Everything about Bezalel Hotel is funky and modern. It is named after the Bezalel School of Art, and is appropriately filled with contemporary art in the public spaces and the rooms. We were greeted on reception by Lilach, who was welcoming and competent. She ensured that we had everything we needed and that we were aware of the breakfast and happy hour arrangements. One of the many reasons we chose this hotel was the glowing food reviews, for both morning and evening repasts.
We booked a classic room and were impressed with the design features and effective use of space. One often overlooked component of design in hotels is the lighting, and this room had selective lighting to suit all situations. The capacity to read comfortably is an important feature, and this too is catered for – I love lighting that is stylish and functional.
There was plenty of shelf space in the bathroom, both bench top and under bench areas, as well as another shelf running along the wall above the toilet. The door to the bathroom was completely silent, which was a much appreciated feature at night. I was grateful for an actual powerpoint in the bathroom, because there often isn’t one, but this one was protected for safety. In fact there are a generous number of well placed powerpoints throughout the room for all devices. The safe is large enough for a laptop and the wardrobe space is effective, with deep shelves, and a practical, discreet hanging space.
This elegantly designed property is a pared back luxury boutique hotel, where the guest is not paying for things they don’t actually need. No big box of tissues, but if you want tissues, there is a little purse pack supplied that is replaced daily if used. No minibar (who really uses those anyway?), but a small fridge is provided if you need to store anything chilled.
The evening ‘happy hour’ was a popular event, and we spent two hours of an evening in the dining area of the hotel enjoying the local complimentary sparkling wine and Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz, with soup, vine leaves, crudité and a range of lovely crispy salty snacks. The label they had for the wine was Barkan (white and red) and Cava Iberica for the bubbles, which was a special treat for New Year’s Eve, not offered on other nights.
We savoured the best buffet breakfast of any hotel we had stayed in…ever! It is not kosher to serve meat and dairy together, so it was all vegetarian and pescatarian food, and there was an extensive range on offer. Loved that there was even a tray of fresh honey from the hives, dripping from the honeycomb, near the pastries. Delicious!
The Bezalel chef’s name is Qinou (kin-oi-you). Without a doubt, he was the best of the chefs of the three Atlas Hotels where we stayed around Israel. What enabled us to make that call was comparing ‘like’ dishes, and the one comparison stand out at breakfast was the potato bake dish – elsewhere it was too creamy and cheesy. At Bezalel, it had mustard and chickpeas added to it – excellent choices.
We had an excellent night’s sleep, enabled by the good shower, good bed and good heating. I love this hotel, and was thrilled that we would be returning at the end of our tour around Israel for a final night before heading home.
Our adventures continue in Israel with our time in Jerusalem…
Accommodation: Bezalel Hotel