Best Hotels at the Sea of Galilee - The Jewish Voice
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Best Hotels at the Sea of Galilee

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The Sea of Galilee – aka Lake Kinneret – is one of the most popular vacation spots in Israel. We suggest 14 great places to stay overnight.

By: Abigail Klein Leichman

No matter whether you call it the Sea of Galilee or Lake Kinneret, this beautiful freshwater lake in northern Israel, surrounded by picturesque scenery, is a much-loved vacation spot.

When you stay in any of the hotels of Tiberias or other cities ringing the lake, you’ll have a wide choice of outdoor and indoor activities – beaches, boating, cycling, hiking, hot springs, bird watching at nearby Agamon-Hula Nature Park, archeology sites, key Jewish and Christian history sites, museums and even a chocolate farm.

Here are 14 of our favorites among the many hotels in the Sea of Galilee area.

 

GOMEH

This 212-room Isrotel Design property (formerly the Sea of Galilee Hotel) on the Migdal shore near Kibbutz Ginosar affords beautiful views of the northwestern edge of the lake, the Galilee mountains and Mount Arbel.

Photo courtesy of Gomeh/Isrotel

Address: Migdal

Amenities: Outdoor pool, adjacent beach, kosher restaurant, lobby bar, gym, meeting rooms, outdoor deck, playroom, babysitting services for a fee, accessible rooms and parking spaces

 

GALEI  KINNERET

Saar Zafrir Design recently completed a redesign of this 123-room Tiberias beachside resort, using a design concept rooted in local archeology. Initially built in 1946, Galei Kinneret was one of Israel’s first luxury hotels, founded by entrepreneur Lotte Eisenberg in the style of the Villa d’Este Hotel in Lake Como. The suites have outdoor Jacuzzis; all rooms have a view of the lake or the mountains.

Address: 1 Eliezer Kaplan Street, Tiberias

Amenities: Indoor and outdoor bar, outdoor glass-bottom swimming pool, outdoor yoga deck, spa, gym, private beach and boat, kosher chef restaurant under the direction of Asaf Granit.

 

SETAI SEA OF GALILEE

The Setai Sea of Galilee, opened in 2017, is a pastoral hotel on the eastern shore of Lake Kinneret with 158 units including standard rooms and luxury villas. Ground-floor villas have private infinity pools while second-floor villas have outdoor hot tubs. Guest-room balconies afford views of the Golan Heights to the northeast and the city of Tiberias across the sea.

Address: Tza’alon Beach near Ein Gev

Amenities: Outdoor infinity swimming pool, spa with indoor pool, fitness center, kosher chef restaurant, wading pool, children’s club, business lounge, free bicycles

 

MAGDALA

The Magdala is one of Israel´s newest hotels in the Galilee, with 150 rooms decorated in aqua and beige tones. It’s named for its location, the recently discovered first century town of Magdala (Migdal) on the seashore and is adjacent to an archeological park open daily from 8-6. Here you can see an excavated first-century synagogue and other Roman-era ruins at the crossroads of Jewish and Christian history.

Address: Migdal Junction

Amenities: Outdoor pool, gym, gardens, chef restaurant (not kosher), coffee & bar, accessible and connecting rooms available, meeting facilities, direct access to an undeclared beach

 

SCOTS HOTEL

Housed in a three-building complex constructed in 1894 as a hospital run by the Scottish Church, The Scots Hotel opened in 1999 offering 50 rooms in the main building and eight rooms each in the smaller, magnificently reconstructed former hospital director’s residence and maternity hospital. Original basalt rock and high ceilings have been preserved.

Photo courtesy of The Scots Hotel, Tiberias

Address: 1 Gdud Barak St., Tiberias

Amenities: Swimming pool, beach garden, art gallery, restaurant (not kosher), wine cellar and bar, health center with spa

 

LAKE HOUSE KINNERET

This Israel-Canada Hotels resort on the Tiberias waterfront is situated in a lush 54-acre garden with views of the city and the Golan Heights. There are 250 rooms, some with balconies, and two suites.

Photo courtesy of Lake House Kinneret

Address: Hamarchatzot Street, Tiberias

Amenities: Tiberias Hot Springs Country Club with thermo-mineral pools, freshwater outdoor swimming pool, event venue, Thai spa, restaurant, bar, tennis courts, gym, children’s club, conference rooms

 

SOFIA SEA OF GALILEE HOTEL

Located in and next to a restored 19th-century stone house in Tiberias, this 120-room spa and leisure hotel is a few minutes’ walk from the city center and the western shore of the lake.

Photo of spa lobby courtesy of Setai Sea of Galilee Hotel.

The hotel is named for Sofia Srugo, mother of the property’s late owner, Reuven Srugo. Sofia set out on a long journey from the Syrian city of Damascus to Argentina, where she was to meet her future husband for the first time. On the way, she made a stop in Tiberias.

Address: 12 HaPalmach Street, Tiberias

Amenities: Spa complex, hammam (Turkish bath), kosher restaurant featuring Galilean cuisine, rooftop restaurant/bar, lobby bar, wine cellar, study and culture room, infinity swimming pool, accessible rooms

 

GAI BEACH HOTEL

Gai Beach Hotel on the seashores in Tiberias is lovely on its own but the bonus attraction for families is its onsite private beach and water park with fun activities for all ages (the latter is open from Passover through October). The property has 198 guest rooms and two suites, some with balconies and lake or mountain views.

The water park on the grounds of Gai Beach Hotel, Tiberias. Photo courtesy of Gai Beach Hotel

Address: Eliezer Kaplan Street, Tiberias

Amenities: Outdoor swimming pool and toddler pool, indoor pool, spa, fitness center, kosher dining room, children’s club, convention/meeting facilities, basketball and volleyball courts

 

KINAR GALILEE HOTEL

This 140-room resort hotel on the quiet northeastern shore of the Kinneret caters to religious Jewish families, with a wide range of rooms varying in size and décor (including adjoining rooms), play areas, a synagogue and mikvah, gender-separate swimming hours and a high standard of kashrut. All of this is set in 15 acres of green lawns with walking paths.

Artist Gilad Keinan’s aluminum tree shades the poolside bar at Galei Kinneret hotel. Photo courtesy of Saar Zafrir Design

Address: Ramot Junction, Hof Golan

Amenities: Semi-Olympic outdoor pool, private beach, children’s club, playground, tennis court, basketball court, ping-pong table, fitness center, spa

 

NOF GINOSAR HOTEL

This kibbutz hotel, open since 1964, sits on the shores of the Sea of Galilee at the foot of Mount Arbel. Ten acres of gardens, a private beach and an abundance of recreation possibilities surround the property, including the kibbutz’s Yigal Allon Center housing archeological gems such as the Magdala Stone and the “Jesus boat.” There are 245 rooms: 75 village rooms and 170 deluxe
rooms.

Address: Kibbutz Ginosar, Upper Galilee

Amenities: Outdoor pool, gym, kosher restaurant and cafeteria, lobby bar, private beach, souvenir shop, kibbutz tours, conference center, tennis court, picnic tables, private beach with boat rides and fisherman’s wharf

 

CASA DONA GRACIA HOTEL & MUSEUM

This unusual hotel/museum is dedicated to the legacy of Doña Gracia Mendes Nasi, a 16th century Portuguese Jewish businesswoman who helped build up Tiberias. It’s a short walk to the seashore, which can be seen from the 66 modest guest rooms. The life of Doña Gracia is depicted in quaint dioramas, and you can dress up in period clothing for an immersive Renaissance experience.

Address: Prahim Street, Tiberias

Amenities: Kosher dining room, cultural activities and shows, meeting/banquet facilities

 

SHIRAT HAYAM BOUTIQUE HOTEL

This unusual hotel/museum is dedicated to the legacy of Doña Gracia Mendes Nasi, a 16th century Portuguese Jewish businesswoman who helped build up Tiberias. It’s a short walk to the seashore, which can be seen from the 66 modest guest rooms. The life of Doña Gracia is depicted in quaint dioramas, and you can dress up in period clothing for an immersive Renaissance experience.

Shirat Hayam Boutique Hotel is on the Tiberias beach boardwalk. Photo courtesy of Shirat Hayam

Address: Prahim Street, Tiberias

Amenities: Kosher dining room, cultural activities and shows, meeting/banquet facilities

 

EIN GEV HOLIDAY RESORT HOTEL

Conveniently and charmingly situated on the Tiberias beach boardwalk next to a public sculpture park, Shirat Hayam is the latest incarnation of a 19th century stone hotel structure. It has just 11 rooms and suites, all decorated in an antique style befitting the setting, and most of them with lake views.

The “New View” room at Ein Gev Holiday Resort Hotel. Photo courtesy of Kibbutz Ein Gev

Address: 1 HaYarden Street, Tiberias

Amenities: Kosher breakfast served in lobby or outdoors. Suites and deluxe rooms have Jacuzzis in the living or bedroom areas. (Note: as a preserved historical site, the hotel is not accessible for people with motor disabilities.)

 

PORIYAH KINNERET YOUTH HOSTEL

The Ein Gev Resort on the eastern shore of Kinneret at the base of the Golan Heights offers 166 rooms, 96 family villas and 70 couples’ rooms – making this one of the largest hospitality options in the Sea of Galilee area. Many of the units include kitchenettes.

Address: Kibbutz Ein Gev

Amenities: Kosher dining room, bar, private beach with kiosk, playground, game room for children, indoor billiards and ping-pong tables, outdoor sports facilities, laundromat, conference halls.

(Israel21C.org)

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