Hotel Bay Club is a much older hotel than the other Atlas Hotels we have experienced on this trip: a restored landmark dating back to 1912. It’s an impressive building of golden stone with wrought iron gates and a regal staircase to its entrance.
The lack of onsite parking is an inconvenience, especially in the pouring rain, which was the setting of our arrival. An abandoned visit to Caesarea due to the weather meant that presenting ourselves at reception late morning was before the scheduled check in time of 2:30pm. I expressed that we had no expectations of an early check in, but wanted to leave our bags so we could go and get a late lunch, and neither leaving them in the hire car on the street or lugging them with us to lunch was an option. It was pointed out to me twice in the course of the conversation that check in was not until 2:30pm, and I reassured the man on the desk that it was not a problem, we were happy to wait.
We left our luggage and bravely ventured out into the downpour to find something suitable and nearby so as to limit our degree of saturation. After lunch it was raining even heavier than when we arrived in town, and the walk back to the hotel was in torrential rain. The roads were like rivers, and of course, we ended up soaked. We knew that we were still too early for check in, but we couldn’t stay out there a moment longer and told reception that we would just wait in the lounge until our room was ready. We hadn’t even put our wet bottoms into the plush armchairs when he called out, “Friends! Your room is ready.” What timing!
The décor has elements of art deco and hints of a classic vibe, which is in keeping with the building itself. The lobby and library areas are filled with wingback chairs with silver and mirrored accessories, high ceilings and ornate cornices. Stone is a feature in the dining area, with wooden floors and emerald green and deep red plush armchairs, cream leather dining chairs and chocolate brown leather lounges. Chic in style, with modern colours, fabrics and accents throughout.
Our room was at the end of a corridor, which provided a balcony with views of the city. The walls were a soft duck egg blue, matching the throw on the end of the bed, both of which complimented shades of cream in the furnishings. Though the room was compact, the bed was comfortable and a good night’s sleep was had by us both.
One of the many aspects I like about the Atlas brand is that they have removed unnecessary extras that add to the cost of your hotel room, such as a mini bar (even when you don’t consume items from them, the drain on hotel running costs still get passed on to the guests). Am also happy to deal with my own luggage and other services that I can manage myself, I don’t have to tip a porter for taking my bags to my room when I have managed to schlep them from home to the hotel in a variety of transports – public and otherwise.
What is clear value for money for guests are the breakfasts and happy hours of an evening. While there were no hot food options in the evening like previous Atlas experiences, there was an endless supply of crudité, hommus and chips to go with our alcoholic beverage of choice.
Breakfast at Hotel Bay Club was of a very high standard. They had an excellent array of dishes to choose from: a range of breads, cheeses, salads and pastries, as well as a potato bake, savoury pastries, scrambled eggs and what looked like deep-fried or baked rolls of thin Israeli bread. However, there was no offer of anything freshly made to order, but I also didn’t ask.
It was a shame that we only had one night to sample this hotel and what it has to offer, and the town of Haifa deserves more exploration than one day allows.
Our adventures continue in Israel with our time in Haifa and Caesarea…
Accommodation: Hotel Bay Club