JC Stays: The Ritz-Carlton Herzliya, Israel

A chilled-out break with a side of luxury


Copyright 2013 Matthew Shaw. See licence supplied with this image for full terms & conditions. Copy available at: Not for use by architects, interior designers or other hotel suppliers without permission from Matthew Shaw

If you’re looking to relax, sometimes being right in the heart of Tel Aviv isn’t the answer. So it’s not surprising that more and more tourists are heading to Herzliya: close enough to visit the White City if you fancy, far enough away to have a more chilled-out feel.

And you needn’t miss out on some luxury either. Israel’s first Ritz-Carlton hotel, The Ritz-Carlton Herzliya, opened here 10 years ago, a kosher hotel with 115 rooms, 82 suites and its own private entrance to the yacht-filled marina.

Checking in among the vibrant art and contemporary interiors in the lobby, we spot everyone from young families to business figures, some enjoying the mixologists’ signature cocktails at the lobby bar, or afternoon tea.

With my own children in tow, I immediately unwind as we step into our family suite, with two sizeable rooms separated by a private corridor. Each has its own mini-bar and Nespresso coffee machine, along with separate en-suites with a large bath, shower room and the most heavenly Diptyque Philosykos products.

Our glass balcony overlooks the marina and sea, while the kids’ room — complete with a Ritz Kidz tent filled with toys and a nearby cookie-decorating station — is (sensibly) balcony-less.

The breakfast buffet next morning is lavish. There’s an egg station, a Middle Eastern station and displays of cooked food like warm bourekas and freshly-baked babkas, although despite having lots of choice, it’s not overwhelming. The food is made from seasonal ingredients sourced from nearby suppliers including a local yogurt and cheesemaker.

On Shabbat, we find mini challot and brown eggs baked overnight, with wine cups and grape juice laid out for those wishing to make kiddush.

For those with additional dietary requirements, such as my youngest, the service is outstanding with fresh options free of allergens prepared especially; dairy-free yogurt swirled with fruit puree, chickpea omelettes and more.

From the rooftop pool on the hotel’s 12th floor, there’s a 360-degree view of the coast and Herzliya’s sandy beaches, plus sun loungers and spacious seating areas in cool green and whites to soak it up.

A shaded baby pool sits next to the larger pool, with a sea breeze cooling us as we make the most of the treats on offer — complimentary ice lollies, parev chocolate cream bites and plenty of cold water.

There’s a plan for a taco bar for evening dining, as well as ideas for more late-night swimming options over high season.

The spa had its own facelift last year, with a Turkish Hammam as well as treatments. I have a facial with Dead Sea products that’s so relaxing, I need to be woken from it.

Fully refreshed, we head to dinner at the hotel’s Herbert Samuel kosher meat restaurant one evening, for a fine dining experience complete with fillet steak (rarely a kosher option outside of Israel) and lamb chops, as well as fish dishes like tuna sashimi and vegetarian options such as Jerusalem artichoke or gnocchi with truffles.

Israeli wine sourced from the boutique Vitkin winery, just 30 minutes from the hotel, is served alongside.

If you need tempting out, Herzliya’s beach bars are perfect at sunset, and just a five-minute walk away, while the marina is home to a string of restaurants.

Sadly, we run out of time to take one of the many boat tours from the marina, which also offers various watersports. But fortunately, that gives us a good excuse to return.


Rooms at the Ritz-Carlton Herzliya start from around £500 per night.

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