Tel Aviv is well-known for being one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities on the Mediterranean. “The City that Never Sleeps” (sound familiar?) is known for it’s bustling 24 hour activity. Aside from the cosmopolitan culture, the city boasts beautiful beaches, amazing restaurants and cafes, and high end bars and lounges among it’s many amenities. It comes as no surprise that the city has grown exponentially from it’s simple beginnings in 1909 by the Jewish Community of Jaffa into the world-class city it is today.
These abundant features don’t go unnoticed. Tel Aviv boasts more than 2.7 million international visitors a year. Plus Lonely Planet has rated it the third “hottest city for 2011” (behind New York and Tangier) and National Geographic rated it’s beaches the ninth best in the world. Architecture buffs will also be happy here. The abundance of International Style buildings (Bauhaus-era) have earned it the nickname The White City and it became a World UNESCO heritage site in 2003.
The Central Chic Hotel is a bit of a departure from the more high end places that I’ve been featuring lately. But it’s charming and funky interiors just go to show that even mid-range hotels don’t have to be short on style. I love the painted brick walls, the abundant mixes of prints (namely houndstooth and florals), the bright colours and the consistent attention to the small details.
The location on Dizengoff Square, in the district, is superb. The square was once known as the cafe capital of the city but has mellowed out slightly in recent years. The hotel is located within the city’s cultural and entertainment area and is a quick walk from the beach and to many attractions.
Originally known as the Gazit Hotel, the original Bauhaus building was designed in 1948 by Haim Meshulam. The building was recently completely renovated to the tune of 2.27 million dollars and it re-opened in February 2011. In the hotel world this means it’s basically brand spanking new! The 54 rooms err on the small side but most rooms have doors that open onto individual balconies.
The hotel’s concept was to celebrate the culture, art, architecture and spirit of the city and it does this by embracing exuberant (and sometimes cheeky) design. “Love to live in Tel Aviv” is the hotel’s motto – and it shows. The rooms are designed in a cheerful blue palette, with punches of bold florals or geometric prints. Each has it’s own refrigerator, ceiling fan (in addition to air conditioning) and free wifi. The bathrooms are simple in white subway tile and chrome fixtures, and excellently outfitted with good water pressure and fluffy white towels.
The hub of the hotel is definitely in the living room style lobby. A wide selection of books are available, many of them about the history of this century-old city. If the books have whetted your appetite, historic films about the city are also available. This is also where the hotel serves free late afternoon refreshments (5:30-7:30 daily).
A large buffet breakfast is included with your stay and served at the adjacent Cinema Hotel. It’s crowded but it’s definitely worth your time to check this out. There is a large selection of offerings, including excellent smoked fish and amazing flapjacks. Filling up judiciously here will probably leave little reason for lunch.
There is no pool on site but if you are looking for a little sun, the many lounge chairs on the pretty rooftop deck will see you catching your rays in comfort. If you are looking for a little more activity, access to a nearby gym is available for a moderate charge.
Center Chic Hotel also lends out bicycles to it’s guests. This is a highly recommended way to see the city or even just to cruise down to the beach. Don’t forget to ask for a beach towel!
Central Chic Hotel2 Zamenhof Tel Aviv 64373, Israel
Rooms from $161