There are few places in the world that can claim to offer views of the shorelines of four different countries from any one vantage point – let alone from the balcony of your own hotel room. But that is exactly the amazing panorama that can be enjoyed from the terraces of the Brown Eilat, a new boutique hotel in Israel’s southern resort city on the Red Sea.
OK, so Israel itself is included in the number of the aforementioned countries, along with neighboring nations Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. But frankly, the views of Israel’s Arava Mountains – which take on a purple hue as the sun sets – are the most impressive.
The cherry on top of this view is the fact that it can be enjoyed either while sipping a drink at the table for two on your terrace – or even while luxuriating in the hot, relaxing, swirling water of a private whirlpool bath stationed on the balcony of one of the hotel’s corner junior suites.
Those few choice suites are among 84 guest units in the Brown Eilat – one of the latest to join the Brown Hotel collection, one of the fastest growing chains in the eastern Mediterranean. The new hotel, which opened just in the spring of 2022, is now one of 37 Brown boutique hotels in Israel, Greece, Croatia and Cyprus.
Boutique hotels are less common in Eilat, where the beaches and boardwalks are dominated by giant properties. Brown Eilat is set a few blocks back from the waterfront – although still just a 10-minute walk from the water – and thus a bit removed from the crowds.
Apart from the reduced noise level, another advantage of Brown Eilat is free parking in a private lot – a far cry from the expensive underground lots of the bigger hotels. And then there is the virtual absence of small children: while the hotel does accept families, the rooms sleep a maximum of three people, so larger families tend to gravitate elsewhere – such as to another new Brown property in Eilat, the Lighthouse, which has programs especially designed for kids.
It is anticipated that eventually, Brown Eilat will officially become an “adults only” property. Meanwhile, it is certainly cultivating that sort of sophisticated atmosphere: at check-in, guests are invited to toast their arrival with glasses of chilled sparkling wine.
The complimentary lobby treats do not stop there: a professional Nespresso machine with a variety of capsules dispenses hot coffee, alongside water infused with fresh fruit, and three different kinds of hot tea. Last but not least, a chestnut roaster stands chock full of the winter delicacy.
Yet another trademark of Brown Hotels graces the lobby: the chain’s distinctive X-shaped bookcases stocked with books and paperbacks compromising a free lending library at guests’ disposal. A different, less sedentary free perk is the complimentary use of bicycles for exploring the city and nearby countryside (compensating for the lack of a fitness room).
From the lobby, one proceeds to guest quarters via the sole elevator – a transparent glass capsule that rises along an imposing wall covered in tropical vegetation. The lush greenery of the pleasant atrium complements the fronds of the majestic palm trees that welcome visitors from the exterior.
The rooms themselves are furnished with comfortable beds boasting linen of fine Egyptian cotton, flat-screen televisions with multilingual satellite channels, laptop-sized safes, mini-refrigerators and the same professional espresso machines previously encountered in the lobby. A complimentary bottle of mineral water is provided, although no tea. Naturally, free Wi-Fi extends to all rooms, as well as the public areas.
The marble bathrooms, with raindrop shower heads in the spacious stalls, are equipped with absorbent towels also of Egyptian cotton, magnifying make-up mirrors and hair dryers – not to mention premium bath amenities by Molton Brown. Comfortable bathrobes and slippers are equally handy for bathroom and jacuzzi use, or for heading down to the outdoor swimming pool, lined with deck chairs.
After a good night’s sleep, nothing is as welcome as a Brown breakfast buffet, distinguished in Brown Eilat by a stone oven that turns out piping hot focaccias and individual-sized pizzas, in addition to the counters of fresh breads, rolls, croissants, pastries and cakes. Not only are there warm and cold dishes on the buffet, but one may also choose from a list of egg dishes made to order, all included as part of the complimentary morning meal.
While breakfast is the only meal currently served at the hotel, a snack bar operates in the pool area in the summertime, and a branch of the acclaimed Tel Aviv Italian restaurant Cena is slated to open on the premises in the spring. Of course, there are a number of excellent restaurants in town, such as Mamo, by award-winning chef Ohad Levi.
Like many of its Brown counterparts, this property is also amenable to special needs, with advance notice: it has accessible rooms for the physically challenged, and welcomes pets (up to a certain weight) at no extra charge.
As much as Eilat is a beach resort, with the attractions of the coral reefs of the Red Sea and wilderness desert landscapes and national parks, it is also a shoppers’ paradise, as retail goods are sold here with exemptions from Israel’s 17% sales tax. Visitors looking for bargains will appreciate the hotel’s convenient location right next to the Ice Mall, a popular shopping complex with an ice rink.
See more at the official website here.
Published rates: $130 (double room with breakfast), $262 (junior suite with breakfast); prices higher in summer and on holidays. Check the hotel’s website for special deals and discounts. You can also check Booking.com for a better rate and make your reservation there if the price is better.
Text and photos by Buzzy Gordon, who was a guest of the hotel for purposes of review. Additional photos courtesy of Brown Hotels (Assaf Pinchuk, Adir Salto, Roni Balahsan).