The writer was a guest of the Dan Tel Aviv.
Reminiscent of the customary Friday afternoon mikve
dip performed by religious Jews the world over, I spent the last few hours of Erev Shabbat
at the Dan Tel Aviv pool. Lowering myself into the steaming, bubbling jacuzzi, I got a smile from a rather overweight older Russian
man. "Good..." he said to me as he let the liquid massage relax his body and soul. I gave him a nod in agreement, and proceeded to close my eyes and let the water prepare my soul to meet the Shabbat Queen.
As I got out of the hot tub and found my way to the sun deck with its amazing view of the Tel Aviv beach, I was offered a compliment, a towel, a free massage and some aloe vera cream by the pool-attendant. His eagerness to please and amiable demeanor caused me to wonder if the front desk had radioed him with a description of the reporters who were to be visiting his spa.
The word "good" would be how I would describe the rest of my stay an the Dan Tel Aviv. Not the "good" in the poor-fair-good-very good-excellent scale, but the "good" of Boris from the hot tub.
After a friendly greeting at the reception, I was led to my room on the Executive Sea View side of the hotel. Our eyes widened as we absorbed the full view of the beach, a lovely room with "a classy masculine touch," as my friend Andrea described it, and a "Shabbat Shalom" fruit platter.
After we were left alone, Andrea and I wrapped ourselves in bathrobes, put on our Dan Hotel slippers, and while sipping water from glass bottles and munching on the Shabbat Shalom chocolates, felt sorry for the regular folk on the beach.
After our time at the pool, we got ready for Shabbat and attempted to find a minyan in the hotel. Although there was a synagogue set up, there were not enough Shomer Shabbat guests to fill the quota of 10 men, and we were forced to find an alternate house of worship. This proved quite easy, for only two blocks away on Ben Yehuda Street was a synagogue with a regular schedule of prayers.
As we made our way back to the hotel our mouths watered at the thought of our upcoming Shabbat meal. The buffet meals did indeed meet our expectations. The number of options were enough to satisfy the taste of any guest. Andrea, always one to stick to the basics, was happy with her schnitzel, while I, eternally looking for new adventures, savored the tender lambchops and juicy duck.
Although guest's cell phones were incessantly ringing at the tables around the elegant dining room, also with a view of the ocean, a Shabbat atmosphere was maintained by the hotel. Kiddush wine was placed on each table, and hallot were also available. After a morning of tefila at the shul for geriatrics, we had two more huge scrumptious meals, one which was oddly considered breakfast, and the other, which I was only able to eat after a short walk, a fleishig lunch. Once again, I was doubly impressed by the large amount of salad and meat options at the buffet table.
Upon awakening after our Shabbat nap, we opted to check out the King David Lounge that was available for those staying in the Executive Sea View rooms. The lounge, peopled mainly by American tourists and wealthy-looking Israeli businessmen, offered its guests an option of red or white wine, fresh fruit, sandwiches, tea, coffee and various pastries. This was the perfect place to escort out my beautiful Shabbat, spent in the lap of luxury.
The Dan Tel Aviv, located on the Tel Aviv beachfront has 286 rooms including 84 Executive Sea View rooms, 32 luxury suites, one Presidential Suite and one Royal Suite.
Services include laundry and dry cleaning, cable television, wireless internet, a complimentary daily newspaper and 24-hour room service. The hotel boasts three restaurants, La Regence, Gan Dan Patio Cafe and the Yam restaurant. Shabbat meals are eaten in the banquet hall.
The Dan Tel Aviv has just recently renovated its spa to provide guests with two swimming pools (indoor and outdoor), a jacuzzi, sauna, fitness center, sun deck overlooking the beach and a massage (at extra charge).
Dan Tel Aviv
99 Hayarkon Street,
Tel Aviv, 63432
Toll Free from U.K, Germany
Toll Free from U.S.A: 800-223-7773-4