This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Israel and luxury travel are not exactly synonymous, and the Holy Land is certainly not home to Gulf-style vertical excess, but luxury properties across the board have definitely been on the climb in recent years — and not just in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Herzliya, where Lady Gaga hung out in 2014, but in more remote areas like the Negev Desert. As if to help answer the holy luxe call, more and more airlines are offering nonstop flights to Tel Aviv than ever before. El Al is replacing its aging fleet of 747s with 787 Dreamliners. United recently added nonstop service from San Francisco (SFO) to Tel Aviv (TLV). You can fly Norwegian to Tel Aviv (with one stopover) from New York (JFK) and Newark (EWR) as well as Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Las Vegas (LAS) and Los Angeles (LAX). Ryanair recently debuted Tel Aviv service from several European cities as well, so what are you waiting for?

1. The InterContinental David Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is a beach town and unless you are truly upset by sand, you want your hotel in the White City — so nicknamed because of the abundance of white Bauhaus architecture — to be facing the beach. The problem is most beachfront hotels in Tel Aviv either aren’t really on the beach or aren’t that great. The most notable exception is the InterContinental David. From the outside, it looks like any standard international business hotel but inside, there’s a wide range of rooms and spacious suites, many with sweeping views. Its location puts you at the south end of the promenade, meaning the beach is easily accessible, as are the hipster zones of Rothschild Boulevard and Neve Tzedek. Plus, it’s home to the best hotel pool in Tel Aviv, hands down. Rates from $284 or 40,000 IHG Rewards points per night in November.

Image courtesy of the InterContinental David Tel Aviv.
Image courtesy of the InterContinental David Tel Aviv.

2. The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem

The large and elegant 10-story building that houses Jerusalem’s Waldorf Astoria started out as the Palace Hotel, built in 1929 by Amin al-Husseini, the controversial mufti of Jerusalem. While retaining its hybrid Moorish, Arabic and Roman interior, it was reborn as the most luxurious hotel in Jerusalem in 2014 thanks to a design team that included Israeli architect Yehuda Feigin and Turkish interior designer Sinan Kafadar. The grand staircase was restored and a skylight was added 50 feet up. There are 197 rooms, 29 suites and two restaurants on the ground floor — as the hotel is certified kosher, one serves meat and the other, dairy. Location-wise it doesn’t get much better than this: At the intersection of King David, Agron and Mamilla streets, you’re just minutes from the Old City’s Jaffa Gate. Rates from $487 or 95,000 Hilton Honors points per night in November.

Image courtesy of the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem.
Image courtesy of the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem.

3. The Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya

When Lady Gaga performed in Tel Aviv, she stayed nine miles up the coast at the Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya, perhaps in the hopes of having a quieter beachfront experience. To date, this is the only Ritz-Carlton in Israel and you couldn’t ask for a dreamier setting overlooking the posh marina of Herzliya and its adjacent beach. All rooms have private balconies with many overlooking the marina and sea — for the best views, head to the 12th-floor rooftop swimming pool. The hotel also has in indulgent spa with an epic sea view chill-out zone and an excellent (kosher) gourmet restaurant, Herbert Samuel Herzliya. Plus, with The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card, you can get two complimentary nights in a Tier 1-4 property after you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening your account. Rates from $451 or 50,000 Rewards points per night in November.

Image courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya.
Image courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya.

4. Beresheet Hotel in the Negev Desert

If you thought Israel’s Negev Desert was the exclusive province of camels and sand, it’s time to revise your thinking with a detour to one of the most dramatically situated hotels in the Middle East. Located near the frontier-like desert town of Mitzpe Ramon, the five-star Beresheet Hotel is perched on the edge of the Makhtesh Ramon, one of the largest craters in the world that was created by natural erosion — while many of the suites here come with their own swimming pools, the big one has an incredible, eminently Instagrammable view of the crater. The resort’s main restaurant features organic ingredients and stunning desert views from its floor-to-ceiling glass walls. Beresheet is popular with Israelis, and there aren’t many hotels in the area, so make your reservations here as far ahead of time as possible. Rates from $392 per night in November.

Image courtesy of Beresheet/Isrotel Exclusive Collection.
Image courtesy of Beresheet/Isrotel Exclusive Collection.

5. The Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel in Zichron Yaakov

The little town of Zichron Yaakov, located about 43 miles north of Tel Aviv and 21 miles south of Haifa, is situated on a ridge overlooking the Mediterranean and surrounded by vineyards. To this idyllic setting came the Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel in 2015: Arts patron Lily Elstein saw a sprawling former sanitarium as the perfect venue to showcase the best in contemporary Israeli art. The breezy interior design is the complete opposite of the heavy concrete exterior, and the sea views from the 95 guest rooms rival the artwork — paintings, photographs, sculptures — that are on display everywhere on the property. There’s also a world-class spa with eight treatment rooms and a heated indoor pool with soothing sea views. Rates from $284 per night in November.

Image courtesy of the Elma Arts Hotel.
Image courtesy of the Elma Arts Hotel.

6. Scots Hotel in Tiberias

Despite or perhaps because of its location by the Kinneret, otherwise known as the Sea of Galilee — and because Israelis love a beach, any beach — the city of Tiberias has taken tacky and overdeveloped to levels of almost Biblical proportions. So you can thank heaven for the continued existence of the luxurious Scots Hotel, originally built as a hospital in connection with the Church of Scotland in 1885, because here the atmosphere is deliciously restful. There are 18 rooms in fusion of 19th-century basalt stone buildings in one area and a modern section with 50 guest rooms in the modern wing. Access to the swimming pool is by elevated walkway over exquisite gardens and from the pool itself, you can look out over the Sea of Galilee all the way to the Golan Heights. The spa is excellent and the church still manages the entire property, meaning that, unlike most of Israel’s larger hotels, it doesn’t keep kosher — so as you peruse the famously lavish breakfast buffet, brace yourself for bacon. Rates from $385 per night in November.

 Image courtesy of Scots Hotel.
Image courtesy of Scots Hotel.

Where are your favorite places to stay in Israel? Tell us about them, below.

Featured image courtesy of The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

LIMITED TIME OFFER. Aside from the 100,000 points welcome bonus (available until 8/8/18), Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 & an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/8/18.†
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 11/2017
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$450
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.