Downtown Haifa — lying at the foot of Mount Carmel and known to locals as The Lower City — has been undergoing a transformation in recent years, as an area of dilapidated warehouses and seedy bars adjacent to Israel’s largest port is turning into a thriving neighborhood of restaurants, pubs and nightlife. The revitalization has attracted a brand-new hotel, the Golden Crown — the third in a Nazareth-based chain, and the first outside that city in central Galilee.
The newest Golden Crown — situated in the German Colony, a more established neighborhood of eateries and cultural institutions — actually fills a void that has existed for a long while in Haifa, since it is also the only hotel strategically located in walking distance to the central train station, the maritime port and offices, and the city’s financial district.
And even though it is at that the bottom of Mt. Carmel, the Golden Crown still manages to command decent views, of the bustling port and Mediterranean Sea on one side, and the magnificent Baha’i Temple and Gardens that climb the slopes of the Biblical hill on the other.
Accordingly, the Golden Crown appeals to both tourists and the business community. The spacious rooms contain comfortable king-sized beds (or twin beds), carpeted floors, espresso machines, mini refrigerators, electric kettles, and wall-mounted Samsung smart TV’s with up-to-date weather reports, satellite channels, and access to popular apps.
The bathrooms are also impressive, with faux marble floors and countertops, hair dryers, and square bathtubs with raindrop shower heads. Amenities by Sea and Spa are enriched with Dead Sea minerals.
The hotel’s one suite and several junior suites are equipped with kitchenettes, although all guest rooms can be supplied with microwaves (in addition to the standard mini-refrigerators) upon request. Free wireless and Ethernet Internet access extends to all rooms and suites.
The Golden Crown has a kosher Israeli-Mediterranean restaurant on the ground floor that serves bountiful buffets for both breakfast and dinner. The breakfast buffet — complete with hot and cold foods, smoked fish, cheeses, yogurt with myriad toppings and more — is complimentary for all hotel guests.
Finally, the hotel’s V.I.P. lounge boasts a fully stocked bar staffed by a bartender who is happy to serve patrons relaxing on the plush leather furniture indoors, or in the open air of the large adjoining terrace.
Number of rooms: 90
Text by Buzzy Gordon, who was a guest of the Golden Crown for purposes of review. Photos courtesy of Golden Crown.