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5 top hotels in Israel for design lovers

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Tel Aviv’s White City is home to 4,000 glittering Bauhaus buildings and has long been a mecca for Modernism lovers. But this brand of architecture isn’t the only one to flourish in Israel: from Ottoman-era townhouses to beautiful Brutalist sanatoriums, the country’s architectural bounty traverses millennia.

We’ve rounded up five of our favourite hotels in Israel for design lovers, offering a taste of the country’s rich history.

The Efendi Hotel, Acre

Israeli design hotels: Efendi Hotel
Photography: Asaf Pinchuk / Efendi Hotel

This boutique hotel in Israel is formed of two 400-year-old Ottoman-era houses fused into a ‘palace’ in the 19th century. It was meticulously restored by its owner, chef Uri ‘Buri’ Jeremias, and the tranquil haven boasts an excavated 800-year-old olive oil factory turned wine cellar, as well as a private hammam.

ELMA Arts Complex, Zichron Yaakov

Israeli design hotel: Elma Arts Hotel
Courtesy of United Design Partnership

This wave-shaped Brutalist icon was originally built as a sanitarium, earning architect Yaakov Rechter the Israel Award for Architecture. Having fallen into disrepair, Rechter’s son Amnon’s practice handled its restoration for philanthropist and art collector owner, Lily Elstein.

Courtesy of United Design Partnership

Elstein has turned it into a hotel and arts complex (complete with concert hall) conceived as an ever-evolving gallery.

Villa Brown, Jerusalem

Israeli design hotels: Villa Brown Jerusalem
Photography: Assaf Pinchuk / Brown Hotels

Boutique properties are a rarity in this riveting city, and so the opening of a stylishly repurposed, 19th-century villa by the Brown Hotel group is a welcome addition. Exposed stone walls offer guests a palpable reminder of their historic location, while smart use of floor-to-ceiling glass allows Jerusalem’s sublime light to cast an intoxicating glow through Israel hotel’s public spaces.

The Norman, Tel Aviv

Israeli design hotels: the Norman hotel
Courtesy of The Norman hotel

Nestled into the heart of the White City, The Norman comprises two residences re-imagined as a refined contemporary hotel. A striking Bauhaus structure houses shared facilities, and was originally designed in 1923 by architect Leo Adler.

Israeli design hotels: the Norman hotel
Courtesy of The Norman hotel
The adjacent suites building is of the Eclectic tradition. Both showcase original features such as tiled flooring alongside contemporary Israeli art, and a visit to The Norman neatly encompasses Tel Aviv’s design heritage. 
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