This review is later than I had planned, but the information is hopefully still useful. We visited Israel and Egypt in 2010 (good timing), before the unrest that unfolded in Egypt and a lesser extent in Israel earlier this year.
It's my recommendation that any visit to the Middle East begin, and/or end in Israel, and preferably both. While this can be tricky given the politics of the region, it is a relatively easy matter to transfer in and out via Amman airport in Jordan which has normalized relations with Israel.
The advantage of starting/ending a visit with Tel Aviv is that it is a modern resort town on the Mediterranean and its still relatively unknown (this means no crowding) It has major hotels along a clean wide beach that evokes images of Miami Beach without the crowding. It's a clean and you don't have to worry about what you eat and drink there. There are a variety of good restaurants along the beach and in the old town of Jaffa is a stones throw away. By contrast, you eat outside your hotel at your own peril in Cairo.
We stayed at the Dan Panorama Hotel on the Mediterranean for a few days, and hired a private tour guide (a/c minivan for 4 people) who took us to all of the holy sites in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, to the Dead Sea (yes you really do float), Masada, and the Wailing Wall -- all over a comfortably paced 2 days from the hotel.
Every room in the Dan has a view of the Mediterranean and a small balcony, giving you a definite resort feel. The pool is large, and the dining room is even bigger. It's the largest breakfast buffet in the city , and its all kosher (that means you can have an omelette, but you won't find any meat to go with it.) However there are so many choices of fish and vegetable substitutes, it's impossible to walk out of there hungry.
In town (again, all walking distances) you'll find everything from traditional middle-eastern to brew pubs and dining al fresco. There's also a huge marketplace near the Dan if you have a couple of hours to spare.
There's lots to do from your home base at the sea's edge in Tel Aviv, and it's a great place to arrive and relax after your Middle East tour. But, you know, please keep it a secret.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A five star deluxe hotel with a beautiful beachfront location, the Dan Panorama Tel Aviv is situated opposite vast park areas with easy access to South Tel Aviv's stunning beaches. Hotel guests can walk to the Jaffa Old City and Port, Neve Tzedek and the new 'Tachana' shopping and entertainment zone. Guests of the Dan Panorama can enjoy the revamped public areas including expansive lobby areas where free Wi-Fi is available. The hotel has an exclusive Executive Lounge located on top floor of the hotel offering complimentary drinks and snacks all day, with outstanding views over the city skyline and sea. Hotel guests can relax and unwind in the newly refurbished indoor spa area with treatment rooms and Jacuzzi. The Dan Panorama Tel Aviv also features a Convention centre, hosting events of up to 1000 people.482 rooms including family units and Executive Suites. Large open air pool and Daniland kids club (both open seasonally) All rates include Service Charge. Tourists with B2 and B3 Entry Visa stamped in their foreign passport are exempt from VAT. Israeli guests are subject to pay VAT. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Dan Panorama Tel Aviv Hotel Tel Aviv
- Dan Panorama Hotel Tel Aviv
- Tel Aviv Dan Panorama