phpcxQxh5PMAccording to, an increasing number of boutique hotels continue to penetrate the Mediterranean town of Tel Aviv. Of all the hotels in the city—which, according to the Tel Aviv Hotels Association, now number 51—about nine are considered part of the ever-growing boutique hotel trend.

Nestled in the heart of Tel Aviv’s quaint Neve Tzedek is one of these boutique hotels, Nina Cafe Suites (29 Shabazi Street; 00 972 52 508 4141,), a five-suite retreat inspired by the owner’s many trips to Paris.   It opened in 2002.  If you don’t want the typical hotel chain experience, this is the place to stay. 

Neve Tzedek is an intimate, trendy neighborhood and is only a 5-minute walk from the sea and 15 minutes from the center of town.  It was the first Jewish settlement after Jaffa, which was Roman and Arab.  Forty years ago, the area went down but not it is on the rise.  It’s trendy and full of adorable shops, cafes, jewelry shops, clothing stores, Judaica shops and great restaurants.  It’s really hard to park around there, so fortunately the hotel has a parking garage.   The owner wants to you to discover the hotel and stumble upon it. It”s on a corner, tucked in the heart of the neighborhood.  When you enter, you go up a winding staircase, adding to the hotel’s charm and one’s curiosity about where the stairs are leading them to.

We were shown right to a family suite.  All the suites are furnished with unique items from the exclusive shops and boutiques of the Neve Tzedek quarter.  I fell instantly in love with our room…and this hotel.   We had a nice-sized room with cozy bedding, chic furniture, an eat-in kitchen.  There was plenty of information, including brochures and magazines, for us to plan the next day’s activities. We had a balcony with a view of the neighborhood.  Rooms vary in size. Decor ranges from gothic to modern,a and it’s all lovely.  I visited another room with a beautiful patio and garden.  It is clear that much attention goes into the planning of each piece of furniture, each dish, each bar of soap.

Breakfast is included and is served in a café across the street or brought to  your room.  We opted to dine in the Parisian café and feasted on chocolate croissants and coffee amongst the many locals, reading the local papers and discussing the current events going on in the country.

Rooms range from $280-$410 a night, depending on the season.  We met a couple from South Africa who enjoyed the experience so much they that were leaving to tour northern Israel and were planning to return in a few days to the same room.  It’s obvious that foreigners love the tranquility and ease of this hotel experience, so rooms get booked up.

The manager was very helpful, waiting up for us until our arrival which was late at night.  She suggested places to eat, things to do on our first night.  They have bikes for the guests to use and can help book any type of experience. It was the ultimate first night in Israel.

The hotel’s success has enabled the owner to launch a 15-room hotel just one mile away. Set to open in less than a year, it will be called the Nina Rothschild Hotel.

I highly recommend the Nina Cafe Suites for your next visit to Israel, whether you are traveling with your family..or not.