Tel Aviv is one of those small cities, but one with a big city attitude. With a population under one million, the city feels as big, exciting and overwhelming as New York City or Berlin. So it's no surprise that Tel Aviv has a thriving cultural scene. But rather unlike other major metropolitan cities across the world, Tel Aviv's art, culture and upscale living is significantly more approachable. In New York or London, luxury may seem out of reach for many tourists and locals alike. But in Tel Aviv, where the locals are just trying to live and have a good time, many aspects of high society that are normally out of reach, are easy to come by.
Hotel and accommodation prices in Tel Aviv aren't cheap. Beachfront properties and rooms in sky-rises are hard to come by at a bargain. But that doesn't mean they're out of reach. These four boutique hotels in Tel Aviv offer more than just a well-designed hotel room. They're special because of something else. And even if you don't shell out the shekels to stay there, you'll find the properties still easy to access-and far more interesting than your typical hotels.
Just one block from the beach, the Artplus is more than just a hotel for beach tourists. Every floor, room and suite in the Artplus features site-specific artwork, all of it designed by local Israeli artists. If you're not staying at the hotel, you can still sign up for a gallery visit. And on weekends, the art tour through the hotel includes a meal at their breakfast buffet. The Israeli brunch buffet when I visited included Israeli breakfast favorites like shakshuka, burekas and salad with tehina, all among your basic breakfast foods and juices.
One of Tel Aviv's more legendary boutique hotels, the Hotel Montefiore is located within walking distance to some of Tel Aviv's most important streets: Rothschild, Shenkin and Dizengoff. But more than just a hotel, the restaurant at Hotel Montefiore has been a long-time staple in Tel Aviv's burgeoning restaurant scene. Their business lunch on Sundays-Thursdays offers an appetizer, main course, dessert and coffee all for the price of your entree (from 58 shekels). The seafood pasta and Vietnamese spring rolls I had at lunch were fresh, delicious and authentic. Restaurant reservations are recommended (and can be booked online).
Israel's only Design Hotel, the Brown Hotel is well-designed from top to bottom. Despite clearly being a boutique hotel, the '70s styled lobby, backyard patio/bar and rooftop club are all spacious and provide ample enough room for the many parties hosted in the hotel (including the launch party for Playboy Israel earlier this summer!). Also in the lobby is a small shop-space which rotates among local vendors. The pop-up shop has been home to a chocolate factory and Norwegian cosmetic shop in the past. If whatever's on in the pop-up store, just head up to the roof of the Brown Hotel for some of Tel Aviv's hottest parties. Take a walk through the hotel to spot artworks by street artist Pilpeled, or else you'll find one of his large murals above the bar on the rooftop.
A newer boutique hotel on the Tel Aviv scene is the luxurious Alma Hotel. With only 15 rooms and suites, it's smaller than the other picks on this list, so the hotel is likely to be full even if you're looking to book one of the meticulously designed (and colorful!) rooms. But on the ground floor of this hotel, just off trendy Rothschild Boulevard, you'll find the Alma Lounge -- brainchild of local chef celebrity Yonatan Roshfeld. The Alma Lounge is as famous for its cocktails as its food, so be sure to stop by here and check out the scene in this trendy, bohemian chic lounge. It's a great place to enjoy on a warm summer evening!
This post originally appeared on Adam's travel blog.