Jerusalem, Israel

HDRtist HDR - http://www.ohanaware.com/hdrtist/

Located in the hills of Jerusalem, in the shadow of history, is a thoroughly modern boutique hotel. After a day touring some of the world’s most revered religious sites, the weary traveller can escape to an oasis of pampering in this burgeoning vineyard region. First time visitors to Jerusalem may want to add an extra day to the itinerary to enjoy the Cramin Hotel’s spa and fitness treatments or tour one of the neighbouring boutique wineries.

Dabble Savvy: To preserve the tranquil, relaxing atmosphere, only guests over 10 years of age are welcome.

Dome of the Rock and Western Wall - goisrael

ABOVE: Jerusalem—the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity and a sacred city for Muslims—attracts thousands of visitors each year. The devout come to worship, the curious to learn and the adventuresome to explore.

Child putting a note inside the Wailing Wall - Noam Chen

ABOVE: A young man touches the ancient stones in the sacred wailing wall.

View this blog post in Portuguese on homeyou.com.

Mitzpe Ramon, Israel

Beresheet-Hotel-Mitzpe-Ramon

Beresheet Hotel

As I contemplate a description of the Mitzpe Ramon Crater and adjacent Beresheet Hotel, dear reader, I fear you’ll roll your eyes. After all, isn’t it just a tad clichéd to describe a destination or a hotel as breathtaking? Or, out of this world? If I say the setting is an unparalleled phenomenon (I stole this from the website) would you believe me? How about this? We drove for hours through the Israeli desert and found ourselves at the mouth of a mirage!

Neither words nor pictures do it justice. I can only say I know (and can’t wait) to return one day soon.

Qumran Cave​ - Alberto Peral

Eilat & Red Sea, Israel

ריף הדולפינים, אילת

If you think Israel is all history and no play, think again. Locals are quick to point to Eilat as an oasis, a romping vacation destination.

Wedged between Akaba, Jordan to the east and the Egyptian Sinai desert to the west, Eilat was historically a trade route. Jewelry lovers will also delight in this little fact—it’s the only place on earth where the Eilat or King Solomon stone is mined.

Eilat Red Sea - Dafna Tal​

Tel Aviv, Israel

Jaffa is one of the oldest ports in the world, with ruins dating back to the Bronze Age. Today, it’s a thriving destination for visitors and locals alike.

Tel Aviv at 100

ABOVE: The Tel Aviv boardwalk is a hub of activity during warm weather months.

Market on Tel Aviv - Nahalat Binyamin

ABOVE: Arts and crafts at Nahalat Binyamin market.

Portrait of a young woman - Dana Friedlander

Jaffa Floating Orange Tree - goisrael

ABOVE: This modern work of art, the Suspended Tree, is a popular attraction in a neighbourhood filled with wonder.

Modern History

  • Sunlight fills the entry, throwing light onto stone walls likely more than 400 years old.
  • A series of glass paneled doors greets the entry and closes to offer privacy (when combined with blackout shades) in the master bedroom.
  • The building’s shell is composed of a combination of pottery and beach sand. The bisque and terracotta colours create natural warmth in the coved dining room.
  • The architects created distinct viewpoints in each of the rooms, often providing a glimpse into adjacent spaces. The organic shaped coffee tables and rustic woven rug support a mandate to use natural, raw materials.
  • The Mediterranean Sea is reflected in a mirror that brings light into the spare living space. The cable strung staircase rises gracefully to the master bedroom above.
  • The galley kitchen efficiently carves utilitarian space into the home and provides those in residence with an expansive view of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Sleeping quarters are stacked above the living room, where they enjoy full ocean views.

Set above the harbor, facing the majestic Mediterranean Sea in Old Jaffa, is an ancient structure given new life by the thoughtful architects hired to restore its integrity.

Though it’s difficult to determine the structure’s exact age, it is clear that it is hundreds of years old. Over time, changes and additions had damaged the original integrity of the dwelling. The central ideal, therefore, was to restore the original characteristics—the stone walls, the segmented ceilings and the arches—to peel back and expose the original state.

The language of minimalism embedded in a historic residence in Old Jaffa.

“Surprisingly modern, minimalistic construction styles (especially ancient ones) allow us to create new spaces that blend periods together—even intensify them because of the contrast and tension between the ages.” ~ Pitsou

The historical is expressed by preserving the textures and materials of the building’s outer shell and by respecting the engineering accordingly.

The modern is expressed by opening spaces and altering the internal flow, and by incorporating natural materials such as stainless steel, iron and wood.

Pistou’s project succeeds in both honoring and preserving the historical and romantic values of the structure while creating a contemporary project suited to today’s lifestyle.

Designed by Pitsou Kedem, Raz Melamed & Irene Goldberg

Photography by Amit Geron

Qumran & Dead Sea, Israel

Qumran and the Dead Sea​ - Alberto Peral

Not far from the Dead Sea is the West Bank archaeological site of Qumran.

Here, the arid earth and sky tell a story thousands of years old—of occupation, settlement and, more recently, as the vicinity of the discovery site of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Visitors typically explore the rugged landscape by jeep though the adventurous may choose a more plodding type of transportation and set out on camelback.

Bedouin Camels in the Southern Israel Desert

BELOW: The Dead Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water on earth—a characteristic which lends the water its famous buoyancy.

Dead Sea Salt - Itamar Grinberg

Israel Gallery