A Facelift At 50

Haifa’s Dan Carmel marking its Jubilee year with $12.5 million makeover.

Friday, December 21, 2012
Special To The Jewish Week

As it approaches its
Jubilee year, the first five-star hotel in Haifa is in the midst of a $12.5 million makeover. The Dan Carmel’s facelift, which is scheduled to be completed for its 50th anniversary in March, is taking place as tourism in Israel’s north is booming.

According to Adi Maor, the Dan Carmel’s general manager, the number of Israeli and foreign tourists visiting Haifa has jumped by 200 percent in the last five years.

“The goal is to transform Haifa into Northern Israel’s main tourist hub, where tourists will be able to use Haifa as a base for day trips to nearby Akko, Nazareth and Tiberias,” Maor said. “We know that this is already happening, as the number of days spent in local hotels including the Dan Carmel and our sister hotels [Dan Panorama and Dan Gardens] has more than doubled from an average of 1.75 days to 3.7 days.”

Maor says that everyone in the tourism industry knows that for foreign tourists visiting Jerusalem is a must. But, he continues, “statistics show that overnight stays in Jerusalem are decreasing while foreign tourists including Jews and Christians are spending nearly three days in Northern Israel exploring cultural, historical and religious sites.”

The Dan Carmel is billing its makeover as a top-to-bottom, internal and external one.

“When the entire hotel complex is completely renovated in early 2013, the Dan Carmel will look like a new, luxury property, featuring many of the new interior room designs found in the King David Hotel in Jerusalem and surrounded by the exterior beauty of the Bahai Gardens and Haifa Bay,” Maor said.

The first phase of the renovation was completed in the summer, with the makeover of dozens of rooms in the Dan Carmel’s upper floors (Executive Bay View & Executive Carmel View), which feature panoramic views of the Bahai Gardens and Haifa Bay region. The 18 suites on the ninth and 10th floors have also been redesigned.

The most ambitious phase of the Dan Carmel’s makeover was the renovation of the hotel’s lower floors, lobby lounge, dining areas and outdoor pool.

Maor predicted that when the Dan Carmel celebrates its Jubilee anniversary in March 2013, the completely remodeled hotel will become a magnet for both returning and new clientele from abroad, as well as boosting the overall image of Haifa’s burgeoning tourism industry.

“When I arrived in Haifa seven years ago, after working in the hotel industry in Tel Aviv, I saw the beautiful mountains and Mediterranean ocean and realized that this big city [Haifa] had unlimited tourist potential,” Maor recalled.

He’s hoping the Dan Carmel’s facelift — along with Haifa-area attractions like the Bahai Gardens, German Colony and MadaTech (Children’s Science Museum; see accompanying story), the zoo and local beaches — will tap into some of that potential. 

The Dan Carmel is hoping to take advantage of growing tourism in the Haifa area.

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