A Romantic Weekend at the German Colony in Haifa

 The German Colony in Haifa is a historical picturesque area with the old Templar houses from the 19th century, the Bahai Gardens stretching on the slopes of Mount Carmel from one side, and the Haifa bay from the other. It is the perfect place for a romantic weekend at the 1905 built and preserved Colony hotel with a spa package and good food.

We arrived at the Colony Hotel Haifa on a rainy Friday afternoon. Going into the hotel is like going back 100 years in time. The hotel was built in 1905 as Appinger pension. Over the years it was expanded, rented to an Old Aged Home, until sold, and refurbished in 2005, when it got its current name “The Colony Hotel Haifa”. When the construction started in 2005, much of the original façade, authentic ceramics floor tiles and wooden windows. were preserved and refurbished. The hotel today is a modern, fully equipped boutique hotel but with a historical look-and-feel of the 19th century – quite an experience. By the way, the main staircase has a display of the history of the hotel – old pictures, old documents, and even an old postcard. Not to be missed! (here’s a little video of the Colony Haifa Hotel).

Photo: Colony Haifa ManagementPhoto: Colony Haifa Management

The hotel only has 40 rooms, many with original ceramics tiles, authentic 19th century décor and furniture, and all modern amenities such as flat-screen tv, coffee and tea making facilities, and hair dryer. Some rooms have balconies, and twin-Jacuzzi.  Ours was looking at the Ben Gurion street and the Bahai Gardens. The hotel serves a high standard breakfast at an old fashioned dining room and also takes drop-ins for breakfast.

Photo: Colony Haifa ManagementPhoto: Colony Haifa Management

After a short rest, we headed to dinner. Ben Gurion Street is the heart of the German Colony and the street is packed with restaurants - Arab, Italian, Asian. Following the recommendation of the hotel (that orders the room service food from there) we went to Shtroudl Restaurant just across the street from the hotel. It serves authentic Arab fusion food but also international food. The menu is quite amusing, with funny names like “Spoiling Grandma” salad, “Smiling Earth”, and “Shrimp in love”. We picked the most authentic plates we could find in the menu, which is made according to the recipes of the owner’s mother. I highly recommend the “Spoiling Grandma salad”, Kibbeh, and their fantastic Kenafeh (to share).

The next day, after an excellent breakfast at the hotel, we crossed the street to the Colony G. Spa. Munir, the spa owner, used to operate the massage room at the Colony Hotel but moved out, and now offers a full spa experience, including Jacuzzi and sauna. The spa is not luxurious but it is well equipped. Munir specializes in Su-Jok acupressure. The massage was excellent, attentive, relaxing stiff muscles and enjoyable.

As the day progressed, the weather got a little nicer and it was time for some sightseeing. There is plenty to see and do in the German Colony within walking distance. The Tourist Information center is located on 48 Ben Gurion Street, where you can get information and maps, including walking trips to Wadi Nisnas, an authentic Arab neighborhood with interesting houses, churches, and market. Two blocks up from the Colony Hotel, on Ben Gurion Street, you can enter the lower section of the Bahai Gardens (the guided tours and the Panorama tours entrance is higher on the mountain).

The Bahai Gardens - HaifaThe Bahai Gardens - Haifa
Haifa is rich with museums, attractions, views, and plenty to do. If you have more than a weekend getaway, plan to spend a few days in Haifa.

For more information: Colony Hotel Haifa - Romantic Vacation in Old Boutique Hotel in the German Colony