Ever since I read From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler as a kid, I’ve had a slight obsession with the idea of sleeping in a museum. So when Atlas Hotels reached out to me this summer about staying at their Artplus Hotel in Tel Aviv during Gay Pride, I didn’t pass up on the opportunity. With a name like “Artplus” you’d probably expect an art-themed hotel, maybe with some well-designed rooms and a bit of art. While not a “museum,” the Artplus can definitely be classified as an art gallery. They’ve specifically curated their art pieces among Israeli artists and even offer tours to the guests that stay there as well as tourists & visitors.
Walking through the
art gallery errr hotel, you can’t turn a corner without running into a new piece of art. The stairwell features video screens playing a constant loop of modern video art (not always my cup of tea). Each floor of the hotel also features exclusive Israeli art — sometimes even wrapping around guest room doors!
The front lobby of the hotel (photo at top) is a large open space conducive to meeting other travelers and guests. It also helps that they offer refreshments all day and night (helpful for when you’re returning from the clubs) and with a happy hour most evenings. The rooms in this hotel aren’t exactly spacious but what’s missing in room size is made up for in the atmosphere. The breakfast dining area features several private tables, but also one large communal table perfect for solo travelers (or late-risers). More art books than you can imagine are on the shelves throughout the ground floor, even in the bathroom!
The hotel’s terrace is simple and sunny, but the real treat about the hotel’s location is its proximity to the beach. It’s one block away and the hotel will happily provide you with beach towels and maybe even a bicycle so you can get the full benefits of Tel Aviv’s beach promenade.
For my purposes (and I suspect most first-time visitors to Tel Aviv), the hotel’s location was just what I needed. Super close proximity to the beach (and really — is there much else to do in Tel Aviv??), the hotel was also within walking distance to the Carmel Market, Dizengoff Center (and it’s surrounding streets) and the Ben Yehuda bars in North Tel Aviv.
The highlight of my hotel experience, though, was definitely the in-room amenities. Fresh fruit and candies were in my room when I arrived — which was a lifesaver considering I arrived in Israel at 3am and slept through my first morning’s complimentary breakfast. Once I got past my chocolates, though, I noticed the one thing that I never knew I always wanted in a hotel room: coloring pencils & paper! This was taking the concept of an art hotel to a whole new level! I considered leaving the front desk with my masterpiece (not pictured), but I didn’t want to detract from the Israeli artists who have their work showcased in the hotel.