Review: Sheraton Tel Aviv

Introduction: An Amazing Week In Israel With My Parents
Review: The Adelaide Hotel Toronto (Former Trump Hotel, Future St. Regis)
Review: Porter Airlines Lounge At Toronto Billy Bishop Airport
Review: Porter Airlines Economy Toronto To Newark
Review: Marriott Newark Airport
Review: Art & Lounge Newark Airport
Review: EL AL Business Class 787 Newark To Tel Aviv
Review: Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem
Review: Sheraton Tel Aviv
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For our last four days in Israel we decided to stay at the Sheraton Tel Aviv. This is the only Starwood or Hyatt property in Tel Aviv, and since we needed two rooms, I was happy about getting eight elite qualifying nights for the stay (since with Starwood you can earn elite qualifying nights for up to three rooms).

I knew going in this wouldn’t be the world’s best hotel, but it still looked like it would do the trick. Tel Aviv isn’t an especially cheap hotel market, and I ended up booking using the Citi Prestige fourth night free benefit. The nightly rate would have been $300, so in the end I paid about $225 per room per night, which isn’t too bad.

For reference, this is a Category 5 SPG property, so a free night would have cost 12,000 Starpoints. I value Starpoints at ~2.2 cents each, so paying cash was the better value.

The Sheraton is located along one of the main stretches of beach in Tel Aviv, and the exterior looks pretty dated.


Sheraton Tel Aviv exterior

One thing that surprised me about Israel was the lack of security checks at hotels. There are lots of countries with security “theatre” at hotels, where you have to go through metal detectors, etc., but that wasn’t the case at any of the hotels we visited in Israel.

The lobby was reasonably nice, with the reception desk to the left and the lobby lounge to the right. Since I’m a Platinum member, we were invited to go up to the club lounge for check-in.


Sheraton Tel Aviv lobby


Sheraton Tel Aviv lobby lounge

Past the lobby lounge and enroute to the elevators was the business center.


Sheraton Tel Aviv business center

Then past that were the elevators.


Sheraton Tel Aviv elevators

The club is on the 18th floor, and once there we were checked in within minutes. We were assigned two rooms on the 11th floor — one deluxe suite, and one standard room.

The guest room hallways in the hotel are… sad, and sort of feel like something you’d find on a cruise ship.


Sheraton Tel Aviv hallway

As far as the rooms go, let’s start with the suite. The suite was #1103, located at the end of the hallway.


Sheraton Tel Aviv deluxe suite room exterior

On the plus side, the suite was really spacious. Unfortunately it wasn’t especially modern or luxurious, though. Inside the entryway was the living room, which had a couch and chair around a coffee table with a wall mounted TV, as well as a desk with three chairs closer to the entrance (which I suppose could double as a dining table).


Sheraton Tel Aviv deluxe suite living room


Sheraton Tel Aviv deluxe suite living room


Sheraton Tel Aviv deluxe suite living room TV


Sheraton Tel Aviv deluxe suite living room

Then there was a half bathroom near the entrance.


Sheraton Tel Aviv deluxe suite half bathroom

From the living room was a door leading to the bedroom, which had an unusual shape. It had the brand standard Sheraton bed, which was comfortable, and faced a wall-mounted TV.


Sheraton Tel Aviv deluxe suite bedroom


Sheraton Tel Aviv deluxe suite bedroom

The bathroom was large though not very functionally designed. It had double sinks, a shower/tub combo, and then a walk-in shower.


Sheraton Tel Aviv deluxe suite bathroom


Sheraton Tel Aviv deluxe suite bathroom double sinks

I was confused by the suite having both a shower/tub combo and a walk-in shower.


Sheraton Tel Aviv deluxe suite shower/tub combo

I initially used the walk-in shower, though it kept overflowing due to the lack of a barrier separating it from the rest of the bathroom.


Sheraton Tel Aviv deluxe suite shower

The toiletries were from “Sea Of Spa,” which is a brand I’m not familiar with, though I quite liked them.


Sheraton Tel Aviv toiletries

The highlight of the room was the gorgeous view. The room had a balcony you could walk onto, though it wasn’t big enough to actually have any chairs.


Sheraton Tel Aviv deluxe suite view

The second room was #1119, and it was located on the opposite side of the floor.


Sheraton Tel Aviv room exterior

The room had an entryway with the bathroom to the left and closets to the right.


Sheraton Tel Aviv room entryway

The room also featured a king size bed, and then further into the room was a loveseat that I believe could also be converted into a bed if needed.


Sheraton Tel Aviv king room


Sheraton Tel Aviv king room

Across from the couch was a desk with a chair.


Sheraton Tel Aviv king room desk

Both of the rooms featured in-room Illy coffee machines and minibars.


Sheraton Tel Aviv in-room Illy coffee machine


Sheraton Tel Aviv in-room minibar

This room also had a small balcony, with views of the city and beach.


Sheraton Tel Aviv room balcony


Sheraton Tel Aviv room view

If you looked straight down you could see the hotel’s pool.


Sheraton Tel Aviv room view

The bathroom in this room was a bit smaller, and had a sink, toilet, and shower/tub combo.


Sheraton Tel Aviv king room bathroom


Sheraton Tel Aviv king room toilet


Sheraton Tel Aviv king room shower

Overall I thought the rooms were large and had great views, though weren’t especially modern or luxurious. Still, we didn’t spend all that much time in our rooms, so that wasn’t an issue. Wifi in the rooms was fast and free, so I had no issues working during our stay.

One area of the hotel that really impressed was the club lounge. I had access to this on account of my SPG Platinum status, and then we had access for the second room using the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. Sheraton club lounge access for cardmembers is a heck of a perk.

Here’s the welcome letter explaining all the club lounge privileges:


Sheraton Tel Aviv club lounge information

Here’s a welcome letter explaining the SPG Platinum amenities:


Sheraton Tel Aviv Platinum benefits

As mentioned above, the club lounge is located on the 18th floor, and is a good size. It features both dining tables and a few couches, as well as a small outdoor terrace.


Sheraton Tel Aviv club lounge


Sheraton Tel Aviv club lounge


Sheraton Tel Aviv club lounge

The lounge also had views of the city and beach.


Sheraton Tel Aviv club lounge view

Most club lounges just have a substantial food selection in the morning and evening, but the Sheraton had a selection all day. From 12PM until 6PM there were a variety of snacks and drinks, including beer, wine, and liquor. I’ll let the pictures speak mostly for themselves.


Sheraton Tel Aviv club lounge drink selection 


Sheraton Tel Aviv club lounge afternoon service


Sheraton Tel Aviv club lounge drink selection 


Sheraton Tel Aviv club lounge drink selection 


Sheraton Tel Aviv club lounge drink selection 


Sheraton Tel Aviv club lounge snacks


Sheraton Tel Aviv club lounge snacks


Sheraton Tel Aviv club lounge snacks


Sheraton Tel Aviv club lounge afternoon service


Sheraton Tel Aviv club lounge afternoon service


Sheraton Tel Aviv club lounge afternoon service


Sheraton Tel Aviv club lounge afternoon service

The dinner service was from 6PM until 8:30PM. In addition to the above, there was a large selection of salads, soup, hot dishes, etc.


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge evening snacks


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge evening snacks


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge evening snacks


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge evening snacks


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge evening snacks


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge evening snacks


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge evening snacks


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge evening snacks


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge evening snacks

Then from 8:30PM until 11PM there was a separate dessert service.


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge dessert


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge dessert


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge dessert

Breakfast was served in the lounge daily from 6:30AM until 11AM. The selection was quite good, though as a relative matter wasn’t as over the top as the food presentations the rest of the day.


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge breakfast


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge breakfast


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge breakfast


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge breakfast


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge breakfast


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge breakfast


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge breakfast


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge breakfast


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge breakfast


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge breakfast


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge breakfast


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge breakfast

In addition to an extensive buffet, there was also a station with custom made eggs.


Sheraton Tel Aviv executive lounge omelet station

While club guests are entitled to have breakfast in the lounge, as a Platinum member I could select restaurant breakfast as my welcome amenity (in lieu of 500 Starpoints). I value 500 Starpoints at ~$11, so sure, I’d pay $11 to be able to have a superior breakfast in the restaurant every morning. Usually restaurant breakfast is significantly better than lounge breakfast, though that wasn’t the case here.


Sheraton Tel Aviv breakfast restaurant

I won’t post a bunch of pictures, but take my word for it that this isn’t a terribly impressive breakfast spread. The lounge has a much better than average spread, while the restaurant has a worse than average spread, in my opinion. So we went there the first day, but otherwise we had breakfast in the lounge.


Sheraton Tel Aviv breakfast restaurant — Kum Kum

In terms of the hotel’s other features, one level above the lobby are the pool, gym, and spa. The pool is a good size, and the deck has a view of the beach.


Sheraton Tel Aviv pool

The gym wasn’t impressive, and while it featured a good amount of equipment, it felt cluttered.


Sheraton Tel Aviv gym


Sheraton Tel Aviv gym

There’s also access to the beach from two floors below the lobby. It’s not direct access, which is to say that you still have to walk across the street to get there.


Sheraton Tel Aviv beach access


Sheraton Tel Aviv beach access

It’s a lovely beach, though unfortunately we didn’t have any time to use it.


Sheraton Tel Aviv beach

Bottom line

There were aspects of the Sheraton Tel Aviv that I loved, and also some opportunities for improvement. On the plus side, the Sheraton Tel Aviv has spacious rooms, a good location, nice views, and a phenomenal club lounge. I’d say it’s the nicest Sheraton club lounge I’ve ever visited. Tel Aviv is an amazing food city so in general I’d recommend against having your meals in the lounge, though in our case that ended up being valuable — we spent 12 hours a day touring, and by the time we got back to the hotel I needed to work, and the club lounge was the perfect venue from which to do so.

Other than that, though, this isn’t an especially luxurious hotel. The rooms feel dated, and sooner or later they’ll need a renovation.

Still, as of now it’s the only Starwood or Hyatt hotel in Israel, so for me it was the natural option. The reality is that we ended up spending almost no time in the room as we spent hours and hours touring every day, so this is a market where the quality of a hotel doesn’t matter as much to me as it might elsewhere.

There’s a W Hotel expected to open in Tel Aviv next year, so I’d check that out next time I visit in order to compare.

Does anyone have a favorite Tel Aviv hotel?

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Comments

  1. Go for the IC David next time. Definitely more luxurious, 2 club lounges, and fantastic breakfast. In my experience, they also treat Ambassadors nicely. I was offered a triple upgrade from standard room to refurbished Executive Room, and this on an Ambassador Free Weekend Certificate rate.

  2. As a minimalist, I find the decor much more soothing than most luxury hotels. I would find that suite nice, although the angle of the bed might drive me insane.

  3. You got the older rooms. When I stayed there my room was very modern and beautiful.
    Also, I am surprised by your description of the breakfast at Kum Kum. To me it was impressive and much better that the one in the lounge. The chef would come to us and made us special plates for us to taste, besides the multiple cheeses and dairy dishes in general, fish, and everything you could ask from a breakfast. It was more like a very complete brunch.
    Shalom

  4. “Still, as of now it’s the only Starwood or Hyatt hotel in Israel, so for me it was the natural option.” It amazes me that US bloggers NEED to stay at SPG or Hyatt everywhere even if they are not the best option.

  5. @Lucky, did you book both rooms with your citi prestige card or do your parents have cards too? I thought it’s one 4th night free benefit per account.

  6. I’ve stayed there and it’s run-down and reminds me of a Courtyard/Four Points especially with the tacky furniture.

    The restaurant staff need to learn how to handle food with the use of gloves. I witnessed two employees picking up food with their bare hands.

    The only plus at this property is the evening spread in the lounge.

  7. As @Manny said, the Elma is gorgeous and a lot newer. It’s not in Tel Aviv, but it’s a fantastic hotel with a great breakfast buffet. It’s secluded and a great place for relaxing.

  8. Ben, were you staying at the Sheraton over Shabbat (Friday night and Saturday)? Do you remember how the buffet in the lounge differed, if at all, on Shabbat? Thanks.

  9. Israel (TLV and JLM in particular) are going through a boutique hotel frenzy (and an AirBnb one) at the moment, exactly for the reason you described with the Sheraton (high prices, old rooms).
    have a quick look at any one of the following to see great boutique (in most cases) hotel options in both cities:

    The Norman
    hotel Montefiori
    Brown Beach House

    Villa Brown
    Orient
    Gordonia
    Mt. Zion
    Notre Dam

    Regarding your choice of WA in JLM, In that genre I would go for Mamila Hotel, David citadel , King David, or The American Colony before that one (with all due respect to the fact that it’s still one of the nicest hotels in Israel at the moment).

    Miles and Points are not everything , in many cases they are the ramp onto the Beaten track.

  10. you seem to have gotten an older more outdated room, I stayed there in the summer and was given a standard club level room, it’s balcony faced south. it was much nicer and more modern than your pictures although still on the plain and simple side.
    One thing annoying about the club is that they strictly enforce the no children rule, I was there with my wife and 6 month old, for heaven’s sake, why can’t we wheel in her stroller? we had to take turns visiting the lounge separately!

  11. Appreciate the posting and the comments as it is very timely. I’m planning a last minute Jordan and Israel trip for early next year so am still looking for hotels. Given the hotel market in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, I’m strongly considering AirBnbs..

  12. Lucky, same question as Zach G: did you get just one room with the 4th night free or you used your parents’ card to get the 2nd room 4th nite free?
    Another question, as the platinum benefits would only be extended to the guests in your room. Did pay or just didn’t ask for the club benefit for the 2nd room?

  13. Try any one of the Brown Hotels or the Norman. If you prefer an international brand I would opt for Hilton or David Intercontinental

  14. Sorry Lucky, the security “theatre” you mention actually helps save lives. After 26/11, the Taj Mahal Palace security has been good to the extent that they have been the only hotel to catch the cops who are role playing as bad guys in unannounced tests.

  15. Yuck to staying at chain hotels in Israel. Last thing I want to do is sit in a club lounge in a Sheraton when visiting Tel Aviv and those rooms look pitiful and bland. People need to be careful reading this blog and know it’s a points and miles blog . If you would have stayed at The Rothschild or one of the other non chain hotels your entire experience would have been different.

  16. @Santastico

    (“It amazes me that US bloggers NEED to stay at SPG or Hyatt everywhere even if they are not the best option.”) — Totally understand what you meant! But…

    These type of bloggers primarily use miles and/or points to fund their travels. Hence, they wont chose something more local/cheaper/expensive/better/ etc., unless, they can pay for it with point/miles…
    OK, sometimes they do pay cash, but this is rather rare and not the point of either their blogs and travels
    🙂

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