Tel Aviv

Simply put, Tel Aviv is one of my favorite beach towns. The kindness of the people around you, the ease of stepping out of your hotel onto the beach, the convenience of scooters, the delicious food, and the incredible vibes. Tel Aviv is nothing short of magical. Below I’ve compiled where to stay, eat, drink, and of course — beach! The most incredible thing about Tel Aviv is that most hotels are reasonably priced. You have the option of staying at a very nice hotel for $200-$550 per night, or you can score an incredible Airbnb!


To Stay.

When it comes to hotels — it’s hard to pin point which is “the best”. Unlike many other beach resorts with fancy 5-star properties… most Tel Aviv hotels are nice, but don’t fall underneath the category of the “world’s finest resorts”. Below are my top picks based on staying at the hotel, visiting the hotel property … and in some instances, I have even factored in the opinions of friends!

The Carlton: We stayed here. The Carlton is situated in the ideal location, at the center of Tel Aviv’s most beautiful beaches, restaurants, and just a few minutes away from town. We booked their “Executive Room, Sea View”. This room did not disappoint. It had an incredible marina and ocean view — and was quite spacious. Our room was situated on the 13th floor. Before arriving, I didn’t know they had “Royal Floors” (the Carton’s words, not mine — kind of weird naming convention, but oh well). The Royal Floors are essentially their newly renovated floors. I believe there are only 2-3 “Royal Floors” — definitely floors 13 and 14. When looking off the elevator at the other floors, they were outdated and not as nice. My friends who checked in a day earlier than us changed rooms as they booked a king bed, which had 2x twin beds pushed together. The twin beds were at different heights so they said it was quite uncomfortable. If you are to stay at The Carlton, I would recommend booking the Executive Room — it was perfect for a couple. What I did find interesting (and a bit weird) about this hotel is that they ask you to put your hair up before going in the pool (awkward if you ask me). I also was told a handful of times that I needed a shirt to put on top of my bathing suit after entering the hotel (to go immediately to my room) from the beach. For a beach property, I’d expect they’d be used to skirts and bathing suit tops.

The Hilton: Many friends of ours have stayed here in the past. I have heard great things, but didn’t have time to check out the actual hotel. What we did have time to check out… not once, but twice — was the Hilton Bay Beach Club which is located on The Hilton’s beach. I’ll get into my love/obsession for Hilton Bay Beach Club in the “food/beach” section of this article :) See below!!

The Setai: We stopped here for a drink and it was absolutely magical. The hotel was breathtaking. I learned after leaving the hotel, that it was actually built on the site of a former prison. This chic, upscale hotel is a 10-minute walk from the Port of Jaffa. The Setai is not near the “day time action” that I’d prefer to be near (Carlton/Hilton are in better locations for me) — but the beauty of this hotel may just make you want to book!

Royal Beach Tel Aviv: Don’t be fooled by the lust worthy pool images on the internet. This pool is very awkward to say the least. Upon arriving in the AM, you are uncertain which side of the pool to sit on as the pool was built with an entire structure on top of it blocking the sun. If you like rooms with the option to put on purple/blue lights… this may be the place for you! lol. The hotel has so much potential, but the lights in the room make it a bit tacky. If you don’t have a room facing the ocean — you’re stuck looking at tons of construction. I would say to veer towards The Carlton or The Hilton over this property. The location also isn’t as great as Carlton/Hilton.

The Norman: A gorgeous boutique hotel with exquisite cuisine. This hotel is definitely worth checking out, but the location is not ideal for a beach vacation.

White Villa: Don’t know much about this property, but was recommended by a friend :)

My vote: The Carlton or The Hilton. While neither are the most beautiful hotel of all time — the location and price make either of these options wonderful!


To Eat.

TYOIncredible vibes and amazing sushi. Don’t miss this restaurant!!!

Benedicts: If you love breakfast, and pancakes… go here! I ordered the Oreo Pancakes— they were extremely memorable and delicious… but too much for one person to eat alone. This breakfast was incredible and unforgettable.

Zepra: Delicious, mouth watering sushi. Great vibes, atmosphere, and love the infrastructure of the restaurant.

Remessa: Amazing restaurant in Old Jaffe. So cute and has such great food. Go here!

Yulia: Situated at the Old Port. Amazing food and a great view.

Places I didn’t go to, but so wish I did (there’s always next time):

  • Cafe Popular: I didn’t go here, but my friend who travels to Israel all the time said this is an amazing restaurant. Make a 10PM dinner reservation and around 11PM it turns into a club.

  • Shila: I didn’t go here, but heard amazing things about the sushi.

  • Dinigs: Situated within the Norman hotel. We didn’t go here, but I reallllly wanted to! There’s always next time?! :)

  • Tamaras: My friends dream about this froyo

  • Bucke: An amazing breakfast spot

  • Miznon: Pita-centered top rated street food

  • Romano

  • M25

  • Cafe Noir

  • Dallal

  • Itzik Hagadaol

  • Kuli Alma


To Beach.

Hilton Bay Beach Club: By far my favorite place in Tel Aviv. Please go here and tag me in your pictures so I could live vicariously through you!!! The food, atmosphere, music, ocean…. everything was perfect. Gabe and I loved Hilton Bay Beach Club sooo much, we went twice!

La La Land: Great energy at this beach and an incredible restaurant! Go early in the day so you can score a chair near the water!

Gazebo: Situated in Herzliya, this is the closest you’ll get to a "Greece/Mykonos Day Party” experience… but a lot more chill. Go early and secure a Cabana for the day— you won’t be disappointed. This restaurant/bar/beach club also affords guests the opportunity to rent surf boards. Note: there is an entry fee to enter, because it’s a private club.

Banana Beach: I would skip this one. Wasn’t my favorite.


Bars/

Nightlife:

While I don’t love going out anymore, the below are some of the best night life spots Tel Aviv has to offer…

Secret Garden: Located in Old Town Jaffe, this outdoor bar played great music and had an amazing atmosphere.

Jimmy Who: Bar/Lounge. Dark grungy vibes.

Speakeasy: Cute rooftop spot!! Loved it here.

Places I didn’t go to, but will next time ;)

  • Haiku Skybar: I wanted to check this out, but we never got around to it. Looks super chic!

  • Shalvata: Club near the Old Port.

  • Herzl 16: A bar with casual food, live music and gorgeous interiors. Didn’t go here, but will next time!

  • Veranda Bar


Important Notes:

  • Download the BIRD and LIME scooter apps before you arrive! LIME worked better than BIRD during my trip.

  • Download the Gett app— it’s more reliable than UBER in Tel Aviv.

  • You can pay for everything with credit card, but always great to get some shekels beforehand.

  • Small heels or sandals work