The brand new crown jewel: Reviewing the David Kempinski lodge in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is my joyful place.

Although I’ve been around the globe, I’ve a gentle spot in my coronary heart for this metropolis. Maybe it’s as a result of Tel Aviv was the vacation spot of my first worldwide journey as a baby, or perhaps it’s my familial and spiritual connections to the state of Israel.

However both means, town’s vibrant tradition, bustling oceanside promenade and delectable Center Jap eating scene preserve me coming again to this cosmopolitan metropolis.

And now, after my most up-to-date journey, I can add another excuse to return to Tel Aviv: the brand-new David Kempinski lodge.

The lodge has been years within the making — fairly actually, because the groundbreaking was eight years in the past — and the opening has been hotly anticipated by vacationers ever since.


Quick ahead to at present, and the brand new 34-story tower suits completely into town’s skyline. But it surely’s what’s inside that makes the lodge town’s new crown jewel.


Let’s get the unhealthy information out of the best way first: There’s no straightforward strategy to redeem factors on the David Kempinski, and money charges may be fairly steep.

As a Kempinski property, the lodge is affiliated with the model’s Discovery rewards program, which awards between 4% and seven% of your eligible spending as what it calls Discovery {Dollars}. These credit can be utilized towards future stays at most Kempinski properties.

Most individuals will find yourself paying money for his or her stays on the Kempinski. Charges range all year long in accordance with seasonal demand tendencies, however anticipate them to start out at round $500 and climb to over $1,000 an evening throughout a few of the busiest weeks.

Join our each day publication

Usually, when paying for a luxurious lodge, I’d make my reserving by the American Categorical Effective Inns + Resorts portal to get a bit extra bang for my buck.


Reserving by Amex Effective Inns + Resorts unlocks a collection of extra advantages, equivalent to a $100 resort credit score, breakfast for 2, assured 4 p.m. late checkout and extra. The charges out there by Amex sometimes match the perfect out there fee when reserving immediately with the lodge.

Because the lodge is so new, it hasn’t but had an opportunity to hitch the Effective Inns + Resorts program, although it’s at the moment working to hitch the FHR assortment in accordance with Alexandra Mathiot, from Xhibition PR, which represents the lodge. Within the meantime, I might advocate reserving by a journey agent affiliated with Virtuoso because the lodge is already a part of that community.


By reserving that means, you’ll be able to get pleasure from related advantages as with the Amex bundle as a part of your paid reserving — however be aware that late checkout isn’t assured.

In my case, I booked a grand deluxe room (the least costly class out there on my dates) for 2 nights through a Virtuoso-affiliated journey agent (Dwell Luxe Journey Co.) at a median each day fee of $895. A grand deluxe room sits two classes above the entry-level superior room.

In Israel, vacationers are exempt from paying taxes at motels, so the speed I used to be charged — $920 for the primary evening and $870 for the second — doesn’t embody taxes. Locals and people staying on long-term visas could be on the hook for a further 17% in taxes. The Kempinski doesn’t cost any resort or amenity charges.


In fact, you’ll be able to soften the blow to your pockets by reserving your keep utilizing a versatile rewards forex, equivalent to reserving by the Chase journey portal and redeeming Final Rewards factors towards the keep. However there aren’t any two methods about it: Staying right here is pricey.


Whereas I’ve stayed at lots of Tel Aviv’s prime motels all through the years, the Kempinski’s location is maybe the perfect of all of them.

Its oceanfront location within the coronary heart of town can’t be overwhelmed, and also you’ll get up inside steps of the well-known Shlomo Lahat promenade, implausible eating places and vacationer sights, such because the Carmel Market and Dizengoff Sq..

The Kempinski is positioned about 25 minutes from Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) and cab fares ought to run round $40 every means. There is not any straightforward strategy to get from the airport to the lodge utilizing public transportation.

In my expertise, the Kempinski’s location beats staying in close by Jaffa (residence to Marriott’s The Jaffa lodge and The Setai lodge) or staying all the best way in north Tel Aviv on the Hilton. Plus, the lodge’s beachfront location is much prettier than that of the Hyatt-affiliated Norman lodge, which is ready on a quiet aspect avenue deeper into town itself.

The city of Jaffa is a bit secluded from the remainder of Tel Aviv and requires a 30-minute stroll or 10-minute cab trip every strategy to get to the seaside or downtown sights in Tel Aviv.

In the meantime, the Hilton in north Tel Aviv is out of the best way from a few of the metropolis’s hottest eating and leisure venues, such because the Florentin and Nachalat Binyamin neighborhoods.


When it comes to getting round, I’d advocate strolling or utilizing taxis. Very like in New York, parking within the metropolis is usually a nightmare, and the Kempinski prices roughly $50 for an in a single day within the underground storage.


My time on the Kempinski started on a Saturday night in the course of the busy Sukkot vacation interval in Israel.


After arriving on the lodge’s semicircular driveway, a pleasant bellhop (carrying a prime hat) greeted my spouse and me and provided to assist with our luggage. (We declined since we had been solely touring with carry-ons.)


He escorted us into the intense and ethereal but refined foyer, which was the primary indication that this lodge was like no different in Tel Aviv.


The foyer’s eye-catching design continued as we made our strategy to the granite-lined check-in desks, which flank a cornucopia of contemporary purple flowers that gave the fashionable reception space a dramatic pop of shade.


A pleasant receptionist shortly processed our check-in. She confirmed that we’d obtain our Virtuoso advantages, and he or she apologized for not having the ability to supply an improve. (She cited that the lodge was working at above 90% occupancy.)


With keys in hand, it was time to make our means as much as the sixteenth ground.

Whereas it took us simply seconds to catch a trip up, it’s price noting that we waited greater than 5 minutes for the elevator a number of instances throughout our keep.


The lodge locations two elevators on a Sabbath mode (that stops on each ground for 15 seconds) in the course of the Sabbath and Jewish holidays, however we skilled lengthy waits even throughout “common” days.


It wasn’t precisely clear what was happening, however we overheard a number of friends complaining in regards to the wait.


A minimum of when the elevator did come, it provided maybe the perfect views of downtown Tel Aviv that I’ve ever seen from an elevator within the metropolis.


The 34-story Kempinski lodge homes 250 rooms, of which 56 are suites. Most flooring maintain nearly 10 rooms every, making the stroll to the elevator fairly handy.


The theoretical draw back of this structure is that you just’re nearer to the elevator. Whereas our room was adjoining to the elevator financial institution, we weren’t bothered by any noise from the elevator or ready friends, although.


Inside seconds of strolling into Room 1600, I might inform that the lodging on the Kempinski had been in contrast to most others I’ve skilled Tel Aviv, which are usually on the smaller aspect with outdated furnishings and cramped loos.

From the luxurious design of the marble-clad lavatory to the supremely snug king-size mattress, it’s possible you’ll not really feel the necessity to stand up within the morning.


Our grand deluxe room measured 452 sq. ft, roughly 15% bigger than a normal entry-level superior room on the Kempinski.


The doorway hallway was lined on one aspect by a closet, chest of drawers, the minibar and a Nespresso machine, and on the opposite aspect by a floor-to-ceiling mirror that gave the room an much more spacious really feel.

Although the closets weren’t particularly giant, there was a baggage rack with two deep drawers simply contained in the bed room.

The wood-grain desk, snug armchair and huge lamp made it straightforward to atone for some work in the course of the day and at evening. In the meantime, the reclining chair within the nook of the room was fairly snug when cozying up with a guide.

The king mattress was flanked on both sides by a nightstand and classy sconces, whereas the geometric sample on the headboard (with embedded studying lights) gave the room a decidedly trendy really feel.

What wasn’t trendy, particularly for a newly constructed lodge, was the dearth of common energy shops. I journey with adapters, however I used to be stunned that the shops solely accepted European-shaped plugs.


Every nightstand featured a USB-A charging port, however I might’ve most well-liked a USB-C port as this commonplace is shortly changing into the brand new norm.

There are two grand deluxe rooms on every ground, they usually’re located within the northeast and southeast corners of the ground plan.

Ours was positioned within the southeast nook, and it provided expansive views of downtown Tel Aviv and the seaside from two floor-to-ceiling home windows.


The spotlight of the room was hands-down the lavatory. Opening the wood double doorways revealed a marble-tiled lavatory that felt particularly luxurious.

The wood-trim finishes contrasted superbly with the white marble partitions and flooring, and the thick and outsized towels and bathrobes had been among the many plushest I’ve utilized in all my travels.


I additionally appreciated the eye to element on the bathtub mat, which was embroidered with the Kempinski emblem.

A frosted-glass door separated the bathroom from the remainder of the lavatory.


The walk-in bathe featured each handheld and rainfall water heads, and the water stress was glorious.


Particular person-size Molton Brown facilities had been ready within the lavatory, however I used to be disenchanted to see that the model’s signature orange-and-bergamot perfume was nowhere to be discovered.


All in all, the room was one of many nicest I’ve seen in Tel Aviv. It felt decidedly luxurious and on par with what I’d anticipate from a brand-new luxurious lodge.


The Kempinski shines within the big range of facilities it presents.

Maybe the most well-liked of them is the pool, which sits within the heart of a big out of doors terrace on the fifth ground. Open from 8 a.m. till 6 p.m., the oblong pool is heated year-round, and the temperature felt snug each when the pool was shaded and when it was drenched within the afternoon daylight.


There’s additionally a babies’s pool, which was common with households touring with younger children.


I seen just some friends swimming laps within the mornings, however the pool space acquired a lot busier within the afternoons.

There’s loads of seating organized in lengthy rows surrounding the pool. Most have umbrellas and the pleasant pool attendants had been joyful to assist arrange chairs for us throughout our keep.

Whereas the pool space acquired crowded, it was by no means busy sufficient to necessitate arriving when it opened to order seats.

There’s one row of cabanas close to the doorway to the pool deck, and it appeared that they’re out there on a complimentary first-come, first-served foundation.

Due to the pool deck’s association, the world is shaded till round 2 p.m. every day. That’s nice should you’re trying to keep away from the solar, and it means you’ll have a front-row view of sundown should you stick round till the tip of the day.

The views from the pool deck are unparalleled each in the course of the day and through golden hour. You’re simply steps from the seaside with sweeping views of the Mediterranean Sea, so I’d advocate allotting a while to chill out right here should you keep on the Kempinski.


Talking of the seaside, the Kempinski doesn’t have a non-public space there regardless of being positioned simply steps away. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to simply lease an umbrella and chairs on the seaside by yourself. Simply be aware that you just received’t get any preferential entry to seating on account of being a Kempinski visitor.


The lodge’s spa and fitness center are positioned on the extent just under the foyer.


The Okoa spa is open to all lodge friends and the gender-specific locker rooms every function a sauna and steam room. The comfort room can also be out there whether or not or not you’re getting a therapy.

Spa therapies vary in value, with a normal 70-minute therapeutic massage beginning at roughly $200.

In the meantime, the 24/7 fitness center is provided with Precor cardio machines in addition to assortment of free weights and weight machines.

Primarily based on my expertise, there are too many treadmills and never sufficient ellipticals. The ellipticals had been all taken after I used the fitness center each mornings, however there have been loads of treadmills out there.

Sadly, there’s no view from the fitness center, however the mirrors lining the wall do change background colours.

Whereas that covers the facilities for many lodge friends, some guests are in for a particular deal with. Main as much as my keep on the Kempinski, I had heard rave opinions for the lodge’s Twenty second-floor government lounge. Whereas our room didn’t embody entry, I visited the lounge to seize some pictures and inquire in regards to the expertise.

Including on lounge entry would’ve run us a steep $200 a day, however I didn’t must pay something for my 10-minute tour. (Lounge entry is included with choose rooms and suites.)

It didn’t take lengthy for me to understand why so many friends effuse about this lounge. The hovering ceilings and glass home windows drenched all the house with an unbelievable quantity of pure gentle.


The furnishings and seating areas within the lounge had been lovely, and the out of doors deck going through the Mediterranean Sea was divine. I couldn’t think about a greater place to chill out.

Lounge entry consists of a wide range of gentle bites that rotate all through the day, in addition to each alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks.

The premium expertise will get even higher subsequent 12 months with the opening of Cloud51, positioned on the lodge’s roof. Throughout the day, this house can be reserved for friends staying in signature suites, and it will function a non-public pool, lounge restaurant and bar. At evening, it’s going to rework right into a eating bar open to all friends and guests.

Whereas the lodge will definitely attraction to vacationers searching for a top-tier place to remain in Tel Aviv, the Kempinski can also be hoping to place itself as the best spot to carry conferences and conferences.

The lodge has two flooring (each positioned under the foyer) of convention areas, and the rooms themselves regarded fairly purposeful. Throughout my keep, a bunch of Jefferies workers was attending a convention hosted within the lodge with Israeli startup corporations.

Meals and beverage

Israel is thought for its bounty of scrumptious eating places, and the Kempinski’s meals and beverage choices had been no exception.

Lodge friends staying on a bed-and-breakfast fee, in addition to these reserving by Virtuoso, are invited to the Sereia restaurant every morning for a signature Israeli buffet.

There aren’t any a la carte breakfast choices within the restaurant, and people staying on room-only charges or trying to go to the lodge for breakfast can be charged roughly $50 per particular person.


Whereas Israeli breakfasts are at all times decadent, the Kempinski’s is among the finest I’ve seen in all the nation.


As you stroll into the restaurant, there’s a desk full of freshly baked breads and sweets. Different stations serve fruits, eggs, waffles, cheeses, salads, fish, dried fruits, cereals and a lot extra.

Footage alone can’t describe how good the meals was, however a minimum of they’ll offer you a way of the breakfast choices. Every little thing I attempted was of the very best high quality, however some particular highlights included delectable Center Jap salads, freshly ready smoked salmon and vanilla babka bread.


The buffet is open each day from 6:30 a.m. till 10:30 a.m. throughout weekdays and till 11 a.m. on weekends. There are many seating choices within the restaurant, in addition to on the far-more-popular shaded out of doors deck.

The Sereia restaurant additionally serves dinner in the course of the week and on the Sabbath, however we didn’t have an opportunity to dine there. The seafood-heavy menu options gadgets equivalent to tuna sashimi ($25) and grouper souvlaki ($31).

You can too seize gentle bites from the restaurant or drinks from the restaurant’s bar whereas seated within the foyer.

Nonetheless, we went to the stylish Frequent bar positioned on the foyer stage which opens every evening at 6. The dimly lit bar has a wide range of seating choices (each inside and out of doors) that’ll go well with all moods. The terrace could be finest for households and people trying to atone for dialog, whereas the indoor seats appeared higher for individuals who favor a extra full of life ambiance with louder music enjoying within the background.

There’s even a separate cigar bar if that’s your factor.

We tried the Juarez Kick ($15) with tequila, rum and jalapeno, and the Daffodil martini ($14) with gin, oleo and sherry, to drink and sampled some popcorn hen ($15) and burger sliders ($24) for dinner. The drinks had been refreshing and delicately ready, whereas the meals was scrumptious and hit the spot as fancy bar meals.

Throughout the day, you’ll be able to order lunch whereas seated on the pool or from the bar positioned on the pool terrace. Due to the scale of our brunches, we by no means had room for lunch, although different friends appeared to benefit from the poolside service, particularly the Mediterranean mezze platter ($24) that featured a sampling of dips with pita bread and the basic burger ($28).

Lastly, room service is out there 24/7, however we wished to eat our meals at common spots close by as an alternative of sitting within the room. Whereas room service is at all times handy, Tel Aviv’s culinary scene is just too good to move up.

Even should you’re searching for a relaxed evening in, I’d advocate downloading Wolt and ordering supply through the app. I promise you’ll discover one thing for each delicacies and craving.


Word that the lodge’s kitchens are kosher and abide by Jewish dietary legal guidelines. Due to that, you received’t discover bacon on the breakfast buffet, nor will you be provided a cheeseburger or shellfish for dinner. There are many spots in Tel Aviv to search out these things, however the Kempinski isn’t one in all them.


That mentioned, even should you’re not staying on the Kempinski, you’ll probably need to take a look at a few of the lodge’s top-notch meals and beverage shops.

Whereas Tel Aviv’s culinary scene has at all times been one in all my favorites, the Kempinksi’s eating choices mix tasty meals with an upscale setting. What extra might you ask for?


Usually talking, I used to be impressed by the service provided on the Kempinski.

Everybody I interacted with on the reception and concierge desks was pleasant and useful, and our waiters at breakfast couldn’t have been nicer about making ready us specialty drinks or clearing our plates.


I’d additionally spotlight the spectacular housekeeping staff, which did an awesome job refreshing our room twice a day and resetting it again to the best way we discovered it once we checked in.


However Israeli service may be tough across the edges, and regardless of providing luxurious bodily areas (such because the rooms, foyer, pool, fitness center and spa), even the Kempinski had some service pitfalls.

Once we sat for dinner on the Frequent bar, we first ordered drinks, which had been delivered shortly after inserting our order. We then determined to get some meals, and 20 minutes after ordering hen poppers and beef sliders, we inquired as to the place they had been.

Whereas the waitress apologized and mentioned she’d examine on it, she got here again with an fascinating reply. “I checked the iPad and also you ordered precisely 21 minutes in the past. That’s not so lengthy for appetizers,” she mentioned.


Everybody can have their very own perspective on how lengthy it ought to take to organize two appetizers, but it surely was the best way wherein the waitress got here again to us in what felt like an accusatory tone that left a nasty style in my mouth.

I couldn’t assist however think about what the response would have been at a equally priced 4 Seasons or Mandarin Oriental resort.

On our checkout day, my spouse and I left individually. I used to be headed to Abu Dhabi within the United Arab Emirates to attend an Etihad occasion, whereas my spouse was going straight again to New York.


I left within the wee hours of the morning, and I advised the receptionist at 2:30 a.m. that my spouse could be testing for me later within the day. As such, I used to be shocked when my spouse texted me at 3 a.m. saying that the lodge had known as the room thrice to say that I didn’t pay the invoice.

Maybe it was an remoted misunderstanding, however the total image is evident: The Kempinski nonetheless has some work to do to iron out its service.

Backside line

Tel Aviv’s hottest new lodge is properly on its strategy to changing into one of many metropolis’s most interesting, service snafus apart. From the rooms to the facilities to the eating choices, you’re certain to depart impressed with the David Kempinski.


The lodge welcomes you with a trendy, up to date design and the visitor rooms are among the many nicest in all the metropolis.

When it’s time to chill out, the pool and huge out of doors terrace are among the many finest spots to absorb the contemporary Mediterranean air.

From the delicious breakfast buffets to the night bar, the Kempinski’s eating choices are a few of the finest on the town.


Sure, the service might nonetheless use a bit of work, however the David Kempinski is in a league of its personal in Tel Aviv — and the costs replicate that.

When you’re prepared to splurge in your subsequent Israel trip, although, the David Kempinski ought to make an look in your itinerary.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button