Hotel Intel: Kempinski adds seaside sparkle to Tel Aviv

One of Israel’s newest major arrivals offers spectacular indoor-outdoor spaces that make the most of the pleasant climate.

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One of Israel’s newest grand hotels is named after David, so from the start it’s imbued with the glamor of a legendary king. And the Kempinski banner represents a five-star hotel group based in Switzerland. So when the David Kempinski Tel Aviv launched in the spring of 2022, it was already primed for exceptional experiences and lavish lifestyle.

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Now imagine this vacation package in an exciting world capital that flourishes along a sunny beach of the Mediterranean Sea. David Kempinski offers excellent “haute kosher” cuisine, a fine whiskey and cigar lounge, and the lavish Okōa Spa for rejuvenation of the face, body, and perhaps even the mind.

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The hotel’s spectacular indoor-outdoor spaces, an avant-garde amalgamation of glass and steel, make the most of Tel Aviv’s pleasant climate. Glass elevators take guests to the oversized pool deck that overlooks the sea, or to the 22nd-floor Horizon Lounge, where a gorgeous terrace connects guests to the sky and the sea.

The 125-year-old Kempinski Group operates in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and recently opened in Mexico (but not the US or Canada), so cosmopolitan David Tel Aviv attracts travelers from all over the world. I met guests from Australia, India, Tanzania and France, all visiting Israel for business, sightseeing or family vacations.

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The city is a nightlife capital and it’s ready to rock with a One Republic concert on November 8, although the Beliebers are crushed that the pop superstar canceled his October 13 gig. Reflecting Israel’s leadership in technology, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art is exhibiting 40 NFT (digital) works by local and international creators, through December 3.

Modern luxury is the hallmark of the new David Kempinski in Tel Aviv.
Modern luxury is the hallmark of the new David Kempinski in Tel Aviv. Photo by Sivan Askayo

Accommodation: David Kempinski’s 250 rooms and suites are furnished in a contemporary style of muted grays and whites warmed by honey-toned wood, with the drama of floor-to-ceiling windows. Technology shines in brand-new hotels, and the Kempinski sports the latest in bathroom amenities, soundproofing, and touch-controlled lighting and temperature.

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More modern grandeur will soon be revealed, including a striking three-story penthouse with its own pool and gym, and 14 Signature Suites with access to a private rooftop pool and club called Cloud 51.

The sunny lounge of Sereia, one of two kosher restaurants at the new David Kempinski Hotel in Tel Aviv.
The sunny lounge of Sereia, one of two kosher restaurants at the new David Kempinski Hotel in Tel Aviv. Photo by Sivan Askayo

To eat: Executive Chef Mor Cohen oversees two main dining rooms as well as lounges and a poolside cafe. The David Kempinski is kosher so there are separate restaurants for dairy/fish and meat – both gourmet.

Sereia is an airy and trendy bistro facing the Mediterranean, with a patio offering wonderful views of the beach. The cuisine focuses on fresh fish and vegetables and exceptional wines, including Israeli vintages from the Golan Heights, Galilee and even the Negev desert.

Dinner entrees of choice include chilli tuna sashimi; cauliflower steak with salsa verde; Bouillabaisse; or bar with pine nuts, sorrel and cream. Israel is a leader in vegetarian cuisine. So everyday kohlrabi, zucchini, cabbage and tomatoes are reinvented as delicacies, all marinated and flavored with Middle Eastern flavors. For dessert, my table shared chocolate, almond and lemon candies, all of which were delicious, but we voted for the winner to be a frothy panna cotta with an espresso crumble.

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Sereia’s traditional Israeli breakfast is a sumptuous spread of fruit, chopped salads, shakshuka (eggs in tomato sauce), salmon three ways and reinvented delights such as halva, honey served straight from the nest bee and pastries that would rival anything from a French bakery.

The lavishly furnished The Common restaurant and bar at David Kempinski in Tel Aviv offers a menu of robust meat dishes, rare whiskeys and a Cohiba Atmosphere cigar lounge.
The lavishly furnished The Common restaurant and bar at David Kempinski in Tel Aviv offers a menu of robust meat dishes, rare whiskeys and a Cohiba Atmosphere cigar lounge. Photo by Sivan Askayo

For a bolder vibe, The Common is a beautifully furnished lounge — lots of brass fittings, dark wood paneling, and leather sofas — with a meaty menu and happy hour cocktail hour. There’s a selection of rare Macallan Scotch (yes, it’s kosher) and a Cohiba Atmosphere cigar lounge, which is an enclosed sanctuary.

The Common’s shareable dishes include tuna sashimi, gravlax, charcuterie and Jerusalem artichokes, and hearty main courses are sirloin steaks, filet mignon, ribs and burgers, and many nights, a large sliced ​​beef rib.

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Thermal life: The Okoa Spa has 11 treatment rooms, a sauna and steam room, and a Molton Brown boutique for fancy lotions. The Ocean Journey treatment channels the seaside with a warm sand exfoliation and massage that mimics the waves with marine-inspired scents.

If you are going to

David Kempinski Tel Aviv: 972 (for Israel) and 307-76-8888,; 51 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv, Israel. Accessible, Animals accepted. Kempinski Discovery loyalty program valid in 570 hotels of the Global Hotel Alliance. Best rate guaranteed. Some features are closed on Friday evening/Saturday. All cooking is kosher. Shabbat dinner served. Children’s menus available.

Price: approximate and fluctuating. Rooms from 550 USD, including swimming pool/outdoor terrace, sauna, steam room, fitness area, beach towels, Illy coffee in the room. Select rooms have access to the Horizon Lounge, with all-day buffets and premium spirits and wines.

Tourism in Tel Aviv: Tourism in Israel:

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Joan J. Holland