“We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen” so says Gadi Hassin a hotel General Manager well used to Israel’s high end hospitality vagaries we have all come to reluctantly accept; construction not quite finished off properly, landscaping with the odd bit of piping sticking out and service lacking a simple smile or two.
That legacy is all about to change with the recent opening of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Herzliya Petuach, one of the most desirable areas in Israel. Ritz-Carlton is a hotel brand that pulls no punches on service and style and its stunning new hotel in the Marina ticks every box and a few more besides.
At the heart of the Ritz-Carlton, the spacious lobby lounge floor to ceiling glass overlooks the marina and the Med beyond. To one side legendary Israeli chef Yonaten Roshfeld presents the kosher version of his iconic Tel Aviv Herbert Samuel restaurant, to the other, a spacious outdoor sun deck with comfy sofas where you can site and watch the marina world go by.
Upstairs, the guestrooms have that undeniable Ritz-Carlton attention to detail; highly contemporary with beige and brown tones, king beds, retro wing back armchairs, Asprey toiletries, full on monsoon showers and his and her sinks. The only noticeable difference between room classes is the floor size.
The rooftop open pool area offers stunning views along both coasts towards Ashdod on one side and Haifa the other. One floor down, a luxury spa and gym awaits the adventurous complete with hamam, steam and sauna and an array of specialist treatments from qualified therapists.
Back downstairs breakfast is a total triumph. Israeli buffet breakfasts are of course legendary, but this is a culinary journey of both style and substance; achingly fresh crusty breads, fresh salads, the single mountain of tomatoes some familiar, others completely new catches the eye as does the freshly baked chocolate bread pudding.
After breakfast, the restaurant transforms into the kosher Herbert Samuel for lunch and dinner, offering a surprisingly good value business lunch menu at just 88 shekels.
The Ritz-Carlton may well be the benchmark for Israeli luxury hospitality to aspire to if Gadi Hassin has anything to do with it. I’m pretty confident he will.
Rooms from $200 pn including breakfast.British Airways offers a daily service from Heathrow to Tel Aviv fourteen times a week. The lead-in fare is from £451.75 return including taxes/fees/carrier charges. To book or for more information visit www.ba.com/Tel Aviv or call 0844 4930787