Visiting the Elizabetha Hotel in Tiberias

Visiting Tiberias today was a sweet experience, while staying at the Scots Hotel, a 19th-century church, turned hospital, and recently turned into luxury hotel was incredible. After a long swim in the super warm Sea of Galilee, we have made our way to the top of the hill, to see the Elizabetha Hotel, once the country’s most luxurious hotel, and today a deserted building that barely testifies to its golden age. Completed in 1929, this former Gran Hotel, which merges German Expressionist and Art Deco styles, was designed by Zelig Exelrod (1887–1947) in the city’s new Zionist district of Kiryat Samuel. It was commissioned by Exelrod’s patron Solomon Feingold (1865–1935), an ambitious British developer who sought to express his wealth and power by building Palestine’s most prestigious hotel. Its inauguration was the most-talked about event of the day, and its services, including mineral water brought from the nearby Springs of Tiberias (see below), and the country’s most advanced movie theater were over the top. Yet, all of these did not help to turn the hotel into a success; it changed hands in the 50s, and its name was changed into Hotel Genosar, but the building has been deserted since the 70s.

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