BY RON BERNTHAL
Tel Aviv is truly a coastal city. The Mediterranean beaches hug the city’s downtown neighborhoods, providing an ethereal light, a place for recreational, and a source of fresh fish and seafood year-round. It is also the soul of the city, and windows and balconies that overlook this wonderful blue-green sea are sought after by both visitors and residents.
During a visit to Tel Aviv’s Dan Panorama Hotel my room overlooked the Mediterranean as well as the historic port city of Jaffa, an Arab community first settled more than 7,000 years ago, and incorporated into Tel Aviv’s city limits in 1950.
There is nothing historic, however, about the Dan Panorama. The 18-story hotel was built 26 years ago (updated and renovated since), when land in this part of the south Tel Aviv beach area was inexpensive, so the Dan Hotel chain, the oldest hotel company in Israel, with 14 properties in the country, built a modern, late 1980’s-style tower, with 483 rooms, the second largest Dan property in Israel. All the guest rooms have high ceilings and balconies, the public areas are large and spacious, and the dining room, with its famous Israeli breakfast buffet, is huge.
My room, on the 6th floor, had the typical Dan-style high ceiling and balcony (big enough for a small chair for sunbathing) overlooking the Mediterranean, along with some nice surprises, including large size bath amenities, a bathroom wall shaving mirror, and a nicely upholstered day-couch. Internet access (for a fee) is available throughout the property. The room TV was on the small side, and the work desk was too narrow, but who spends much time working or watching TV when one of the Middle East’s most tantalizing cities is just outside the hotel’s front door.
The hotel’s 18th floor Business Lounge offers additional work space for business travelers, including complimentary computers and light refreshments in the morning and early evening. Access to the lounge is reserved for guests staying on the hotel’s executive level floors.
Other areas of the hotel are equally comfortable and spacious. The bi-level lobby has an extensively renovated lobby, and a spacious second floor with a lively bar and easy access to the health club, outdoor swimming pool, and meeting facilities. Room rates come with an “Israeli breakfast,” which comes with more hot and cold items than this review has space to list. Needless to say, the various salads, cereals, breads, herrings, yogurt, cheese, Kosher cold meats, eggs, waffles, olives, and beverages are just a small part of the long, long buffet table. The size of the dining room enables many hundreds of guests to enjoy a leisurely breakfast without standing in a long line or waiting for an empty table for four.
One of the nicest features of the hotel, however, is its location, just across the street from a Mediterranean beach on one side, and the hip, vibrant Neve Tzedek neighborhood on the other. Neve Tzedek was Tel Aviv’s first neighborhood when the city was founded in the early 1900’s, but after a period of revitalization and astute investments, the area’s historic stone buildings now contain fashionable boutiques, outdoor cafes and restaurants, artist studios, and very cool living quarters. Nearby, the city’s first rail station has been restored as the centerpiece of a beautiful, landscaped complex of upscale shops and restaurants known as the Tachana.
The hotel’s location, connected to the Tel Aviv Convention Center, as well as its indoor parking garage, make it an ideal destination for both business and leisure travelers.
DAN PANORAMA TEL AVIV
Charles Clore Park
Tel Aviv, Israel 68012
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