Carmela Boutique Hotel in Haifa (Photo: Hadar Shoham)
A winning location.
The rooftop pool at the Botanica Hotel (Photo: Aya Ben Azri)
Haifa has long since become a favorite tourist destination - in recent years many excellent restaurants have opened there, it is full of art, and the combination of sea on one side and mountains on the other is pretty much all we need for a good vacation.
The only thing that was missing for a romantic vacation in Haifa was a hotel that meets the high standard that this city sets, and now that problem has been solved.
The Fatal hotel chain opened this month the "Botanika" hotel at the foot of the Baha'i Gardens in Haifa.
This is an unusual hotel in the hotel landscape in Israel: it is the first in the chain's luxury hotel collection, and seeks to offer its guests, adults only, an urban and pampering experience.
We jumped in for the night in a hotel to check what exactly this means.
Sit with a cocktail at the hotel, and feel in the Baha'i gardens
The new hotel has some great advantages.
First - the location.
The hotel is located in the German colony, at the foot of the Baha'i gardens, an area that has become the heart of the city's leisure and entertainment culture in recent years.
The hotel is within walking distance of Wadi Nisas and the Haifa port area which has also become a hot entertainment area.
Thus, in the evening you can walk the streets of the settlement and enjoy the places of entertainment there - and on the cold winter nights of Haifa even just a walk with a glass of hot wine in hand will give you the feeling of Europe - and in the morning walk in the alleys of Wadi Nissens and eat the extraordinary food sold there (and here are some recommendations that worth missing).
More in Walla!
15 fascinating facts that you probably didn't know about the city of Haifa
To the full article
It's hard to argue with the beauty of this city.
The Baha'i Gardens in Haifa (Photo: Erez Michaeli)
The influence of the Bahá'ís is well felt
The second advantage is undoubtedly the design.
The Baha'i Gardens, which are one of the most beautiful places in the country, are not only close to the hotel, but can actually be seen from its windows and color the whole experience.
The influence of the gardens is clearly felt in the design of the hotel - from the many potted plants to the spectacular art that hangs in it, through the herbal drinks that are served to guests, to the cocktails in the hotel bar that are also influenced by the world of botany (don't miss the green-gin tea).
As a hotel for adults only, those who come to pamper themselves and want a flawless experience, the Fatal chain has invested a lot in the aesthetic experience of their guests.
The hotel seeks to convey the colors of the gardens reflected in the window in every part of the building, therefore it contains open and impressive spaces alongside carefully designed colorful corners, from the lighting fixtures to the tea carts that are scattered in the lobby and make you want to sit and relax.
Careful design and full of green in every corner.
The patio at the Botanica Hotel (Photo: Aya Ben Azri)
The bar at the Botany Hotel (Photo: Aya Ben Azri)
The hotel has 163 rooms, where on each floor the rooms and suites are decorated in a different color and shade according to the appearance of the gardens which alternates between the different terraces in the Baha'i gardens - yellow, red, blue and green - and in each room each design item (and as mentioned, there are many) corresponds with the color of the floor.
In the hotel you will also find a pampering lobby bar (called "Salon"), a European-style cafe, a high-quality spa complex (the oils in which are also inspired by medicinal plants), a surprisingly large gym, and in the summer it will also have a ROOFTOP that overlooks all that the city has to offer and a pool with a view to the gardens
163 rooms, in different colors.
A room at the Botanica Hotel (Photo: Aya Ben Azri)
If Haifa is not your usual destination and you don't really know what to do there, the hotel concierge will help you choose the right destination for you, assist in coordination and even sign you up for guided tours, shows, plays and attractions.
Another option is to pre-book accommodation combined with an activity, so you can fill your day with a structured and enjoyable food tour in Wadi Nissens of the Yallah Besta company, and make sure you don't miss any hidden culinary gem.
what are we eating?
As mentioned, many excellent restaurants have opened in Haifa in recent years, so there are many options (and here are some recommendations).
The hotel itself also invested a lot in the menu, and it offers a large variety of pastries, cheeses, meats, sweet (and wonderful) pralines and botanical infusions.
At the moment the hotel only offers breakfast, which is very rich, and on Fridays also a meat dinner for an additional fee.
Don't miss the cocktails (photo: Walla! system, Yifat Sani)
Little treats everywhere (Photo: Walla! System, Yifat Sani)
Although the food was meticulous in comparison to hotels, it should be noted that the visit to the dining room felt like the relatively weak link in the hotel - one where the service is not in line with the high standard that the hotel sets in everything else.
The coffee was cold, the air conditioner froze and it was difficult to get an answer from the waiters.
Maybe it's the exceptional service that stands out in every other area of the hotel that highlighted it, or maybe it's just the initial difficulties, either way - we preferred to eat out.
How much will it cost you?
As with most hotels in Israel in recent years, this is not a cheap experience.
A night in the middle of the week for a couple (plus breakfast) will cost you from NIS 1,200, depending on the room you choose.
A night on a weekend (couple + breakfast) will cost from NIS 1,500, again depending on the type of room you choose.
The good news is that if you can afford this amount - you will definitely get the treat you are hoping for.
The writer was a guest of the Botanica Hotel
Vacationing in Israel