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New Hotel: Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya

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People come to Israel for reasons spiritual, entrepreneurial, exotic, even quixotic, but nobody ever made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land for its service industry, which initiated travelers will delicately tell you is a bit rough around the edges. Up until now, Tel Aviv’s Dan hotels provided the city’s only five-star experiences. But that has changed with the December addition of the two-towered Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya, which is located in the northern neighborhood of Herzliya Pituach, on a picturesque marina alongside some of the most pleasant beaches in Israel. The guest rooms—the majority are Deluxe Rooms (larger than Standard and Superior)—are the ones to book (from $550). The spaces were designed to make maximum use of the stunning ocean vistas by placing the bathroom behind the sleeping area, giving each bed a view of the sea or marina. The most dramatic lookouts come with the northwest-facing corner rooms—those with numbers ending in “18” (318, 418, etc.) in C Tower and in “12” in D Tower—where you can see the sweep of the coastline, from Hadera in the north down to Ashdod in the south. Rooms facing the marina have a Mediterranean charm as well. On lower floors, views from west-facing rooms are impeded by a roof below. For longer stays, consider one of the Residential Suites (from $865), which come in a variety of one- and two-bedroom arrangements. It’s worth getting a brief explanation on the workings of the room’s control panel, because the thermostat is not particularly intuitive. Service at the young hotel may not be the crispest yet, but it is cheerful, attentive and determined. At 4 HaShunit St., Herzliya Pituach; 972-9/373-5555; ritzcarlton.com.

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