You know, it’s a great feeling swimming outside fourteen floors up. For a start, you’re fourteen floors nearer the sun, and secondly, the view is just incredible. Well, it is from the roof of The Carlton in Tel Aviv that’s for sure.
On one side there’s the Mediterranean – miles of it disappearing into the shockingly blue horizon, on the other three, the White City stretches out all around, with old Jaffa sitting in the distance. It’s a real bird’s eye view, and you feel just like a bird up there, free and open to the world.
The Carlton Hotel Tel Aviv is, without doubt, one of Tel Aviv’s finest luxury hotels and the rooftop pool area with its gym and health club is just the first in a long line of ticked boxes for me. Its position is perfect, right on the seafront by the marina and just a few minutes’ walk to Tel Aviv’s hottest spot for restaurants, clubs and people watching – the port area. It’s two blocks from Dizengoff and just a short stroll to the beachside cafes and bars on the promenade. Speaking of beachside eating, one of the most important meals of the day in Israel is breakfast, normally a sumptuous buffet feast full of wonderfully fresh things. The Carlton has a separate deck facility for taking their excellent Israeli breakfast. It’s right over the sea with great views and if you don’t fancy getting sand everywhere, you can also use it for sunbathing.
I liked the air of friendly hospitality the minute I walked through the doors, so refreshing for a country not particularly known for its warm welcomes. In fact, throughout my stay, I really felt a personal connection with the staff, something normally so lacking in the larger international hotel chains. Actually, the good feelings continued from check-in to check out. They were attentive and responsive without being oppressive if you know what I mean.
Our room was a good size, well-appointed, with an excellent view of the sea and beach, although I did feel the bathroom and bath were a little on the small side for my taste. There are 268 rooms with city and sea views all with balconies and 10 suites. The top four floors are reserved for Royal Executive rooms. These are larger with great views, of course, flat-screen TVs and exclusive access to the Royal Lounge, where you can enjoy free food, drinks and wi-fi access up to 10.30 pm. The lounge is peaceful and relaxing and the light food on offer is beautifully presented.
While we’re on the subject of eating, all the food at The Carlton was consistently excellent, well prepared and delivered, but their Friday night Sabbath dinner was the high point for me. It’s the busiest night of the week in Israel when families go out on mass and the traditional dinner in the hotels Red and Green Pepper restaurant was a delight.
So, when you next go to Israel and Tel Aviv, avoid the large chains further down the coast and try out The Carlton. You’ll be looking down at them from the lofty rooftop pool and thinking what a good decision that was.
Tell me more about the Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv
Rooms from £170 per night including breakfast.