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by Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer
It seems like this hotel has always been there. And in many ways this is a statement closer to the truth than one might imagine. Construction work was launched on September 13, 1962, just a few years after the founding of Israel itself. Three years later, Israel's biggest and most modern hotel was open for business
There are those who say the Hilton Tel Aviv is still the finest hotel in the city. It is definitely one of the largest in all of Israel. Created by architect James Rechter, in the style of late modernism, it's situated on a cliff in the heart of Independence Park in the hamlet of Tzafon Jashan.
Since its opening day, more than 10 million guests have enjoyed the offerings of the Hilton, a hotel that owns bragging rights to hosting more return guests than any other property in Israel. Some of these returning guests are in residence as often as three times a year. The Hilton Tel Aviv also has more business people revisiting than any other hotel in the country - at last count more than 10,000 of them arriving annually from all over the globe and using the facilities of the hotel’s business center.
As one businessman who returns to the hotel on a regular basis remarked: “The incredible variety of experiences offered by the Hilton Tel Aviv makes it the first logical choice of guests for their home away from home.”
When people talk about great hotels, part of the conversation always gets around to “location, location, location.” A stay at the Hilton Tel Aviv is in many ways about the convenient and central area where it is situated: in pleasing, beautiful Independence Park, with direct access to the Hilton beach and the Tel Aviv Promenade, a great place to stroll. The hotel is also a little longer but pleasant stroll to Tel Aviv shopping, restaurants, and landmarks, as well as within easy walking distance to the exotic and historic area of Jaffa.
Its 560 guest rooms boast elegant marble bathrooms, stunning sea views from private balconies, and comgloballymon amenities include an up-to-date and fully equipped gym and rejuvenating Thai-style spa.
Food is always on most people’s minds when going to a luxury hotel such as this, and there's always plenty of fine food and dining options: buffet breakfast in Café Med, relaxed lunch in Yakimono sushi bar, dinner in the King Solomon Restaurant, for example.
Though not quite the granddaddy of Tel Aviv hotels, it remains a grand hotel that has been around for quite a while, and has kept itself refreshed and up to date, with several significant renovation projects through the decades including a new lobby with an extended lounge overlooking the Mediterranean and complete refurbishment of all rooms and suites (the top floor rooftop floor of the hotel boasts several superior suites, some named for special guests who have stayed in them, like conductor Zubin Mehta, violinist Itzhak Perlman, and sculptor Yaacov Agam).
When the Hilton Tel Aviv first opened in 1965, its policy was to reflect the identity of Israel, and so interior design team Dora Gad and Arie Noy - set apart from many other local designers by their distinct Israeli sense of style - incorporated bright local colors as well as biblical and archaeological themes into the carpets, wall hangings, and general design scheme. : the lush greens of the Galilee, golden yellows of the citrus groves, and violet desert hues.
Stylistic changes since then have evolved from locality to internationality, the bright oranges and blues once so popular giving way to subdued colors that are more globally fashionable.
But all throughout, the Hilton Tel Aviv stands proudly astride the Mediterranean as one of the most famous and legendary hotels in all of Israel.
the 25-meter saltwater pool by the sea
Plaza suite living room
(All images courtesy of Hilton Tel Aviv)