EL AL | Atmosphere

Lifestyle I Hotels

Photos: Amit Geron

Dozens of restoration experts and craftsmen and women took part in the project, achieving a truly remarkable result: layers of color belonging to beautiful frescoes were uncovered and reclaimed, original window frames were salvaged thanks to the addition of imported crystal glass panes, the chapel was restored to its former glory, and the list of conservational feats goes on. Visual separation between old and new The Jaffa Hotel is composed of two parts: the U-shaped structure of the old historic edifice and the new wing, built to form a perfect square with the “U”. The two structures that encircle the inner courtyard are completely conservation and restoration laws require. Adding new structures that use different architectural languages is part of the restoration process. “By clearly marking the separation between the old and new, we’re ensuring future generations will have a grasp of the building’s history”, different from one another – as international architectural

explains architectural conservation specialist Tal Gazit, from the Amnon Bar-On architectural firm. The new part has no intention of “competing” with the historic one – its design and structure are entirely modern. The hotel’s delicious breakfast is served in the beautiful inner courtyard, though the jewel in the crown here has got to be the chapel, with its dazzling stained glass windows. Duly deconsecrated, nowadays - aside from being admired for its beautiful marble floors, gothic arches, and sculpted columns – the chapel serves as a bar and an occasional venue for live shows and DJ sets. The contrast is exhilarating and particularly photogenic - and reminiscent of certain atmospheres you can experience in Europe. Modern interior design and a first-rate location There are 120 rooms, each unique in size and design, though they are all beautifully chic and modern. The historic building houses rooms with high ceilings, arches and thick walls, and have an

air of distinguished nostalgia about them, while the rooms in the modern building have a lighter, more minimalistic aesthetic. The Jaffa Hotel also includes 32 permanent living units, including a 1,500 sqm penthouse, sold for no less than $65 million. The hotel has its own outdoor pool, sunbathing deck, bar, gym, deli called Golda’s (in honor of former Prime minister Golda Meir), restaurant (that serves non-Kosher breakfasts to guests and non-guests alike), and a spa complex run by the international beauty brand L.Raphael. The hotel lobby has the remains of the 13 th century garrison wall on one side, and hugely impressive Damian Hirst creations on the other, precious works of art, donated by Aby Rosen himself. The Jaffa Hotel is the only Marriott International hotel in Israel (and it has the price tag to prove it, with one night costing an average of NIS 2,800). It is also on the exclusive American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts Virtuoso list, and the international travel magazine World Travel Awards has added The Jaffa Hotel to its 2021 list of the world’s best hotels. thejaffa-hotel.co.il ■


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