Israel welcomes new luxury hotels

Upscale hotels to open in the Holy Land Photo: Waldorf Astoria

WASHINGTON, January 3, 2013 — Travelers with a love of luxury are joining the nation’s record number of visitors — 3.5 million in 2012 — to this epicenter of the Holy Land.

Hotel investors and developers are answering the heightened demand for rooms with several new upscale hotels which will open this year. Here’s a sampling:

Waldorf-Astoria Jerusalem: This luxury brand’s newest property is located just a few minutes’ walk from the Old City’s Jaffa Gate and Independence Park.

The historic façade of this hotel belonged to the elegant Palace Hotel that opened in 1931. It showcases a mix of Greco-Roman, Renaissance, Gothic, Romanesque, neo-Moorish and Mamluk elements.

Royal Beach Tel Aviv: This beachfront hotel is slated to open May 1st on pulsating Tel Aviv’s Herbert Samuel Boulevard near the vibrant promenade and the city’s entertainment and dining centers. Each room in the hotel’s 23 stories overlooks the Mediterranean.

Alegra Hotel, Jerusalem: The former 1920’s residence of Alegra Bello and Jebra Francis Rahil, a Christian-Jewish couple, is open in the Ein Karen district and has views of the city and Judean Mountains. The repurposed building has seven individually designed suites and is surrounded by a lush Mediterranean orchard. Also included are a lounge, sauna, pool, spa and restaurant.

Ritz Carlton, Herzliya: Opening next summer on Tel Aviv’s western side, Israel’s first Ritz Carlton hotel will have two bedroom and penthouse suites, in addition to guest rooms with balconies that overlook the Mediterranean. It is adjacent to the Herzliya Marina and shopping mall and 25 minutes from the new Caesarea Golf Course, the country’s first 18-hole golf course. A rooftop pool, spa, and special kosher facilities for groups and families are included.

The Norman Hotel Tel Aviv: Two historic apartment buildings from the 1920’s are the bones of this hotel on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv’s King Albert Square district. Included are 50 rooms and two apartment-style suites with sweeping terraces, hardwood floors and other luxury amenities.

Efendi Hotel, Akko: This boutique property opens later this year in northern Israel. It is located within the winding cobblestone streets of the Old City of Akko (Hebrew) or Acre (English), a UNESCO World Heritage site. The hotel rests on one of the oldest known structures in the country, and evokes an Ottoman-style feel with white walls and hardwood floors. There are 12 rooms, plus a rooftop lounge and subterranean wine cellar.

Read Ruth Hill’s other faith travel columns at Contemporary Christian Travel in the Washington Times Communities.

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Ruth Hill

Ruth Hill writes for magazines and newspapers about the business and pleasures of travel. Read more about her views and news of Christian heritage travel around the world at

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