In cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and the Old Acre and Nazareth Development Company, the Orchid Hotels Chain, owned by the Nakash brothers, has won the tender for the establishment of a hotel at Khan el-Amdan, in an ancient building in Old Acre. The hotel, which will cover an area of about 5,500 square meters with at least 50 rooms, will be subject to preservation laws and integrated into the local landscape. The winning company has much experience in tourism.
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said, “This is a huge vote of confidence in Acre as a tourist city and a step that will significantly upgrade the Old City and offer excellent overnight solutions. I would like to thank everyone who has taken part in this special project especially the Mayor of Acre Shimon Lankri. Thanks to our joint work, we have arrived at this wonderful result.”
Yuval Porat, CEO, Old Acre and Nazareth Development Company said, “This is a very significant project for Old Acre that will add at least 50 rooms to the Old City itself, will upgrade the port area and join the infrastructure improvements in which the Tourism Ministry is investing in the Old City. The fact that the winning company has experience and a reputation in projects of this type encourages and enables all parties to cooperate and bring to fruition the building of the hotel and related projects.”
The area in question will be handed over to the winner in accordance with the terms of the tender, including a historical building that was once used as a hammam and will be in operation with the hotel opening. In addition, as part of the hotel construction, one side of the building will face the marina and another side will face Fishermen’s Square. The entrepreneur’s investment is expected to amount to tens of millions of shekels. This project is one of many that the Tourism Ministry has initiated and invested in the city, via the Old Acre and Nazareth Development Company, such as the rehabilitation and transformation of the Marina Pier into a promenade, the Napoleon Trail, and the renovation and preservation of the Knights’ Halls.
Khan el-Amdan (The Columns in Arabic) is located near the port of Acre, provides a unique observation point from its clock tower and was built on the site of the Customs House from Crusader times. Considered the largest and best preserved khan in Israel, it was built in 1784, during the reign of Ahmad al-Jazzar, the great ruler who built a number of public buildings in Acre during the Ottoman period, including the Orchard Garden, which was also renovated by the Ministry of Tourism via the Old Acre and Nazareth Development Company.
When Al-Jazzar decided to build the khan here, he placed special emphasis on its design. The khan consists of two floors surrounding an inner courtyard. Beyond the corridors lay various rooms. On the first floor, the rooms were used for commercial and business activities, while the second floor was used as a guest house for merchants and passers-by who arrived in Acre.
Photo: Credit Alex Dvorak