Kibbutz Merom Golan: The height of kid-friendly lodgings

We were the first guests to arrive (unsurprising, as our kids generally awaken by 6 a.m.) and were presented with another surprising blessing: There were several hot dishes, a huge spread of cheeses, fish and salads, a variety of homemade jams (try the yummy mango) and two kinds of cake for dessert. What a breakfast!

Kibbutz (photo credit: Kibbutz)
(photo credit: Kibbutz)
t is possible that Mount Ben-Tal, a lookout site in the GolanHeights and former bunker for IDF soldiers fighting Syria,wasn’t created with the express purpose of playing hide-and-seek. Butwhile most tour guides may overlook the location’s supremacy in thatfield, my three children (ages almost five and three-year-old twins)were quick to catch on.

We hadjust left Kibbutz Merom Golan and could clearly see the vacation hutwhere we’d stayed the previous night from the lookout. A little fartheraway we just made out the fantastic petting zoo where my boys,Ya’ir and Yaron, had helped a farmhand load up a cart with strawto feed the goats. They’d also cavorted with the camel, fed hay to thehorses and petted the ponies in between collecting peacock feathers andmaking the turkeys gobble. Daughter Kinneret, in the meantime, hadan unfortunate incident involving goose poop.

But no matter, she was quickly taken off to our hut for a completeoverhaul in itsluxurious jacuzzi bath — and luscious heating. In the brisk Novemberweather, upon our late-afternoon arrival the day before to this, thefar reaches of the Golan, heating was a special blessing and we usedit all night and into the morning.

Outside it was autumn. Between the intermittent drizzle and thesmell of fallen leaves, I could almost make believe that Israel hasmore than two real seasons. And as we walked to the kibbutz cafeteriafor breakfast early that Friday morning, I found myself thinking of thejoy of a nice hot meal and was secretly sad we were ’only’ going to getbreakfast.

We were the first guests to arrive (unsurprising, as our kidsgenerally awaken by 6 a.m.) and were presented with another surprisingblessing: There were several hot dishes, a huge spread of cheeses, fishand salads, a variety of homemade jams (try the yummy mango) and twokinds of cake for dessert. What a breakfast!

I shouldn’t have been surprised, really. The holiday apartments,while not the lap ofluxury, are beautifully done. Snug and cozy in our hut, we had plentyof space in the two rooms for the three kids in the main room to sleepon the convertible sleeper sofa and chair. The bedroom was donein a Western theme and a warm-toned wood paneling was used throughout.There was a small kitchen area as well, which was admittedly notequipped with a cooking surface, but did have a handy sink, mini-fridgeand hot drink provisions. There was also a jug of milk in the fridge —just one of the thoughtful touches.

In the bathroom the aforementioned jacuzzi bathtub (smaller and morewater efficient than a full-sized spa) was a highlight and the fittingsand fixtures were stylized andpresumably new. Unfortunately, however, the soap dispenser didn’t workand a piece of the shower fell on my head while I bathed.

Thankfully, there were other means of soap provided next to the modern raised sink,something not all B&Bs now think to provide, and what I usually forget to bring from home.

Between the comfortable room and fun-filled petting zoo, we wereloath to leave. Later, looking out from Mount Ben-Tal, I noticed thatsome 20 additional units were being built there and made a hopeful wishthat one day we’d be back for a longer stay.

For more information, visit www.meromgolantourism. or call (04) 696-0267.