The Jaffa Hotel in Tel Aviv-Jaffa has been shortlisted for “Best New Hotel” in the Design Awards 2019 by the prestigious UK-based design and architecture magazine Wallpaper*.
The winner will be announced in the magazine’s upcoming February issue.
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The hotel, which opened its doors this past summer and borrows the name of the ancient port city that is part of the Tel Aviv Municipality with its own distinct feel, has 120 rooms and 32 residential apartments. Its amenities include an outdoor pool, a sun deck, a lounge bar located in a 19th-century chapel, a treatment and beauty spa, a fitness center, a backgammon lounge, a boutique store, and two restaurants.
It is housed within a 19th-century structure that used to be a French hospital. The building has been restored over the past ten years by London-based architect John Pawson together with restoration experts headed by local architect Ramy Gill, and the hotel also includes an adjacent new building. The overall design features an architectural blend of old and new, combining historical elements like a 13th-century crusader wall and arched colonnades with modern art by Damien Hirst and photographs by local Israeli artist Tal Shochat.
The Jaffa is the work of New York-based hotel and real estate company RFR Holding, co-founded by Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs, and is operated by the Marriott’s The Luxury Collection Hotel & Resorts.
“The Jaffa has been my longest and most personal project to date,” said Aby Rosen, owner and co-founder of RFR Holding in a statement. “From the outset, I saw this as a unique opportunity to develop a truly remarkable hotel with residences in the heart of old Jaffa. Not only is it the longest continuously inhabited city in the world, but it has also become one of the coolest neighborhoods in Tel Aviv,” he added.
The Jaffa is in the running for the “Best New Hotel” award alongside the Amanyangyun Resort in Shanghai, China, the Tzingpu Retreat in Yangzhou, China, the Healing Stay Kosmos in South Korea, and the Veride Palacio Santa Catarina in Lisbon, Portugal.
In July 2018, when the Jaffa Hotel first opened, Rosen said all the parties involved “were excited to join forces with The Luxury Collection to debut an extraordinary property in Tel Aviv that respects its historical past, celebrates the culture and diversity of the country, and brings a six-star quality of design, services and amenities currently not seen in this city.”
“My goal was to invest in Israel’s future as an expanding international destination and to introduce world-class hospitality to this remarkable city,” he explained.
The Jaffa offers stunning views of the city’s ancient port and the Mediterranean Sea, and is adjacent to the bustling artists’ quarter. The famous Jaffa Flea Market, the art galleries, and the bustling restaurant scene are also steps away.
Meanwhile, The Vera in Tel Aviv, a boutique hotel that opened its doors in March 2018, was shortlisted by Wallpaper* for the “Best Urban Hotel” award in 2018, alongside the hotels in Singapore, London, Paris, Sydney, Hong Kong, Istanbul, among other cities. The award went to the Asmundo Di Gisira in Catania, Sicily.
Tel Aviv’s The Vera has just 39 rooms and houses a bar, a spa treatment room, and two spacious, communal rooftop terraces. The hotel draws on “deep collaborations with local designers, brands and talents to create a local narrative that permeates throughout the hotel’s high-quality amenities, services and furnishings,” according to a press statement announcing the launch.
“With the opening of The Vera, we wanted our guests to be able to touch, feel and experience high quality, whilst being able to benefit from the high value of our offerings” said Danny Tamari, founder and owner of The Vera.
“In its essence, The Vera is inspired by what is great about the locality of Tel Aviv and takes its guests to the here and now, encapsulating the beauty and uniqueness of Tel Aviv, whilst moving in parallel with its unrelentingly dynamic nature,” he added.
In its review of The Vera in late March, Wallpaper* wrote that the hotel “draws from each, blending sharp, considered modernity with a sense of put-your-feet-up ease. In the lobby-cum-bar, relaxed furnishings, a help-yourself wine machine and a scattering of curated coffee table books invite guests to linger. Raw, unplastered walls and polished concrete nod to the historic soul of the building, which – like so many others in the city – is a renovation project.”
Earlier this year, Travel + Leisure named Tel Aviv-Jaffa among the magazine’s “50 best places to travel” in 2018. The publication focused on a number of new hotels and attractions in Jaffa, including The Jaffa itself.