Friday, July 24, 2015

The city's new boutique hotels blend
historical elements with modern design and amenities.
Nicknamed "the City that Never Sleeps," Tel Aviv is well known for its
vibrant nightlife, booming technology industry, and stunning coastal setting.
But it's also gaining renown for innovative contemporary design,
particularly when it comes to the city's recent boom in carefully curated
boutique hotels. "Tel Aviv hotels have seen a revival in design within the
boutique-hotel segment over the last decade," says Olivier Heuchenne, managing
director of the Norman, which opened a year ago to universal acclaim.
Hotelier Leon Avigad, who owns the Brown TLV and the newly opened Brown Beach
House, explains that Tel Aviv presents both unique challenges and
opportunities to hotel designers. "It's always a fight between two important
values," he says. "Authenticity on the one hand, and the desire to remain
loyal to the origin of the property or to the vibe of TLV, which is so rough,
creative, and unpolished—and we love it this way!" On the other hand,
hotel designers want to meet high-end international standards. "We all travel
and are exposed to the highest levels of hotels," Avigad says of Tel
Aviv's locals and visitors. New properties such as the Norman, the Brown
Beach House, and the Poli bring these seemingly disparate qualities together
with ease, heralding a new era of luxury design for the modern Israeli city.
The Norman Located in the heart of the White City (a UNESCO heritage site
known for its Bauhaus architecture), the Norman is made up of two historic
1920s buildings that have been restored and outfitted with state-of-the-art
amenities. Interior designer David d'Almada pays tribute to the elegance of
the era in sleek yet glamorous, light-filled rooms woven through with
Mediterranean touches. The hotel also brings in contemporary influences; over
100 pieces of local Israeli artwork have been hung throughout the 50 hotel
rooms and suites, as well as in the public spaces. Tel Aviv's unique mix of
natural beauty and modern development is brilliantly highlighted by the
Norman's rooftop infinity pool, which offers a striking juxtaposition of
city and sea views. Two on-site restaurants complete the experience.
© Sivan Askayo The Brown Beach
House One of the most eagerly anticipated openings of the year has been the
Brown Beach House, a second outpost from the owners of the Brown TLV, a
boutique hotel pioneer known for its retro-chic ambiance, enviable rooftop,
and for being the first member of the Design Hotels brand in Israel.
© Sivan Askayo A modern take on
Tel Aviv's 1950s-era summer resorts, the Brown Beach House is set just a
block away from the water. It features 40 rooms and suites with vintage
furniture hand-selected from around the world and private sun terraces with
sea and city views, as well as a fish-focused gourmet kosher restaurant, bars
and lounges, and even a pillow concierge. The hotel is set to be a cultural
venue as well, with a Sunday residency featuring DJ sets by leading local
musicians and tastemakers, and upcoming mixology workshops, pop-up art events,
and other live music performances. ©
Sivan Askayo The Poli Internationally renowned industrial
designer Karim Rashid, who has designed the Semiramis Hotel in Athens,
Berlin's Nhow Hotel, and the MyHotel Brighton, is making his mark in Tel Aviv
at the Poli, which is set to open this October. Rashid's vision for the
boutique space was inspired as much by the city's role as a technology hub
as by its coastal setting. "I wanted to speak about that new energy
flowing through the city," he says. "You have the strip of the beach, but the
mentality of Tel Aviv is very contemporary. Tel Aviv's culture is all about
the moment and about living life. I tried to embrace that spirit, energy, and
love of life in the hotel. " The hotel's interiors are a warm mix of
yellows, blues, greens, and clean whites. Mini bars in the rooms will also be
stocked with organic snacks and drinks to reflect the city's healthy spirit.
Rashid also wants guests to feel like they're part of the rest of the
world during their stay. "Israelis are very connected and live around the
world, and are very cosmopolitan," he says. "I wanted to make sure that
connection was there, in physical form. " Instead of checking in at a
downstairs lobby, guests will be "beamed up" to the rooftop via elevator,
in which LED screens project the day's weather and entertainment lineups.
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London The city's new boutique hotels blend historical elements with
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