Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Brown TLV Urban hotel

18 May 2012 by Jenny Southan

WHAT’S IT LIKE? This trendy little 30-room boutique property opened in 2010, and offers guests a warm, seventies-style vibe with retro furniture, leather couches, cow skin rugs, vintage lamps and, of course, lots of brown. Tall cacti guard the entrance and, on arrival, you are given a chilled glass of prosecco while being checked in by the youthful staff who immediately make you feel relaxed and welcome.

There are diamond-shaped shelving units in the lobby (Living Room) area, which reach to the ceiling and are playfully stacked with magazines and books, and an oversized vintage Playboy cover looks down on to the reception desk. The overall look is effective – thought has been put into seventies concept without going over the top, and money has been invested in quality fittings and furnishings.

The bedrooms tend to be small (11 sqm to 25 sqm), and there is not much in the way of facilities, which for some may be issue, but the Brown certainly makes a nice alternative to staying in less characterful chain hotels.

WHERE IS IT? The hotel is positioned at the cross roads of the bohemian Neve Tzedek quarter, Carmel market, Nahalat Binyamin mall and Rothschild Boulevard, where many of the city’s start-up companies are based. It is a ten-minute walk to the beach, and a 30- to 60-minute drive to the airport, depending on traffic.

ROOM FACILITIES Rooms are compact but well designed, with bathrooms that are separated from the sleeping area by frosted glass walls and doors (though note the set-up doesn’t offer you much privacy if you are staying with someone else). The interiors are contemporary in design, with just a nod to the seventies theme with the chocolate and cappuccino décor, and orange throws on the bed.

Solo rooms, at 11 sqm, have double beds but are only big enough for one person, realistically, while Classic rooms (the category in which I stayed) and above are for two people and start from 15 sqm. Each bedroom comes with free wifi, Egyptian cotton linens, robes and slippers, safes, Italian black marble bathrooms with walk-in rainshowers, LCD flatscreen HD TVs, workdesks, minibars and hairdryers as standard. Relax rooms also have a double spa bath, while top-level Deluxe rooms have a separate living space with a sofa bed.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS The hotel doesn’t have a dedicated restaurant, but instead recommends three nearby eateries for breakfast or brunch. An attractive print-out on recycled brown paper is placed in each of the bedrooms with photos and information about each of them – I tried both Tazza d’Oro, which has free wifi, a garden area and very tasty Israeli brunch options (think eggs with spinach, onions and ricotta cheese), and Café Birenbaum, which is more geared for budget travellers and families but does and excellent buffet.

The ground-floor Living Room is a stylish hangout where you can grab a cup of complimentary coffee or tea and a biscuit, and connect to the free wifi. A full service café and bar is anticipated for the near future.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES There is a ground-level terrace, covered in green Astroturf for smokers or those wanting to relax with a coffee, while the roof has a sundeck for events. There is also a cosy, green-walled meeting room for up to 20 delegates. It has a computer stand with printer, projector and screen, free wifi access, and a refreshment station.

LEISURE FACILITIES Being a small property, there is not much space for leisure facilities, but there is one ground-floor spa treatment suite with a spa bath, and Relax and Deluxe rooms can also accommodate a massage on request and at a supplement of 50 NIS (£8.30). There is no fitness centre on-site but guests have free access to Energy Gym, three minutes’ walk away, and the nearby seafront promenade makes a great stretch for jogging.

VERDICT A stylish new boutique addition to Tel Aviv’s hotel scene. With little in the way of facilities and fairly small rooms, you probably won’t be spending too much of your time here, but it offers a warm environment in a good location and you will feel well looked after by the staff.

FACT FILE

HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 30 rooms across four categories – Solo (11 sqm), Classic (15 sqm), Relax (20 sqm) and Deluxe (25 sqm).

ROOM HIGHLIGHTS The comfortable bed with high quality linens, free wifi and walk-in rainshower.

PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in June started from US$145 for a Solo room.

CONTACT 25 Brown TLV Urban hotel, Kalisher Street; tel +972 3717 0200; browntlv.com

Jenny Southan

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