Water features

By Nathan Jeffay, November 11, 2011
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When the stars visit Tel Aviv, they don't want to lose sight of the Mediterranean for a minute… even in the bathroom. And so hotels have responded, creating bathrooms with a view.

In the Presidential Suite of the Sheraton Tel Aviv, where the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Rihanna and Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich have lain their heads, the bathtub faces an enormous window that gives a panoramic view of the beach and sea.

The hotel renovated the bathroom and added the view two years ago, after management hit on the idea of super-luxury bathrooms as a way of enhancing guests' stay.

"People always discuss hotel bathrooms - it's something they really care about, so we want to make using it a real experience," says Anat Shilon-Monrov, director of sales at the hotel. "Usually at home people have a nice bathroom, but not with a view like this, so it's a luxury to really add to the holiday."

Ms Shilon-Monrov shows off the features of the bathroom: side-by-side washbowls for couples, posh toiletries by Bulgari, towelling robes that are fluffier than sheep and a shower that cascades across the whole enormous cubicle. It is not only Presidential Suite guests who get this kind of bathroom with a view - guests in the two Ambassadorial Suites and the two Mediterranean Suites do too.

The bathrooms are making an impression on guests. "We have people making bookings, simply saying 'we want the suite with the bathroom facing the sea,'" reports Ms Shilon-Monrov.

In the two Presidential Suites in the Hilton Tel Aviv, where David Bowie, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger and numerous other stars have stayed, there are huge French windows through which guests enjoy magnificent sea views. After a shower or bath, the guest can wander straight from the bathroom to the enormous balcony to dry off. Several other suites have views from the tub.

You do not need to book Tel Aviv's most expensive rooms to enjoy the trend of bathrooms with a view. At the Shalom Hotel, a boutique hotel, several rooms bathrooms that have glass walls to the bedroom, which give a view of the sea through the room's main window. There is, of course, a curtain to provide privacy in the bathroom when desired.

In some rooms at the Shalom Hotel, guests can soak in a whirlpool bath while looking out on the Med. There is a platform by the window with a spa-bath-for-two, illuminated by atmospheric lighting.

At the Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv City Centre, a new hotel next to the Azrieli Mall, dozens of suites have "corner bathrooms" with impressive urban views of the bustling metropolis. And the 12 new Jaffa and Mediterranean suites at the David InterContinental have panoramic views.

Even if you are not lucky enough to find yourself in a bathroom with a view when you next visit Tel Aviv, it is likely you will benefit from the citywide rethink on bathrooms - they are bigger and more luxurious.

Five years ago the Hilton Tel Aviv started renovating all bathrooms, creating space by shrinking mini bars and other features. "In the 1960s and '70s, people wanted a pampering room and the bathroom was just somewhere to take a quick shower and get organised," says the hotel's Motti Verses. "But in recent years, as the standard of living has gone sky high, bathrooms have become really important to people.

"And in the past the hotel room was just a place to sleep, while today, with more on TV and with lots to do with Wi-Fi, people spend more time in the room, so the bathroom is more important to them."

    Last updated: 4:09pm, November 11 2011