HOTEL REVIEW: FAUZI AZAR INN, A 200 YEAR-OLD ARAB MANSION IN NAZARETH, ISRAEL
Looking for a place that will offer you the ultimative ancient experience? The Fauzi Azar Inn is a 200 year-old Arab Mansion, transformed into a beautiful guesthouse.
During my 10 days trip to Israel last month I was lucky enough to stay at the Fauzi Azar Inn, one of the most amazing guesthouses I've ever encountered. Once a deserted Arab Mansion, the Fauzi Azar Inn became the first guesthouse in Nazareth, conveniently established in the Old City.
Can you imagine staying in a 200 year-old Arab mansion?
If you love historic buildings and old structures, you've come to the right location. Since I was a kid I was always fascinated by old houses; staying at this place was the ultimative and ancient experience, or moreover like a journey into the past.
If you are interested in immersing yourself in the culture of Israel, Fauzi Azar Inn should be on your bucket list. Picture authenticity, friendly faces, delectable food and an appreciation for culture ingrained in every facet of a hotel.
Expensive? No. It's very affordable. And on top of that, it's probably one of those guesthouses you'll remember forever.
For two nights, I took in the sights and sounds, friendly people and fantastic food. The Fauzi Azar Inn is perfectly situated in the Old City of Nazareth, surrounded by narrow streets, and markets. Believe me, when you enter this place, it's like stepping into a different century...
Staying in such a historical building was really awe-inspiring. The rooms are inviting with their unique arches and non-traditional décor. Each room is unique and has its own charm. In my room, I had a double bed, desk, table with two chairs and a nice view, overlooking the old city.
The warmth of the room was very inviting. There is no stiff office-like furniture, only comfortable and inviting pieces that make guests feel at home. Honestly, I would have loved to stay a month or more in this cosy place.
Guests are treated with complimentary coffee, water and tea. There is a kettle and a fridge in the room as well. My room had a split level floor, with the sleeping area and the bathroom upstairs. Shower and separate toilet, were both spotless clean.
Let's come to the absolute highlight of my stay: The complimentary breakfast. One word: FANTASTIC!
Each morning, I enjoyed a delicious breakfast and I was exposed to many facets of the Middle East with my meals. This was not your normal “complimentary breakfast” one would find at Hampton Inn with dry cereal, yogurt, toast and bagels. This was so much better. Let the photos speak for themselves... (click to enlarge)
I was greeted with fresh fruits, vegetables, fried cheese, olives, feta, hummus, pita bread, pizza, omelet, salads, and delicious cake...
A full plate covered all your basic food groups and was very pleasing to the eye with vibrant colors. For drinks they offered fresh homemade mint lemonade, as well as water, coffee and tea. There was nothing I could have missed. On top of the presentation, all of the food was prepared with love by a friendly lady with a beautiful smile.
Best breakfast ever.
The Fauzi Azar Inn offers many alcoves and areas for lounging around, curling up with a good book or just enjoying some afternoon tea. There are no bright lights, only streams of sunlight which was refreshing. I liked the subtle but unapologetic reminders of Israel’s heritage that served as the hotel’s decorations, whether it be the country’s flag on the wall or a painting, guest cannot help but be engulfed with the culture.
This is not a place you will find fresh flowers but will be welcomed by vast amounts of greenery, complimenting the natural and airy feel of the hotel.
As the saying goes, “One bad apple can ruin the bunch,” but this was not the case with the behind-the-scenes people of the hotel. The staff was always friendly, informative and frequently offering guests a piece of cake (again, homemade-who doesn’t love cake??). It was obvious they truly enjoyed not only their job but also the heritage of their country.
Though it was enticing to just plant myself on the property during my time, I did take advantage of the numerous external amenities that come with the package. The Inn, often referred to as a hostel by guests, encourages excursions and the staff is tremendously helpful in making suggestions. Day trips are easy when one has the unique opportunity of being near the “Sea of Galilee.”
If you are in the mood for fresh food, walk to the markets. The people you meet will be happy to meet you and I loved the way they shared stories made you feel like you have known them longer than 5 minutes. The narrow streets only add to the charm of the city. One cannot help but wonder “what is around the bend” when navigating their way around.
Fauzi Azar is the kind of place that you will want to return to again. It's the perfect escape from busy Tel Aviv, a quiet oasis with a relaxed and warm atmosphere. Be sure to come armed with a camera as a picture will produce a much greater memory than a postcard. Capture the moment like I did and really immerse yourself in what is around you.
My stay at the Fauzi Azar Inn couldn't be any better, not only because of its unique location, but also because of the lovely staff and the mix of
interesting guests that shared their travel stories and tips.
Oooh, and the homemade chocolate cake of course...
If you're interested to book the Fauzi Azar Inn, check here rates and availability!
This trip was made possible by TouristIsrael.com. Thanks for organizing an unforgettable trip to Israel.
My stay at the Fauzi Azar Inn was complimentary, all opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sabrina Iovino is the founder of JustOneWayTicket.com. She's half German, half Italian and has traveled to more than 50 countries around the globe. She feels weird to write about herself in the third person, so she'll switch now. Phew...much better! Let's restart:
Hi, I'm Sab! This is my blog and I write about the things I love. Mostly.
Thanks to my Editor Mary Delaney.
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