Minimalism Meets Mediterranean in This Jaw-Dropping Hotel Renovation in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is a vibrant city that's been dubbed one of the coolest capitals in the Mediterranean, and for good reason. For starters, countless incredible examples of 1930s Bauhaus architecture dot the streets here, where curvilinear forms and sharp lines meet harmoniously. The mass of white rendered buildings that are recognised by UNESCO give this Israeli destination a unique cultural significance and the nickname 'The White City'. Tel Aviv's rich history dates back much further than its modernist facade reveals though, with one notable example being a 19th Century complex that has recently received a complete overhaul to become one of the most outstanding five-star accommodation spots on the planet, The Jaffa Hotel.
In an unlikely collaboration, iconic British architect John Pawson combined forces with local architect Ramy Gill to completely reimagine the former French hospital and breathe Pawson's signature minimalist aesthetic into a building with particularly ornate Middle Eastern details. The result is something magnificent and otherworldly—a place where contemporary works by Damien Hirst are complemented by soaring stained glass windows that remind you that there is much more to this hotel than meets the eye. From the moment you step inside the sweeping lobby, it's impossible to overlook the various examples of mid-century furniture in shades of bright orange, duck egg blue and aubergine that somehow work in perfect harmony for a dramatic first impression.
With 120 rooms and suites on offer—scattered across both the original building and a contemporary addition—there's an option for everyone, from sea view rooms through to the King David Presidential Suite which is every bit luxe as it sounds. Custom-made beds that appear to float off the ground really do their bit to emphasise the restorative palette that's reminiscent of Pawson's body of work. Pale blues and earthy terracotta features are injected with slightly more zesty chartreuse tones to excite the senses and prepare you for what looks like the best rest of your life.
Once you've emerged from your cocoon-like suite, The Jaffa Hotel is brimming with amenities to keep you occupied, rejuvenated and of course, full. From a state-of-the-art fitness centre, beauty spa and two signature restaurants, you're truly spoilt for choice in this relaxing paradise that's within earshot of the Mediterranean shoreline. If the weather permits (and it will), the sun-drenched courtyard and swimming pool is the place to be to take it all in, slowly. When the sun finally sets on another balmy day in Tel Aviv, the hotel's very own nightlife spot The Chapel is the place to be—if not for the tasty cocktails, then for the jaw-dropping arched windows and cathedral ceiling complete with detailed plasterwork. Lounge on plush velvet chairs and mingle as the setting sun floods the space with colourful reflections from the sacred glass windows above.
If you liked this, you'll love the converted Annandale home and studio of Craig Waddell.