Design Hotels, which represents and markets a curated selection of over 290 independent hotels in more than 50 countries across the globe, announces the opening of a new property near Tel Aviv, Israel. Located 40 miles up the coastline from Tel Aviv and overlooking a glorious swathe of the Mediterranean Sea, the 95-room Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel opens doors as one of the Middle East’s most ambitious and exciting creative hubs.
Set on the rim of Israel’s Mount Carmel Ridge overlooking vast sloping forests and the Mediterranean Sea, Elma emerged from the former Mivtachim Sanitarium, Ya’akov Rechter’s award-winning masterwork of postwar Brutalism. The brainchild of Israeli philanthropist and art collector Lily Elstein, Elma innovatively melds luxury hospitality with a thriving world-class cultural center, while breathing new life into a near-forgotten architectural masterpiece.
Elma’s conceptual identity is defined by the passion of Original Lily Elstein, who envisaged Elma as “a place where those who enter its doors can find art in every corner and at every moment”. Elstein has devoted much of her life to community work in two chief fields: the integration of immigrants and the promotion of culture. Elma (an acronym for Elstein Music and Art) represents the ultimate expression of the latter, comprising 750 square meters of gallery space dedicated to Israeli and international artists, alongside two state-of-the-art performance halls.
The hotel itself exudes the signatures of high modernism—exposed cement, clean white lines, and natural walnut furnishings. Together with architectural firm Baranowitz & Kronenberg, designer Lea Mahler—who previously worked on the acclaimed King David Hotel in Jerusalem—ensured that the interiors echoed the undulating subtlety of the façade of Rechter’s iconic Brutalist structure, which was constructed between 1966 and 1969. Custom-designed textiles developed by designer Neora Warshavsky reflect the area’s aesthetic heritage and traditions.
Upon entering Elma, terrazzo floor tiles and concrete surfaces emanate restrained elegance, while Sigalit Landau's 26-ton marble “Tzimaon” statue provides a striking introduction to the hotel’s immersive art concept. A curated collection of furniture—minimalist, monochromatic sofas and benches, and oak and walnut stools—harmonizes with the building’s clean design. The spacious rooms, suites, and free-standing cottages are all opulently outfitted with Kilim rugs, natural oak furnishings and original artworks from Elstein’s extensive private collection. The careful placement of the furniture and an abundance of balconies and terraces invite guests to immerse themselves in the breathtaking views of the surrounding forests and the vast sea beyond, perfectly framed by Rechter’s original room partitions.
Elma itself is set amid 28 acres of lush gardens complete with an outdoor Olympic-sized pool, while an indoor pool and sumptuous spa provide the perfect retreat for the colder months.
Rates start from ILS 1145.