There are only a few hotels along the small, winding and bustling streets of Jaffa. Each one reflects the character of this ancient port city, with a mix of antique charm, Ottoman architecture, pedestrianised areas and an overall eclectic atmosphere.
Jaffa has a unique character and atmosphere worthy of attention. A port city like no other on the Mediterranean, Jaffa offers options to suit all budgets, from elegant hotels with luxurious facilities to distinctive boutique hotels inside restored buildings, eclectic apartment hotels and friendly hostels.
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The Jaffa’s rooms and suites feature furniture by British designer John Pawson | Courtesy of The Jaffa / Hotels.com
Just a short walk from HaPisga Garden, The Jaffa combines ancient and modern elements in a way that mirrors the port city itself. Located in a Neo-Renaissance building that was once a hospital, the hotel preserved the soaring ceilings, delicate stone carvings and wide colonnades of the original structure and enhanced it with cutting-edge amenities. The five-star hotel has 120 rooms and suites – some come with spectacular views of the sea – decked out with modern furniture. The Jaffa also has a sizeable art collection, courtesy of the proprietor, avid art collector Aby Rosen. The hotel’s Sheshbesh Bar, located in a converted chapel, has a fantastic drinks menu, while the two on-site restaurants, Don Camillo and Golda’s Delicatessen, offer delicious meals.
Located in Old Jaffa, in an Ottoman-era building that once served as a prison, The Setai is one of the city’s premier hotels. The soaring stone archways are retained in the elegant public and private rooms, and everything else exudes luxury and grandeur. Facilities include a plush spa, invigorating Turkish bath and a spectacular rooftop pool that overlooks the beach, while rooms feature rainfall showers, soaking tubs and sea views. Delicious breakfasts, fancy cocktails and a sushi bar are available, and when guests are ready to venture out, the hotel is only a short walk from the lively flea market, vibrant port and stunning views from the HaPisga Garden.
This four-star boutique hotel lies on the ruins of a Byzantine chapel – visible through the glass floor of the hotel lobby – meaning that guests are immersed in Jaffa’s magical history before they’ve even set foot outdoors. The hotel offers free bike rentals, and is situated next door to the Jaffa Clock Tower and a short stroll away from the flea market and the nearest beach. With a daily happy hour available to guests, cosy rooms with contemporary furnishings (some including balconies or terraces) and even a loft apartment available for longer rentals, the Market House Hotel is the perfect place for lovers of architecture, history and stylish living.
If location is what matters, it doesn’t get better than Casa Nova. Situated next to the Jaffa port and nestled against St Peter’s Church, the hotel offers uninterrupted views of the Mediterranean Sea out towards Andromeda’s Rock. Casa Nova occupies a restored 17th-century inn built to accommodate Christian pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem, and it upholds the centuries-old tradition of warm hospitality. Each spacious and light-filled suite incorporates unique and opulent interiors inspired by famous figures throughout history, including Giacomo Casanova and Queen Cassiopeia. There is also a two-bedroom apartment with a kitchen, living room and rooftop terrace complete with sunbeds and views of the beach.
Andromeda Hill is in an excellent location for enjoying Jaffa’s nightlife. It’s around the corner from Margoza (one of the best bars in Jaffa) and a short walk from the port and flea market. It’s reasonably priced, and even boasts with a spa, sauna, saltwater pool (kept at a comfortable 24C or 75F) and gym. The tiled walkways and lush gardens lead to spacious, comfortable rooms, some of which include balconies or terraces, and there’s also the option of staying in studios and apartments with mini-kitchens and living rooms.
The Inta Hotel bills itself as Tel Aviv’s only hotel dedicated to serving the gay community – a self-proclaimed “urban gay oasis for men and their friends”. Though it welcomes all guests, there’s a special emphasis on making LGBTQ visitors feel at home. A collection of LGBTQ-themed art and bright colours fill this restored 1920s building. The rooms feature modern interiors and come with all the standards, including toiletries, air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. The Inta Hotel is a lively and fun place to stay and frequently hosts parties and special events on the rooftop terrace. It is just a short walk from the buzzing flea market and vibrant port area.
Old Jaffa Hostel has a mix of private rooms and dorms | Courtesy of Old Jaffa Hostel / Booking.com
Visiting Jaffa on a budget doesn’t mean having to compromise on comfort. Filled with potted and hanging plants, Art Deco furniture and a beautiful water fountain, the Old Jaffa Hostel has a homely atmosphere. It is set within a stone building across the street from the flea market and combines the charm of Jaffa’s past with a clean, modern feel. As well as vintage-style dorms with comfortable bunks, the Old Jaffa Hostel offers private rooms with en-suite bathrooms and studios with kitchenettes. The most popular feature is undoubtedly the shaded rooftop terrace, where guests can enjoy 360-degree views across the city and over the Mediterranean.