s lockers has an outlet for phone charging.
Life is hard for the professional constantly on the go, but staying at the Publica makes that reality much easier.
During the winter season, rooms are available for roughly $200 per night.
The writer was a guest at the hotel.