Arrival/Check-In: Coming from Caesarea and stopping in Haifa to see the beautiful Baha’i Shrine and Gardens, we entered the Crusader port of Acre. Here you truly feel you are in the Middle East — and the Middle Ages. Getting to The Efendi is a little challenging; you park on Ha-Hagana Street opposite the city wall and walk to the property. Once you arrive, the staff brings your bags from the car to the hotel, about two blocks through a narrow passageway/tunnel that could be in a scene from Gladiator. This introduction to a magnificent and historic property truly set the mood for our stay. At the front desk, staff checked us in, served us date juice and offered a tour on the way to our rooms. The hotel’s 12 suites occupy two buildings, 600-year-old Ottoman palaces converted and renovated with a $5 million budget. The historical general meeting areas feature hand-painted ceilings and an original restored Turkish bath. Artisans from Italy handled the restoration of the ceilings and a large fresco of İstanbul. Modern art adds an eclectic twist to the historic property. Guest Quarters: Our room overlooked the alleyway and offered views of the Mediterranean Sea. The entry hallway, elevated a few steps above the bedroom, held a large armoire that provided room to hang clothing, a hair dryer, robes and a coffee/tea pot. Just beyond, the bathroom featured a lovely large soaking tub and a gigantic separate shower; marble tile on the walls and floor offered a subtle contrast to blazing white bathroom fixtures. L’Occitane toiletries were tastefully displayed on a glazed plate with a fish design. Down the steps to the main room, a sitting area held two chairs and a table where I set up shop. The comfortable king-sized bed featured a stylish spread draped over the top. A dressing table flanked the opposite wall. Services/Amenities: Everyone was there to please us, and the hotel manager made sure we had Israeli wine as we watched the birds fly back to their roosts with the sun’s orange glow setting over the city below. The owner of The Efendi Hotel, Uri Buri (Uri Jeremias), suggested we have dinner at none other than Uri Buri restaurant, where he recommended every course and wine selection. The calamari, fish and vegetable dishes were all wonderful, and Uri Buri surprised us with his wit, stories of the hotel and his dreams. This is a must-stop in Acre and part of the hotel experience; one does not exist without the other. The restaurant sits a short walk from the hotel, near the famous Acre Lighthouse at the end of the promenade. Don’t miss breakfast, one of the most spectacular experiences with fresh fruit and eggs made to order by the helpful staff. Enjoy the freshly baked breads, the coffee and juices. The Experience: If you want to experience a feeling of Ben-Hur with all the modern conveniences while witnessing one man’s passion for perfection, you must try The Efendi Hotel. My only regret: We should have spent several nights here, perhaps enjoying the Spa & Hammam and the Turkish bath.
[checklist] [item check=yes]Doorman/valet[/item] [item check=yes]Less than 10 minutes for check-in[/item] [item check=yes]Separate tub and shower[/item] [item check=yes]Large vanity[/item] [item check=yes]High-quality towels[/item] [item check=yes]Powerful, unattached hair dryer[/item] [item check=yes]High-quality bed linens[/item] [item check=yes]Large, flat-screen television[/item] [item]Large desk with convenient outlets[/item] [item check=yes]Large, complimentary laptop safe[/item] [item check=yes]Complimentary in-room WiFi[/item] [item check=yes]Complimentary bottled water[/item] [item check=yes]Stocked minibar[/item] [item check=yes]Ample lighting[/item] [item check=yes]In-room coffeemaker[/item] [item check=yes]Iron and ironing board[/item] [item check=yes]On-site restaurant[/item] [item]24-hour room service[/item] [item]24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center[/item] [item check=yes]Turn-down service[/item] [/checklist]
The Efendi Hotel
Louis IX Street P.O.B. 2503 Old Acre 24124, Israel tel 972 74 7299799 efendi-hotel.co.il
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy ... and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
I recently dined at Irwin’s in Philadelphia. The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Bok Building, a former school turned collective of small businesses, non-profits, artist workshops, a bar and restaurant. I previously visited Bok for the bar and yoga classes, and I was excited to experience the restaurant.
Cathay Pacific reaffirms its commitment to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 with a pledge to use Sustainable Aviation Fuel for 10 percent of its total fuel consumption by 2030. The airline has made pioneering efforts in supporting SAF development for more than 10 years.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.