The Best Hotels in Northern Israel [UPDATED]
Whether you’re looking for a vacation that offers you history, culture, vineyards, local produce, or simply amazing views, the north of Israel won’t disappoint you. From beautiful Haifa, with its sloping hills and views of the Mediterranean to the fabled Sea of Galilee, and from the tiny, winding streets of ancient Safed to the rugged hills of the Golan Heights, this part of the Holy Land is perfect for taking a break.
And in terms of where to stay, some of the best hotels in the Holy Land aren’t just in its big cities but nestled away in quieter parts of the north, where you’ll find both lush greenery and rugged, wild surroundings. There is accommodation in northern Israel that offers guests mount-watering cuisine, luxurious spa treatments, and scenic views at every turn. In this case, the big question you have to ask yourself is where you should go.
Here are what we think are some of the best hotels in northern Israel…
Canaan Hotel, Safed
Boasting wondrous views of Mount Meron and the Sea of Galilee, the upmarket Canaan Hotel offers visitors luxury in the form of wellness and relaxation. Drawing on the concept of ‘slow stay’ it’s exclusively for guests aged 16 and upwards (generally couples) who want to embrace calm and quiet and are ready to put down their smartphones and adopt a less hurried pace.
The city of Safed
Their 119 rooms are spacious, meticulously designed, and very chic. The wellness sanctuary lets you enjoy Turkish baths, indulgent treatments, and a heated pool and meals are a delight, as well as yoga, meditation, and Pilates sessions. There’s also carefully prepared fare sourced from local Galilee farmers and an array of salads and dips that will astound you. A hotel perfect for a romantic getaway.
What to see in the area? Safed is an ancient, hilltop city full of charm and character, with its winding narrow streets, beautiful artists' quarters and magical, mystical feel, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
Pereh Mountain Resort, Gadot, Golan Heights
Located on a private estate, high in the Golan Heights, overlooking valleys, mountains, and beautifully designed gardens and orchards lies the Pereh Mountain Resort. Less than two years old, it’s small and exclusive and with only 27 rooms and suites (all carefully crafted, using stone and basalt materials which are paired with contemporary furniture) is ideal for those looking for a quiet getaway.
The hotel is hidden high up in the hills, making it a perfect spot for walking, hiking, or just lazing in the grounds, enjoying the spectacular scenery. The surrounding area has many wineries (all easily reached by car) and their restaurant ‘Rouge’ (overseen by chef Roe Dori) offers excellent French-inspired cuisine with a small carbon footprint (artisanal cheeses from nearby farms, trout from the local Dan River) and much of his fruit (mango, fig, grapefruit) grow in his private garden.
What to see in the area? If you’re staying in the area, why not take a day tour of the Golan Heights, letting you see Mount Bental, old Syrian observation points, and the ancient city of Katzrin, today the capital of the region?
Pina BaLev, Rosh Pina
A veritable haven of tranquillity and beauty, Pina BaLev (which means ‘a place in the heart’ in Hebrew) is set on an estate dating back to the 19th century. Today, this beautifully restored historic mansion is an exclusive spa hotel with just six suites, all individually designed and kitted out with everything the discerning guest could need.
The magical Pina Balev Resort (Image source: The Official Pina Balev website)
The gardens themselves are magical, and it’s here you’ll find a naturally reconstructed pool, built by some of the first pioneers (hammocks are strategically placed around for those who love to lounge). If swimming isn’t your thing, then head to the jacuzzi and sauna to their ‘treatment room’- inside a yurt- where you can indulge with deep tissue massages and mud facials. Breakfast is delivered to your room and although there is no on-site restaurant, there are some wonderful places to eat in the vicinity and the staff are happy to give recommendations.
What to see in the area? Pina Ba Lev overlooks the Hula Valley, a nature reserve in the Upper Galilee which is lush and water-abundant, and also famous for its bird migrations.
The Scots Hotel, Tiberias, Sea of Galilee
Located in a wonderfully preserved old building, the Scots Hotel in Tiberias boasts some good old-fashioned hospitality in very comfortable surroundings. With only 16 rooms (only doubles, all with high ceilings, traditional decor yet every necessary modern appliance), like the Pereh, it’s quiet and calm, therefore attracting an older clientele and many couples.
Their famous garden offers to-die-for views of the Sea of Galilee, and at night you can enjoy live music in their famous Ceilidh whisky bar or simply disappear into their library and settle down with a book. The cuisine at the Scots Hotel is notoriously good- the breakfast and dinner buffets are practically gourmet-level (from seafood and prime cuts to salads and vegan offerings, plus outstanding desserts). Throw in the impeccable service from the moment you arrive, and this is a stay you won’t forget in a hurry.
What to see in the area? The entire area is simply beautiful, full of historic sights and holy places, including churches where Jesus ministered. Taking a tour of nearby Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee is an excellent way to spend a day.
Amirey Hagalil, Amirim
Just outside the village of Amirim, on the road leading to Safed, you’ll find the Amirey Hagalil, a boutique hotel with just 24 guest rooms, all spacious and thoughtfully designed. The hotel building is simply stunning, complete with stone floors, oriental carpets, a winding staircase, and a beautiful atrium, and every small detail for guests’ pleasure is taken into account- from the 24/7 tea and coffee station to the hot cider they serve before massage treatments.
Amirei Hagalil (Image source: The official Amirei Hagalil website)
The hotel commands wow-factor views, all the way from the Sea of Galilee to the Golan Heights,and whilst it doesn’t have a pool, there are endless hiking trails and outdoor activities for those who aren’t the sedentary type. Their restaurant- ‘Bein Kramim’ - offers excellent fare, from rich breakfasts to fabulous gourmet-style dinners. Rustic and serene, it’s the perfect place to escape into nature.
What to see in the area? All of Galilee is magnificent and worth exploring, but if you want a manageable day trip, then why not consider taking a tour of Akko, the ancient Crusader City on the Mediterranean? It’s only 40 km away and as well as its underground tunnels and beautiful harbor, it can be combined with time in Haifa. Another good option is taking a quick Golan Heights tour.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the organized tour packages in Israel that we offer, not to mention day trips and privately-guided excursions, feel free to contact us by email or phone and - if you’re curious - take a look at our blog, where we explore everything Israel-related.