|Back to Page One|
|Edwin Black||August 1st 2012|
When most people travel to Israel, they think of that country’s two major compelling cities—Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Jerusalem is the spiritual epicenter of Israel’s historic legacy. Tel Aviv offers the national mad dash to cosmopolitan nirvana. But, there is a third major city that most tourists often don’t visit. It is, of course, Haifa--Israel’s gleaming maritime city along its northern coast.
Haifa is a paragon of cross-ethnic cohesion where Arab and Jewish citizens have lived together as neighbors. Its great bay vistas and muscular architecture, buttressed by a diverse fabric of cultural and artistic enterprise, are exceeded only by its maddening traffic congestion. This is a city revolving ever faster around a multidimensional axis of technology, shipping and boating, Israel’s mushrooming business sector, and the de facto gateway to the country, Galilee and the northern realm. Here you find the wondrous Baha’i Temple with its hanging gardens and iridescent sheen, a spate of museums devoted to Israel’s historic intersection with the sea, an urban-functional mountain cable car, the pantheon of Israel’s technological magic including the Technion University, and of course the front door to Israel’s Golan and Galilee.
Consequently, Haifa enjoys a never-ending pilgrimage of students, technologists, businessmen, and maritime visitors. The many thousands who flock to Haifa require many hotels. Among the top tier is still The Dan Carmel, perched high above the shoreline, nestled along a seaside park, and commanding unparalleled elevated vistas of Haifa Bay.
A member of the King David Hotel family—Dan Hotels, The Dan Carmel has recently completed a top-to-bottom renovation. Its refurbished rooms have been graced with large, luxurious bathrooms, huge flat panel TV screens and commanding views of either the city or the sea. Of course, if you’re coming to Haifa and to this hotel, it’s the seashore you want to view outside your window. Many Dan Carmel rooms enjoy private balconies with room interiors ensconced with elegant fabrics and sophisticated room décor.
I was given exclusive access to one regal suite during its final construction phase. Although at the time I visited, the great suite and access was laden with construction, the finished portions revealed an inviting majestic suite. This unforgettable suite boasted one of the most breathtaking mountain-bay vistas of any cosmopolitan city in the world.
The service at the Dan Carmel is cohesive and gracious. Businessmen from around the world walk through this lobby, but all seem to be treated like family.
In case you find it impossible to book at the Dan Carmel, a sister property, the Dan Panorama, awaits you nearby. This 21-story Mt. Carmel hotel achievement also offers spectacular panoramas of Haifa and its vibrant seascape, including the indelible curve of the Mediterranean coastline. Designated an official city landmark, the Dan Panorama is nothing less than an enchanting rival to the Dan Carmel for sheer visual majesty, enjoyable from the comfort of your sitting room. So if you go to either one of these Dan hotels, insist on a sea view--unless you prefer the romantic sparkle of the cityview at night.
Edwin Black is the bestselling author of The Transfer Agreement, IBM and the Holocaust, War Against the Weak, Banking on Baghdad, Internal Combustion, Nazi Nexus, The Plan, The Farhud, and British Petroleum and the Redline Agreement, as well as novel Format C:. He can be reached at www.edwinblack.com.