Link Hotel & Hub in Tel Aviv has no reception desk, no bellhop, no concierge, and no cash transactions. There are ample staff of course, endlessly cheerful, multi-lingual, full of insider tips on where to go in Tel Aviv; the type of people you always hope to meet when you’re traveling. But Link is emblematic of Israel itself—the start-up nation, Silicon Wadi—and guests get most of what they need through their phones. For checking in and out, opening guest room doors, calling staff or anywhere in Israel, controlling everything in the room, connecting with other guests, and reading up on where and how to go in Tel Aviv, there’s LinkApp.
Link is the brainchild of Dan Hotels, which started in Israel in 1947. The present-day Dan Tel Aviv grew from a beachfront guesthouse; its rainbow facade, painted by Israeli op-artist Yaacov Agam, is a Tel Aviv icon. Today Dan Hotels has 14 hotels in Israel and one in Bangalore. Israel has more than 100 tech companies in a country slightly larger than New Jersey and, in opening Link, Dan wanted a hotel for the future. CEO Ronen Nissenbaum says, “Link combines the two foundations of the Dan brand: 1. Artistry—and different art, not the typical art you see in a hotel, and 2. Technology—really utilizing the fact that Israel is the second Silicon Valley of the world.”
For art, Dan Hotels turned to photographer Daniel Siboni. “The question was,” says Nissenbaum, “how were we linking the art in the hotel to the city? For Tel Aviv the link is street art, the graffiti on walls all over Tel Aviv. So [Dan Hotels Chairman] Ami and Daniel chose 12 Israeli artists, including Bazooka Joe, Murielle Cohen, and Michal Rubin, to make their mark on the hotel. It’s in the rooms above the bed, it’s in the Hub (co-working, meeting, and common spaces), and the hallways.
The Link is one part hotel, one part co-working space, one part living room in the middle of Tel Aviv—right next to Tel Aviv Museum of Art, just behind HaShalom train station, a stone’s throw from cultural center Zoa House and foodie mecca Sarona Market. Link’s anchor is The Hub, its bright common space for co-working (in meeting rooms or at the work tables), meeting other guests, playing pool, board games and retro video games, and eating and drinking. The kitchen is open until midnight; the self-serve cafe is 24 hours. The Hub is a warm space where you actually want to hang out, and while for many its an office, it’s also a welcoming place where guests can mix, chatting over shakshouka or a Bauhaus Berry cocktail (so named for Tel Aviv’s 4000 Bauhaus buildings). Although Link is 100% teched-out, its guests aren’t all start-up types; rooms from US$150 and the communal vibe attract designers, writers, students, teachers, and tourists enjoying their time in Tel Aviv.
The 94 rooms at Link Hotel & Hub are small but perfectly formed: street-style art above the bed, a different painting in each room; USB ports right where you need them; a 50″ smart TV; glass-walled bathrooms, lighting whose color you can control on your phone; and a cushy queen-size bed with the same linens used at luxe King David Hotel in Jerusalem, favorite of dignitaries, royalty, and celebrities for nearly 90 years.
The hotel’s best amenities are the tidy self-service laundry room; the storage lockers where you can stow your stuff before and after check-out, and a vending machine for those “frequently forgotten items” (like the charger you were positive you packed, razors, even flip flops so you can zip down to the beach). Self-service washing machine dryer and ironing.
Link Hotel & Hub Staffers on what to do and where to go in Tel Aviv near the hotel:
Where to eat in Tel Aviv
Miznon. There are outposts in New York, Paris, and Vienna, but the original Tel Aviv branches reign supreme. The whole roasted cauliflower is the restaurant’s star, flying out of the kitchen and onto every table.
Sarona Market. The countries largest indoor food and drink market has nearly 100 stalls, shops, and restaurants. Burgers, pizza, pasta, Chinese, Mexican, Thai, and Bavarian, are all here along with bakeries, gelato shops, and stores selling spices, Israeli craft beer and wine, chocolate, olives, and other bites.
Where to drink in Tel Aviv
Dancing Camel. Israel’s first microbrewery, in a 1933 former grain storage facility, has eight beers on tap—think carob stout, a wheat beer spiced up with local shata peppers, and an American Pale Ale. Tours in English; write [email protected] to book.
Bellboy. This veteran cocktail joint is two bars in one; hidden behind Bellboy is 12-seat, single-bartender Butler. Bellboy serves pretty/avant-garde cocktails like Josephine’s Pet (blue cheese-fnfused cognac, house-made citrus honey, liqueur Mandarine Napoleon, and lime) and has a dictionary at the back of its menu so you know what you’re getting.
What to do in Tel Aviv
Bauhaus Center. Tel Aviv’s White City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has more than 4,000 Bauhaus-style buildings. This gallery-shop runs two-hour tours in English Fridays at 10am and self-guided audio tours any time.
Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Chagall, Messager, and Kapoor are just a few of the many artists that make up this museum’s huge collection, which encompasses Old Masters, (16-18th century Italian and 16th-17th century Dutch and Flemish art) and mid-19th to late-20th century works. A sculpture garden connects the museum’s two buildings. See the calendarfor a slew of daily events, including great children’s programming.