Imagine Paris in the 50’s – but luxurious (because Paris post WWII was hardly luxurious, but it was sexy, dark, smoky and stunning). That is Nina Cafe Hotel in Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv.
A long long time ago (About 17 years now I think) I spent a summer in Paris. It was AMAZING. I stayed in this little bed and breakfast in the 5th Arrondismont. The place was cheap – but it was charming and the feel of it was magical. Nina Cafe Hotel has the same feel of charm and warmth but add cozy and regal (and yes, you can combine the two and make it work).
Here is a video I took when we entered the room (you can’t see the video from the feedburner email.)
The owner of Nina Cafe Hotel, Eliza Zibi, comes from a family of hoteliers. Her father opened one of the first high end hotels in Israel, Ziv hotel in Netanya. Owning a hotel is in her blood and she intends on passing that down. Nina is the name of Eliza’s 9 year old daughter.
When I talked with Eliza I saw how personal this space is for her. The office and cafe are filled with pictures of the staff, her friends and people who have stayed here. It’s this feel of personal that resonates throughout the hotel and makes it special, above and beyond the gorgeous aesthetics.
The style for the boutique hotel came from the years Eliza spent in Paris studying Cinema and her love of horses (she also has a horse ranch). After years abroad she came back to Israel, spent time in Neve Tzedek and fell in love with it. The feel reminded her of Paris, so she opened a very Parisian feeling cafe – Nina Cafe. Five years ago the boutique hotel was born. There are 5 individually designed rooms, but I only got to see one. It seems that they are full up most of the time, which isn’t very surprising considering the location of the hotel and niceness of the staff.
For legalities you should know that I went to the Nina Cafe Hotel and offered a barter – I would review their hotel if they let my husband and I stay for a night. In todays economy one must be creative when planning a night getaway with The Husband and this was my solution (my lovely Mother-In-Law was hostess of The Boys for the night). Plus I really really wanted to stay there. I wasn’t disappointed.
I think the lamps impressed me the most. There were a lot of them and they had the most wonderful selection in the room.
They should offer all of the furniture and accessories for sale, I would have seriously considered this hanging lamp. I want it for my living room!
In Israel, typically when one gets away for a weekend they go to a “Tzimmer” which are these wooden houses that people in the north of the country have on their lots. The tzimmers typically face a view and they are not cheap. In fact, they are typically more expensive than a night in this hotel, and then you have to go and find things to do in the area. I live in a house in the relative north. I don’t need to go stay in the countryside. I can just walk to the hills across the street from where I live. My idea of a get away is urban. This was just perfect.
We got insanely lucky and found the one gray (legal) parking spot in all of Tel Aviv (I’m exaggerating, but not by a lot. Tel Aviv and San Francisco have a lot in common when it comes to parking – remind me to tell you the story of when I cut someone off after searching for almost 2 hours one night…) Obviously, we kept our spot and walked everywhere. Tel Aviv is such a walkable city. It was lovely.
As for the bed – my husband came in, laid down and was snoring within 2 minutes. This was at 3 in the afternoon. He also slept 10 hours that night. I found the bed a tad hard, but he never wanted to leave. Seriously. After 10 hours of sleeping I still had to make an effort to wake him up. Admittedly, we are in serious need of a new mattress at home…
You can see the room from the video above and the gallery of pictures below – so I’m going to focus a bit more on the cafe. It really is just like being in Paris, at least, the Paris that captured my heart way back when.
The Nina Cafe going down Shabazi Street.
And the little bit that’s on the adjoining street.
Nearly everyone that works in the cafe speaks French. Not that it does me any good because I don’t speak French, but they do have the most wonderful accent when they speak in English.
And did I mention it’s in Neve Tzedek, the absolute best area of Tel Aviv if you like old school Paris?
Nina Cafe Hotel – I highly recommend it for a getaway if you live in Israel, and as an alternative to staying at a big monster hotel on the beach if you don’t.
Shira Abel is the CEO and founder of Hunter & Bard, an award-winning public relations and design agency that works with scale-ups and enterprises on building their brand, awareness and thought leadership.
As CEO of Hunter & Bard, Shira oversees a team that manages public relations, marketing, design, and brand development for clients across multiple industries. She develops strategies for organically growing companies through sincere digital engagement and the application of behavioral marketing.
Clients include JELD-WEN, Benchling, Sixth Continent, Totango, Folloze, Radix DLT, Axa Tech, Allianz, and many more. Shira is also a sought after corporate speaker and marketing mentor, and has spoken at events such as Confluence and Content Marketing World, and taught at institutions such as Kellogg School of Management and S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research in Mumbai.
Read more about Shira’s company Hunter & Bard at https://www.hunterandbard.com