Market House Hotel: A jewel of Jaffa

The Market House only reopened to guests on May 28, after a period of closure due to coronavirus restrictions, but hopes to make up for lost time.

The Market House Hotel (photo credit: Courtesy)
The Market House Hotel
(photo credit: Courtesy)
As the summer season arrives in Israel, hotels throughout the country would normally be preparing for the influx of tourists that usually hit Israel’s cities every year.
However, the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic on the tourism industry, especially in a country such as Israel, cannot be underestimated.
One special hotel, though, is hoping to bounce back with a bang.
The Market House Hotel is a boutique hotel located on Beit Eshel Street in Jaffa. It is part of the Atlas Hotel chain that has several boutique locations around Israel. The first thing that strikes someone entering the hotel is the wide and spacious lobby, but it is unlikely to be like any lobby you’ve seen in the past.
The large building, once owned by the Greek Orthodox Church, sits atop the historic ruins of an eighth-century Byzantine chapel and the archaeological site is on full display as the lobby has a glass floor allowing guests to view the ruin in all its glory. The lobby is topped off with a smart lounge area complete with works of art and a floor-to-ceiling library, in case you fancy a curl-up with a book. For a history enthusiast, it was definitely the most memorable hotel lobby I’ve ever seen.
The rooms are spacious and clean, with a simple yet smart décor. The large, comfortable beds, the modern and clean bathrooms, the selection of teas and coffees that come with the room’s own coffee maker, all add to making a guest’s stay as comfortable as possible.
 The second and third floor rooms include rooms with balconies, and the fourth floor contains larger rooms with wide-open terraces. One can step out onto the terrace and take in the calm tranquility of the Mediterranean, or turn to face another direction and take in the mayhem of the flea market below. That is one of the Market House’s strong points.
Jaffa, Tel-Aviv’s smaller, under-appreciated sibling, is one of the gems of Israel in my opinion, and the location of the Market House Hotel on Beit Eshel is almost perfect. Situated a couple of hundred meters from the sparkling Mediterranean, one can venture out to Jaffa’s ancient port, the historic Jaffa Clock Tower, or take in the Old City with its stunning Islamic architecture.
JAFFA’S FAMOUS flea market, with all of its hidden alleyways and stores is located directly opposite the hotel, and one only has to step out the hotel and one can get lost wandering between the hustle-and-bustle of the stalls with their trinkets and gems.
After a day getting lost among all that Jaffa has to see, one can relax in the bar in the evening and take advantage of the hotel’s two-hour “happy hour” offer.   
The Market House only reopened to guests on May 28, after a period of closure due to coronavirus restrictions, but hopes to make up for lost time.
“It was great opening the hotel after three months of shutting down, and the preparation was like opening a brand new hotel- cleaning everything from scratch, sanitizing and operating according to the guidelines but there was a huge excitement for me and the stuff,” said hotel manager Avi Cohen.
Cohen and his staff are always available for any guest to speak to, and their gracious and welcoming manner sets the Market House apart from the rest. No request is too small from the staff any query or request is met with an “of course,” or “with pleasure.” The friendliness of the staff and the homely decor give the Market House a relaxed vibe.
Another highlight that the Market House gets notice for is the breakfast. Served daily in the lobby, the breakfast comprises a traditional buffet selection including smoked salmon, fresh fruit and Israeli salad, along with a selection of cheeses and breads. The highlight is a special made-to-order selection of eggs, shakshuka, and pastries. It is one of the best breakfasts I have ever had.
“What we do for living is make people feel like home away from home, and we were missing that feel. This summer is definitely a challenging one, but we are getting great feedback from the people arriving and that’s what gives us the motivation to keep going,” said Cohen.
“We hope that until the flights will return and Israel will go back to being the highly appreciated tourist destination it used to be, Israelis will come. All of us are having intense times and we need some time to relax and recharge batteries. And what’s more relaxing than a great hotel room?”
If anyone is looking for a chance to “relax and recharge batteries,” the Market House Hotel is a jewel of a hotel in a jewel of a city, and a great place to visit.

The writer was a guest of the hotel.