Hotels and Accommodation in israel

Visitors to Israel are spoiled for the choice of hotels in every location, and every style of accommodation. You could go camping by the Dead Sea, stay in an ultra-luxury hotel in Eilat, a historic home in Jerusalem, or a boutique hotel in Tel Aviv. Choose a hotel in Tel Aviv in one of the centrally located neighborhoods. Stay in historic Neve Tzedek; in artsy Florentin; at a boutique hotel in the White City, or book a seafront hotel. Hotels in Jerusalem include the iconic King David Hotel and unique hotels within the Old City. There are boutique hotels, like those in Ein Karem, and hotels with incredible views of the City of Gold, like the Mount Zion Hotel and the Mamilla Hotel.

Hotels in Eilat are renowned for their excellent facilities. The city on the Red Sea is home to large resort-style hotels like the Dan Eilat; spa hotels like the Herods Vitalis; and casual hotels for those interested in water sports. There are also convenient hostels for backpackers, and budget travelers. Hotels in Galilee range from those on the edge of the Sea of Galilee; kibbutz hotels; campsites, and hotels in the capital of Galilee, Tiberias, like the historic Scots Hotel. Other top Israel hotels include the tranquil Carmel Forest Spa Resort; the luxury Efendi Hotel in the heart of historic Acre, and Beresheet Mitzpe Ramon Hotel overlooking the Ramon Crater and the Negev Desert.

10 Best Luxury Hotels in Israel [UPDATED]

Are you planning a vacation in Israel? If so, the country is waiting for you! After two long, exhausting years, people are desperate to travel abroad again and many of us are so worn down from the pandemic that we’re ready to splash some serious cash about, ensuring that we get a holiday that ticks all of our boxes. And, honestly, there’s never been a better time to treat yourself - let’s face it, you deserve it.Luckily, Israel can oblige in this sense, that is because in the last decade, it’s raised its ‘accommodation game’ substantially. Today, there are luxury hotels scattered across the country, all able to satisfy the most discerning traveler’s needs. Whether you want a city break (think historic Jerusalem and hipster Tel Aviv), a peaceful retreat (the tranquil Sea of Galilee and the empty, silent Negev desert), or cocktails and dance clubs at the Red Sea, you’re spoilt for choice. That’s because, in the last decade, Israel’s raised its game, with a series of sophisticated and stylish luxury hotels.Why Stay at a Luxury Hotel in Israel?We all need a vacation periodically - to rest our body and our mind, not to mention have a little fun. And whilst some people think that staying in a luxury hotel is a waste of money, we’d disagree…because it’s going to give you certain amenities and benefits that really make your time away that much more special, in terms of comfort, facilities, and service.Luxury hotels mean top-end mattresses, soft bed linen, and fluffy pillows, not to mention 24-7 housekeeping services. They’re going above and beyond in their facilities - whether it’s infinity pools, high-end toiletries, afternoon teas, champagne, and chocolate in your room on arrival, or even a butler service. Within them are fine-dining restaurants, cocktail bars, and coffee lounges designed with your enjoyment in mind. And, of course, luxury hotels in Israel always emphasized world-class service - from the General Manager to the bellboy, everyone is working to ensure your expectations are not just met but surpassed. Today, we’re looking at luxury hotels in Israel that really have the ‘wow’ factor. And whilst we want to stress here that our opinions are entirely subjective, the ones we’re recommending here all come highly recommended - by our friends, colleagues, and TripAdvisor! If you don’t believe us, book a private day tour in Israeland then add it on as a treat to yourself. After all, you only live once! Here we go!Luxury Hotels in JerusalemMamillaJust a few steps from theOld City of Jerusalem, and overlooking the Jaffa Gate, the Mamilla’s location alone is something to rave about. But it’s far more than just the views you’ll enjoy here- with a contemporary design and sophisticated feel to it, the Mamilla is famed for its ‘personal touch’ where every guest is assigned a personal host, there to ensure the entire stay is faultless.Mamilla Hotel (image: Mamilla Hotel official website)Boasting 194 rooms, and a renowned rooftop restaurant (perfect for cocktails and dining alike) the inside is ultra-modern, with minimalist décor and a breakfast buffet that comes highly recommended. Scattered throughout the hotel (as well as the bedrooms) are books on design and history, which is a nice touch. Concierge services are outstanding and the warmth that staff show guests is so genuine, no wonderthe Mamillahas this kind of reputation.The American ColonyJust a minute's walk from the Damascus Gate, you’ll find theAmerican Colony Hotel- beautiful and historic, with a reputation for extraordinary service and comfort in the most relaxed of settings. With its beautiful grounds, pool area, and lovely courtyard (perfect for relaxing in the day or enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail by night) the American Colony makes you feel like you’ve gone back to the time ofthe British Mandate, with rooms furnished in Ottoman style ( though they do concede with the bed linen, which is high-end Italian!). A room in the American Colony Hotel (image: the American Colony Hotel official website)The hotel offers 94 rooms and suites (in four different buildings), helpful and accommodating staff (from housekeeping to the concierge), and a dining experience that few forget- the famous Courtyard restaurant is surrounded by mulberry trees, and in its center is a beautiful fountain. Menus are not kosher and international cuisine is the order of the day (fun fact: this is a hotel where some of the world’s top journalists like to stay). Unrivaled luxury inJerusalem!Luxury Hotels in Tel AvivThe JaffaHoused in a historic building, which was once a French hospital, the design ofthe Jaffa Hotelis nothing short of stand-out. Combining vaulted arches and stained glass windows with contemporary furniture (think velvet sofas and eclectic lamps) with Damien Hirst Art, it’s a stone’s throw from the ancient port, lovely artists quarter, and famousJaffa flea market, and has 120 rooms and suites (some within the historic building and others in a new, modern wing).The swimming pool in Jaffa, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel (image: the Mariott official website)The bedrooms are sophisticated, with neutral colors, and the infinity pool upstairs looks out on the Mediterranean, with a cocktail bar that sets up at midday. In terms of dining options, it’s less Middle Eastern and more North American/Mediterranean. ‘Golda’s Deli’ has bagels with lox and tuna melts and their restaurant ‘Don Camillo’ (which is not kosher) is excellent. With its personable staff and enviable location (close to the beach and a short cab ride from the heart of Tel Aviv), no wonder it’s taken the neighborhood by storm.The NormanLocated in the beautiful and historic part ofTel Aviv, close to the famous Rothschild Boulevard,the Norman Hotelprides itself on its understated elegance and if you are lucky enough to stay here, you’ll soon understand why. Beautiful restored, and set in two classic buildings (with a citrus garden nestled in between), you; 'll enjoy high-ceiling rooms, fabulous linens, wow-factor bath products, and a rooftop pool boasting phenomenal urban views.And it doesn’t end there. The Norman is well-known for its cuisine- the Alena is considered to be one ofTel Aviv’s top restaurants, serving exquisite Mediterranean food, featuring plenty of seafood, aged meats, and wonderful desserts made by their in-house pastry chef. Those who love drinks in a refined environment can head straight to their Library Bar- the perfect place for a gin and tonic, espresso martini, or glass of wine from one of Israel’s top vineyards. What else can we say, except prepare to be wowed?Luxury hotels in Southern IsraelBeresheet, Mitzpe RamonIt’s hard to imagine a more dramatic setting for a luxury restaurant than overlooking a crater, but that’s what you get when you book a stay atBeresheet in Mitzpe Ramon, in the Negev desert. Peaceful, tranquil, and perfect for those who crave solitude, this spectacular hotel has suites with pools, golf cars to transport you from your room to the main space, a gym, a playroom, two restaurants (kosher meat and dairy respectively) and a movie theater!The pool in Beresheet Hotel offers an endless viewThe rooms are spacious and well-designed, with bathrobes, slippers, and high-end toiletries, and the staff are helpful and attentive, without being overly solicitous. The remarkable views are to die for and be prepared to see ibex (mountain goats) wandering by as you sit enjoying the serenity. And if you’re not in the mood for hiking or rappelling down the side of the crater, just order a cocktail and sit by the infinity pool.Six Senses, ShaharutDesert sunrises and starry skies await you at this breathtaking hotel. Constructed to ‘blend’ into the desert (the materials it uses- stone, wood, copper, teak - all reflect this design),Six Senses Shaharutoffers 60 suites and villas in a rustic style, some with a private pool and one not just with a pool but it’s own pizza oven and chef service!) Luxury bath products are made using camel and goat's milk and you’ll also find yoga mats and walking sticks (should you want to do some hiking) in your room.Six Senses Shaharut, Israel Resort & Luxury Spa in Negev Desert. Photo fromwww.sixsenses.comTheir fine dining options use seasonal and organic products purchased from local farms and draw on the culinary traditions of the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Midian offers the very best of traditional Israeli cuisine, Edom View offers mezes, the poolside grill services both butcher’s cuts and homemade ice cream and the Jamillah bar is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail at sunset…Six Senses Shaharut also offers several original activities and experiences, including sunrise yoga, hikes, star gazing outings, 4x4 off-road jeep tours, and camel treks. The emphasis is on the guest’s experience being integrated with nature - entertainment is often in the form of local musicians, at the on-site amphitheater. And since the setting here is so tranquil, it’s no surprise that this luxury hotel also offers a Wellness Programme, including retreats, a hammam, and aerial yoga. Our verdict - simplicity and luxury combined!Luxury Hotels in Northern IsraelThe Scots HotelSituated in Tiberias and overlooking both the peaceful, beautiful Sea of Galilee (‘the Kinneret’ in Hebrew) and the Golan Heights, the Scots Hotel is situated in a beautifully preserved old building, formerly known as the Scots Mission Hospital. Today it welcomes visitors with plenty of ‘Highland Hospitality’, from the arrival drinks it serves to live music performances in their whisky-themed bar.The Scots Hotel Tiberias outside view, Sea of Galilee, Israel. Photo fromwww.scotshotels.comThis luxury hotel and spa boasts sixteen renovated rooms, all constructed out of basalt rock and with high ceilings. The decor is traditional but all the extras you need are in your room, including high-end toiletries, plasma TV, a ‘coffee corner’ with a chaise lounge, and a Nespresso machine. The rooms are suitable just for two, which is why this hotel is frequented more by couples and older people, than families with young children.Pereh Mountain ResortHidden away in theGolan Heights, Pereh Mountain Resort (which only opened in the summer of 2022) is a welcome addition to the Israel luxury hotel market. Situated on a private estate, on a hilltop that overlooks mountains and valleys, and contains beautifully manicured gardens and lush orchards, it has only 27 rooms and suites and is for couples only, making it a very romantic getaway.The Pereh Resort (image: Pereh Mountain Resort official website)Local materials used to buildPereh Mountain Resortinclude basalt, wood, and stone, and, along with the pool and spa, the hotel has its wine cellar the area is perfect for hiking or visiting one of the many wineries which are all easy driving distance. Their restaurant, ‘Rouge’, which is led by the talented chef Roe Dori, goes to great pains to use local produce. With its remote location and wildly beautiful scenery, no wonder it was featured recently in Conde Nast!
By Sarah Mann

Glatt Kosher Hotels And Restaurants in Israel

It's high season now in Israel and the country is expecting tens of thousands of guests in the next few months, all looking for fun days out, comfortable budget accommodation and great food. And Israel’s really come a long way in the last 20 years - the food scene here is booming, whether you’re a meat eater, a fish-lover, a committed vegetarian or an aspiring vegan.Kosher pizzeria. Photo byNick ClementonUnsplashWhether you’re in the mood for street food (falafel, sabich, shawarma), the great Israeli breakfast - in the form of eggs, jachnun or shakshuka - freshly caught St. Peter’s fish from the Jaffa port or a juicy steak in the Golan Heights, rest assured you’re going to find it in Israel. Jewish dietary laws in the land of IsraelHowever, one thing you should note, if you’re not familiar with Jewish law, is that many hotels and restaurants in Israel operate standards of kashrut - that is, laws that pertain to food. If these hotels and restaurants abide by rules, they will be given a ‘kosher’ classification by the Israeli rabbinate. Not all of these restaurants have this certification but the fact is that Orthodox Jews will always adhere to the Jewish dietary laws which, at their most basic, prohibit the mixing of milk and meat foodstuffs, as well as the prohibition of pork, shellfish and any other animal that does not chew the cud. This means that when looking for somewhere to eat out, they want to be sure the kitchen and foodstuffs are in line with Jewish law, hence this certification.White kippah for Yom Kippur / Rosh Hashanah. Photo byJoey DeanonUnsplashGlatt kosher - what does it actually mean?Just as there are different kinds of Christians, Muslims and Hindus, there are different kinds of Jews. Some Jews in Israel (and in the diaspora) are secular, some are Masorti (traditional) and others are ‘Orthodox,’ ‘modern Orthodox or ‘Haredi.’ Depending on how observant (religious) they are, they may want an even stricter certification than normal, which is where ‘glatt’ comes in.Glatt - more widely referred to as ‘Mehadrin’ in Hebrew and Yiddish - means ‘smooth’. However, when you’re talking about kosher meat, it is an indication that the lungs of the animal are completely unblemished and free of defects - thus adhering to a more stringent level of observance. Do you have to be Jewish to eat at a glatt kosher restaurant?Today we’re looking at glatt hotels in Israel that conform to rigorous standards and display a ‘Mehadrin’ certificate on their premises. If you visit one for lunch or dinner (or to stay) you will probably see a fair number of observant Jews (who live their lives according to the regulations contained in Jewish sacred texts) - from the head covering, to black frock coats and fur hats) there.The good news is that you definitely have to be Jewish (or even a believer in God!) to eat at these restaurants. They are open to the general public - all you need to do is decide, beforehand, if you’re in the mood for meat or dairy, because you will never have both in the same place. Here are a few of our recommendations for glatt kosher hotels and restaurants in Israel…Freshly baked challah bread.Photo byShraga KopsteinonUnsplashGlatt kosher hotels and restaurants in JerusalemOf all the cities in Israel, it’s Jerusalem where you’ll find the kosher hotels in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Eilat and Northern Israel and thebest restaurants which adhere to the strictest standards. These include (but aren’t limited to):Prima Kings, 60 King George - Close to both the Great Synagogue and the Old City, this 213- room hotel is a comfortable and budget-friendly experience, with chef-prepared kosher meals.Jerusalem Gardens Hotel and Spa, 4 Vilna Street -Located on their 12th floor, this small, intimate restaurant offers both panoramic views of the city and terrific kosher food. Not cheap, but a true ‘Manhattan-style’ meat restaurant, with artful presentation and excellent service.Caesar Premier, 208 Jaffa Street - In the heart of the city, this European-style hotel offers comfortable accommodation and a restaurant that can also cater for large events. They pride themselves on their welcoming family atmosphere and their rooftop swimming pool offers separate hours for men and women. Kosher sandwich. Image byBINYOUSSOFfromPixabayThe Waldorf Astoria Hotel, 26-28 Agron Street - This unabashedly luxurious hotel is just 500 metres from the Jaffa Gate, in Jerusalem's Old City, and offers light bites, afternoon tea and gourmet cuisine, all under the supervision of the Jerusalem Rabbinate. They also offer a lavish Shabbat buffet lunch (pre-payment necessary).Rimonim Shalom Hotel, 24 Shakhrai Street - Formerly the Rimonim, the Shalom hotel is close to Ein Kerem and the Malka Mall and offers budget-friendly accommodation. Not only does it have a good restaurant, serving buffet meals, but it also boasts a semi-Olympic-sized swimming pool and a convention centre.The Inbal, 2 Jabotinsky Street - This five-star hotel, located in the very heart of Jerusalem, boasts the ‘O2’ - a meat restaurant which specialises in defining and reinventing Israeli cuisine, courtesy of Chef Nimrod Norman.Leonardo Plaza, 1 Rabbi Akiva Street - For gourmet food lovers, visit here and enjoy fabulous cuisine in one of their three restaurants, each inspired by different traditions. ‘Primavera’ is essentially Italian, ‘Cow in the Roof’ gives you a taste of French classics and ‘Cardo’ is where they serve their breakfast treats. They also host Friday night dinners and an enormous Shabbat buffet, along with fine wines. All supervised by the Jerusalem rabbinate.People praying at the Western Wall. Photo byOndrej BocekonUnsplashLittle House in Rechavia, 20 Ibn Ezra - This newly-renovated stone house in a green peaceful neighbourhood offers a Mehadrin Israeli breakfast and also offers a full Friday night kosher dinner and Shabbat lunch (these have to be pre-ordered).Red Heifer Steakhouse, 26 King David Street- Close to the King David hotel, this upscale meat restaurant offers everything from burgers and meat pizzas to high-end cuts and steaks such as filet mignon. All of their beef is hormone-free and steaks are aged for a minimum of 28 days, on-site.Tzuba Hotel, Kibbutz Tzuba, Jerusalem Hills- Nestled in the Judean hills, just 20 minutes from Jerusalem, this kosher kibbutz hotel in central Israel offers guests both rich buffet lunch (quiches, local farm cheeses, pastries and desserts) and also caters to larger events, such as bar mitzvahs. Fun fact: they actually run chocolate workshops!The Four Sephardic Synagogues, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.Photo credit: ©ShutterstockGlatt kosher hotels and restaurants in EilatEilat welcomes tourists from around the globe but particularly at Passover and Sukkot, many religious Jews vacation here, and are looking for ‘glatt’ options within their hotel accommodation and when dining out. These include:Dan Panorama,the Northern Beach, Eilat- At this luxury hotel, world-class chefs will prepare you all kinds of culinary delights, including rich breakfasts, varied salads and tasty barbecue meats. Choose from the Dolphin dining room, Marina lobby or Bambou bar. Herods Palace, theNorthern Beach - Meals are a delight at Herods, with not just wow-factor breakfasts (four omelette stations and a dedicated juice bar) but the ‘Four Winds’ dairy lobby restaurant. For dinner, try their gourmet restaurants Tamarind and Tzaparim, which serve delicious, international fusion food. Hilton Queen of Sheba,8 Antibes Street - You have a choice of three restaurants here - all good. The Ebony is a pool restaurant and bar that serves grilled meats and cocktails. Makeda serves rich and yummy breakfasts. And their fabulous Japanese restaurant Yakimon, on the 12th floor, offers not just top-quality Asian fare but stunning views of the Red Sea.Mosh Beach, Derekh Mitsrayim, Eilat, Israel.Photo byYoad ShejtmanonUnsplashIsrotel King Solomon, the Northern Beach - Choose from three restaurants here - the ‘I Cafe’ which offers salads, pastas and deserts, the ‘King’s Table’ which offers tasty buffets and active preparation stands and Angelina, a wonderful Italian restaurant, serving fabulous focaccia, antipasti and pizza.Toy Bar restaurant, 1 Kamen Street - Dairy fare here includes arancini (Italian fried rice balls), delicious focaccia, a range of pasta dishes and cheesecake for dessert. Friendly, personalised service and diners recommend their themed cocktails.Cafe Cafe at the Ice Mall - This kosher dairy restaurant is great both for snacks and main meals, and diners love their Thai noodles and choice of cakes. This particular branch is right next to an ice rink, so you can stop for a milkshake or pizza after you’ve worked up an appetite, zipping around the rink.Antrikot Steak Houser at the Ice Mall - Well-priced burgers and steaks go down a treat here, and the side dishes (particularly the cauliflower) and tahini are raved about. Tasty food and helpful, friendly owners.Eilat's Dolphin Reef, Israel.Photo byMor ShanionUnsplashGlatt kosher hotels and restaurants in Tel Aviv and Central IsraelRegina, HaTachana The Station - Nestled in a 19th-century building, full of original features and beautifully preserved, sits Regina. This kosher meat restaurant, in the heart of HaTachana (the old Train Station), serves tasty and appealing food in a charming setting. Starters include beetroot carpaccio, meat hummus and smoked salmon bruschetta. If you’re in the mood for fish, there is salmon or tilapia (with roasted beans on the side) and carnivores will love the house burger and veal kebab. And fear, not vegans, they have meat-free shawarma and burger made from seitan too. To make the evening go with a swing, order one of their famous cocktails - maybe a ‘Jaffa Special’ or a ‘Regina in the Forest’. Not cheap, but tasty.Lehem Basar, Hanger 14, Tel Aviv Port - This steakhouse is located at the Tel Aviv Port (Namal in north Tel Aviv) close to the sea. Dishes include roasted eggplant, lamb stew, salmon fillet and a range of steaks. Enjoy a delicious sorbet for dessert whilst overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Alter Nativ - 10 Dubnov Street - Under the supervision of the Hatam Sofer, in Petach Tikva, this kosher dairy restaurant is a great place to grab breakfast, tuck into some fresh fish or enjoy a sizzling hot pizza. Even better, they offer free parking to their guests in the evening.HaTachana (the old Train Station) in Tel Aviv.Photo credit: © Dmitry MishinPankina, 39 Gordon Street (corner Dizengoff) - In the heart of Tel Aviv, the dairy restaurant Pankina is so good that eaters there say it’s on par with places in Rome. Dishes include tuna tartar, eggplant con mozzarella, Caprese salad and Fettuccia al Porcino e tartufo. The desserts are magnificent - you can’t go wrong with the tiramisu, semifreddo or millefoglie. What’s their secret? Well, apparently, not only do they import many of their ingredients from Italy, but nearly all their staff are Italian too! Don’t miss it.Papagaio - 2 Ha Shunit, Herzilya Pituach - This Brazilian-style table restaurant has an unlimited meat=tasting menu, as well as a regular a-la-carte menu. Located in Herzliya Pituach, inside the Arena mall and close to the boat marina, it’s a good option for those who are staying just outside the White City.Fresh Kitchen - 2 Ha Shunit, Herzliya Pituach - This kosher dairy restaurant is also in the Arena mall. Recommended dishes include salmon, red shakshuka and chocolate cake.People eating at a restaurant in the street in Tel Aviv. Photo byYaroslav LutskyonUnsplashGlatt kosher hotels and restaurants in Northern IsraelAresto, Caesarea Harbour - This upscale dairy restaurant lies next to the Mediterranean and offers spectacular food in beautiful surroundings, overlooking the ruins of Caesaria. Their focaccia - topped with mozzarella and garlic - is delicious, their salads are bountiful and their eggplant roll is to die for. Pasta lovers will adore the lasagna and gnocchi and the red tuna and Denis filet will satisfy any pescatarian. A little costly but worth ditching the diet for.Shaltieli, 6 YohaiBenNun Street, Haifa - The only kosher restaurant on the beach in Haifa, there are plenty of meat dishes on the menu, with a few vegetarian and vegan options besides. The hamburger and chicken come recommended and Shaltiel also screens sports matches and offers hookahs. Despite its casual vibe, you will, however, need a shirt and shoes to gain entry!Nir Etzion Kibbutz Resort, Carmel Mountains - This kosher kibbutz hotel near Mount Carmel has a lobby bar Shirat Hayam, which serves a dairy menu (sandwiches, salads and cakes) and hot, cold and alcoholic beverages. The meat restaurant itself is under the supervision of Rabbi Nachsoni and also boasts a private dining space.A cow in the Mount Carmel National Park, Israel. Photo byYoav NironUnsplashSin Chan, 10 Shimon Dahan, Tiberias - If you’re in the Sea of Galilee area and in the mood for Chinese, then head to Sin Сhan. This excellent Asian restaurant serves great food at prices that are half of what you’d pay in Tel Aviv. The Chicken Szechuan and Pad Thai dishes come highly recommended! Oh, and come with an appetite because the portions are enormous!Kinar Galilee, Moshav Ramot - Boasting plenty of food, breakfast and dinner are buffet style. All meat dishes have the Mehadrin supervision label on them. There are also fish and vegetable options and plenty of healthy food. Lunch is not served here but there is a bar selling light meals and after an enormous breakfast, that may be all you need.Yosko Hummus 23 Ha-Nadiv Street, Zikhron Yaakov - Enormous portions are de rigueur with this family business - order one plate for two people. Try the mushrooms and eggplant varieties!ltos Steakhouse, Golan Heights - With four different meat dishes on offer, as well as plates with grains and vegetables for the non-carnivore, this family-style eatery is close to the Golan’s capital, Katzrin, and a fine place to eat steak. It’s even better if you pair it with one of the local wines on offer.Sea of Galilee, Israel.Photo credit: © Oksana Mats
By Sarah Mann

Camping Around the Sea of Galilee

When you camp around the Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) you are literally camping “around” the Sea of Galilee as you can see from the campground names which are usually identified with the name of the beach they occupy. Israelis love to camp and you can find campgrounds suited for families and others more suited to youngsters. Here we have listed some of the facilities on offer at each site but there may be more facilities.Camping Around the Sea of Galilee. Photo by Adam Sherez on UnsplashTake into account that during the Israeli school holidays the campgrounds get very full and very noisy with individual sound systems and all-night gatherings around a BBQ. But another thing about Israelis is they love to include all those around them so you won’t be left out. Camping is a great way to meet the locals. There is no ideal location to camp on the Kinneret as the total distance around the Sea of Galilee is 55 km so everything is pretty close. Whether you want to be close to Tiberias would perhaps be the only factor to consider in terms of location. Otherwise, choose the style of campground you prefer and the one with the facilities you need.Jordan Park CampgroundThis campground is run by the JNF (Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael or KKL) and is within Jordan Park which covers 250 acres northeast of the Kinneret alongside the eastern channel of the Jordan River. It is one of the area’s largest campgrounds. The campground is free to enter if you walk in but there is a fee per car. At several points in the park, there are streams from the Jordan River, and some deep enough to swim. Here you can find electricity outlets, lighting, restrooms, showers, water coolers, camping tables, a small amusement park, mini-market, lawns, and a place to pitch your tent. Uba Kayak, a popular kayak rental business is located in the park. You can kayak on the Jordan River from here. Nearby there is an opportunity to go horseback riding. This is considered a unique campsite and is operated from April to November.Tiberias. Photo by Thalia Tran on UnsplashAmnon BeachLocated near Kfar Nahum at the northern end of the Kinneret this campsite has many facilities and is popular with Christians who recognize this site as Capernaum. Tents and caravans can use this site and there are picnic tables, benches, shaded areas, showers, restrooms, and parking.In the summer there are water sports and attractions for the kids. You can enjoy a buffet breakfast from the beach cafeteria and if you keep Shabbat you can pre-order food for the Sabbath. You can rent mattresses and chairs from the cafeteria as well. The beach is not serviced by a lifeguard. Price of camping (at time of publication) 150ILS per car for 24 hours.Bereniki BeachStretching for over 2.5 km to the west of the Sea of Galilee this is a quiet beach near Tiberias which is popular with Israeli families and youths. It has shady trees, night lighting, showers (cold water only), restrooms, cafeteria, tables, umbrellas, chairs (no charge), BBQ stands, and campers are allowed to play music.There is a small area which is serviced by a lifeguard and swimming is only allowed in this area from 9 am to 5 pm. The rest of the beach is an unofficial beach and swimming is at your own risk. The beach is wheelchair-friendly. Here as with many of the camp beaches, you pay for the parking rather than the camping. It costs 5.9ILS for each of the first 3 hours and 2.1 for each hour after that so 24 hours camping would cost you 61.8ILS.Shores of the Sea of Galilee, Israel.Photo credit: © ShutterstockDugit BeachThis campsite is located on the northeastern side of the Sea of Galilee and is considered one of the most beautiful beaches surrounded by a picturesque forest. Here you can canoe, sail and partake of other water sports. There is room for tents, a mini-market, cafeteria, and restaurant. There are cold water showers, restrooms, lighting, and lifeguard service. Playing loud music and even bringing loudspeakers into the area is strictly forbidden. Here (like most of the Sea of Galilee campgrounds) you pay for the parking (62ILS for 24 hours) and can then camp. The fee is by the hour. The campsite is wheelchair accessible and chairs and tables can be rented.Gofra BeachOffering room for up to 300 tents this campground on the eastern shore of the lake 2km north of Ein Gev has restrooms, showers, a mini-market, cafeteria, camping equipment, small refrigerators for rent, playgrounds, and moorings for boats. The facilities and accommodation options are expansive. The site only operates during the spring and summer.There is daily cleaning of the beach, lifeguard service, BBQ stands, and a beautiful 1,500-meter long beach, and a small forest. Access to the beach is only on foot. This campsite is suitable for caravans or you could rent one of their caravans for 250ILS for 24 hours. You can even rent a tent which has 6 mattresses, chairs, and tables.View of the Sea of Galilee.Photo credit: © ShutterstockGreen BeachThis is a Blue Flag beach and one of the most beautiful in the area. This beach-park campground is 3km north of Nof Ginossar on the northwestern side of the Sea of Galilee. It is a well-kept beach with lawns up to the sand and shady trees. There are parking, showers, restrooms, camping tables, lighting, and a convenience store.The park operates year-round. Animals, jet skis, sound systems, and generators are prohibited. It is possible to rent tents, mattresses, tables, and chairs. One tent, a table, and 4 chairs will cost you 245ILS for the night. You can bring your caravan to this campsite or rent one (750ILS-1799ILS). The campground offers several deals like tent, mattress, chair, table, and breakfast for 119ILS per person.Haon BeachThe campsite is next to the Haon Holiday Village, south of Kibbutz Haon and the beach is shared by guests of the Holiday Village and campers. The beach runs for 1km and there is a lifeguard service. There are restrooms, showers, tables, benches, umbrellas, refrigerator rental, electrical outlets, and BBQ stands. There is wheelchair access to the campsite but no organized wheelchair access to the water.Camping supplies.Photo by Brina Blum on UnsplashJordan-Kinneret BeachThis beach runs for 0.5km and is a family beach campground. For this reason, it is a quieter beach than others and amplifying sound systems are prohibited. Playing music (not using an amplifier) is allowed from 8 am to 11 pm. There is no lifeguard service. The campground offers restrooms, showers (with 24 hours hot water), picnic tables, a mini-market, refrigerator rental, lighting, and a place to recharge mobile phones. The campsite is not suitable for wheelchair access.Lavnun BeachThe Lavnun Beach is a string of three beaches together with Halukim and Kursi so there are three areas for pitching a tent. The site offers water sports (kayaks, water skiing, paddle boats, etc). You will find drinking water, a place to wash your dishes, ball courts, a restaurant, cold water showers, a place to recharge mobile phones, and an exciting, young atmosphere.This beach is popular with the young Israeli crowds so expect plenty of noise especially during the Israeli holidays. Israeli teens like to camp here and bring their karaoke machines, so expect an all-night party. There is a lifeguard service but limited wheelchair access. Cost is approximately 70ILS for 24 hours for parking and camping.Water sports at the Sea of Galilee. Photo credit: © ShutterstockSussita BeachJust north of Ein Gev this beach is about 0.5km long on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee and is managed by the Ein Gev Kibbutz. It is named after a car that used to be produced in Israel and has sentimental significance for a lot of Israelis. This is an unofficial beach so there is no lifeguard service and swimming is not allowed.The campground operates from April to the end of October. Groups camping on the grass area near the beach should be pre-arranged but you can pitch your tent on the beach as well. There are tables, restrooms, shade, lighting, showers, and a cafeteria. The beach is not wheelchair-friendly as there are 11 steps down from the parking lot to the beach. The cost of camping here is 100ILS per car.Tzinbari BeachThis is one of the Kinneret’s most famous beaches and campsites, it is a venue for many summer festivals. The beach runs for 1km and there is a lifeguard service in a small central area from 9 am to 5 pm. Here you will find water slides, a baby's pool, electrical outlets, lighting, a place to pitch your tent, indoor lodging, beach umbrellas, shade, chairs, locker rooms, cold water showers, a place to recharge mobile phones.There are also restrooms, water sports, lighting, a restaurant, loads of parking, and wheelchair access is limited due to stones and pebbles plus reaching the water requires going down several steps. Amplified sound systems are not allowed in the southern part of the area which is indicated by signs.Sunset view at the shores of Kinneret. Photo credit: © Shutterstock
By Petal Mashraki

Budget Accommodation in Israel

So you’ve decided to book a trip to Israel? Well, first of all, congratulations - or ‘Mazel tov’ as we say in Hebrew! Trust us, you’re going to have a perfect vacation. Not only is this country full of bucket list attractions - from holy sitesand archaeological remains to sandy beaches, lush green hills and silent deserts - but it’s also a great choice of holiday for the independent traveller. Most people speak English (and many speak it fluently), public transport is widespread and cheap and since Israel is the ultimate ‘start up nation’ you can be sure there’ll be all kinds of modern conveniences to make your trip a pleasure.Jaffa Port, Israel.Photo byFaruk KaymakonUnsplashOnce you’ve booked your flight, arranged your Corona paperwork (welcome to the Brave New World) and bought your travel insurance, the big question you’re going to face is what kind of accommodation to choose. And let’s face it - this is really important because where you choose to sleep is going to take up a considerable part of your budget.Now, one thing we have to admit is that Israel is not a cheap country to visit - and luxury hotels are eye-wateringly costly. Even so, that shouldn’t be a reason for you to avoid visiting, because there are plenty of ways to travel in Israel on a budget one of the best ones being to seek out accommodation that won’t break the bank. And the good news is that there’s something for every price range, whether you’re in the big cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem or roaming around the Galilee or Negev desert.From youth hostels in Jerusalem and cheap hotels in Haifa to private sublets in Tel Aviv, kibbutz accommodation in Galilee, and Airbnb rentals in Eilat, you just have to know where to search, and that’s where we come in. Take a look at some of our recommendations for affordable accommodation in Israel - and once you’ve booked one, hop on your flight and start enjoying yourself! Dead Sea Area, Israel. Photo byItay PeeronUnsplash1. Budget Hostels in IsraelSo fear not if the swanky Waldorf Astoria and ritzy Royal Beach are out of your reach, because there are still plenty of affordable options all over Israel, ensuring you can stay somewhere clean, comfortable and well-situated, without having to take out a mortgage. And the first option is budget hostels.Budget Hostels inTel Aviv, IsraelThe Spot - located in the Tel Aviv Port (Namal), and just a stone’s throw from the beach, the Spot Hostel offers a wide range of accommodation from ‘pods’ and ‘mini rooms’ as well as singles/doubles/family options. Close to the famous Dizengoff Street, and also Yarkon Park, they have a bar, screening room, co-working space and a great local breakfast included in the price. They also offer walking tours of Tel Aviv, beer workshops (!) and ‘open mic’ nights.Florentin Hostel - set in the cool, hipster neighbourhood of Florentin, sandwiched between Neve Tzedek and Jaffa, this modern five-floor building is clean, comfortable and quiet and, according to travellers, has spotless bathrooms! Popular with young backpackers, Florentin Hostel offers travellers the use of a huge terrace, breakfast and free walking tours of Bauhaus Tel Aviv.Florentin, Tel Aviv; Israel. Photo credit: © Jenny EhrlichBudget Hostels in Jerusalem, IsraelThe Post - this hostel has a unique past - the building in which you’ll stay was once the Central Post Office of Jerusalem. Designed by the British Mandate, it was designed in an international style, with touches of Jerusalem design. Walking distance both from Mahane Yehuda Market andJerusalem's Old City, the Post offer dorms and private rooms, as well as a large lounge, recreation room and rooftop bar! They also host bands, workshops and their kitchen is well-equipped.Jaffa Gate Hostel - Set inside the Old City wallsof Jerusalem, and an easy walking distance from the Tower of David, Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall, the Jaffa GateHostel offers both dorms and private rooms, late check-outs, no curfew and fantastic views from their rooftop. Consistently described in reviews as clean, friendly and inexpensive, it’s a slice of peace and quiet in the busy Old City of Jerusalem.The Post Hostel Lobby, Jerusalem, Israel. Photo take from theposthostel.comBudget Hostels in Eilat, IsraelAhla Plus - situated in a modern village in central Eilat (10 minutes from the beach) Ahla Plus offers hammocks, swings, a common lounge and an enormous kitchen. Comfy and stylish dorm rooms and colourful decor throughout, you can hire bikes and obtain helpful information on dive stores in the city, if you want to explore the Red Sea underwater.Budget Hostels in the Galilee, IsraelAviv Hostel - in a charming stone building, just outside Tiberias, this small hostel is just 2 minutes by foot from the Sea of Galilee as well as 2km from Hamat Tiberias National Park. Described as ‘homey’ and ‘comfortable’ the staff are incredibly helpful (even if you arrive late at night!) and also has a terrace/rooftop bar with great views.Sailing Boat at the Sea of Galilee.Photo byDave HerringonUnsplashBudget Hostels in Haifa, IsraelLocated in the charming neighbourhood of the German Colony, the owners of the Haifa hostel - Omer and Danielle - have a reputation for friendliness and the hostel itself is described as well-maintained, extremely clean and with great showers. They offer vegan pancakes with silan (date syrup) for breakfast, and the space has a ‘chilled’ vibe as well as a great co-working space.Budget Hostels in the Golan HeightsLocated in the Odem Forest national reserve, the Golan Heights hostel offers simply furnished rooms with free wifi, a shared living room, lockers and linens and a basketball court outside. Guests can use the kitchen and also the BBQ facilities outdoors. This is a good location if you want to horse ride, cycle, enjoy hiking trails or visit wineries. Mount Hermon, the Nimrod Fortress and the Banias Waterfalls are all within easy distance.Carmel Beach, Haifa, Israel. Photo byYousef EspaniolyonUnsplash2. Cheap Hotels in IsraelUnlike many other countries, the Israeli hotel ranking system doesn’t put much stock in the star category system, arguing that in these times of Tripadvisor, it isn’t a reliable indicator of quality. In any event, whether they’re right or wrong, it’s certainly true that you can read reviews online before you book, and judge for yourself. Cheap hotels in Tel Aviv, IsraelThe Port Hotel - in the fashionable ‘Old North’ of Tel Aviv, and close to the Namal port and Hilton Beach is the Port Hotel, which offers small but modern rooms, all with a private bathroom, flatscreen tv and a mini-fridge. Their roof terrace affords panoramic views of the city and theMediterranean Sea and the buffet breakfast is of good quality. Outside, you’re a stone’s throw from Dizengoff Street and Yarkon Park, and just a short cab ride from the city centre.Savoy Sea Side Hotel - just 2 minutes walk from the beach, and also the Carmel Market, the central Savoy Sea Side offers ‘intimate hospitality with a European flavour. This boutique hotel has a minimalist design throughout, and some bedrooms come with a bathtub. Breakfast is served on the roof terrace and is rich and plentiful. Travellers really seem to appreciate the welcoming staff.Aerial view of Jaffa and Tel Aviv, Israel.Photo byShai PalonUnsplashCheap Hotels in Jerusalem, IsraelThe Annexe - located in the Old City, just 600 metres from the Western Wall (Kotel), this gem of a budget hotel offers small and basic but clean and comfortable rooms each with its own kettle, desk and private bathroom. With its enviable location, it’s very close to some very popular sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of all Nations.De Cardo - this small boutique hotel offers real value for money and is close to the Old City, as well as many eateries and bars (some of which are open on Shabbat). They have very affordable family rooms, and whilst facilities are basic, everything is very new and clean. They do not provide food, so you will have to find breakfast elsewhere. The light rail is close by, for travelling around Jerusalem.Sunset in Jerusalem, Israel. Photo byDavid HolifieldonUnsplashCheap Christian Hotels in Jerusalem, IsraelAustrian Hospice - Located on the Via Dolorosa, in the Old City, the Austrian Hospice has been welcoming Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem since 1854 and has a stellar reputation for clean, comfortable accommodation and a hearty breakfast. They offer both dorms and private rooms and can accommodate groups (although you must plan ahead). The view from their rooftop is to die for and they also have a cafe which serves marvellous Austrian food, including schnitzel and homemade apple strudel with cream! Highly recommended.Rosary Sisters Convent Guesthouse - Situated just 5 minutes walk from the Old City, this comfortable and quiet guesthouse is run by nuns, whose profits are donated to charity. Accommodation includes 30 rooms (single, double, triple, some with baths) and dorms. They are clean and simple and everything is spotlessly clean. A continental breakfast is included in the price - lookout for the homemade preserves made of apricots from their garden. They also provide free coffee and tea all day.The Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, Israel. Photo bySnowscatonUnsplashCheap Hotels in Eilat, IsraelPalms Hotel - Palms Hotel offers good value for money, featuring a swimming pool, a children’s club, sun terrace and rooms with air conditioning and mini-fridges. A typical Israeli breakfast is served each morning and the hotel is just 10 minutes walk from the beach, cafes and bars and Eilat’s main shopping area. Cheap Hotels in the Dead Sea Area, IsraelThe Dead Sea doesn’t have too many budget options, but one we would recommend is the Hi Ein Gedi Hostel. Clean and comfortable, it’s a great option, especially for families and the views from the bedroom balconies are fantastic. The breakfast/buffet dinners offer lots of fruits and vegetables and they offer packed breakfasts if you’re setting off early to climb Masada at sunrise! The only drawback is that they’re 30 km from the beach, so you’ll need a car. Floating while reading a book at the Dead Sea. Photo byToa HeftibaonUnsplashCheap Hotels in Galilee, IsraelKibbutz Inbar Country Lodging - Nestled in the Galilee, this guest house/B&B has clean, comfortable lodgings for the independent traveller, as well as an outdoor pool (perfect for the hot months). Its location is excellent if you’re interested in exploring some of the most famous Christian pilgrimage sites in Galilee, including the Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Capernaum and the Mount of Beatitudes.Cheap Hotels in the Golan Heights, IsraelZimmer Nof L’Hermon - a ‘zimmer’ in Israel is a cabin/suite/private guest accommodation and many of them are quite luxurious. This one is close to Mount Hermon in Majdal Shams, one of Israel’s Druze villages. Whilst not too fancy, it is fully equipped with a kitchenette, flatscreen TV, terrace and garden and the nearby hiking trails are spectacular. It’s also just 40 km drive from Safed, the mystical and charming town in the Upper Galilee, famous for its winding alleys and Artists’ Colony.Ruins of Capernaum Synagogue, Galilee. Photo credit: © Shutterstock3. Sublets in IsraelIn our modern world, we have a lot of options when it comes to finding accommodation and one thing that many people take advantage of now is Facebook, as a ‘marketplace’ to buy and sell. In Israel, it can be an incredibly valuable resource, since there are groups across the country (especially in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem) advertising rooms, apartments and large houses for sublets. Whether you’re looking for a pied-à-terre in the city or a villa up in the Golan Heights, it’s worth looking at what people are offering. As we’ve said before, most Israelis speak excellent English (and sometimes also French, Spanish and Russian) and it’s easy enough to chat with people online, or via WhatsApp.Subletting someone’s home can also give you a real feel for how locals live in Israel - you can ask your host beforehand for recommendations of ‘off the beaten track’ activities that many Israeli tourists never see, and because you’ll probably have access to a decent kitchen, you can make a trip to the local markets (such as the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv or Mahane Yehuda in Jerusalem) to pick up produce for your home-cooked meals.Nimrod Fortress in the Golan Heights. Photo credit: © Dmitry Mishin4. Airbnb in IsraelWe’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Airbnb here, because for many travellers it’s a simply indispensable resource. Israelis have embraced the ‘rent a room’ (or ‘rent a home’) concept in large numbers and all over the country, there are locals ready to welcome you into their lives, at very competitive prices.The obvious advantage of Airbnb accommodation - apart from being cheaper than most hotels - is that you’ll have an authentic stay and (much like subletting) you’ll hopefully find yourself in contact with friendly locals, who can give you lots of inside tips. Israel’s Airbnb offerings are incredibly varied - from private rooms in a shared house to the rental of tiny studios/apartments, which are functional, affordable and have everything you need to make your vacation comfortable and fun.A street in Acre, Israel.Photo credit: © Dmitry Mishin
By Sarah Mann

Budget Hotels in Eilat

Israel’s opening up for tourism again and as well as the obvious ‘hotspots’ - Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Galilee - Eilat is gearing up to start welcoming back visitors. Located in the far south of the country, with wonderful views of both the Red Sea and the mountains, it’s the perfect place for a vacation, a romantic weekend or just a few well-deserved days of R&R.Eilat restaurant with a view, Israel. Photo credit: ©ShutterstockEilat may not be a big city, but with warm temperatures year-round, and situated slap bang on the Red Sea it’s a resort that’s perfect for eating, drinking, shopping, swimming, snorkelling and diving. Its lively bars and nightlife make it popular with young people andtop attractions suchas the Underwater Observatory and Dolphin Reef mean it’s a big draw for those with young children. Eilat is also close to the Wadi Araba Border Crossingconnecting Israel andJordan which means that making a trip to Petra is extremely easy. And if your passion is hiking, then it’s a short drive up to Timna Park, with its copper mines, rock formations and manmade lake…you can take jeep tours and camel treks in the area too!In the last 20 years, Eilat has developed significantly and as that happened, many luxury hotels sprung up. And whilst they boast all kinds of facilities, they come with a steep price tag - indeed, a weekend vacation down at the Red Sea can really be tough on the wallet. So are there any options for the dollar-conscious traveller?The good news is, yes, you can visit the Red Sea and not break the bank, particularly when it comes to finding a place to sleep. We’ve looked around and found more than a few budget hotels in Eilat, where you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars each night but still get clean, comfortable facilities. What are you waiting for? Eilat Promenade by night.Photo credit: © Shutterstock1. Custo Club, EilatThis down-to-earth guesthouse is a great place to stay if you’re looking for a place to swim and/or diving lessons. A little further away from the beach than many hotels, it’s still within walking distance, but the area it’s situated in is a quiet and peaceful neighbourhood.Custo offers free Wi-Fi throughout the space as well as air-conditioning and LCD TVs in all the rooms. Some of the rooms have balconies and private bathrooms, whereas cheaper options mean you’ll have to share. There is also a big kitchen where you can cook and there’s a relaxed atmosphere in the place at all hours.Custo’s outdoor pool has sun loungers and a ping pong table nearby. They also have a space within the villa where a diving club operates. Here you can rent equipment, take introductory SCUBA lessons and if you’re staying at Custo you’ll even get a discount!Custo is a good choice, price-wise, because although things need a bit of modernisation, it’s clean and the owner is a friendly and reliable person. You can walk there easily from the central bus station and they also offer an airport shuttle service, if you’re leaving from Eilat Ramon.Custo Club. Mish'ol Shoshan 2, Eilat. Tel: 050-887-7989.Villa Custo Club in Eilat, Eilat. Photo from Custo Club Facebook page2. Flintstone Guesthouse, EilatLocated just over 1km from Dekel, Mosh and Papaya beaches, the Flintstone Guesthouse offers guests non-smoking rooms, free Wi-Fi throughout the property and an outdoor heated swimming pool. All of the rooms come with private bathrooms (with showers, not baths) and free toiletries. There is air-conditioning in every room and some family options also provide a kitchenette with a microwave. Visitors rave about the hospitality and talk about how helpful and kind the owners are. This place also has a good reputation for cleanliness. In short, Flintstone’s is really good value for money.Flintstone Guest House., 2 Mishol Egoz, Eilat. Tel: 08 630-3777 A tour on a glass-bottom boat on the Red Sea in Eilat, Israel.Photo credit: © Shutterstock3. La Villa EilatLocated in a quiet, residential part of the city, which is ideal for anyone arriving by car, La Villa offers guests cosy accommodation with spacious common areas. Nearby is an excellent pizzeria and there are several supermarkets where you can buy food to cook, in their well-equipped kitchen. Indeed, many guests talk about how nice it is to eat breakfast outside in the garden.La Villa boasts spacious clean rooms, some with kitchenette facilities, and the beds are very comfortable. It also has a swimming pool, hot tub and barbeque area and the rooms are comfortable and clean (with the showers boasting good water pressure). Guests talk about how accommodating and friendly the owner David is. This is a great find and incredible value for money.La Villa Eilat, Mish'ol Habushim 1, Eilat. Tel: 054-808-8084Acruiseboat in Eilat, Israel.Photo credit: © Shutterstock4. Blue Hotel, EilatThe Blue Hotel is not far from the central bus station and so close to banks, supermarkets and a few cheap eats. Offering affordable prices, it has 30 rooms which can suit a range of people - individuals, families and groups of travellers. The hotel offers air-conditioned rooms, a terrace and a shady garden. The rooms are all non-smoking and come with flatscreen TVs, private bathrooms and the owners can arrange for you to have breakfast at a nearby cafe if you don’t want to make your own arrangements. Tea, coffee and water are complimentary. Blue Hotel is owned by the Marina Divers Club and so if you want to don your SCUBA equipment, they’ll be happy to help and give you a nice discount too. Walking to the beach will take you about 15 minutes.The Blue Hotel, Ofarim St 123, Eilat. Tel: 053-2321656Blue Hotel, Eilat, Israel.Photo from Blue Hotel Facebook page5. Americana Hotel, EilatThe Americana regards itself as ‘Eilat’s most popular, moderately priced resort hotel’ and many would agree. Situated on the north beach of Eilat, it’s close to many entertainment spots in town and prides itself on its professional service, personal touches, excellent location and friendly atmosphere. The Americana has free wi-fi, modern rooms (all with cable TV and kettle), two restaurants, a pool with hot tub and a smaller pool for kids. Rooms all have private bathrooms and air-conditioning and on site there is also a supermarket and gift shop.Guests love the buffet breakfast (with up to 20 dishes to choose from) and the place is clean and has friendly staff. As a value for money, it can be highly recommended…it’s not five stars but it’s a great budget option in Eilat. The Americana, Kaman Street, Eilat. Tel: 08 630-0777The Americana Hotel, Eilat, Israel.Photo from Americana Hotel Facebook page6. Comfort Hotel, EilatA five-minute walk from the Central Bus Station, and 12 minutes by foot from the shores of the Red Sea, the Comfort Hotel is strategically located (close to everything) and offers simple but pleasant accommodation. All of the rooms are air-conditioned, with LCD TVs and private bathrooms, and come with a kettle, tea and coffee and a safe. Some rooms also have a view over the Gulf of Aqaba.The Comfort has an outdoor pool and you can also book paid sessions at their spa (which has a steam room, hot tub and dry sauna). The beds are comfortable, the place is clean and if you’re not hankering after a luxury resort, this hotel is the perfect option. Comfort Hotel, Sderot Hativat HaNegev 14. Tel: 08 636-3222Comfort Hotel, Eilat, Israel.Photo from Comfort Hotel Facebook page7. Hotel Adi, EilatSituated in the centre of Eilat, not too far a walk from the beach, Hotel Adi is close to restaurants, pubs and a big shopping mall. It boasts 111 rooms, and the suites have either a private jacuzzi or two adjoining rooms. With air-conditioning throughout, safety deposit boxes and cable tv, it’s ideal for families. The Adi hotel also has a lobby, bar and large dining room with a diverse menu and guests talk about the good breakfast which is included in the price. This is a simple hotel but it’s friendly and the staff are very efficient. Its location is also great - you can get everywhere on foot, and quickly. The Adi is a good choice if you don’t want to pay the high prices of big Eilat hotels. Hotel Adi, Topaz St 6, Eilat. Tel: 08 638-8111Palms at Eilat beach, Israel.Photo credit: © Shutterstock8. Sunset Inn, EilatThe Sunset Inn is located just two minutes walk from the Central Bus Station, and another 15-20 minutes walk from the seashore and the town’s promenade. All rooms are air-conditioned, have flat-screen TVs with cable options and free Wi-Fi. All of the rooms come with kitchenette facilities, including a minibar, electric kettle (with tea and coffee) and a microwave, so it’s ideal if you want to prepare food. If you’re not arriving by air or bus, take advantage of their free private parking. This is a no-frills place, not fancy but very clean and is definitely good value for money. Guests comment on how accommodating the staff are and how much they enjoy the outside space, which they say is good for reading and relaxing.Sunset Inn, Retamim St 130, Eilat. Tel: 050-270-8795Sunset Inn, Eilat, Israel.Photo from Sunset Inn Hotel Facebook page9. Palms Hotel, EilatMarketing itself as an ‘urban resort’ this recently renovated hotel, with its trendy modern decor, is the most costly option on our ‘budget hotel in Eilat’ list but still a steal when you consider what it offers. With a range of comfortable rooms, suitable for couples and families, the Palms features a sun terrace, two swimming pools - one for adults and the other for children - a video games room, a jacuzzi and a Kids Club. The Palms Hotel is located about 10 minutes walk from the shopping centre and beach, in the city centre. The 152 rooms are elegant, spacious and all include black-out curtains, LED TV, air conditioning and mini-fridge. Some suites have private jacuzzis and sun terraces and there is free parking for guests, close by. Guests are particularly impressed with the comfortable beds and rich, diverse Israeli breakfast. For a mid-price, three-star hotel in Eilat, you can’t go wrong.Sderot HaTmarim 2, Eilat. Tel: 08-651-6000.Palms Hotel, Eilat, Israel.Photo from Palms Hotel Facebook page10. Red Sea Hotel, Eilat.Offering guests a central location, the Red Sea Hotel is a good choice for anyone looking for accommodation with a number of facilities, but at a reasonable price. The spacious rooms all come with LCD TV and cable TV, air-conditioning, minibars and private bathrooms and downstairs there is a 24/7 reception.The Red Sea Hotel features an outdoor swimming pool and there is a private beach, ten minutes walk away, with free sun loungers there. On the beach is the Mamam restaurant and guests of the hotel can receive a discount when eating there. The hotel is small but clean and tidy and offers guests a decent breakfast, with a good quality and variety of food. It’s located close to the central bus station, so you’re close to money changers and supermarkets. Fair prices for what you get.The Red Sea Hotel, Tamarim 12, Eilat. Tel: 08 637-2171Israel's Red Sea coastline.Photo credit: © Shutterstock
By Sarah Mann

Staying at a Herzliya Hotel

When choosing where to base yourself on a trip to Israel the obvious choice is either Tel-Aviv or Jerusalem but there is another attractive option – Herzliya. Herzliya is a city on the coast about 20 minutes north of Tel-Aviv. The main coastal road (route #90)and railway tracks divide the city in to who halves. Inland you have the main centre of the city and the residential area. Across the main coastal road and along the beachfront you have Herzliya Petuach which is one of the most sort after residential areas and a hub for tourists, revelers and beach-lovers. Herzliya Petuach is also the industrial area of the city but it has evolved from industry into a dynamic center for nightclubs and chic eateries.If you choose to stay at a Herzliya hotel it will most likely be one of those along the beachfront. The hotels are all of a high standard (4 to 5 stars) and have the added advantage of the sea right on their doorstep. It literally takes minutes to walk from any of the Herzliya beachfront hotels down to the seaHerzliya is conveniently located within easy access of the main coastal road which can take you to Tel-Aviv or north to Haifa and beyond. The Herzliya train station connects to Ben Gurion and other cities in Israel. There are many regular buses and taxis available. In addition, tour companies pick up groups of tourists from the Herzliya hotels. By foot, you can walk up and down the coastline along the sand.If you intend to unwind, relax and soak up the sun then Herzliya is a great place to base yourself. You can see the rest of the country with daily tours where you are picked up from your hotel but the rest of the time you can enjoy the beach and hotel amenities. Just a few minutes away is the Arena Mall which faces the Herzliya Marina. There are many top stores here as well as restaurants which have brilliant views over the yachts and boats in the marina. From the marina, you can go on boat excursions, try deep-sea fishing or take a kayak out on the water. In the evening head for Herzliya Pituach’s many nightclubs, wine bars, karaoke bars, and restaurants. Herzliya Pituach is also home to an outlet mall where you’ll get great bargains on brand-name fashion items.
By Petal Mashraki

Top 5 Luxury Spas in Israel

Israel has some exclusive luxury spa resorts situated in unique locations including the Dead Sea area and on the shores of the Red Sea. Take a look at these top luxury spas in Israel which have all been nominated or won the World Travel Awards title of leading spa resort.Carmel Forest Spa Resort, HaifaThis is a 126 room luxury spa resort nestled in the Carmel Forest Nature Reserve on a mountain top surrounded by trees. The natural surroundings add to the exclusive and unique feel of this resort. All the luxuriously furnished rooms have breathtaking mountain views and guests can use the resort facilities for free. The facilities include a Turkish steam bath (Hamam) imported from Turkey, a gym, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pools. Among the added extras available at the resort are spa treatments, massages, tai-chi, meditation, palates and the services of a dietitian. There are three meals a day prepared by a gourmet chef with a focus on healthy eating. The two outstanding features which make this one of Israel’s best luxury spas are the stunning location and that the resort is a child-free-zone!Herods, EilatIn Israel’s leading vacation city you’ll find three luxury Herods hotels – Herods Palace, Herods Vitalis and Herods Boutique but it is the Vitalis which offers spa treatments on another level. The exclusive 53 suit hotel provides a tranquil retreat to those seeking peace and quiet. For this reason under 18s and cell phones are not allowed at the Vitalis. The hotel’s location overlooking the Red Sea and within walking distance from Eilat’s dynamic attractions makes this a perfect vacation option. The design of Herods Vitalis exudes opulence, the architecture resembles a palace with all the trimmings and together with the pampering service and professional spa treatments guests are made to feel like royalty.Mizpe Hayamim Resort, Rosh Pina This resort on a 15 hectare property of pristine countryside enjoys views of the Golan Heights, Sea of Galilee and Mount Hermon. The resort property has gardens, paths, pools and brooks as well as being an organic farm. The farm grows Biblical fruit and vegetables and breeds farm animals organically providing the spa with fresh organic produce. In these ecologically harmonious surroundings the guest rooms are individually designed and the spa offers a range of unique treatments. On the grounds are craft workshops, soap and candle making workshops and an organic bakery. The facilities include a fitness room, dry and wet sauna, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzi and swimming pool.Le Meridian, Dead SeaThis resort has won the award for best spa in Israel for 6 consecutive years. Its location on the shore of the Dead Sea gives it a unique twist and the spa treatments make use of the concentrated minerals provided by the Dead Sea water and mud. The treatments include Dead Sea mud body masques and sea weed wraps.When you’re not getting one of the spa treatments you can visit the private beach, enjoy the indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, fitness center, Dead Sea water pools, Jacuzzi and sauna. The large resort has five restaurants, an exclusive 16th floor business level and all rooms have a view of the Dead Sea.Vered HagalilThis exclusive get-away location is named as one of the “1,000 places to see before you die” in the Workman Publications book of the same name. The style of this resort is different to the others mentioned above, it is more rural, down to earth and suited to nature lovers. What makes this a stand-out luxury resort is the horse riding facilities and the individual wooden chalet-style accommodation set in untamed country surroundings. Guests can stay in 2 room cottages, cabins, studio rooms or suites. All the units have a Jacuzzi, luxury facilities and rustic style furnishing. The spa offers treatments in a quiet shady part of the farm with an emphasis on reconnecting with nature.Check out our Dead Sea Spa & Relaxation tour >>The tour include a visit to Mineral or Kalya beach in the Dead Sea with optional SPA treatments
By Petal Mashraki
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