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The luxury hotel that was once a hospice

The luxury hotel that was once a hospice

Tom Unwin

Last month wealthy businessmen and local celebrities celebrated the launch of the W Tel Aviv-Jaffa Hotel, scheduled to open next year, in the same location that Francois Guinet opened a hospice in 1885.

The hotel’s plot is steeped in history. After Guinet fell ill with malaria he was cared for by the nuns from the French Order of Saint Joseph, and later visited Jaffa he promised to build a hostel and hospital. A spacious building filled with arches and adornments, the new hospice presented a monumental façade with three wings shaped in a U surrounding a courtyard. Guinet declared that the hospital, which would be run by the sisters, would be open to everyone – regardless of gender, religion and nationality, and that treatment would be provided free of charge. The building contained 40 beds, a church, a hospital, a hostel for the needy, for widows and orphans, and also served as a wayside inn for Crusaders.

The designs of the new construction align with the target audience: well-to-do tourists who appreciate contemporary design. When construction is finished, it will contain 127 rooms and 38 luxury apartments,  the hotel will offer a signature restaurant, a destination bar and W Living Room (W’s take on the traditional hotel lobby). Other luxury leisure facilities include a spa, state-of-the-art fitness, and a glamorous outdoor pool deck. Guests can also expect the W brand’s signature Whatever/Whenever service philosophy, providing guests whatever they want, whenever they want it. The hotel will also offer a full-service, 24-hour WIRED business centre.

“W Hotels is well poised to continue its expansion into some of the most exciting and vibrant destinations around the world,” says Bart Carnahan, Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East. “The signing of W Tel Aviv - Jaffa and The Residences at W Tel Aviv - Jaffa underlines Starwood’s continued commitment to grow our portfolio of luxury brands globally.”
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