The restoration of the building now called The Efendi Hotel certainly wasn’t a rush job. Formed from two ancient houses in Acre, Israel, the project took eight years to complete under the watchful eye of the local Antiques Authority, necessitating craftsmen to be flown in from Italy to handle some of the painstaking work.
Restaurateur Uri Jeremias undertook this labour of love, merging the two buildings into one while restoring some amazing features to their former glory. Among the rescued treasures is a fresco of Istanbul from 1878 painted to mark the opening of the Orient Express train station. The Turkish influence is also evident in the 400-year-old bath, while things get even older in the wine cellar dating back to the Crusades.
It’s good to see all the history hasn’t smothered the hotel though; the period features are obviously the main attractions but a smattering of modern furnishings and some up-to-date fittings brings a sense of comfort to the otherwise ancient establishment.