Some might say that if you’re going to enjoy first-class views while you’re on holiday, then you’ll want to spend it in first-class accommodations. If those views happen to be in Akko, then the maxim couldn’t be truer. You’d be hard-pressed to find a traveler who has stayed in a luxury hotel and regretted the experience.
If you are making plans to spend some quality time in the ancient, sun-soaked Mediterranean port city of Akko, it’s worth your time and money to find a place that offers much more than just a place to lay your head at night. You want an experience that enhances — and may even be the highlight of — your trip. There are many places to stay in Akko, but two hotels have established the quality of service and reputation that you would expect from a luxury establishment.
The Efendi Hotel
Looking for class, convenience, comfort, and impeccable service? Then, look no further than the magnificent (and extremely hip) Efendi Hotel. Overlooking the Old City’s historic walls and the cerulean blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the Efendi provides its guests a truly unforgettable experience. Add to this that it is conveniently close to any destination in the Old City … and you can’t possibly turn away.
Long the vision of hotelier and legendary restaurateur Uri Jeremias, proprietor and chef of the renowned Uri Buri, the Efendi is the culmination of eight years of planning, preservation, and restoration of two formerly derelict Ottoman-era mansions combined into a single structure and later opened as a luxe hotel.
The Efendi welcomes guests with jaw-dropping vaulted ceilings, marble bathrooms and elegantly-appointed furnishings. Guests can also lounge in the stately public rooms on the ground floor with a Turkish coffee after a sumptuous breakfast, or step out onto the breezy terrace with panoramic views of the Mediterranean. On the second floor, the 12 refined, spacious rooms offer all the amenities of home, plus a few extras. Upgraded rooms have sitting areas with views of the Old City; some include ornate mural ceilings. Other rooms have seaside views and ornate claw-footed bathtubs.
While comfort is the prevailing theme at the Efendi, guests find the hotel’s history really comes to life in the public spaces. Spa service is offered to guests in a 400-year-old Turkish bath, complete with a marble-lined hammam (steam bath), while the renovated Crusader-era wine cellar boasts an extensive collection of quality Israeli wines. Guests can also enjoy delicately prepared tapas and small appetizers.
Zarqa Luxury Suites
Located at the seaside edge of the Old City, the Zarqa provides guests with an inviting and enjoyable stay in an intimate, sea-front setting. Located just minutes from the Crusader Citadel and the port area’s dining hub, the hotel provides excellent access to major tourist sites as well as featuring ample free, on-street parking.
Zarqa is a comparatively small hotel with only four guest suites! However, guests receive a five-star experience. The spacious rooms are immaculately prepared and uniquely, but tastefully, furnished, adding to its quasi-bohemian feel.
Each room also has a balcony with stunning views of the Mediterranean. Guests are also treated to a made-to-order Israeli breakfast each morning—served either in the courtyard or brought to your room—and are also provided with complementary bottles of red wine. After an evening out, guests can return to their room to enjoy a long soak in the jacuzzi or a luxurious bath with oils and salts. Alternatively, the rooftop lounge invites guests to relax and take in the ocean breeze.
The staff at Zarqa ensures it provides its guests with a memorable experience with an individual touch, making this hotel feel luxurious, but with a distinct feel of being a home away from home.