Checking in at The Norman, Tel Aviv’s Most Stylish Boutique Stay

All photos courtesy of The Norman

A key design and architectural destination in Tel Aviv, the UNESCO-protected White City is home to a slew of beautiful Bauhaus-style buildings which helped secure its status as a World Heritage Site. Amid the grand and glamorous residences along serene Nachmani Street, the first modernist building in Tel Aviv has been home to five-star hotel The Norman since 2014.

Set across two exquisitely restored townhouses – one powder blue, the other pale yellow – if you don’t fall in love with the Bauhaus-era architecture, its elegant rooms and suites, modern art collection, and rooftop infinity pool should sway you. Drinks at the Library Bar are obligatory, as is dining at signature restaurant ALENA. Named after the owner’s late filmmaker father, Norman Lourie, who opened Israel’s first luxury resort hotel, Dolphin House, back in the Fifties, The Norman is the most stylish stay in Tel Aviv.

An Impressive Israeli Art Collection

First impressions always count and walking into The Norman feels like being transported back to the golden age of travel – think Agatha Christie’s art deco detective Poirot meets Old Hollywood but with cool contemporary design elements. During renovations of both historic mansions, original details, including hand-painted ceramic floor tiles, were preserved and beautifully balanced with modern architecture alongside an impressive collection of Israeli art. Paintings, sculptures, textiles, and photographs adorn public spaces, rooms and suites – a dedicated concierge can assist guests who wish to make a purchase or arrange tours of local galleries while The Norman’s in-house curator also leads guided tours. Art lovers should look for Taxi by Shir Moran and pieces from the 2016 Carpet Series by Gal Weinstein. An ode to Israel, “Castle in the Sand,” written by Norman Lourie runs the length of the atrium elevator wall.

City Skyline Views from the Rooftop Pool

Exclusively available for hotel guests, the show-stopping rooftop infinity pool and sun terrace enjoy city and Mediterranean Sea vistas. Flanked by teak day beds and chic white parasols and with attentive service from the pool attendants (a concise menu of beverages, cocktails, and light dishes are served between lunchtime and sunset) means it can be tough to leave once you get comfy. Wellness is a top priority at The Norman with massages offered at the third-floor wellness center and spa, which also has a 24-hour gym and studio space where private Pilates, yoga classes and personal training sessions can be booked in advance. Health-minded guests will love the juice cleanse program, which includes seven bottles of smoothies and juices made with local fruits and veggies.

Elegantly Appointed Guest Rooms & Suites

Glamorous deco design details and modern furnishings also feature across The Norman’s sanctuary-like rooms and suites. Expect elegant welcome touches such as fresh flowers and dainty macrons, plus nice-to-haves like Nespresso coffee machines, Frette linens, writing desks and rain showers. For leisurely early mornings or cozy late nights when ordering room service, there are robes and slippers. The classic, deluxe, and grand deluxe rooms are lovely, but the suites are a fantastic option for a more residential feel or extended stays. Enjoy garden access from the aptly titled ground floor Garden Suite, views of King Albert Square from a Corner Suite, or entertain from the stately Penthouse Duplex.

'Since The Norman opened its doors in 2014, we have had the honor of hosting thousands of wonderful guests from across the globe, many of whom have become treasured, loyal members of The Norman family.' – Yaron Liberman, General Manager

See and Be Seen at The Library Bar & ALENA

Whether it’s a light lunch or late-night cocktails, The Library Bar is as much of a sophisticated must-go spot for Tel Aviv locals as it is hotel guests. Dotted with club chairs and sofas perfect for intimate chats, black and white photos of Norman Lourie adorn the walls while there are plenty of books to flip through should there be a lull in conversation. When ordering a Tom Collins try The Norman Gin – launched in 2019, it’s infused with date palm alcohol and aromas of wild Galilee botanicals and makes a great base for many of The Norman’s signature drinks.

Helmed by chefs Omer Shadmi Muller and Daniel Tzur, destination restaurant ALENA specializes in Mediterranean and local cuisine but is equally famous for its breakfast fare and weekend brunch – the latter best enjoyed on the pretty patio courtyard, if temperatures permit. Shadmi Muller describes the menu as “Galilean, Mediterranean and creatively uncomplicated,” and the concept as a “place for young foodies looking to try dishes that are a bit new and exciting.” While a half dozen imported Gillardeau oysters make an appetizing start to any meal, highlights from the menu range from a mulukhiyah (jute mallow) tortellini with za’atar, butter and lemon, and ALENA pizza with eggplant and ha’meiri cheese to a drumfish fillet with roasted fennel. Award-winning Sommelière Shira Tsiddon can assist with pairings from The Norman wine list.

Explore Tel Aviv, the Mediterranean Capital of Cool

A contemporary metropolis with a cafe scene to rival Paris, Tel Aviv more than earns its moniker as “The Mediterranean Capital of Cool.” Bordered by six miles of shoreline and golden beaches, the compact city – also one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly in Europe – boasts culture, history, an exciting food scene and sophisticated nightlife. And anyone checking in at The Norman is well placed to explore because, despite its quiet courtyard and rooftop oasis, buzzy Rothschild Boulevard, trendy Neve Tzedek neighborhood, and Carmel Market are all within strolling distance – or borrow a Norman bike and get acquainted with the surrounding streets on two wheels. Another not to miss when in town is the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

For adventures further afield, within the city, across Israel and just beyond, the concierge team can arrange excursions from guided tours of Tel Aviv Flea Market and Old Jaffa and a private label winery in the Judean Hills, to an all-inclusive two-day itinerary from Eilat to Petra in neighboring Jordan. 

The Norman Collection

Anyone who falls in love with The Norman’s signature bergamot, cedarwood and white flower scent, fret not because its namesake room spray, aroma reeds, and handwash are available to purchase and take home. As are bottles of the ALENA ROSÉ, an elegant breezy blend produced thanks to an exclusive collaboration between Amphorae winery and The Norman cellar.

25 Nachmani Street, Tel Aviv. Visit for more information.

Keri Bridgwater

A native Brit, Keri Bridgwater spent time in house at magazines and publishers in Sweden, New Zealand and Telluride, Colorado before moving to San Diego over a decade ago. She specializes in travel stories, destination guides, hotel news, and profiles for various publications. Bylines in Fodor's, Marie Claire, Yoga Journal, London's Evening Standard, and Virgin Australia's inflight magazine. ...(Read More)

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