Home Press Releases Introducing: Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel, Israel, a member of Design Hotels™

Introducing: Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel, Israel, a member of Design Hotels™

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When you have devoted much of your life to community work in two areas—the absorption of immigrants and the promotion of culture—then breathing new life into an iconic structure that celebrates both the community and the arts is an opportunity to be grasped with both hands.
That’s just what Lily Elstein has done with the Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel, in Zichron Ya’akov, some 70 kilometers up the coastline from Tel Aviv. After a meticulous eight-year restoration, the Mivtachim Sanitarium, Yaakov Rechter’s award-winning masterwork of postwar Brutalism, is now an innovative boutique property set on the rim of Israel’s Mount Carmel overlooking vast sloping forests and the deep blue Mediterranean Sea.
And thanks to Elstein, this stunning and inviting beacon is many things to many people. Yes, it’s a hotel, with 95 spacious and opulently outfitted guestrooms, but it also offers up a world of culture. There are 750 square meters of gallery space devoted to Israeli and international artists, as well as not one, but two state-of-the-art performance halls. Acoustic engineering specialists Arup/Artec designed the 450-seat Elma Hall, which houses two Steinway grand pianos and a 1,414-pipe organ, created by the acclaimed German manufacturer Orgelbau Klais, the most advanced of its kind to be built in Israel. There’s also the smaller, more intimate Cube Hall, which seats 150. And these spaces get plenty of use as monthly concert programs at Elma feature a wide-range of acclaimed orchestras, chamber choirs, jazz ensembles, and world- music artists from Israel and around the globe.
“Elma is a place where those who enter its doors can find art in every corner and at every moment,” explains Elstein of the abundance of cultural riches here. Indeed, upon entering, guests are immediately greeted by the largest work artist Sigalit Landau has ever created— Thirst, a monumental, 26-ton depiction of a man and a woman pushing a boulder over a well. This imposing sculpture—its figures are eight times life-size—represents nine months of labor in an Italian quarry, where Landau and a team of craftsmen worked two giant slabs of marble, one Calcutta gold and the other Portuguese pink, into the shape of a kneeling couple.
Such a laborious endeavor makes perfect sense to Elstein, who is committed to just one thing: Getting it right. And for her, “right” meant saving the very building that houses Elma from demolition. “I could not allow them to pull down such an iconic structure,” she says. “I felt I had to preserve it and the mountain it stands on.”
A descendant of the founders of Zichron Ya’akov—the seaside village where Elma (an acronym for Elstein Music and Art) is located—Elstein has also added the flavor of the neighborhood to the hotel with the locally sourced Oratorio restaurant. And, of course, downtime is given center stage as well, with the hotel’s indoor/outdoor pools and a sumptuous spa.
But even before one step inside, they are confronted by the specter of grandeur—Rechter’s architectural wonder, a serpentine-shaped Brutalist marvel that earned him the prestigious Israel Award for Architecture in 1973. The building’s masterful renovation some 40 years later echoes the restraint of the original design. Constructed of modular, concrete units that seem to hug the curves of Mount Carmel, the building was lovingly updated by a vanguard team selected by Elstein. Architects Ranni Ziss and Amnon Rechter (Yaakov’s son) took on the challenge, boldly reimagining the structure as a new kind of utopia: a hybrid of hospitality and high art.
The interiors of Elma, meanwhile, exude the signatures of high modernism—exposed cement, clean white lines, and natural walnut furnishings. Senior interior designer Lea Mahler, whose past accomplishments include work on the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, together with architectural firm Baranowitz & Kronenberg, took care that the interiors would echo the undulating subtlety of the structure’s façade. Terrazzo floor tiles, cement surfaces, and oak highlights exude restrained elegance, while the careful selection of furniture—sofas and benches of white leather, oak and walnut stools, and black, minimalist patio furniture—harmonizes with the building’s clean design.
Elma’s 95 spacious rooms, suites, and freestanding cottages are opulently outfitted with a carefully curated selection of fabrics and other materials. Kilim rugs, original artworks, and all that natural oak furnishings are complemented by cutting-edge amenities, such as LED “smart” televisions and espresso machines. And the placement of the furniture invites guests to immerse themselves in the breathtaking views from each balcony and terrace of the surrounding forests and the vast sea beyond, perfectly framed by Yaakov Rechter’s original room partitions.
Though you’ll quickly settle into the luxurious surroundings of your room, you can take heart in the fact that your neighbors—Mr. Mozart, Mr. Bach, and many of their musical pals—are just down the hall, a short walk away. Lily Elstein would have it no other way.
Good to Know About
YOUR CUP RUNNETH OVER
In addition to the many great wines served by the hotel’s Oratorio restaurant, oenophiles can discover a world of fine vintages at wineries in the region, such as Somek, Tishbi, Binyamina, and Amphora.
ITALY IN ISRAEL
Elma is thrilled to be able to bring the tastes of the continent to you, including our Italian-style espresso bar with its delicious pastries and cookies baked right on the spot. Saluti!
LITTLE ARTISTS, WELCOME
At Elma, kids are encouraged to learn and explore the world of art. In addition to our family-friendly cottages, we offer kid friendly menu options, and a kids clube with lots of hands-on music and art activities during holiday vacations.
AND ON YOUR LEFT . . .
How unique is the Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel? The property actually offers guided tours that cover the history of the building as well as a visit to Elma’s gardens and public areas.

To comprehend the wonder of Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel one must first understand the passion of Lily Elstein, the esteemed philanthropist and arts patron behind the stunning property. “Elma is a place where those who enter its doors can find art in every corner and at every moment,” she says, and truer words have not been spoken.
A descendant of the founders of Zichron Ya’akov, the seaside Israeli village where Elma is located, Elstein has devoted much of her life to community work in two chief fields: the absorption of immigrants and the promotion of culture. Now, with Elma, she has realized another dream: to meld luxury hospitality with a thriving world-class cultural center, while at the same time breathing new life into a near-forgotten architectural masterpiece.
After eight years of extensive planning and construction, the Mivtachim Sanitarium, Yaakov Rechter’s award-winning masterwork of postwar Brutalism, reopened as the Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel, an innovative boutique property set on the rim of Israel’s Mount Carmel overlooking vast sloping forests and the deep blue Mediterranean Sea. Located some 70 kilometers up the coastline from Tel Aviv and offering 95 spacious, opulently outfitted guestrooms and 750 square meters of gallery space devoted to Israeli and international artists, Elma feels as much like a cultural hotspot as a luxury hotel. Elma (an acronym for Elstein Music and Art) also features two state-of-the-art performance halls, the locally sourced Oratorio restaurant, indoor and outdoor pools, and a sumptuous spa.
The hotel itself exudes the signatures of high modernism—exposed cement, clean white lines, natural walnut furnishings. Designer Lea Mahler, whose past accomplishments include work on the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, together with architectural firm Baranowitz & Kronenberg, took care that the interiors echoed the undulating subtlety of the façade of Rechter’s Brutalist masterpiece. Now, as the Elma, it showcases modular, concrete units that seem to hug the curves of Mount Carmel.
Upon entering Elma, one discovers terrazzo floor tiles, cement surfaces, and oak highlights that emanate restrained elegance. A careful selection of mobile furniture—sofas and benches of white leather, oak and walnut stools, and black, minimalist patio furniture—harmonizes with the building’s clean design, while spacious rooms, suites, and free- standing cottages are all opulently outfitted with a carefully curated selection of fabrics and other materials, including Kilim rugs, plus original artworks and natural oak furnishings. The placement of the furniture and an abundance of balconies and terraces invite guests to immerse themselves in the breathtaking views of those surrounding forests along Mount Carmel and the vast sea beyond, perfectly framed by Rechter’s original room partitions.
Taken together, there’s not a single wrong note at Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel. Just art in every corner, in every moment, and in every way that Lily Elstein has devoted her life—and her new hotel—to creating.
Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel, a member of Design Hotels™
1 Yair Street
Zichron Ya’akov
Israel
P: 04 6300111 F: 04 6300112
www.elma-hotel.com/
Dedicated page for travel agents: https://www.elma-hotel.com/travel-agents

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