Return visitors say they love the sense of history at the Dan, built in 1953 and billed as Tel Aviv's very first hotel. The rainbow-painted rear of the hotel, facing the Mediterranean, contributes to the landmark status—famed Israeli artist Ya'akov Agam designed it. While rooms in this older property are clean and luxurious, their decor shows their age and many feel quite dark. Open the curtains, however, because many offer panoramic sea views and double-glazed windows to ensure a good night's sleep. The leisure complex includes a gym and an indoor and outdoor saltwater pool. A popular stretch of public beach is right across the street.
With nearly a dozen room categories offered in this sprawling hotel, it can be hard to choose. The more newly-renovated rooms have a black-and-white decor that is upbeat and fresh (but the bed linens feel scratchy); many of the older rooms are grander and with better views, but with a decidedly 70s brown-and-beige vibe. All are nicely sized and feature the standard amenities.
Most bathrooms are generous in size and all offer complimentary toiletries; both in terms of decor and equipment (bidet? shower or tub?), there's a broad range and it depends on which room you book.
At check-in, it may seem like there's nowhere to sit and mingle at this hotel; only one sad dark couch faces the check-in counter. But head downstairs to lower level lobby and you'll find a warm collection of chairs and sofas facing the stately D-Bar and ringed by windows offering a beautiful Mediterranean view.
When walking into the hotel, look down -- beneath your feet. The tiles of this hotel's opening vestibule feature signatures of the many famous guests who have stayed here, including Mick Jagger and Bette Midler.
The Dan offers both an indoor heated pool, which is open year-round, and a saltwater outdoor pool, which is open in the summer months and surrounded by deck chairs.
The Dan is one of the only properties in Tel Aviv to offer both an indoor and outdoor pool, making it a great option for swimmers who want the best of both worlds, regardless of the season.
A small spa on the same level as the swimming pools offers massages.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The spa is very small -- only two treatment rooms -- and doesn't offer cosmetic or skin treatments like facials. If you're looking for more extensive spa services, look elsewhere.
A well-equipped aerobics room contains all the basic cardio equipment and is very clean.
The D bar at the Dan Tel Aviv offers a basic light menu for lunch, and full board options, which include hot buffet dinners, can be booked as a package.
For visitors who aren't concerned with keeping kosher, just adjacent to the Dan Tel Aviv sits Hola, a Spanish-inspired bistro with a modern menu and a fresh, young vibe. The Barola cigar lounge, also part of the complex, is a fun late-night spot for men (and women!) who enjoy whiskey and a good smoke.
The lobby bar offers a wide variety of cocktails, wine and beer. Those who want a younger, fresher vibe should head next door to Barola.
Sitting smack on Tel Aviv's lovely beachfront promenade, your best transport bet from this hotel is hop on a bike or use your own two feet and walk along the seashore. But if you feel the need to head inland, taxis are readily available, and dozens of bus lines are found just one block away on Ben Yehuda Street.
Big and rustic Claro (20-minute drive) restaurant, conveniently located in the heart of charming Sarona complex, is farm-to-table and fun; while HaBasta (10-minute drive), part wine bar, part local’s secret, is a superb little spot tucked in the Carmel Market.
Bartenders dressed like pharmacists, drinks served in beakers and a recording of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” in the bathroom: Spicehaus (10-minute walk) is all about atmosphere, but luckily, the drinks are delicious too; with an impressive cigar menu and a killer sound system, Barola (2-minute walk) is where the big boys go to play after dark.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The Dan is a legacy hotel that offers, along with its ample amenities and beautiful views, a real slice of Tel Aviv history.