As a writer who specializes in luxury and boutique hotels, it’s fair to say that I’ve seen my share of impressive urban properties. And sunny and vibrant Tel Aviv certainly boasts many spectacular—or should I say, above par?—boltholes, ranging from luxury chain outposts to charming boutique inns. So for a new property to stand out in the hotel-saturated market of Tel Aviv and impress a seasoned travel journalist? That is not an opening that happens every week, let alone every year.
So, without veering into total rapturous territory, I’ll simply say that R48 is not only one of the best new hotels in Israel, but deserves to be mentioned in any list of the most notable openings from around the world.
Moreover, the careful attention paid to design—both interior and exterior—marks this property as a must-see for anyone who appreciates minimalism done well. The building, a striking Bauhaus edifice, has been carefully reimagined by Tel Aviv architecture firm AN+, with sleek, considered interior design from the famed Studio Christian Liaigre, and lush rooftop spaces designed by landscape architect Piet Oudolf, who is best known for creating the magical High Line Garden in New York.
But what really sets R48 apart from other hotels of its class is the enormous size of the rooms; of which almost all are apartment-size suites. You can start the morning sipping coffee on one of your multiple balconies, have lunch at your dining table (definitely take advantage of the wide array of free snacks!), and finish the night in your deep soaking tub, while looking out over bustling Rothschild Boulevard. And while it may be a small gesture in the grand scheme of hotel living; I’ve never experienced more thoughtful and thorough turndown service than at this hotel: Every pair of socks folded, every cord wrapped, and even a delightful digestif waiting for me after dinner.
Finally, regardless of how late of a night you may have had, make sure to wake up in time for the superb breakfast service. Each meal begins with a basket of shatter-crisp pastries and hearty bread, local cheeses, and fresh fruit, plus your choice of an entree like rich, white chocolate pancakes or a delicate smoked mackerel. There may be no more delicious fuel for a day of exploring dynamic Tel Aviv than this.
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
The vibe: Like you’re staying in your coolest friend’s jaw-droppingly swank apartment (who just happens to have incredible taste in snacks).
Our favorite thing about the hotel: The enormous glass elevator that’s outfitted with a chair and table to take in the view.
Food and drink: Chef’s Table, which serves freshly baked pastries, fruit, and egg dishes for breakfast, and a dinner menu influenced by Far East, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines.
Amenities: Rooftop pool, on-site restaurant and bar
Any neighborhood recs?: R48 is located on Rothschild Boulevard, which is incredibly centrally located. Two of the city’s best spots for brunching are located just a few blocks away: Santa Katarina and Benedict, and you’re also within walking distance to the uber-chic neighborhood of Neve Tzedek and the famed Shuk Hacarmel (Carmel Market).
Rooms: 11 suites
Pricing: Starts at $1,500 per night
Nearest Airport: Ben Gurion Airport, about a 25-minute drive
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