Located on a picturesque street in the Old City of Akko (Acre) in Northwest Israel, this 12-room boutique hotel overlooks the Crusader Walls and the Mediterranean Sea. It comprises two houses – now joined together and meticulously restored – that were built on the site of ancient buildings from the sixth and 12th centuries and were transformed into palaces of Ottoman rulers in the 19th century. Although the rooms are modern, they retain the charm and features of the original structures. The rooms come fitted with king-size beds, marble-lined bathrooms and the finest linens. The hotel has a wine bar located in the building’s cellar and a restored 400-year-old Turkish hammam and spa.
The Elma Hotel and Art Complex is perfect for art and culture lovers | Courtesy of Elma Hotel and Art Complex / Hotels.com
Set in the picturesque Zikhron Ya’aqov, in Northern Israel, this award-winning complex was designed by Israeli architect Yaakov Rechter in 1968 as a sanatorium and transformed into a centre for the arts and a boutique hotel in 2005. Its facilities include a concert hall, 750 square metres (8,073 square feet) of gallery space, a spa, a restaurant and an indoor and an outdoor pool. Elma has 95 modern rooms (cottages are also available), each with original artworks, natural oak furnishings and stunning views of the Mediterranean. With a versatile event schedule that includes opera shows, concerts and plays, this luxury resort is recommended for culture lovers.
Mitzpe Hayamim is set in Israel’s Galilee region, between the artist colony of Rosh Pina and the holy city of Safed (Tzfat). The hotel offers 97 elegant rooms and suites, extensive spa treatments, a swimming pool, an organic dairy and vegetable farm, a shop, orchards, herb gardens, streams and two restaurants. Most rooms have a balcony or access to the garden, and some offer views of Lake Kinneret and the Golan Heights. The decor is classic, with wooden floors and comfy upholstery. Its restaurants (one of which is vegetarian) use produce fresh from the farm. Note: Mitzpe Hayamim hotel will be closed for renovation until September 2019.
The Setai Sea of Galilee’s guest rooms provide incredible views of the surrounding area | Courtesy of The Setai Sea of Galilee / Hotels.com
Perched on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret) in Northern Israel, this spa hotel offers 110 luxurious villas and suites, some with an infinity pool, a hot tub and breathtaking views of the lake, Tiberias and the Golan. The hotel is home to the largest spa complex in Israel, complete with an indoor pool, Turkish bath, multiple treatment rooms and a fitness centre. The Setai is perfectly located for exploring the area’s hot springs and parks and the many trails in the Golan Heights.
Since its opening in 2014, The Norman has been leading the pack when it comes to luxury hospitality in Tel Aviv. Its 50 rooms and suites are housed in two restored 1920s buildings that overlook King Albert Square, just off Rothschild Boulevard. The interior decor maintains some of the original period glamour with decorative inlaid flooring, soft hues and clean lines. Guests can walk around its citrus garden and plant-filled courtyard or enjoy a drink at The Library Bar. There are two restaurants at The Norman: the Alena (which offers a Mediterranean brasserie-style menu and buffet breakfast) and Dinings (a Japanese restaurant that serves izakaya-style tapas and modern European dishes).
Set in a restored Bauhaus building from 1922, just off Rothschild Boulevard, in the heart of Tel Aviv, this boutique hotel promises Art Deco luxury and style. There are just 12 guest rooms over two floors, all elegantly decorated with dark wood flooring, whitewashed walls and marble bathrooms. There are books carefully arranged on bookshelves and vases of fresh flowers in every room. The hotel’s restaurant is widely regarded as one of the finest dining spots in the city, and a superb bar serves up a curated list of classic cocktails.
This popular hotel from Miami opened its Tel Aviv branch in 2017 and has raised the bar for luxury accommodation in the city. A five-star urban resort, The Setai is set in a restored, historic compound that was once a fortress and an Ottoman prison. Located next to Jaffa’s famous Clock Tower and overlooking the city’s ancient port, the hotel has 120 rooms and suites and a rooftop pool with views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Mamilla Hotel, both modern and luxurious, lies five minutes from the Old City. The rooms are modern and chic, with pale wooden floors, crisp white linens and large windows that let in plenty of light. Guests can choose from several dining spots, including an excellent fish restaurant overlooking the Mamilla shopping avenue, and a rooftop area and bar offering magnificent views of Jerusalem’s Old City walls. For some pampering, don’t miss out on its Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre, which offers a Turkish hammam and hydro treatments in a watsu pool.
Built on five hectares (12.5 acres) on the rim of the Ramon Crater (Makhtesh Ramon) in Israel’s Negev Desert, Beresheet offers dramatic views of the 24-mile (39-kilometre), 1,300-foot-deep (396-metre) natural phenomenon. The hotel features 111 one- and two-storey private villas, all designed to maximise the spectacular views of the desert and to blend in with the surroundings. All the rooms have private entrances, and 39 rooms have private pools. Some of the top-floor balconies have views of the desert or the crater. The hotel’s Rosemary restaurant serves contemporary Middle Eastern cuisine with local wines.