Location, location, location: This sleek and friendly five-story hotel sits on a side street between Hayarkon Street and Ben Yehuda, meaning it's isolated from street noise while still placing guests within a 5-minute jaunt from the beach. Cafes and restaurants surround the property, but it's the Mendeli lobby itself which is the real destination: It's here that celebrity chef Yossi Shitrit runs the kitchen of Mashya, one of Tel Aviv's hottest dining destinations and undeniably the hotel's greatest asset. Rooms are clean and well-designed, and staff is friendly and welcoming. The hotel is small and many guests are regulars who visit often on business.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Works from leading Israeli artists are scattered throughout the hotel. Look for the landmark piece in the lobby from Know Hope, one of Tel Aviv's most beloved -- and most elusive -- street artists.
Bright and clean with splashes of color, the rooms are modern and well-appointed.
Upgrade to a superior room or a suite if you want to spread out -- the standard rooms run small.
With a rainforest shower, separate toilet and Dead Sea bath products, the bathroom is comfortable and sleek. The same
YOU SHOULD KNOW There is no bathtub, so travelers who crave a long soak should book elsewhere.
The Mendeli lobby doubles as the Mashya restaurant, a local favorite run by one of Israel's most well-regarded celebrity chefs. The hanging vertical garden and buzzing central bar bring urban charm, but also mean you'll have to wade through hungry crowds on weekend evenings before reaching the reception desk. The intricate lobby ceiling, which extends outside to the building overhang, is a swirling laser-cut motif that is a nod to ancient Hebrew scripture. You'll see it replicated again in the guest room bathrooms.
Breakfast at Mashya is included in your room price, but if you want to snag a table for dinner, book ahead as it quickly fills with locals, especially on weekends.
The Mendeli has a private gym, reserved only for hotel guests, located directly next door to the hotel property. It's small and tidy but for a short workout it gets the job done, with a treadmill, elliptical machine, free weights and TRX equipment.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The hotel's two private conference rooms are also located in the gym, making for a weird mash-up of business meetings and brawn.
Mashya Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus a sought-after weekend brunch. The food is local, seasonal and considered some of the best in town.
Chef Yossi Shitrit's menu is highly seasonal and can change daily based on what he finds at local markets.
Many Tel Aviv highlights are within easy walking distance from the hotel, but from Ben Yehuda street, you can also throw out your hand and jump on the #4 "Monit Sherut," the yellow shared taxi-vans that run a set route between the Tel Aviv Port and the south of the city. Taxis are also readily available on both Ben Yehuda and HaYarkon Streets.
Israelis go crazy for Thai food, and Thai House (3-minute walk), one of the best purveyors of Tom Yum and Massaman curry, is but one block away. If you're on a health kick or want to tap into the city's rapidly-growing vegan scene, there's Anastasia (8-minute walk), a charming local cafe where you'll hardly believe the cheese boards and delectable pastries are totally egg- and dairy-free.
Imperial Cocktail Bar (6-minute walk) was named the best watering hole in the Middle East; nearby Concierge (8-minute walk) is swanky and offers highly creative drinks.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Great modern design, friendly service, and one of the best on-site dining options in town set this hotel apart. The Mendeli is small and its amenities are limited, but it is warm, good-looking and in an unbeatable location. There is no spa or pool and no room service on offer, so if you're more of a homebody, you might find the Mendeli limiting. But if you're looking for a beautiful base from which to explore Tel Aviv, this is an excellent bet.