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By Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer
We had spent a couple of months in Tel Aviv, but had spent very little time in the center of this bustling city. Most of our days and nights had been spent interviewing for our new book IT HAPPENED IN ISRAEL (2017). So we decided to take a couple of days off. The decision was an intelligent one
Enter Shenkin Hotel where the slogan is “Locals Know Best.” The boutique beauty in located on a quiet street in the heart of Tel Aviv, an area filled with fashionable shops, restaurants and cafes, a short distance from the Carmel market, the beach, Shenkin Street, Rothschild Boulevard and the Neve Tzedek area.
Architecture and history buffs can engage in a visual feast as Tel Aviv has the largest configuration of Bauhaus buildings in the world. Often called The White City, there are over 4,000 certified Bauhaus structures in Tel Aviv, built by Jewish German architects who fled Germany in the 1930s because of the Nazi regime. In 2003 UNESCO declared the Bauhaus buildings as a world heritage site. In the years that followed many of the buildings have been restored. It is in this area that the Hotel Shenkin is located.
“Before Shenkin was here,” noted Yael Biederman Hotel Manager, “this was a health insurance building where they did MRI and ultrasound.” Opened for business in May of 2013, designed by architect Omer Leichter, the Shenkin has all kinds on interesting, appealing and useful aspects. One of these features is the large and comfortable rooftop bathed in sun in the daytime, cooled by ocean breezes at night, was a magical stroke.
In his design of the hotel,” Yael Biederman, Hotel Manager, observed, “architect Omer Leichner had wonderful vision with outdoor dining, a relaxing area, a modern environment.
“The Shenkin is a very high quality establishment,” Yael Biederman continued, “but we are not ultra-luxurious. Our hotel is very young, very urban, and very open. Our team is very young. It knows Tel Aviv and knows how to give our guests insights into the hidden gems of our city that most tourists do not know, never get to experience.”
All 30 rooms have free broadband and Wi-Fi connection, toiletries featuring ingredients sourced from the Dead Sea, modern-art pieces as décor, a flat-screen television, and Egyptian-cotton bed sheets. All 30 rooms have wood floors, modern art on the white walls, sunlight.
Perhaps the only clinker for those of us like to have breakfast in room `or at least in hotel is the short hike to a choice of nearby cafes to chow down. Balancing that is the Spa, in house, deemed to be one of the best in all Tel Aviv boutique establishments. Professional masseuses give Swedish and deep tissue massages, or go over to organic and shiatsu treatments.
After her Army service ended, Yael Biderman began working in the big hotels. “I always loved working with people from different cultures. So travel appealed to me as a profession. This area was old and run down, it was very village, for artists, for people who did not pay much rent. It was the heart of Tel Aviv, West Tel Aviv. I moved into it when it was not what it was like today. At that time most of the hotels in Tel Aviv were located on the beach, parts of international chains.
“The boutique hotel business began about ten years ago in the Tel Aviv area,” the informed Hotel Manager explained. “It is pretty new to Israel. Lots of people were getting bored of the cookie cutter experience of the big box hotels of the chains and looked for a more intimate place to stay. Shenkin was just one of those properties that has come up in the last decade. About 30 boutique hotels have come up. Some have 8 rooms. Some have 40, 50 rooms. All took over previous existing buildings.”
We have more sophisticated, more independent travelers…ones who want to know the country not running from place to place. One who want a unique place in a quiet residential area.
For those who are discerning, the Shenkin is your kind of place.
(Photos Courtesy of Shenkin Hotel)
www.shenkinhotel.com T. +972 3 6009400