The flight from New York to Tel Aviv hardly prepared me for the place I was going to see. The entire 747 seemed to be packed with Hasidim, who prayed in throngs at the back of the plane, while their conservatively dressed women stood seriously in the aisles. Holy Land, here we come. Right? Wrong! Land at Ben Gurion Airport, and suddenly you are transported into a sybarite’s paradise. Wonderful food (check out Herbert Samuel, Messa, Orna & Ella, and Manta Ray – and that’s just the start of your cuisine itinerary), a 10-km long beachfront and esplanade full of hot bodies, many scantily dressed, quaint old suburbs with Bauhaus architecture and chic cafes near Rothschild and Montefiore, a nightlife that goes on till 4 in the morning (which is why Benedict stays open for breakfast 24/7), and the old port city of Jaffa, a place that might make you think you are in Casablanca. The hummus at Jaffa’s Abu Hassan, by the way, is arguably the best in the country, even though that argument rages on. Go taste it (and Tel Aviv) and decide for yourself.