Luxury Hotels


Everybody’s doing it, doing experiences, that is. Hyatt has even launched an entire dedicated platform, FIND, overseen by Amy Weinberg, SVP Loyalty, Brand Marketing and Consumer Insights, Hyatt. FIND offers such delights as a vineyard tour at PARK HYATT VIENNA and truffle hunting at PARISI UDVAR HOTEL BUDAPEST. Girlahead likes the sound of HYATT REGENCY YOGYAKARTA’s off-road volcano adventure.

But it’s not only Hyatt offering experiences.  At DAVID KEMPINSKI TEL AVIV you are experiencing what the 21 million Discovery loyalty members of Global Hotel Alliance GHA say is the best new hotel in the world.  Why?  Well, although it’s a city hotel it is right on the beach – see the view from room 2828, above (and tour the room, below). Get out on that beach, from sunrise on, and join a day-long army of people of all ages, working out at outside public gyms and also playing beach volleyball, sparring with personal trainers, and merely walking, running or whizzing by on scooters or bikes.  Anything goes on the transport side. Where else do you find CEOs, briefcases at the ready commuting along the beach path on day-glo green scooters?

Obviously, with that award, everything is the best. From a business viewpoint, access to the 250-room hotel’s 22nd floor Horizon Club is a must – stunning views and full service, with the wow of being able to make your own icecream. There are copies of today’s New York Times, and local newspapers, and quick laundry comes back wrapped in tissue.

Biz, bleisure or purely on vacation, food is, thankfully, flavour and taste rather than experimentation. You get every iota of beetroot flavour, say, almost as if it was plucked from the ground five minutes before. Breads rise to another level, here.  Yes, the world loves real-French baguettes or Austrian crusties but here you almost feel an injection of olive oil into every variety, be it Laugenbroten orpumpernickel. Israel and breakfast buffets are paired for life and this one sets an unreachable bar. You can also eat out on the terrace, a few metres from that beach.

The final ingredient that must have boosted the reputation of David Kempinski Tel Aviv is the people, its people.  GM Guy Klaiman has assembled – and kept – a team that many must have thought impossible in a city where Gen-Zs are pulled out for military, two years for gals and three for guys, and then the Government gives them travel money as thank you. Pass any work-from-café in the side streets and there are early-20s working on start-ups (there’s a high-spend US delegation elsewhere in Tel Aviv this very week looking for start-ups in which to invest). Who wants to work in a hotel?  They do here, thanks to reputation of the brand as a preferred supplier and word of mouth.  Guy Klaiman has great management support, led by Austrian foodie Philipp Poegl, and the usual Ladies in Red sit in a prominent position. Sadly Girlahead did not meet the oldest team member, an octogenarian telephone operator who apparently speaks seven languages.

Essential praise for a Costa Rican, Alex Bibas, who appears as a genie whenever you need him. He does have a title, Guest Relaations or something, but he’s Mr Essential, everywhere and minutely alert (does he really have any energy left to walk his dog at the end of the day?).  The main experience of David Kempinski Tel Aviv is a reinforcement that it’s people who perfect a place, as here.