JONAS
Jonas Rask Eilersen
Lily & Bloom
Lilienblum St 48, Tel Aviv-Yafo, 6513455, Israel
20th October 2015

Change has been afoot on the Tel Aviv hospitality scene for a few years now, and new hotels, thankfully with a much higher emphasis on service, are popping up all over the city. One of the latest to open is the Lily & Bloom; we checked it out.

Location
If you don't need to be on the beach, this is a truly fabulous location. On Lilienblum, which is one of Tel Aviv's "party streets", you're within one minute of Rothschild Boulevard.
Who stays?
The hotel was constantly full during my stay; a mix of upmarket leisure guests and business travellers. The hotel seems to be very popular with French guests - a few of whom clearly use the hotel as their base for business meetings. I also noted a few gay and lesbian couples.
Style and Character
A highlight is the hotel's unique and very classy style - a mix of vintage elements and classic Bauhaus. The vast lobby (doubling as the breakfast restaurant) is somehow at odds with the hotel's relatively small footprint, but creates a natural meeting space for guests and staff alike.
I did find that there were a few too many "rough edges"; there were scratches on doors and broken mirrors in the lift - and a huge hole in the ceiling in the lobby. This should all be a top priority for the hotel to fix. I also think the reception area looks a little "messy".
Service
Very personable and also quite professional. I always think it's appropriate for the staff to show some personality - and they do here at Lily & Bloom. All staff I encountered (minus the housekeeping staff) were friendly and happy to help with any request (although I never think it's appropriate for staff to be on their mobile phones when they're "on stage").

However, I was not quite satisfied with the housekeeping; not once during my four night stay were my linens changed (despite them being dirty); nor were glasses replaced. I also did not get any refills of my Nespresso capsules, although this was requested on a couple of occasions. Furthermore, the internet was really not working - which I think is everybody's pet peeve.

I still rate the service quite highly, as I did appreciate the staff's genuine concern for my wellbeing and enjoyment of the hotel.
Rooms and Suites
My third floor Deluxe Room was very spacious and well laid out. There were a few things which I loved; among them were the wooden floors and the bathroom (the shower was very good indeed!). I also took note of the luxurious Sabon amenities.

The bed was comfortable, although I did not appreciate the synthetic bedding. I was also quite concerned that the sound-proofing was not better; people in the hallway were clearly audible. Also notable was the noise from outside; meaning that, if you have a room facing Lilienblum Street, and you're staying over a weekend, you will hear quite a bit of street noise from merry party-goers.
Food and Drink
I only had breakfast here, but I was impressed with the spread and quality of both food and drink. There are several hot dishes, in addition to eggs made to order, available - and this is alongside an extensive selection of salads, cheeses and breads. Don't miss the shakshuka!
To drink, you're offered all sorts of coffee and tea options - as well as freshly squeezed juice. I was not happy with the quality of the juice, but, refreshingly, I was told that it was due to the poor quality of the oranges this season (in short: all forgiven).
One night, I was waiting for a friend in the lobby, and was offered a glass of wine on the house (this is part of the hotel's Mr Bloom's Happy Hour - I thought this was a kind gesture).
Note: the hotel is kosher - and so you will not be able to get a nice espresso on Saturday morning....this is another pet peeve of mine (but this is Israel....)
Features, Wellness, and Amenities
There is no gym or spa here - but the hotel offers discounted access to a number of very well equipped gyms around town - and I think this is a preferable solution to the usually poorly equipped gyms at boutique hotels.

For a small property like this, I think it's appropriate to only offer a nice terrace (which the hotel does) and a beautiful and comfortable lobby where you can listen to music and enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine.
Perceived Value
For an expensive city, it's all very reasonably priced. With the competition heating up, I don't think the prices will go up too much - and they shouldn't given the offering of the property.
Verdict
A great new hotel in a fabulous location, Lily & Bloom's potential is not yet fully realised - it needs small touch-ups to the service delivery and the physical finishing. I'd happily return.