From dated to dazzling: Inside Israel’s remarkable hotel renaissance


When I first started going to Israel in the early 2000s, there was a curious gap between the food and drink scene (outstanding) and the hotels, which were… embarrassingly dated. Even in Tel Aviv, the lifestyle centre of Israel, the offerings, especially in the luxury sector, amounted to American-branded concrete behemoths lining the beach.

When, I wondered, would Israel offer hotels that were rooted not just in globalised luxury norms, but in a proper engagement with the country’s diverse architecture and history? The run-up to Eurovision, in May this year, seemed the moment to check on progress. 

I arrived at Ben Gurion Airport and caught a train north to Binyamina, near Haifa. My first stop…

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