Walking into the penthouse suite at the top of the Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya, made us gasp with delight. It wasn’t the jaw-dropping view of the marina and the Mediterranean or the impeccable style, or even the sheer size of the rooms. It was a small blueframed photo of our three grandchildren that was placed nonchalantly on the side table in the living room, as if a part of the regular décor, which brought tears of joy to our eyes.“We wanted to put a smile on your face,” said Suzanne, beaming. “This is the Ritz- Carlton style,” she added.Suzanne – we soon learned – was our private concierge for the duration of our stay. A member of The Residences staff, she was ready to make reservations, guide us and meet all our needs.As part of getting ready for a guest’s arrival, the staff try to anticipate the guests’ wishes. In my case (as I was unfortunately only here to review the suite), it meant going into my Facebook page, downloading my cover photo, printing and framing it.This concept of hospitality beyond what’s expected, is part of the Ritz “religion,” we later heard from Yael Ron, the manager of the Ritz Carlton, Herzliya.The Residences at The Ritz Carlton, Herzliya recently won the first prize at the European Property Awards 2014-2015 for Best Residential Development in Israel.Located on the shores of the Mediterranean and overlooking the marina, The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya offer relaxed sophistication in one of the best locations in Israel. As part of the hotel, owners of the units enjoy full hotel service, including the spa, gym and swimming pool, the restaurant and room services and all of the other guest services. But their stay cannot exceed 180 days per year. During the times that the owners are not at the Ritz, the hotel can market the suites, transferring 45% of the income to the owners.“There are only 15 units left for sale in the project,” says Miri Azouri, director of marketing and sales at the Tidhar Group and Adi’s Investments, who own the project.“Most of our buyers are Diaspora Jews from the US, UK, Switzerland, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela and South Africa,” she said, adding that a few of the buyers have more than one unit. “The owners enjoy the extra income from leasing out the unit as a hotel room, but the main reason for buying is not economic but emotional. They know what the Ritz is about and they want a home in Israel. Together with the location and the services we provide, this is a combination that you just cannot beat.”Priced steeply between NIS 4.2 million and NIS 16m., the 15 units that are still for sale include well-appointed and cleverly designed studios, comfortable one- and two-bedroom family units, very chic duplexes, and three amazing and stylish penthouses. All of them are exceptionally organized and designed in a modern style that befits the Ritz.“I know that the price of the units is steep, and higher than other residences in Israel,” says Azouri, “but there are no locations like this one, and no place offers the Ritz services to the residents. This is it.”We stayed in one of the penthouses – an amazing 105 sq.m. spacious suite on the 12th floor. Comfortable and well appointed, the suite is the epitome of luxury.The sea view surrounds you and can be seen from every corner of the suite, even from the bathroom and the office.The rooms are open and airy, designed in a modern, sophisticated style, with an elegant rich palette of muted colors with golden accents. The floor plan is well designed: there is a wide entrance lobby with a guest bathroom, a well-appointed beautiful fitted kitchen, a living-dining lounge, a glass-paneled office and a pampering master bedroom with attached bathroom.But for me the best part of the penthouse is its wooden-deck porch that can be reached via the living room or the bedroom.The 55 sq.m. space is furnished with beautiful Italian outdoor furniture (two armchairs, a sofa and a coffee table), and a dining table. Stepping onto the porch, as I was day-dreaming, picturing myself inviting friends over for a summer-night dinner alfresco, my husband grabbed a drink from the fridge, took off his shoes, stretched out on the sofa and surrendered himself to the sun and the gentle sea breeze.There are 12 floors at the Ritz-Carlton Herzliya, with 115 rooms on the first six floors, and an additional 82 vacation apartments on the top six floors. The hotel in Herzliya is the first kosher Ritz Carlton in the world, boasting not only the gourmet Herbert Samuel restaurant, one of the best kosher restaurants in Israel, but also a magnificent synagogue.The impressive bar located in the hotel’s stylish lobby near the entrance to the restaurant offers drinks and a rich menu throughout the day. There are also sushi evenings held in the lobby, as well as live music in the afternoons and other special events.We took a tour of the 15 still unsold units and thought all were exceptionally organized to provide comfort for short stays.“When a resident lets us know they are arriving, we immediately make all the necessary arrangements, such as booking their favorite trainer at the gym, stocking the fridge with their favorite drinks and fruit. If they have a car we make sure it is ready for them or we can rent one for them,” says Azouri.Owners are also provided with storage space.“We take their things out of storage and arrange everything so their stay here is perfect and they don’t have to waste precious time,” she says. “We know that when they come here for a vacation, they want to make the most out of the free time they have – so why spend it on anything other than friends and family?” “This is the Ritz style,” says Ron. “There is a whole book of rules that we all memorize, with the basic and most important rule being that our staff, from the manager to the housekeeping, need to love their work and be hospitable by nature.” The writer was a guest of The Residences at The Ritz Carlton Herzliya.For more information go to www.rcr-herzliya.com or call (09)957 8029.