Though Tel Aviv, Israel is by legal definition a rather young city (it was only granted official city status in 1934), its spirit and history run deep––which, in a biblical Holy Land, is a bit of an understatement. Wandering the streets of this buzzing international hub is an instant architectural trip through time, with plentiful Bauhaus harmoniously juxtaposed against Eclecticism left and right, and needless to say, it’s a visual treat perhaps best encapsulated by the city’s most revered luxury hotel: The Norman.
The property’s captivating exterior is as enigmatic as it is inviting; a foreshadowing of what’s to be found within the confines of its walls. Architect Yoav Messer was tasked with carefully restoring two classic buildings, Nachmani 23 and Nachmani 25, the product of which now stands as a beautifully conjoined dual structure that’s been expertly reinvigorated while paying homage to each one’s respective roots. Its interior is equally noteworthy, but we’ll let the hotel’s General Manager Yaron Liberman tell you more about that in our exclusive look at the most coveted room and experiences this unforgettable home away from home has to offer. Read on for the inside scoop at the first and only boutique hotel in Tel Aviv.
What’s the most requested room at The Norman Tel Aviv?
Lots of guests have favorite rooms and suite types because they are all so unique, but overall, I would say that The Corner Suites are the most requested.
What makes that room type so special?
The corner suites are simply stunning. On the one hand, they are extremely romantic for couples and on the other, they’re perfect for businessmen who want to hold private meetings in the separate dining area or living room. The stunning curves of the living room afforded by the style of the 1925 electric architectural style building it is housed in have been enhanced by a bespoke curved sofa and pastel tones to enhance the light, breezy romantic feel of the suite. There is a free-standing light overhanging the sofa with a standout feather shade which everyone comments on or photographs, whilst the bedroom area is an Instagram star in its own right, because of the wall above the bed being adorned with around 25 antique hand mirrors arranged in an asymmetrical pattern, just stunning. The circular balcony adds to the romance of the design.
What is the usual rate?
The corner suite, with separate bedroom, bathroom with a bath and double shower, circular balcony with seating, living room and dining area is available at a rate of $1,600 throughout the year.
What are some of the things that make the property as a whole special?
There are many reasons The Norman is a unique property. The historical buildings they are housed in are iconic on the Tel Aviv landscape; the main building at Nachmani 25 was constructed in 1923 and was the first Modernist architectural style building in Tel Aviv. It has had many lives, in many guises, from apartments to offices and back again. The architect of the restoration project, Yoav Messer, brilliantly restored the building without ruining any of the external original features and created an atrium and conservatory by adding a contemporary extension to the back of the building, with glass banistered passageways and floor-to-ceiling windows on the new wing rooms. There are even the original balconies from the back of the building, now located overlooking the atrium.
The residential suites building at Nachmani 23 is an eclectic building that was built in 1925 and also had its original beauty preserved and restored with some added contemporary touches like electric wooden shutters and transparent red glass elevator inside. There is even a small Bauhaus building attached to the main building which was built for private use and now serves as an annex to the main building holding our boardroom, private dining room, and a very unique hotel suite.
Any notable/celebrity guests that you can share with us?
Although I cannot directly name guests, some celebrities have posted photographs of the hotel on Instagram, but many do not and not even the local press find out they are with us, as our guests’ privacy is paramount. The Norman has, since opening, become the go-to hotel for celebrity guests visiting Tel Aviv, including Hollywood movie stars, rock stars on tour in Israel and well-known faces from the international business world. The penthouse suites and the duplex penthouse offer ultimate privacy and quiet in the centre of the city, as well as plenty of space to entertain friends or have private dinners (we offer an unrivaled level of personalized luxury service and a well-trained professional security team).
Give us an inside look at the spa and the property’s other amenities.
Our wellness area is perched on the top of the building, offering the best massage options in our treatment room along with an intimate gym and a lovely roof deck for stretching, yoga, and other workouts. Our in-house personal trainer is available to guests. The wellness area also offers in-room beauty treatments. The heated infinity pool on the roof of The Norman offers urban and sea views, luxurious loungers, personal service, as well as a perfect pool menu. It’s intimate and exclusively for the use of hotel guests.
The dining options at The Norman–Alena, Dinings and The Library Bar–are far from your standard hotel restaurants and bar. They are award-winning destination restaurants for local foodies and international guests, not just those staying at the hotel.
What’s your personal favorite dining experience at The Norman?
I really cannot answer that honestly without saying it depends on my appetite and what kind of food I’m in the mood for. None of the culinary experiences are in any way similar and I enjoy all three venues to be entirely honest.
Alena is Mediterranean fine dining at its best, yet offers very unfussy ingredient-led menu that suits all tastes and appetites and offers wines from The Norman’s wine list, which won best wine list in Israel in 2017 and 2018. Choose from seared calamari salad to Middle Eastern lamb parcels and a superb fish and seafood selection, with lots of dishes served to share (and a beautiful outdoor terrace setting for the 9 warm months of the year). Alena is steered by renowned Executive Chef Barak Aharoni, who was named in international press this year as the “New Star of Israeli Cuisine,” and his specials never fail to surprise guests in terms of taste and originality.
Dinings Japanese restaurant originates from London and is located on our third floor roof terrace. It is hard to describe Dinings’ cuisine and location as anything other than sublime; when it comes to Japanese cuisine I am confident in saying it is unbeatable in Tel Aviv and I savor every bite up there. It has a sushi bar and indoor area all with amazing urban views. The fare is often traditionally Japanese with a contemporary European twist and is unlike any other Japanese food I have ever eaten.
The Library Bar is an excellent daytime meeting venue for local and international business people and a classic cocktail bar with dimmed lighting and a retro high-end design ethos. It’s often holding cultural events and parties and is popular with guests, serving as a destination bar in the heart of the city just a few steps from Rothschild Boulevard. I highly recommend the Norman Burger and fries (it’s a gourmet entrecôte burger that gets a 10 from me every time).
Tell us a few fun facts about the property.
I think nowhere is more Instagrammed in Tel Aviv than The Norman and some people come to the hotel just to take a photo for instagram on the steps and then leave! We sometimes meet people who once lived or worked in the building in a bygone era and it’s always fun to hear the stories of the buildings’ previous incarnations. We get many requests every week about where we found furniture or rugs or lights and other furnishings and if people can buy beds, bed linens, and pieces from our art collection. We also often see large groups of tourists outside the hotel with a tour guide explaining the history of the hotel and its buildings, as it is such an iconic place on the Tel Aviv landscape.