Homes: A great investment

Home away from home at the Daniel Hotel.

Herzilya Petuach Hotel (photo credit: URIEL MESSA)
Herzilya Petuach Hotel
(photo credit: URIEL MESSA)
‘Inever touched any investment unless she agreed to it,” says successful businessman Uzi Farchi – owner of the holiday apartment pictured here – speaking of his late wife, Aya.
She died four years ago at the age of 43, leaving behind her devastated husband – who had known her since they were children – and four sons, today aged 21,17 and twins of 13.
Both Aya and Uzi studied at the Technion in Haifa. He qualified as a building engineer while she took a degree in industry and management.
They married in 1988 after their first year of studies. She went to work in industry, and he began his career in investment, starting a company to supervise and manage properties.
When the opportunity to buy an apartment in the Daniel Hotel in Herzliya came up, Aya was already ill from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but still able to help Uzi in his business decision-making, and she told him to go ahead.
“Whenever I had an idea for an investment, I would discuss it with her, and she told me what to do,” he says. “She had an almost magic insight into what would be successful and what not.”
He adds, “It’s entirely thanks to her that I made this great investment.”
She was also very involved in decorating and furnishing the apartment, which, when it’s not let to tourists, the family uses for weekends.
Situated on the ninth floor of the luxury hotel on the Herzliya Pituah coast, the apartment can accommodate a family of six, or it can be divided so the smaller studio is completely separate for a couple.
Unlike many vacation apartments, where the owners economize on fittings and fixtures, this one is done out in luxurious, topquality accessories and decorations.
You only have to look at the natural wood parquet floor to understand that for this owner, plastic imitations wouldn’t do.
The off-white couches, which open up into beds, are the best quality money can buy.
“I didn’t want to put in sofa-beds that are hard to open and uncomfortable once they are made into beds,” says Farchi. “I got them from an Italian company, Milano Bedding, and they are very comfortable to sleep on.”
And whereas most landlords would put a few prints on the wall, he went out and got original oil paintings to decorate his walls.
“I saw some paintings at the office of my accountant by a young Israeli architect and artist, Anat Mor-Avi, and I really liked them,” he says. “I contacted her and told her I needed paintings for my holiday apartment. She asked me where it was and came up with these very suitable paintings depicting the nearby sea and the other aspects of nature visible from the window, which blended well with the color scheme I’d chosen with Aya and the designer.”
They chose a bright sea-green as color contrast to the white walls and furniture, and used it as a backdrop to the main bedroom and for some of the walls in the sitting-room.
On one wall, the artist produced a painting that is almost a threedimensional depiction of a room.
“I really like the depth in this painting,” says Farchi. “It’s almost like adding another room.”
The well-equipped kitchen is separated from the studio apartment by a glass window that goes the whole length of the sink unit. But if necessary, sliding doors can be moved across the window, cutting off the second apartment and giving complete privacy to both.
“We were aiming for a homey atmosphere,” says Farchi. Here, too, the china is real, and the guests appreciate small touches like fresh flowers on the table when they arrive, or larger gestures like a wine refrigerator in the kitchen.
When Aya became even more sick after chemotherapy, the family would come to spend Shabbat in the apartment, bringing a minder and all the medical equipment they needed.
“Aya loved to sit in the lounge and look out at the sea,” says her husband emotionally. “She loved the homey atmosphere we had managed to create.”
Today tourists come back every year to enjoy the amenities he has put at their disposal. He agrees it was a good business decision, but even more than providing an income, he sees the apartment as a kind of memorial to his late wife, who put so much energy and talent into making it beautiful.
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