The Link Hotel and Hub, Tel Aviv
A hive of entrepreneurial excellence, Tel Aviv is born from a desire to nurture emerging industries while striving to be a world leader on a radical scale. It’s so much more than the frolicking, sun-drenched, fun-time city we are so familiar with.
Tel Aviv been dubbed ‘the miniature Los Angeles’ by the Economist for a reason. It is the epicentre of high tech industry and scientific research in Israel. By the late 1990’s Tel Aviv had established itself as one of the world’s most technologically advanced cities, expanding rapidly ever since. The metropolitan area including satellite cities came to be referred to as the Silicon Wadi, after the famous Wadi Rum Desert. And of course, second only to Silicon Valley in California.
Its strengths lie in attracting companies that want to expand in venture capital, financial services and of excellence in scientific research. Buzzing with young, capable, ambitious entrepreneurs, it’s a heady mix.
Crucially, it is a sparkling hub for start-ups. With an unbeatable tech start-up ecosystem and an expanding pool of talent, its beating heart is high energy, focused, determined fun. Highly interlinked, Tel Aviv is a city with a challenge driven ethos. It wants to foster talent using its no-nonsense, skip the pleasantries approach to getting the job done.
And this has spread to the hotel sector too where the desire is for slick, technology-driven hotels where fortunes can be made, and bodies rested – this is where the Link Hotel and Hub comes into its own.
The newest addition to the Dan Hotels portfolio, Israel’s largest luxury hotel chain, the Link is streets ahead. Tailored for the millennial tourist and business clientele, it marries technology with art and comfort, leading to an effortless experience.
Nestled on King Saul Avenue, in the heart of the business and culture district, just behind HaShalom Station, and close to the cultural centre of Zoa House, it couldn’t be more central.
Daniel Siboni, Cannes Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award winning photographer curated it, with each of the eight floors assigned to a different Tel Aviv street artist. I had the pleasure of Dioz (Guy Bloom), a modern mixture of street animation and illustration, portraying imaginary creatures with punks and skateboards.
Entering through the sliding doors would be a little unnerving if you hadn’t already received an email with the LinkApp guidelines a few days before. There is no concierge, although if you are struggling there are plenty of people to help. There is no check-in, it is a cashless marvel that means no impatient queuing after a long journey. The app allows you to ‘plug and stay’, check-in before you arrive and during your stay use it to control the lights, air con and TV in the room. There is a handy city link section with lists of museums, Tel Aviv Museum of Art is a five-minute walk away, art galleries, restaurants and shopping.
The brilliant yellow and black ‘Gangster Art Rider’ is adorned with symbols and signs. The rider is a combination of male and female, edgy and thought provoking. The Hub is a vibrant, bright space with many meeting rooms, underpinned with youth and frivolity, bounce ideas over a game of pool, board game or retro video gaming.
The Hub Kitchen and bar serves breakfast and an all-day meatless menu. You will soon be able to order through the app. This colourful space is a haven for networking and soaking up the atmosphere, again flanked by artwork and sunken fabric sofas. Shay Schneidermann, an artist from Uruguay, is responsible for transforming old furniture into artworks, feel free to sit on them with a dreamy cocktail; ‘Fresh Prince of Jaffa’, ‘Tel Avivian Mule’ or ‘Bauhaus Berry’.
Information such as the Tel Aviv Greeter is also on the Linkapp, an app that allows you meet a Tel Avivian and learn from the horse’s mouth. Other apps include the Israeli Declaration of Independence, should you have a little time on your hands.
The facilities and amenities are second to none. The fitness suite is on the first floor, an instructor can be provided if needed. As well as massage and beauty treatments.
There are personal storage lockers, washing machine, dryer and a vending machine with frequently forgotten items, such as flip flops, for when the need to nip to the beach becomes too much.
The uniqueness of the hotel shines in the co-working space on the lower floor. Follow the artwork hanging high above the lobby area crafted by Bazooka Joe. He began to draw his dreams 15 years ago this morphed into recycled instruments.
Each of the 94 rooms are compact but immaculately designed. White washed walls punctuated by Street style art that has crept in from the hallway. A 50-inch smart TV, stylish up lighting and of course control features from your phone.
The rest area has 6 images depicted by Frenchman Erik Brakha, a pop art series of ‘Jews who changed the world’. Among them are Einstein and Jesus. The Link Hotel and Hub may just be on the cusp of changing the hotel industry, having been listed as one of the world’s 100 most incredible hotels and the only Israeli one in the Fodor’s List 2018, it is well on its way to doing just that.