Interiorssneak peeks

The Efendi Hotel: an Israeli hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea

by Amy Azzarito

In the middle of the second polar vortex this week (is that what we’re calling winter now?), it felt a wee bit like torture to edit these photos of the Efendi Hotel in Acre (a port city in northern Israel) where it’s 75 degrees. I was fortunate enough to travel to Israel twice when I was a child, but if make it back to the country, the Efendi hotel is at the top of my list. The hotel, which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, is composed of two adjacent Ottoman-era palaces. In 2001, hotel owner Uri Jeremias spotted an abandoned building from atop his restaurant and, before even knowing if the building was for sale (it wasn’t), he hatched a plan to renovate the space and convert it into a boutique hotel. The buildings that now make up the Efendi Hotel were in completely decay but Uri assembled a team of preservationists and artisans (many of whom were flown in from Italy) to not only restore the buildings’ exterior walls but all to restore all the interior detailing – from wall and ceiling painting to the window lintels in each room. The renovation of the hotel (and the original 400-year-old Turkish bath) took eight years. These days, it is considered to be one of the most beautiful hotels in the world. A big thank you to Israel-based travel photographer Sivan Askayo for sending us these beautiful images. –Amy

The interior designers are: Ronit Oliver-Rike, Orit Kolonimus with the inspiration of Uri , the owner of the hotel. Uri Jeremias.

Image above: A common lobby (called Wizo lobby) on the second floor. The hotel has 12 guest rooms that are spread out over three floors, on each floor is a communal salon. Uri worked closely with the interior designer who chose the decorative wood table that was imported from the Himalayas. It served as a counter to grind flours. The armchair at the back is a Damascus chair which was at the original Efendi house for 160 years.

2Efendi Image above: The view from the North Balcony, a shared terrace for the hotel’s guests. The terrace is overlooking the Majadia Mosque and pointing toward the Shazliye, a Sufi center of pilgrimage located next to the mosque.

3Efendi Image above: A common lobby leading to the common terrace, called Shukri lobby. The ceiling paintings and murals  were restored and re-hand painted by specialist artists for restoration who came especially for this purpose from Venice, Italy.

See more of this amazing Israeli hotel after the jump!

4Efendi Image above: The North terrace with a traditional seating. (pillows on the floor). The designer chose the turquoise color to match the Mediterranean Sea.

5Efendi Image above: Original Arc Windows, originally from the Ottoman period. Part of Wizo lobby.

6Efendi Image above: Shukri lobby. In the center of the lobby there is a wide dining table for the usage of the hotel’s guests

7Efendi Image above: Each room has coffee and tea Porcelain dishes, bought from PIP Studio

8Efendi Image above: The Damascus armchair on the second floor’s lobby

Image above: The Shukri lobby – a look from the north terrace indoors toward the lobby. The painted ceiling reproduced from the Ottoman period.

10Efendi Image above: The Royal Room. with the green ceiling. Furniture in rooms is from Penthouse Furniture and Tollmans

11Efendi Image above: The Presidential Suite with the brown ceiling, marble floors and a sea view. The bed is covered with Egyptian cotton linens and goose down pillows and blankets. Furniture in room is from Penthouse Furniture and Tollmans

12Efendi Image above: Wizo lobby. a part of the Damascus chair.

13Efendi Image above: Each of the 12 guest rooms is different. This is the Royal Room. (Rugs are made of wool.)

14Efendi Image above: Porcelain dishes in the Royal Room, bought from PIP Studio

Image above: The Main lobby, This is the entrance to the hotel’s reception. The armchairs are imported from Italy. Also on the lower level is the spa with its 400 year-old Turkish bath.

Image above: An original mural of Istanbul. As of 1878. The restoration of this mural took over a year. The mural is in Shukri lobby.

Image above: Shukri lobby.

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  • This is stunning, and I thoroughly appreciate the thought & historical preservation that went into the Efendi. I would like to go there now please…

  • Beautiful, just beautiful! It is the kind of space that has it all. History, fabulous details, soothing colors, wonderful light and awesome views. What more can I say? It should be on a destination vacation itinerary. It speaks to all my senses. How I would love to have the opportunity to spend time there. A perfect renovation. Excellent outcome.

  • The colours and consistency in these designs are really unique and give the hotel and all its spaces such a definitive character. It really is Mediterranean through and through. Beautiful.

  • Hi

    I sent a longer post that didn’t get up, which is fine but I think you light like to provide a citation for the blue cushion couch on the terrace. It is (I am pretty sure) from the Roche bobois mahjong line.

  • Yes certainly this hotel has a great location and a great a view of the sea. The interiors are also greta in it and the balcony looks in great touch with the great stones floorings. The ceilings are also well decorated with some modern art desugns and they are definitely adding up to the beauty of the hotel.

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