The Lighthouse — Tel Aviv, Israel
At ground level, it is Tel Aviv’s neat rows of bright white Bauhaus buildings that feel most indicative of this metropolis on the Mediterranean. The serrated skyline meanwhile, is dominated by vast contemporary shards of glass and steel. Slightly at odds with both is the Migdalor – or Lighthouse – tower, a 16-storey, 1970s office block that, until recently, was wallowing in grim disrepair. But as is now frequently the case in a newly booming city, a bright young hotelier stepped forth to drag the Brutalist-style building back from the brink, and reimagine it as a sprightly, design-led hotel.
The Lighthouse is the latest opening from Brown Hotels and, with 100 guestrooms and suites (rising to 160 in phase two), its largest project to date by some stretch. The group’s co-founder Leon Avigad partnered with local architect Nestor Sandbank on the interiors – a curated vision of peculiarity and whimsy.
Rather fitting for a building that is itself something of an outsider, there’s little by way of understatement. A birdcage swing hangs in the lobby, antlers are mounted on walls and on the colour front, flashes of flamingo pink and marigold bring a sense of vitality to moodily-lit hallways.
Bedrooms are larger than average for the city, and some feature vast terraces with outdoor Jacuzzis, garden walls and clear views to the Mediterranean Sea or panoramic vistas of the Tel Aviv skyline.
With an Israeli-centric food offer, guests can make use of a fifth floor restaurant specialising in fish and dairy. While for those who prefer to keep the party going, Brown Hotels have also partnered with local events group, ARIA, on a slew of in-house nightlife options – including a rooftop bar that is the new shining light atop this thankfully revived lighthouse, ensuring guests are unlikely to run aground on the treacherous shores of boredom.§