Located right on the Mediterranean Sea, the Marina Hotel offers great access to swimming, sun-bathing and sailing. Only a few steps separate the hotel’s lobby with the warm sand of Tel Aviv’s prime beaches. The location of the Marina Hotel is its best feature, in my opinion, and the rooftop pool and bar do a great job showing that off.
Our first impression of the Marina Hotel was somewhat indifferent. The entrance is off a busy underpass, blocking out all natural light, as well as loud and exhaust-filled with the constant flow of traffic.
The lobby felt very busy with its multi-colored carpeting, a souvenir shop and loud-speaking staff. We were happy to discover a quieter seating area in the back with a grand piano and lovely artwork, which turned out to be displayed in all areas of the hotel.
We found the rooms small and lacking of character, which contradicts the efforts the hotel puts into its common areas, as there is an ongoing art exhibition through all the hallways. The desk provides a very small surface to work, and the bathroom is also slightly cramped with very limited hooks to dry towels. The twin beds are soft and comfortable.
The complimentary continental breakfast served up a large variety of selections, including many vegan dishes. Every morning our plates were full of hummus, olives, bread with jam, as well as fresh veggies and fruit. We particularly enjoyed the silah, which is honey made from dates. On one particular morning, there was even soy milk, which allowed us to enjoy a bowl of muesli with dried fruits and nuts.
By far, the best amenity of the Marina Hotel is the rooftop pool and bar. The view is spectacular, the lounge beds are luxurious and the warm breeze is fantastic. Throughout the hotel, WIFI hotspot access is available in 24-hour periods. As with similarly sized hotels, there is room service offered around the clock, daily laundry service, an airport shuttle (additional fee), currency exchange and a concierge desk to help arrange tours.
Seeing as the hotel is located on a busy street, it’s extremely easy to flag down a taxi, but it’s also less than a 5-minute walk to a number of different bus routes.
Room for Improvement
We spent two weeks at the Marina Hotel during the Maccabiah Games in July 2013. Like every other hotel in the area, the rooms were fully booked and it was clear that the staff were under considerable stress. Despite that, any requests we had to make our stay more comfortable (e.g. repair a slow-draining bathtub) were handled immediately. Although officially classified as a 4-star hotel, we believe that the Marina Hotel isn’t quite deserving of that status. If the rooms had a bit more space and character, it would be a completely different story.