The Story of a Reconstruction
The idea of restoring and building as a guesthouse took its beginnings in the year 2001. Uri Jeremias, the chef of the famous “Uri Buri” restaurant in Acre, wished to turn the deserted building behind his restaurant into a boutique hotel, integrated in the landscape of the Old City walls. The building, however, was not for sale, and Uri, who had already devoted himself to his plan, decided to search for an alternative site. He was told of the existence of a building called the “Palace”, designated for touristic purposes. When he saw it for the first time, the building was as far from a palace as could be imagined. It had obviously been severely neglected and lay partly in ruins. Adjacent to it was another building, the “Afifi House”, just as severely neglected. But Uri did not see the neglect. Not the ruins. Uri was excited, and the only thing he could see before his eyes was breathtaking beauty of a pair of buildings that contained a real yet unpolished diamond.
A bridge was constructed to connect the two buildings that in time turned into the Efendi Hotel.
The Antiquities Authority placed the buildings under the category of strict preservation. Even in the planning phase of the Efendi Hotel in Acre, right at the beginning, it became clear that for this location nothing less than strict preservation would be sensible. Not only the external envelope, but also the inside of the building that contained remains of complex wall paintings and spectacular ceilings.
Uri brought together a team of highly experienced specialists in the field of preservation and reconstruction of antique buildings. The team worked continuously and with endless commitment on each and every detail in the building. Beginning with the stones that formed the external walls all the way to the window lintels in every single room. A team of artists from the School of Reconstruction in Venice, Italy, worked for seven months together with Israeli artists on the preservation of the complex wall and ceiling paintings.
The process of preservation and reconstruction of the hotel extended over 8.5 years. Uri was joined by the company FC Real Estate, and together they continued the preservation and renovation work as owners of the hotel. Before they embarked on this project no such complex building was ever preserved by a private body on such a high level of preservation, with all consequences – the amount of work, the required knowledge, the quality of the workers, the special artists, the timeframe: All those turned out right.
The Efendi Hotel is one of the most beautiful, complex and exciting buildings, and it is here for you to enjoy. For you to experience exciting moments, beautiful times, and pleasant memories you will want to go back to. Again and again.