Mercazi Hotel Safed
|Moderately-priced hotel on the main street of Safed, Israel.|
The Mercazi hotel offers centrally-located Safed accommodations where visitors can relax and walk to all the religious and historical sites in the city.
The history of the Mercazi hotel parallels that of Tzfat’s modern history as a center of Jewish defense against attackers as well as a venue for visitors to come and enjoy Tzfat’s religious, historical and cultural sites and atmosphere.
 Early Years
In 1920 Yehuda Mayberg, an immigrant from Bratslavia, purchased the building. At that time it sat at the top of the hill, near the border that separated the Jewish and Arab Quarters of Tzfat. From the building it was possible to look down into the neighborhoods below. It was used as a center for traveling Jewish merchants who would meet and conduct their business. From Tzfat, some merchants would travel north and east to Lebanon and Syria while others would travel south and west to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa.
The location of the building, on the edge of the Arab quarter with a bird’s eye view into the quarter, allowed the Jews to watch Arab movements in the Arab Quarter and defend themselves during the Arab riots of 1936.
 Haganah Stronghold
Yehuda’s son, Meir (by this point the family had changed the family name to “Maybar”) was a commanding officer in the pre-State paramilitary defense unit, the “Haganah.” He played a leading role in the liberation of Tzfat, using his family’s building to guard the Jewish quarter. They went on to capture the Safed Citadel and win the Battle of Tzfat. He also took advantage of the building’s central location to set up a first aid station for Jewish soldiers and civilians.
Following the war, Tzfat became a major tourist destination for Israeli and foreign tourists. In addition to the religious and historical sites, many visitors came to enjoy the art center and bohemian atmosphere which was developing in Tzfat. The Maybars decided to renovate their building and create a hotel, which became one of Tzfat’s most popular accommodations.
The “Mercazi” -- Central -- hotel is situated on Tzfat’s main commercial street, Jerusalem Street. The Mercazi offers visitors a quick five-minute walk into the Jewish Quarter where the old synagogues and other historical sites are located, and a ten-minute walk into the Artists Quarter where the galleries are situated.
There are 39 air-conditioned rooms at the hotel. It is a popular hotel for school groups, large tour groups, yeshivas and seminaries and other visitors who want to take advantage of the location and the amenities.
Prices are moderate.
The Mercazi serves breakfast on weekdays for hotel guests and groups may arrange for Sabbath meals to be eaten in the hotel’s dining room. The hotel serves kosher food (special kosher l’mehadrin meals may be specially ordered).
The Mercazi is a comfortable venue for Sabbath-observant guests who have access to Sabbath amenities at the Mercazi including Sabbath clocks for electrical appliances, pre-cooked food and pre-heated hot water for hot drinks.