Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport is the world’s eighth best international airport, according to the prestigious magazine Travel + Leisure (T+L).
“Long-haul flights to international destinations can be taxing on travelers, both on departure and arrival,” the magazine notes. “But the best airports in the world make the travel experience as carefree as possible, often with unusual amenities, such as showers in the bathrooms, entertainment and wellness facilities, and plenty of healthy eating options.”
Located in the heart of Israel, Ben Gurion Airport handled approximately 18 million passengers last year, making it the 48th busiest airport in Asia.
The departure hall of the modern airport features a giant fountain that sprinkles water from the ceiling, making it look like it’s always raining (first photo). Other amenities include an indoor playground for children, business lounges, various duty-free stores, restaurants, and art exhibitions.
Topping Travel + Leisure Magazine’s list of international airports are Singapore’s Changi Airport; Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar; and the Dubai International Airport.
The magazine recently published the results of its annual World’s Best Awards survey, where it asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences including resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, hotels, and more.
This year, Jerusalem was ranked as the second best city in Africa and the Middle East, following Cape Town, South Africa. Rounding out the top three list is Beirut, Lebanon.
In the category of best city hotels in North Africa and the Middle East, Jerusalem’s Waldorf Astoria was ranked second, while Tel Aviv’s Norman Hotel came in seventh. Topping the list was Abu Dhabi’s Jumeirah at Etihad Towers.
Contemporary style near the ancient city
Located near the old city of Jerusalem, the ultra-elegant Waldorf Astoria features contemporary style just steps away from the ancient city, with luxurious rooms and a beautiful courtyard.
Boutique hotel Norman, located near Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, is a plush urban hotel housed in two reconstructed Bauhaus-era buildings, surrounded by a lush Mediterranean garden. It features high-end interiors, hand-painted tile floors, high ceilings, original Israeli artwork and a rooftop infinity pool.
Photos: David Shankbone, Nova13, Norman Hotel, Vladislav Bezrukov
By Einat Paz-Frankel, (NoCamels)