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Tel Aviv’s Shenkin Hotel: In a Class by Itself

Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer

We had spent a couple of months in Tel Aviv, but had spent very little time in the center of this bustling city.

Most of our days and nights had been spent interviewing for our new book IT HAPPENED IN ISRAEL (2017). So we decided to take a couple of days off. The decision was an intelligent one

Roof Top Patio

 Enter Shenkin Hotel where the slogan is “Locals Know Best.” The boutique beauty in located on a quiet street in the heart of Tel Aviv, an area filled with fashionable shops, restaurants and cafes, a short distance from the Carmel market, the beach, Shenkin Street, Rothschild Boulevard and the Neve Tzedek area.

Architecture and history buffs can engage in a visual feast as Tel Aviv has the largest collection of Bauhaus edifices anywhere.  Often called The White City, there are over 4,000 certified Bauhaus structures in Tel Aviv, built by Jewish German architects who fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s. In 2003, UNESCO designated the Bauhaus buildings as a world heritage site. In the years that followed many of the buildings have been restored. It is in this area that the Hotel Shenkin is located.

“Before Shenkin was on this site,” noted Yael Biederman the Hotel Manager, “this was a health insurance building where they did MRI and ultrasound.”

Opened for business in May of 2013, designed by architect Omer Leichter, the Shenkin has all kinds on interesting, appealing and useful aspects.  One of these features is the large and comfortable rooftop bathed in sun in the daytime, cooled by ocean breezes at night, was a magical stroke.

In his design of the hotel,” Biederman observed, “architect Omer Leichner had a wonderful vision with outdoor dining, a relaxing area, a modern environment.

“The Shenkin is a very high quality establishment,” the enthusiastic hotelier continued, “but we are not ultra-luxurious. Our hotel is very young, very urban, and very open.  Our team is very young.  It knows Tel Aviv and knows how to give our guests insights into the hidden gems of our city that most tourists do not know, never get to experience.”

All 30 rooms at the Shenkin Hotel have free broadband and Wi-Fi connection, toiletries featuring ingredients sourced from the Dead Sea, modern-art pieces as décor, a flat-screen television, and Egyptian-cotton bed sheets. All 30 rooms have wood floors, modern art on the white walls, sunlight.  

Perhaps the only clinker for those of us like to have breakfast in room or at least in hotel is the short hike to a choice of nearby cafes to chow down.      Balancing that is the Spa, in house, deemed to be one of the best in all Tel Aviv boutique establishments. Professional masseuses give Swedish and deep tissue massages, or go over to organic and shiatsu treatments.

“I always loved working with people from different cultures,” Yael Biederman said. “So travel appealed to me as a profession. This area was old and run down, it was for artists, for people who did not pay much rent. It was the heart of Tel Aviv - West Tel Aviv. I moved into the area when it was not what it was like today. At that time most of the hotels in Tel Aviv were located on the beach, parts of international chains.

The boutique hotel business began about ten years ago in the Tel Aviv area,” said Biederman. “It is pretty new to Israel. Lots of people were getting bored of the cookie cutter experience of the big box hotels of the chains and looked for a more intimate place to stay.  Shenkin was just one of those properties that has come up in the last decade. About 30 boutique hotels have come up. Some have 8 rooms. Some have 40, 50 rooms. All took over previous existing buildings.

“We,” the insightful Biederman continued,” have more sophisticated, more independent travelers...ones who want to know the country, ones not running from place to place, who want a unique place in a quiet residential area.”

For those who are discerning, the Shenkin is your kind of place.

(Photos Courtesy of Shenkin Hotel)         


Phone:  +972 3 6009400

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About the Authors:  Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer are a wife and husband team who successfully bridge the worlds of popular culture and traditional scholarship. Co-authors of the critically acclaimed interactive oral histories It Happened in the Catskills, It Happened in Brooklyn, Growing Up Jewish in America, It Happened on Broadway, It Happened in Manhattan, It Happened in Miami. They teach what they practice as professors at Dartmouth College.

They are also travel writers who specialize in luxury properties and fine dining as well as cultural history and Jewish history and heritage in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. More about these authors.

You can contact the Frommers at: 

Email: myrna.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU
Email: harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU

This Article is Copyright © 1995 - 2012 by Harvey and Myrna Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.

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