London-based design studio Saar Zafrir Design has unveiled Galei Kinneret Hotel, a restored 123-room hotel situated on the historic Sea of Galilee in Northern Israel. Initially built in 1946, the original Galei Kinneret was one of Israel’s first luxury hotels founded by entrepreneur Lotte Eisenberg, inspired by a trip to the Villa d’Este Hotel in Lake Como. Having been appointed to fully redesign the uninhabited hotel, Saar Zafrir Design has drawn inspiration from the ancient ruins discovered on-site, and reworked the charm of Lotte’s vision into a seamless design concept that blends the hotel into the natural landscape.
Honoring Lotte Eisenberg’s innovative vision and the discovery of the archeological remains on the land, Saar Zafrir has drawn on these historic references to determine the narrative of the hotel. Manifesting a clean, white structure, the hotel’s facade has been kept very much the same, and the interior of the hotel has been transformed into a calm oasis that ushers guests seamlessly towards the still waters and spectacular views across the Sea of Galilee.
“Historic references to the original design and the archaeological remains found on the site were the core elements that birthed the design concept for this remodeled hotel,” said Saar Zafrir, interior designer/developer, Saar Zafrir Design. “The Sea of Galilee is such an ancient and beautiful region, we wanted to ensure that the landscape remained undisturbed by the hotel, so we worked with natural materials and a neutral color palette that would complement the hotel’s surroundings. The result is a cohesive decor that manifests a calm and organic oasis, blending into the natural landscape.”
The hotel encompasses 123 rooms and suites with outdoor jacuzzis, presenting either a view of the vast mountainous landscape or Sea of Galilee. Further facilities include an indoor and outdoor bar, swimming pool, outdoor yoga deck, restaurant, spa, fully equipped gym, private beach and boat and a synagogue for guest use. Upon entering the hotel, guests are greeted by a minimal, open space characterized by three-dimensional graphic stone cladded walls, glossy marble flooring and elegant reception desks finished with marble and wood. The foyer of the hotel was kept intentionally clean and quiet, with the intention of the space to draw guests straight through the property, as a corridor to the Sea of Galilee. Championing the use of natural materials and tones, the hotel lobby offers a comfortable lounge area with wood-paneled walls, parquet flooring and soft linen upholstered sofas with wooden accents.
“The design tells the story of the long-standing history of both the area and the building itself,” Zafrir said. “Working to maintain the beauty of the ancient area, the hotel is designed to complement the natural landscape so as not to take away from its magnificence. It also honors the original concept ideated by Lotte Eisenberg, which was centered around establishing a new era of luxury hospitality in Israel.”
Managing the hotel’s restoration from concept to completion, 90% of the hotel’s fixtures and furnishings have been designed and custom-made in-house by Saar Zafrir Design, to perfectly compliment the creative vision.
Through a smooth, cohesive wooden walkway, guests are led from the hotel lobby into the …….