On a five-day trip to Israel, I stayed at three Dan hotels and noticed something special about each one. “If I could give each establishment an award, what would it be?” I thought. And my fickle mind couldn’t decide on just one award so each gets two. Read on to find out how these hotels compare and which ones win my top honors:
Best Breakfast and Best Value: Dan Panorama Tel Aviv
$270/night | Executive room (22 sq. m)
It’s the “happy medium” of the hotels I called home during my travels. My spacious executive room with modern design was comfy and stylish, with a pretty view of the Mediterranean Sea from a private balcony. The bathroom is bright and modern with beige marble tiling, a glass-enclosed white tub and a water-efficient toilet.
The breakfast spread at the lobby lounge is incredibly big so there’s something for everyone. I loaded my plate with little portions to sample several things and everything tasted fresh and delicious. There was: smoked salmon, a variety of cheeses, hummus and pita, eggs, fresh-squeezed orange juice, pastries, yogurt, halva and coffee that made this caffeine-craving traveller go “aah!”
Best Room and Best View: Dan Carmel Haifa
$362/night | Executive Bay View Room (35 sq. m)
My Executive Bay View Room at Dan Carmel Haifa was so spacious and beautiful that parting was such sweet sorrow. Its contemporary décor, smart design and floor-to-ceiling windows that open to a large private balcony had me longing for more in-suite lounging time. A clever sliding mirror concealed power outlets at the desk area and I could practically live in the closet space alone. The mirror-enclosed LCD TV adds a nice touch to the immaculate marble-tiled bathroom with separate tub, shower and toilet areas.
The breathtaking, unobstructed view of Haifa Bay and the Galil and Golan landscape came at a slight cost, I learned. The wind howled so loudly at night that I found it hard to sleep through the sound. My jet lag didn’t help matters. But if you’re going to battle insomnia anywhere, the Dan Haifa hotel is a great place to do just that.
Best Hospitality and Best Location: Dan Boutique, Jerusalem
$234/night | Deluxe Old City Room (24 sq. m)
I arrived to Dan Jerusalem Boutique Hotel to welcome juice and pastries in the lobby followed by cocktails, appetizers and more pastries in a welcome reception at their swanky and retro-chic bar. Then I found a fruit tart with delicious vanilla cream waiting for me in my room. When a member of my foodie tour group casually mentioned we hadn’t yet eaten falafel during our trip, falafel balls appeared at our breakfast table within moments, along with fresh and delicious hummus and pita for good measure. Now that’s hospitality!
Fair warnings: The elevators are so small, they’ll challenge those who are uncomfortable in enclosed spaces. My Deluxe Old City room was quite small but modernly appointed, and in contrast to a bathroom that reminds me of Grandma’s. Although it was outdated in décor and fixtures, it was clean and just fine for my liking—I liked Grandma’s bathroom. The view of Mt. Zion and Hinnom Valley from my bedroom’s floor-to-ceiling windows was glorious.
Located within a short distance from historic tourist attractions and religious sites like the Western (Wailing) Wall and Temple Mount, Dome of the Rock, Al-Aqsa Mosque, Mount of Olives, the walled Old City, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, this boutique hotel is a welcoming place to lay your weary head after a full day of touring.
For more on what to eat and what to see in Israel, click here. And see the photo gallery below for a better look at each of the properties I described above. Which hotel would you choose to stay at during a visit to Israel?