Tel Aviv, Israel

The Norman

Rates from (ex tax)$388.89

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD455.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Belle of the Bauhaus

Setting

Ivory towers

Hailing from the 1920s, the Norman Hotel, in  Tel Aviv’s most culturally dynamic neighbourhood, is as glamorous as a silent-screen starlet. Architect Yoav Messer and designer David d’Almada have revived two of the White City’s original Bauhaus buildings, topping one off with a pool to pose by, filling rooms with bespoke and iconic vintage pieces, and marrying the two with a scented citrus garden. If the concierge hasn’t sent you on an immersive market tour, watch the sushi chef’s practiced slice in Dinings restaurant or get comfy with a cocktail in the Library Bar – and all that jazz. 

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A non-alcoholic welcome drink each at the Library Bar

Facilities

Photos The Norman  facilities

Need to know

Rooms

50, including 20 suites.

Check–Out

Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $388.89, excluding tax at 17 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD455.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates usually include a Med-influenced buffet breakfast and à la carte dishes; valet parking and a selection of home-made snacks.

Also

Ask for a cycling or jogging map if you want to experience Tel Aviv on the go. Adore your suite’s artwork? Most pieces are for sale, so you can recreate that ‘luxury Israeli hotel look back home – bonus points if you live in a Bauhaus original. The incredible wall candy is no fluke – the hotel works with the city’s up-and-coming art stars, and awards a prize to the most promising annually.

At the hotel

Garden, rooftop sundeck, spa and fitness room, concierge, study, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, iPod dock, minibar, Nespresso coffee machine, kettle and teas, beach bags and towels, and free bottled water.

Our favourite rooms

Bathrooms in the Grand Deluxe rooms have space for a full grooming arsenal and a bath tub deep enough for two to dive into. Corner Suite No 23 satisfies our inner eccentric diva, with a frou-frou feathered lamp, subtle shades of pink and hand mirrors hung haphazardly over the bed to admire yourself in. There’s even a circular balcony overlooking King Albert Square, if you’re expecting hordes of adoring fans.

Poolside

If the view of sleek towers and the sea beyond doesn’t make you gasp, this dazzling blue number – with infinity edges running into the sky – will. Escape Tel Aviv’s stifling heat and float above it all in the glitteringly tiled pool, then pop on some shades and recline on a white sun lounger on the deck, occasionally relaying drink orders to the helpful (and handsome) pool attendants. Changing rooms are on the third floor, and the pool closes at sunset.

Spa

Whether you a heady blend of oils kneaded into your skin, a foot rub or a spot of effleurage (long relaxing strokes), the spa delivers. Bring Mr Smith for a his-and-hers treatment on a terrace high above the city. Alternatively, let those urbane vistas inspire you as you work out in the TechnoGym-equipped fitness room. The spa’s open daily from 10am–7pm and has direct access to the pool.

Packing tips

Stow any Chanel wears in your suitcase (or steamer trunk) and brush up on your sushi etiquette (don’t dip directly into the soy sauce, use your chopsticks for sashimi, slurp your noodles…) to pay deference to Dinings top chefs.

Also

All the hotel’s public areas, excluding the pool deck, are wheelchair-accessible. One room and one suite, both by the elevator, have been adapted for guests with mobility issues.

Children

There’s space to spare in suites and a poolside lifeguard (under-16s must be accompanied), but architectural cred and a way with sashimi will excite adults much more.

Food and Drink

Photos The Norman  food and drink

Top Table

Clock an eyeful of Tel Aviv’s after-dark panorama from Dinings’ alfresco terrace. Or watch the skillful chopping and filleting behind the sushi bar.

Dress Code

Rock a hint of flapper or go full-fledged dapper.

Hotel restaurant

The buzz around the mirrored bar at one end of the Norman Restaurant spills over into the dining room with uncrowded, white-clothed tables. The menu is informed by Niçoise cuisine, but there’s a multitude of Med influences. With the sea so close, fish is a speciality, but the 45-day-aged sirloin is a sumptuous substitute. Minimalist in style, Dinings has delicate, Izakaya-style Japanese tapas, and a bar for admiring the sushi chefs’ sleight-of-hand. Light(ish) lunches – brioche-sandwiched burgers, truffled cheese toasties – are served in the Library Bar, and breakfast is a full house of pancakes, fry-ups, muesli, herrings… Try the typical Israeli breakfast with labane (yoghurt), tomato salad and eggs for a healthy start to the day.

Hotel bar

The Library Bar’s most-engrossing read is its cocktail menu – a ripping tome of classic libations and the ensuing revelry. Its vintage bar has art deco detailing, and huddles of leather armchairs make this an intimate spot, but if things get rowdier no-one’ll shush you. Guests get exclusive access to the Conservatory bar in the glass atrium connecting the two buildings, too. Bask in the late-afternoon sun on its terrace, which leads onto the citrus, rosemary and jasmine-scented garden.

Last orders

The Norman Restaurant serves breakfast 7am–11am (till 3pm Friday and Saturday), lunch 12.30pm–3.30pm Sunday to Thursday, dinner 6pm–11.30pm Sunday to Saturday. The Library’s menu runs from noon–11.30pm. Lunch at Dinings from noon–3pm, Friday and Saturday.

Room service

Breakfast in bed – or on your terrace from 7am–11am. Pastas, salads, seafood and charcuterie plates are available till 11pm, then a lighter night menu sates insomniacs till 3am.

Location

Photos The Norman  location
Address
The Norman
The Norman Tel Aviv 23-25 Nachmani Street
6579441
Tel Aviv
Israel

Planes

Ben Gurion Airport is the closest, a 30-minute drive from the hotel. The concierge team will arrange for a car to whisk you to the door (€100 for a one-way trip; free for guests in Penthouses).

Automobiles

Patience quickly runs thin, and traffic jams are a frequent occurrence, but driving in Tel Aviv is do-able. Acquire a set of wheels at Ben Gurion then hit Route 1 to reach the hotel. Leave your motor with the valet when you arrive; parking is usually around US$20 for 24 hours, free for Smith guests.

Worth getting out of bed for

Tel Aviv is a rare jack of all escapades, with a beachy outline, and art, food and fabulous shops within. The hotel’s concierge can map out the best bits for you. Start by wandering the White City’s curvilinear and cubed Bauhaus buildings, including an amble along tree-lined Rothschild Boulevard, home to Habima Theatre (+972 (0)3 629 5555), Israel’s national playhouse. Also within walking distance are the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (+972 (0)3 621 1777) and Bat Sheva Dance Company (+972 (0)3 517 1471) in the historic Neve Tzedek neighbourhood. To the north of the hotel, throughout the city centre and Mahane Rabine, lie grand museums: the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (+972 (0)3 607 7020), the Diaspora Museum (+972 (0)3 745 7800), the historic miscellany of the Eretz Israel Museum (+972 (0)3 641 5244). Learn more about the architectural ‘form follows function’ movement at the Bauhaus Centre (+972 (0)3 522 0249), and swan through the cobbled streets of saffron-hued Jaffa Old Town. Or, rack up a credit-card bill nabbing one-off pieces from Hamashbir department store’s Fashion Designer’s Bazaar, hip homewares at Asufa Shop or all things that glitter at jewellers Agas & Tamar. The hotel’s ‘unique experiences’ certainly fulfil their promise, with trips to Zielinski & Rozen parfumerie to mix your own signature scent with owner Erez Rosen; a tour of local artists’ studios with their in-house curator Tamar Dresdner; or a sensory tour of Shuk Ha’Carmel market. The breakfast tour is a hearty feast, waltzing you through Israeli delicacies: squeezed on the spot juices, Druse pancakes, boureka pastries, home-made pickles, olives, nuts and max-strength coffee – it’s worth rising early for. 

Local restaurants

In the Carmel area, wine bar Ha’Basta has more than 250 wines to try, with plentiful Israeli picks; but it’s no one – or several – drink pony; tempting dishes include crab meat-stuffed boureka pastries in a buttery sauce, mussels cooked with bacon and wine, and some outré choices – veal brain on toast, anyone? Dr Shakshuka, on the other hand, does only have one trick: shakshuka, the ultimate in Israeli comfort food (eggs in tomato sauce with vegetables mixed in). But, that one thing is superb. And Gedera 26, in the Yemenite quarter, serves up Swedish-Iraqi cuisine. 

Local cafés

It’s not strictly a café, but fromagerie Davka Gourmet is well worth a visit for some dairy goodness, Ma'adanai Ha’Carmel in the market has superlative sausages, too; and Lechamim’s seeded loaves and toothache-sweet pastries are bought by the bag-load. The Jerusalem Grill in Shuk Ha’Carmel serves omelettes and salads, and tasty meatballs with rice, and warming Yemenite meat soup is served throughout Kerem HaTeimanim neighbourhood, AKA the Yemeni vineyard.

Local bars

We like the living-room feel of the Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar on HaYarkon Street – cane-back chairs, higgledy-piggledy liquor displays, friendly barmen. Less like a living room: Erlenmeyer flasks filled with curious and colourful potions. Minzar, is an unpretentious, well-loved 24-hour pub in the Carmel area – visit for a good-natured knees-up. 

Reviews

Photos The Norman  reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this architecturally intriguing luxury hotel in  Tel Aviv and unpacked their bespoke scent from parfumerie Zielinski & Rozen and their shopping haul from the Dizengof Centre, a full account of their city by the beach break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Norman Hotel in Israel…
 
If the Bauhaus movement’s crisp geometry and curvaceous forms get you right in the Architectural Digest, get thee to the Norman Hotel, amid a mother lode of 1920s innovation:  Tel Aviv’s Unesco-protected White City. The boutique hotel’s exquisitely restored wrapper reveals abundant inner beauty too – a groomed citrus garden with not one leaf out of place, Islamic-inspired tiling and marquetry, walls heaving with modern Israeli artwork. Some suites have hot tubs on terraces overlooking the city and the beaches just beyond, but if your pennies don’t run to the two-storey Penthouse – with furnishings to set design enthusiasts all a’flutter – the jaw-dropping rooftop pool has the desired effect for less.

The Guestbook

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