Nice Hotel in a surprising city
The Hilton Tel-Aviv is very nice and modern, with an awesome beach and a very nice pool area. Located within walking distance of the boardwalk with many trendy restaurants and discos, it is good value in a place that you must see to understand... it's not what you see on TV!
A full-day rental of a taxi to and from Jerusalem costs about 200$US, so not too bad if you split it three or four ways. Jerusalem is a must see.
The rooms are decent sized, closer to North American standards than European hotels. Conference rooms are fine and well appointed.
A note however: The hotel is quite kosher, to cater to their Orthodox clientele. This means that elevators are complicated on Saturdays (the "Shabbat Elevator" stops on every floor automatically, so people don't have to push buttons) and powerpoint presentations are not allowed during Shabbat. A bit odd from my viewpoint, but discovering different cultures is part of the fun of travelling!
I remember reading in a local Israeli newspaper that the Hilton Tel-Aviv is one of the most expensive Hilton's in Europe. Only a few Hiltons were more expensive. There is only one reason to ever go to this hotel: somebody else paid. The hotel is way too dark for my liking and the price doesn't make sense at all. For less you can stay at the David Intercontinental which is a bit south of the Hilton but newer, brighter, and cheaper if memory serves me right. I also found that most of the guests come to this hotel just because they don't know much about the other hotels in Tel-Aviv and just want to be sure that they didn't book some dump. The rooms are clean, the hotel has many services available and some great restaurants. All in all everything was okay during my stay at the hotel but after have previous experience with other Tel-Aviv hotels I realised that the only thing extra you are getting with your money is the Hilton name.
loved the hilton
after reading the reviews, i was very skeptical about staying at the hilton. However, we used points and were very happy with our stay. The staff was all helpful and especially in the concierge room. The business center was great and the location was perfect. It was a short walk to the old port which has great restaurants and it is right on the beach.
Misleading - suites!
We booked a 2 bedroom suite, only to discover that this meant a 2 queen-size bed larger room!
Ridiculous and misleading, especially as it was more expensive than 2 inter-leading rooms, which we eventually managed to renegotiate.
House-keeping is good but pretty much everything else is overpriced relative to service and quality levels.
The best thing going for the hotel is its great position on the beach front and relative privacy.
My 4th stay, very decent with SNAFUs
In 2004 I wrote a review because the hotel was the best experience I'd ever had! This was my 4th visit. I really do like the place The room was comfortable and whenever equipment broke, someone came to address it, even if it couldn't be fixed pronto. I'll probably stay here again because it is good.
HOWEVER, this time I arrived from Sn Francisco, naturally tired from 20 hrs of travel only to find I had to shlep around the hotel for a nonsmoking room.
I confirmed my travel agent several times to ensure I got a nonsmoking room. On arrival, I again asked the front desk clerk who registered to please check that I was getting a NONsmoking room. "Yes, yes, it's all written down here, this is a nonsmoking toom. "he said.
Of course getting to the room it smelled of stale smoke, had (clean, empty) ashtrays all over but clearly designed for smoking guests. Called front desk and the woman said "oh, Olivier checked you in, I can't help you, you can only speak to him. After being on hold for several minutes, I finally had to go back down, wait in line at the reception and then got a new room.
In-room security safe didn't close, repair man insisted it was the battery, stayed on the phone with his superviser who walked him trhough steps to test and test again' My Israeli friend said "look, switch out the safe and repair it on your own time, we need to get to dinner and don't want our valuables loose here." No, they wouldn't or couldn't because all safes were in use and the next morning they would bring a large safe on wheels to hold me till they could replace the basic one. In the meantime they said I'd have to use the safe at the reception desk. However that safe was not large enough for my laptop. In the end I just didn't secure my laptop until they brought a large safe into my room the next morning.
Room mini-refrigerator was full of drinks, but they were warm. The device did not refrigerate. Repair man looked it over said someone would come later to switch it. No one ever came during my 7 days.
My floor had many families with children. Boys were racing up and down the corridors, banging on some doors including mine and making a lot of noise Friday night. Several of us on the floor called operator who sent a security guard to talk to the kids who lied and denied it. These parents apparently left their 4 kids in the room alone. (ages 12-14ish) security guard kept telling them that it had to stop. It did seem to help, however it had been ongoing for several nights already. I guess this could happen in any hotel.
I observed a potentially dangerous swimming pool situation with apparent lack of guards or supervision, other than employees outside lockerroom providing towels. Normally I swim laps there early in the morning before it was too crowded. Later there were lots of children and pre-teens darting around in the late morning early afternoon. Lap swimming was less practical.
I had to personally tell a boy to stop repeatedly holding a little girl's head under the water. (he protested, Hey she's my cousin) as if that makes it all right. I remain disturbed that no lifeguard saw this danger or stopped it. Let alone that parents didn't seem required to monitor their own kids.
It was expensive since this was August, and hotel was crowded with French vacationers. Elevators took a while to come. Price for single room as $330 per night (lowered from $360 if because I chose a lower rate with breakfast *not* included. )
Despite steep fees, I was surprised that internet service (wired or wireless) on one's own laptop costs an extra $20 per 24 hrs. Their wireless service was fairly weak and kept cutting off. When I called for support they suggested that they could just bring in an ethernet cable which would be more stable than wirelss. The nice clerk arrived with a 4 foot cable and said I had to sign an agreement to leave a $100 deposit! He told me "I didn't make the rules."
On the positive side: EXCELLENT location beside the lovely Gan HaAtzmaut and central Dizengoff area. EXCELLENT and UNIQUE salt-water 80 foot pool. Very good maid, porter and bell-boy service. Every room has a view.
Staff were really great about speaking to me in Hebrew.
I WILL stay here again, but want to share my little annoyances with readers so that they'll know what to expect. I've stayed at the T. A. Renaissance which was all-right and utilitarian, but less of a class experience with less front desk staff, tackier furnishings smaller, less "designed" lobby.