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.

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

5 of the Dead Sea’s Top Hotels and Spas

Situated 1,400 feet below sea level, which makes it the lowest point on earth you can travel to whilst remaining out in the open, the Dead Sea (or the ‘Salt Sea’) as it's often known is a truly magical destination. Set a short drive from Jerusalem, in the Judean desert and surrounded by breathtaking scenery, this is not just a place of enormous tranquility but one that ‘feels’ different. That’s because it actually is - the saline in the sea means that visitors are actually breathing in healthy mineral-rich air.Breathe in the Mineral-Rich AirTruly, spending time at the Dead Sea lets you experience a whole new atmosphere. With a unique body of water in which you can float, to your heart’s content, proven healing qualities that reside in the air, and the attractions of the ancient fortress of Masada and lush oasis of Ein Gedi on your doorstep, it’s no wonder this is perhaps Israel’s top tourist attraction. It’s also a mecca for those with skin complaints (eczema, psoriasis) looking for a relaxation tour and it's often commented that the sulfur baths work magic on anyone feeling run-down.Luxurious, Elegant, and Designed for PamperingSo where to stay? Well, the area has all kinds of accommodation but in this article, we’ll be focusing on the higher end of the market - five of the top hotels (each with their own spa) that offer you comfort, style, and sophistication, with all the amenities you’d expect, and a few extra touches too. The Dead Sea’s perfect for a spa break, a romantic getaway, or just a couple of days away from the daily grind. All of these hotels are located in the Ein Bokekpart of the Dead Sea, and all very close to the shore. Attractions such as Masada and Ein Gedi are close by, for anyone who wants to join one of numerous Dead Sea tours. And because the Dead Sea is just 45 minutes drive from Jerusalem and 2 hours from Tel Aviv, you don’t have to think twice before heading down there.Ein Gedi Nature Reserve.Photo credit: © ShutterstockHere are some of our recommendations, for a break that will exceed your expectations, in terms of accommodation, cuisine, spa facilities, and breathtaking scenery.1.Milos Hotel Dead Sea - Ein BokekThis luxury hotel, owned by the Herbert Samuel group, offers five-star private beachfront accommodation all the while drawing on the colors and textures of Greece. All rooms have rainfall showers and Nespresso machines and the deluxe offering comes with your own private pool.Milos has a pool with a gazebo (perfect for afternoon cocktails), a gym, a gaming room for younger guests, and a spa that offers a Turkish hammam, dry sauna, dead seawater pool, and sulfur bath.The main restaurant is built in stone in the style of a Greek taverna, the stone having been shipped in from Saloniki. It boasts an excellent chef who, according to reviews, visits each table at dinner. Guests have rated Milos highly on Tripadvisor, and commented on the professional, courteous staff. Guests on have rated it at 9.2 for a couples getaway. Milos also offers occasional special offers which are published each afternoon, at 2 pm, for same-day check-in, so for a last-minute break, you can’t do better.Details: Milos Hotel, Ein Bokek, tel: 08 668 8100Milos Hotel Dead Sea, Ein Bokek. Photo: Herbert Samuel Hotels2.Herods Dead Sea – The Premium Collection by FattalHerods is an award-winning hotel that offers guests a rejuvenating and luxurious experience at the shores of the Dead Sea. With its own private beach, luxury rooms and suites, royal spa facilities, and innovative cuisine, it is the perfect place for anyone looking to be pampered. Herods ‘Vitalis’ spa is considered to be the jewel in the crown of this hotel, boasting a variety of heated and health-centered pools (seawater, sweet water, and sulfur), a Turkish bathhouse, solarium, and an array of mud pack, facial and cosmetic treatments. Extra touches include magic shows, free bicycle hire, a ‘fun area’ for kids, and a ‘Welcome Baby’ service. The hotel offers two restaurants, the ‘Rothschild’ bar (with excellent homemade desserts) and a Health Bar which serves natural and fresh shakes. Rooms are tastefully designed and the Executive range comes with a sunbathing balcony and free international calls. Reviews on rate Herods as ‘Exceptional’ and ‘Superb’ and comment that breakfast and dinner went beyond expectations. Details: Hamei Zohar, Neve Zohar Tel: 03 511-0000Herods Dead Sea Hotel. Photo: Herods Hotels3.Daniel Dead Sea HotelSet in the heart of the Dead Sea’s Ein Bokek area, The Daniel hotel boasts 320 luxury rooms, 12 of which are lavishly decorated suites. Wifi is free throughout and all rooms come with LCD TVs and black-out curtains. Some offer sea views whilst others overlook the Edom Mountains. As you would expect from a luxury hotel, The Daniel has its own private beach and indoor and outdoor pools, as well as a fitness center with a gym and workout rooms. There are children’s activities available and entertainment in the lobby most evenings. Guests arriving by car have access to free parking.The Daniel offers a range of spa treatments, including massages, a steam room, and wellness treatments, There is a tennis court available for those who wish to practice their strokes! Guests reviewing the hotel on are particularly happy with the buffet breakfast, which they say has an excellent variety of items. For special prices at the Daniel, take a look at the Trivago website which offers excellent prices.Details: Ein Bokek, Dead Sea Tel: 08 668-9999Daniel Dead Sea Hotel. Photo via Leonardo Club Hotel Dead Sea - All InclusiveThe Leonardo Club hotel is located on a private beach in Ein Bokek and offers guests a wonderful location with breathtaking views of both the Dead Sea and the surrounding mountains. It boasts 368 beautiful designed rooms, set in two wings, with the deluxe option offering guests a balcony with sea views. There is miniature golf on site, a games room and also free bicycle rental. The Leonardo is the only hotel in the Dead Sea which boasts its own water park, with three amazing slides, ideal for family fun. The fact that it is all inclusive means delicious cuisine and drinks (soft and certain alcoholic) are available 24/7. Guests on Tripadvisor rate the food as tasty and plentiful, with one commenting “GREAT food; hats off to the cook.” Le Spa at the Leonardo offers guests facilities including a heated seawater pool, a sulfur pool, and a modern sauna, as well as a wide variety of high-quality health and rejuvenation treatments.Detials: Ein Bokek, Hamei Zohar 08 668-9444Leonardo Club Hotel Dead Sea. Photo vialeonardo-hotels.com5.Isrotel Dead Sea Resort & SpaNestled at the foot of the mountains that surround it and just moments from the shore of the Dead Sea, the Isrotel offers its guests an experience of complete tranquility where, as they put it, ‘pampering and relaxation always come first.” Given a rating of five stars by the Ministry of Tourism, each newly-renovated room (which is bigger than your average hotel room) has a balcony and is stylishly designed.Isrotel’s spa, ‘Esprit’ offers a wide range of rejuvenation treatments including massages, mud packs, and seaweed masks. Also on offer are a sulfur pool, massage rooms, sauna, steam bath, and a private sun deck. The hotel’s ‘Ranch’ restaurant is an American-style affair, with a wide range of meats on offer - a carnivorous paradise. Guests can also ‘chill out’ at the poolside, where kids light bites are served, as well as shakes and cocktails. Reviews on describe the hotel as ‘Superb’ and ‘Excellent’ and comment on how efficient the booking and check-in process is. One noted that on a particularly hot day, staff was handing out free ice cream and cold drinks to guests.Details: Ein Bokek, Dead Sea Tel: 08 688-966Isrotel Dead Sea Resort & Spa. Image: Isrotel hotelsPractical Travel InformationThere are several ways to reach the Dead Sea: rental car, bus, taxi, and private transfer.Rental car: Renting a car in Israel is pretty simple and not incredibly expensive. Try Hertz, Eldan, or Avis, who are all located at Ben Gurion Airport, as well as in the major cities. Don’t forget to bring your driver’s permit!Bus: Buses run regularly to the Dead Sea from all parts of the country - Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and the south (Eilat, indirectly. There is no direct route from Eilat to the Dead Sea - you will have to change buses in Beer Sheva)From Jerusalem: The number 486 travels from the Jerusalem Central Bus Station (platform 5) direct to the Dead Sea.From Tel Aviv: the 421 travels from the Central Bus Station direct to the Dead Sea. It is advisable, and more often than not, necessary to book a ticket for these buses in advance. This can be done by calling Egged on *2800 or 03-694 8888. It is also possible to book tickets directly through their website. Please note: there is no public transport in Israel over Shabbat which means that from Friday afternoon to Saturday night, it is not possible to travel by Egged.Taxi: A taxi from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea should take about 45 minutes and cost in the region of 350-400 NIS. A taxi from Tel Aviv will take between 90 minutes to 2 hours and cost around 700 NIS.Private transfer: A private transfer from the airport or your hotel to the Dead Sea is another option, and is quick and convenient. Your Israeli tour operator will be glad to advise you in this regard. Get packing!Rejuvenating Dead Sea mud. 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
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