Most of the prominent hotels in Haifa, the city built on the slopes of Mount Carmel, are located on the top of the hill, affording the most panoramic views of the bay, the port and the Mediterranean. Which means the location of the Bay Club Hotel is yet another element that sets this charming boutique hotel apart from its competition.
The location of the Bay Club is convenient in more ways than one. It is walking distance to downtown: the port and shipping offices, the financial district, and the “Lower City” — a neighborhood undergoing gentrification that is becoming home to Haifa’s best bars and restaurants. Secondly, it is just steps away from the Carmelit — Haifa’s unique subway, which runs up and down Mt. Carmel like an underground cable car. The station is just one stop from the downtown terminus, but it saves a steep uphill climb.
Of course, location is only one of the advantages of staying at this charming new hotel. As an Atlas Boutique Hotel, it offers an entire array of perks: free WiFi throughout the property (guest rooms and common areas), in addition to use of a computer in the lobby; free newspapers at breakfast and the lobby coffee station, which dispenses complimentary hot beverages (along with cookies) 24/7; and the famous Atlas happy hour — wine and enough snacks to constitute a light supper, including soup in the winter. There are two Atlas hotels that offer free 10-minute massages during happy hour — and the Bay Club is one of them.
Another perk that is not exclusive to either Atlas or the Bay Club, since virtually all hotels in Israel offer it, is worth mentioning nonetheless: complimentary full breakfast — served at the Bay Club in a lovely garden, on the ground floor of the beautifully restored historic building that was transformed into a hotel in 2013, at a cost of some $50 million. The edifice, formerly the mansion of a prominent Arab family, is a majestic six-storey structure, with 54 guest rooms occupying four floors.
For a boutique hotel, there is surprising diversity in the type and sizes of guest units. The majority of rooms, called deluxe, are quite spacious, with sitting areas large enough for a sofa-bed. Twelve rooms have balconies, and 13 contain bathtubs. Six “gallery” rooms have lofts, with the sleeping quarters up a short flight of stairs from the work area. Rooms on the top floor are rather compact, because they have balconies; on the other hand, it is an adults-only floor. Four corner rooms have smoking porches; otherwise, the entire property is 100% smoke-free.
All rooms at the Bay Club are equipped with flat-screen cable TV’s, coffeemakers, safes for valuables/laptops, hair dryers and mini-refrigerators. If your room doesn’t come with a microwave, you can request one. The bathroom amenities are Sea of Spa Dead Sea mineral products, while the shower stalls — each with dual showerheads, one overhead raindrop and one handheld massaging — contain dispensers filled with Dove moisturizing body wash. The beds, covered with plush down comforters, are exceedingly comfortable.
The extras, the convenience, the comfort, the decor (in addition to the preserved sections of the building, there is a beckoning, operational, wood-burning fireplace in the lobby), and the professionalism of the friendly, bilingual staff — all contribute to the Bay Club Hotel’s current #1 ranking in Haifa on TripAdvisor.
Published rates: $155 – $190 (double room). Compare rates and book through Hotelopia or Travelocity.
Text by Buzzy Gordon, who was a guest of the Bay Club Hotel for purposes of review. Photos courtesy of Atlas Hotels.