Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Not just Shrugged: A Review of Atlas Hotels' Artplus Hotel

August 30th was the last time I blogged.  Not for lack of material or lack of inspiration; nothing could be farther from the truth.

The only thing I lacked was time.  

The end of my Israeli dream was a wake up to work; my return home coincided with the start of school and 150 students that needed my attention.  Therefore, my brain did what my fingers could not, and what I hoped would be words on your screen were only visions during my daydreams

I did have time, at one time, have time to write this review at TripAdvisor.  I retell it hear as my jump back into blogging, with hopefully more consistency and information for those of you who hope to find yourselves east of average.

"We Are Family!" Review of the Artplus Hotel of Tel Aviv
By KaylaLeeinTLV, Written September 20, 2013

Employee Stav’s closing words to me prior to leaving for Ben Gurion Airport were the perfect summation of my three weeks in Tel Aviv (and specifically ArtPlus Hotel): “You have to come back—you’re now family!”

I have never stayed in a hotel were comfort meant something beyond the bed and pillows. Every day I was at Artplus was like home and beyond: I would wake, find an amazing breakfast (with amazing cappuccinos and omelets, courtesy of The Amazing Margot), and take a relaxing shower before I would begin my day. Upon returning from seeing the sights, I would be greeted much in the same manner—someone at reception would say “hello,” and I would be reminded someway of the happy hour reception that evening. 

In addition to these common courtesies of home (right down to a mezuzah on the door posts), the aesthetics of this property were second to none. With a room decorated with a trendy, minimalist feel, it had a fun vibe as it was; pair it with the art on the wall, and it was as much a joy to be awake as it was to be asleep. I’m not usually someone who enjoys being in their sterile, generic hotel room (that’s not why I go on vacation), but with the atmosphere created by those behind Artplus Hotel, the time I spent uploading photos, making reservations, etc. was just an extension of my time in the city, for it was almost as enjoyable.

While considering the room, it is also worth mentioning the common space that is the terrace. Traveling Tel Aviv mostly by foot, I found myself afflicted with a blister-then-crater on my ankle during my first week; after rearranging my plans so I didn’t miss any major attractions, I had a Thursday afternoon free. This Thursday afternoon was well spent with a couple of Etgar Keret short story compilations on this rooftop deck, adding one more level to enjoyment that I found with Artplus Hotel.

Aside from the homey feel, Artplus was also in the perfect location for a hotel. Snuggled right into Ben Yehuda Street, I found many attractions within walking distance, and with ample bus stops abound, anything outlying was easily reached with the help of Dan and Egged bus lines. Streets such as Sheinken, Dizengoff, and Nahalat Binyamin were comfortably accessible from this location. Even the walk to and from Jaff/Yafo along the promenade was easily achieved from this hotel—if you dared to battle the Middle Eastern August sun (which if you do, you are not to be disappointed—it's a beautiful walk).

It's been a month since I left Artplus Hotel, and as nice as it is to be home, I almost feel like this is the vacation—it is as if my bedroom, deck, and kitchen are themselves the hotel and sometime soon I will be back to my little space with the purple comforter, from which I could peek out and see the hazy Israeli morning. For three weeks, I was at home at this hotel, and I look forward to the day I return “home” to Artplus Hotel in Tel Aviv feeling not as a guest, but as distant member of the family.

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