Israel: The 123-room luxury Galei Kinneret Hotel in Tiberias has opened following a full renovation by studio Saar Zafrir Design.
Initially built in 1946, the original hotel was founded by Lotte Eisenberg and is located on the Sea of Galilee. Saar Zafrir Design was appointed to remodel the uninhabited property, drawing on inspiration from ancient ruins discovered on site.
Some of the rooms and suites come with outdoor jacuzzis and further facilities include an indoor and outdoor bar, swimming pool, outdoor yoga deck, restaurant, spa and gym, private beach and boat, and a synagogue.
Whilst the hotel facade has been kept very much the same, the interiors have undergone a full renovation. 90 per cent of the hotel’s fixtures and furnishings have been custom made.
Michelin-star chef Asaf Granit (of Shabour and Balagan in Paris, Machne Yehuda in Jerusalem and The Palomar and Coal Office in London) will lead the Lotte Restaurant. Committed only to working with local farmers and suppliers, the menu will serve produce grown between the Galilee Mountains and Golan Heights offering fish, meat and plant based dishes.
The archaeological remains found on site have been implemented beneath the glass bottomed swimming by sculpturist Yuval Lufen, and the original ruins have been preserved by the Antiques Authority in Israel.
Saar Zafrir of the eponymous studio said: “I have such fond memories growing up and spending my summers on the Kinneret that despite not generally working in Israel, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to work on a project that carried so much sentimental value to me. The area has been lacking in attention for some while, but with the relaunch of this iconic hotel, we believe Tiberias will once again become a leading destination for both domestic and international tourists to Israel having set a new standard of hospitality in Northern Israel.”