Oasis of Calm: A Review of the Hilton Tel Aviv

Jul 4, 2019

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. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

To The Point

The Hilton Tel Aviv is one of the city’s most popular hotels. Pros: Convenient beachfront location, incredible service and perfect ocean views from the rooms and bathrooms. Cons: Slow elevators, small executive lounge and high rates.

The Eurovision Song Contest, better known simply as “Eurovision,” is an annual international song competition held in a different country each year. Israel was selected to host the 2019 competition, and Tel Aviv, the country’s most cosmopolitan city, was the venue.

I deliberately planned my first-ever Israel trip to coincide with Eurovision, since I knew it would be a fun way to end a great trip. I also knew that hotel rates would be high and that I’d have to book early. Indeed, when I began my hotel search, rates were already quite high. I also had to contend with the fact that areas with popular hotels would be crowded and loud, thanks to the Eurovision Village pop-up, which was a beachside festival open until 2am each night during the week of Eurovision.

I initially considered a stay at the Jaffa, but after I realized I had friends staying at the Hilton Tel Aviv, I decided to test that property out.

In This Post


This hotel is pricey, so booking requires a bit of strategy to get to the most out of your spend. During the time I was in Tel Aviv, regular rooms cost about $500 per night and suites $895. I stayed in a corner suite, and other TPG team members stayed in regular king rooms with sea views. Points rates for the lowest-category rooms started at 70,000 points per night. If you have a stay of five nights or more, booking using points is a good plan so you can get the fifth night free.

If you want to earn a lot of Hilton points, the best way to book is to do so directly on Hilton.com using your Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express so you can earn 14 points per dollar spent on Hilton purchases. The card also gives you automatic Hilton Diamond status, which scores you benefits like free breakfast. Diamond status also earns you a 100% points bonus (or 20 points per dollar at most Hilton properties), so you earn 34 points per dollar on most Hilton stays as a cardholder.

Another option if you plan to pay cash and are staying four nights is to use your Citi Prestige card, where you’ll get the fourth night free, though that benefit is going to be devalued greatly come September.


You can’t beat the sea views from the rooms at the Hilton Tel Aviv. The hotel is actually split into two: The Vista at the Hilton Tel Aviv, which includes the rooms on the higher floors, and the regular Hilton.

The rooms at the Vista did have incredible views, but the regular Hilton rooms and suites did too, so I didn’t find it necessary to spend more on the Vista rooms.

The hotel is on the beach and the main road in northern Tel Aviv. As it was a 15-to-20-minute drive to Jaffa and about a 40-minute drive to Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) depending on traffic, I felt like I was close enough to all the action while still being in a quiet and comfortable location. The area just behind the hotel had plenty of bars and restaurants, and it was an easy drive, walk or even electric scooter or bike ride along the beach promenade to other areas of the city.


I walked into a busy lobby with high ceilings that opened into a lounge and bar area with ocean views. The check-in desks were just to the right after entering, and the elevators beyond that. And at the end, there was an outdoor terrace off the lobby bar where you could have a sunset drink.

Noa, the check-in agent, was friendly and helpful, especially considering my large crew rolled in like a tornado with three room reservations, parking concerns and a bunch of questions. She kept her cool and got us settled in quickly and easily without breaking a sweat. I was assigned Suite 801/803.


I had external access to my suite (which seemed like two rooms later converted into a suite) from the bedroom, 801, or the living room, via the door marked “803,” with the same key. This wasn’t an issue, but I was never really sure what room number to say when asked, so I usually just said both.

Walking into the bedroom, I saw that light streamed in, and the sea views were fantastic. The room featured a desk, closet and king bed. All the extras were there, like plenty of hangers, an iron, a blow dryer, slippers, robes and a safe.

I got a comfortable rest in the bed, and there were outlets on each side of the bed. Blackout shades ensured that the room stayed nice and dark, too.

There was an armchair by the window, and the minibar was also in the bedroom. A welcome gift of fruit and wine was set out for me.

Having the balcony with chairs off the bedroom was a great addition — I enjoyed the evening sunset views over a drink.

The bathroom also had fantastic ocean views — even from the tub.

Ahava products were provided, and I even got a welcome amenity of a full-size Ahava mud mask, body lotion and bath salts in addition to the travel-size ones that were generously replaced each day.

The shower had steaming hot water and passed the TPG shower test with flying colors.

The living room had a desk, sofa and windows with views, as well as a small powder room. A second fruit plate and wine was also set out there.

Both the living room and the bedroom had TVs, coffeemakers (sadly, neither was a Nespresso machine) and a desk. Two glass bottles of water were replaced daily.

While I wouldn’t say it was trendy or chic, the room was quiet and comfortable, and I slept great there.


TPG Senior Writer Lori Zaino stayed in a king room with sea view, 933. The room had all the regular amenities you’d expect, like a large bed, desk and workspace, minibar, coffeemaker and closet.

The sea view was beautiful, and the room was spacious. The Ahava amenities in the bathroom were smaller than the ones in the suite but also replenished daily.

Food and Beverage

The property has five restaurants, but I only really sampled the breakfast buffet at the Cafe Med. It was normally $39, but my Hilton Diamond status awarded me free breakfast.

The buffet was large and included an omelet station, plenty of salads and cold items, pastries, fresh juices and tasty coffee.

There was even a gluten-free section.

Like many hotels in Israel, the buffet was limited to cold items and instant coffee on Saturday morning for Shabbat, so I ate outside of the hotel that day.

Room service was available via a menu on the television. Since the hotel is religiously observant, there was a separate meat menu and a dairy menu that came from different restaurants. One evening, I ordered chicken schnitzel, a salad and some sorbet. The salad was a little soggy, but the chicken was crispy and good, and the sorbet was refreshing. It arrived quickly, and when I called for the table to be removed, someone came almost immediately.

All other meals, though, I ate outside of the hotel. Israel has some of the best cuisine, and I enjoyed sampling it at different spots around the city.


The Hilton also has a large saltwater pool. While it’s a little dated and the chairs were packed in pretty tightly, it was a nice place to relax in the sun, and the service was attentive.

I ordered a passionfruit slushie at the pool one day and was pleased to see it wasn’t served with a plastic straw, but instead with a paper one.

The fitness center was large with several machines, a weights section and other workout equipment. The locker rooms also had a steam room and sauna inside.

The beach has two sides: One was the gay beach and the other the Hilton beach. The hotel gave you towels to take to the beach across the street, but it was not a private beach for the Hilton.

The Sheva Spa was Thai-inspired — I got an excellent Thai massage there one day. After, I was led to a quiet relaxation room with ocean views where I was able to peacefully sip ginger tea.

I don’t recommend doing laundry at the hotel. Prices were outrageous — $22 for a dress and $15 for a shirt. Instead, I sent an entire bag of laundry off site. Pickup and delivery were both included, and it was about $40 total for almost 25 items.

Having executive lounge access is always a plus, though this particular lounge felt small and cramped. The views from the 12th-floor lounge, though, were particularly stunning.

The breakfast spread was small but did include eggs and hot food. There were snacks and refreshments throughout the day and a dairy menu in the evening.

But for such a large hotel with many elite guests, it should really have a bigger executive lounge.

A highlight of the hotel was the staff. Every single time I called, the phone was answered immediately and my concern was handled right away. After a recent stay at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, where no one ever answered the phone, I was thrilled to finally have truly excellent and helpful service at the Hilton Tel Aviv.

I wish this excellent service translated to the excellent elevators, but it didn’t. The elevators were operated by touchscreen and would occasionally error out. Four elevators for this huge high-rise hotel just wasn’t enough — and especially on Shabbat, when one or two of the elevators stopped on every single floor. I even waited up to 12 minutes one afternoon for an elevator.

Overall Impression

I was impressed with the Hilton Tel Aviv. Although there are trendier and newer hotels in this city, I was very satisfied with the level of service at the Hilton and the peace and quiet this beachfront location gave me. I wanted to end my 10-day trip to Israel at the beach, and I was able to do so thanks to the Hilton. But having a few more elevators definitely wouldn’t hurt.

All photos by Nicky Kelvin.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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.