I’ve spent quite some amazing holidays in Tel Aviv and had never guessed that things could even get better. But apparently they can…

A few weeks ago, on another extremely rainy day in Belgium, my dearest friend Marie-France asked if I could take a picture of her wearing a bikini in the streets of Antwerp. My first reaction was “are you serious???”. It looks ridiculous in July, let alone in February. But it was her birthday so I could impossibly refuse. And we could win a trip to Tel Aviv… even though I never win anything, this was worth a try. My only condition was that we would do it the Antwerp way. Which basically means adding a fashionable touch, adapted to the weather.

So it happened that on the 28th of February we took a picture in the pouring rain. The only thing I remember was that I said “just pretend that it’s 25 degrees outside” and “I will add some yellow light in Photoshop so it looks summer’ish”. The day after we both got a nasty cold.

The result looked like this:

I kinda forgot we participated in the #takeme2telaviv contest. Till I got a call from Marie-France last Wednesday to say that we were one of the 15 chosen duos to stay at the Brown lifeguard stand hotel! When we got on the plane Sunday morning, I still couldn’t believe it was actually happening.

Tel Aviv Lifeguard Stand The Brown Hotel pop-upTel Aviv Lifeguard Stand The Brown Hotel pop-up

The world’s first lifeguard stand hotel

When arriving at Ben Gurion airport, there was a kind driver waiting to take us to The Brown Beach House, the hotel where we would spend our first night. When seeing our room, we were already over-excited. But we had to wait till the day after to be taken to our Baywatch establishment.

Let’s tell you a bit more about the lifeguard stand first. It all began when tourism officials discovered that youngsters rather prefer to spend time in Tel Aviv than the countryside. And when you think of the city, its famous beach is top of mind. So why not turn one of those beige wooden cabins into the world’s first pop-up lifeguard stand hotel? Local street artist Edgar Rafael turned the rather boring outside into an urban piece of art. The Brown Hotel was responsible for both the decorative as the hospitality part. For those who wonder if it was safe alone at the beach, we had two guards who permanently kept an eye on everything.

Unfortunately the lifeguard stand will turn to its original state in the beginning of April. But we can very much recommend the Brown Beach House if you’re interested in visiting this amazing city.

Tel Aviv Lifeguard Stand The Brown Hotel pop-upTel Aviv Lifeguard Stand The Brown Hotel pop-upTel Aviv Lifeguard Stand The Brown Hotel pop-upTel Aviv Lifeguard Stand The Brown Hotel pop-upTel Aviv Lifeguard Stand The Brown Hotel pop-up

Our Baywatch experience

We were enjoying the sun and our incredible view for 5 minutes when the guys behind TLV.TV contacted us. They wondered if we were interested in doing an interview. Of course we were… What should have been a 10 minute questioning, turned into a “housewarming” party with around 20 people we’ve never met before. Including a DJ and the usual amount of drinks. We’re used to having crazy experiences in Tel Aviv but this must have been the craziest by far.

With a slight hangover we managed to enjoy that amazing bed, bath and a delicious breakfast the morning after. Did I say that even the toilet had a beach view? At noon we unfortunately had to leave already. Luckily The Brown Beach House had another great hotel room ready for us so that healed the pain.

The full party video (via TLV.TV):

Tel Aviv Lifeguard Stand The Brown Hotel pop-upTel Aviv Lifeguard Stand The Brown Hotel pop-upTel Aviv Lifeguard Stand The Brown Hotel pop-upTel Aviv Lifeguard Stand The Brown Hotel pop-upTel Aviv Lifeguard Stand The Brown Hotel pop-upWith special thanks to Marie-France, the City of Tel Aviv, Margaux, Romy & Donna from The Brown Beach House, Yaniv & Yoav from TLV.TV and everyone showing up at our Housewarming party. We truly had an amazing time! 

Photo credits: Ruth Van Soom for ENFNTS TERRIBLES