The West Boutique Hotel Ashdod has injected an intoxicating dose of luxury into the sleepy blue-collar port town. Nestled on the city’s boardwalk, the sleek and modern 113-room hotel overlooks the city’s tranquil Lido Beach and offers a peaceful refuge from the maddening hustle and bustle of the big cities.As Ashdod’s first hotel, the West Boutique Hotel – a part of the Tamares hotel chain that boasts luxury boutique hotels in Herzliya, Tel Aviv and the Dead Sea – has taken notes from its sister hotels and comes fully equipped with all the bells and whistles one has come to expect from such high-end establishments.As far as first impressions go, the West knows how to make a good one. Entering the impeccably clean, elegant lobby, with its spotless off-white chairs, sparkling marble floors and bright sunlight streaming through the wide glass windows, makes it incredibly easy to kick back, relax and slip into full vacation mode.The writer was a guest of the hotel. West Boutique Hotel Ashdod 21 Hatayelet Street, Ashdod Tel: 073-286-6866 http://english.tamareshotels.co.il/ west-ashdod-hotel.htmlThe rooms are equally inviting.Comprised of 113 suites, the hotel offers deluxe suites, which are around 42 square meters; chalet suites with wooden-deck garden porches; and slightly larger and more luxurious executive suites measuring some 55 square meters and offering DVD and pampering L’Occitane amenities. Rooms are furnished with sofa beds that can accommodate a third guest.Experiencing a home-awayfrom- home atmosphere is easy when one has a large bathtub, comfortable king-size bed, flat-screen TV and kitchenette at one’s disposal. However, the contemporary and minimalist décor, consisting of bright red armchairs and black-and-white linens, is a constant reminder that, while guests are given everything they require for their comfort, quaint and cozy is not the vibe The West is aiming for.In keeping with the sleek and trim motif, the gym is a quick jaunt away for guests who want to keep fit. And with elliptical and treadmill machines overlooking the beach’s crashing waves, the small gym is a welcoming spot even for those who aren’t fitness freaks. There is also a spa center offering many different treatments, sauna, steam room and a swimming pool.Guests who skip the gym will certainly regret doing so after dining at the hotel’s restaurant, time out Endive. The food, prepared by Israel celebrity chef Guy Peretz, offers a wide variety of Mediterranean cuisine that’s impossible to resist. Dinner at the hotel was a carnivore’s dream. The seared sirloin carpaccio melted in the mouth the way great carpaccios are supposed to. The fillet, which came with a side of sweet potatoes in a sweet chili glaze, was equally scrumptious. While this reviewer did not try the foie gras, my dining companion, who chose to check her moral compass at the door, said it was excellent.The dessert was a chocolate triple – a combination of chocolate cinnamon magnum, whiskey truffles and a chocolate macaroon. It was a trifle too rich and overpowering after such a decadent meal.However, the breakfast offered the next day quickly filled the bill. The sumptuous buffet was a smorgasbord encompassing everything fresh and tempting about Israel’s legendary breakfasts. Shakshuka served in individual ramekins, breads, cheeses and freshly cut fruits and vegetables were just a few of the mouthwatering offerings.For guests feeling a little stir crazy, there’s plenty to do outside the hotel. Paying a visit to the beach across is the street is an absolute must. The soft sand feels like bliss against the feet, and watching the crystal-clear waves crashing against the shore is mesmerizing.Ashdod citizens and hotel guests aren’t the only ones who have taken note of the beauty of Lido Beach. In 2011, the beach was designated by the Foundation for Environmental Education as a Blue Flag beach. A Blue Flag beach must follow strict environmental regulations in order to hold on to its title.Clean water, free access to the beach and available recycling bins are just some of the standards such a beach must adhere to. To date, Lido Beach is one of only nine beaches in Israel that carry that prestigious title.The West is a leisurely walk or a short drive away from the marina, port and promenade, where there are several restaurants and bars. At the Lev Ashdod mall, which is a 10-minute drive away, ice skating is available on the ground floor for guests interested in getting away from the heat and enjoying a fun cold-weather sport any time of the year.Also, guests who are in town on a Wednesday can meander around the Ashdod market and pick up various trinkets, clothing, fresh fruit, vegetables and cheeses.All this luxury comes at a price. A stay at the West Boutique Hotel Ashdod averages about NIS 900 a night for a room; massages average around NIS 350; and dinner entrees are priced at around NIS 120.For those who believe that you can’t put a price on unadulterated peace and quiet in a convenient location, The West is the place to be.