Room after room of art unfurls before you: a Cubist portrait, ponderous and brash; a marble sculpture of a kibbutznik laboring in the field. Through great windows the dramatic curves of Mount Carmel jut out over the Mediterranean Sea. You make your way through the modular concrete units that make up the building—a famous architectural masterpiece—and notice crowds of people gathering, talking and laughing in anticipation. Soon you are seated in a sea of spectators. Hushed voices ripple through the crowd. And then he enters—one of Israel’s great classical pianists. Music floods over you, at once sensuous and sorrowful, and you close your eyes, lost in the beauty of this moment.
THE HOTEL — After eight years of extensive planning and construction, the Mivtachim Sanitarium, Yaakov Rechter’s award-winning masterwork of postwar Brutalism, reopened to great fanfare as the Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel. The innovative boutique property is set on the rim of Israel’s Mount Carmel Ridge, overlooking vast sloping forests and some 40 miles up the coastline from Tel Aviv. With two state-of-the-art performance halls and 750 square meters of gallery space devoted to Israeli and international artists, Elma feels as much like a major cultural institution as a luxury hotel.
Elma is a place where those who enter its doors can find art in every corner and at every moment.Lily Elstein – Owner of Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel
Elma is the brainchild of Israeli philanthropist and art collector Lily Elstein, whose original dream was to build a cultural center. A descendant of the founders of Zichron Ya’akov, the seaside village where Elma is located, Elstein has devoted much of her life to public service, focusing on the absorption of immigrants and the promotion of culture. Now, with Elma, she has realized another dream: to meld luxury hospitality with a thriving world-class cultural center, while at the same time breathing new life into a near-forgotten architectural masterpiece.
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