Take a luxurious winter break in Ein Gev, a magical spot on Lake Kinneret
By MAX BERLIN
Situated at the foot of the Golan Heights, just meters away from Lake Kinneret, the Ein Gev Resort Village is one of the best locations Israel has to offer.Amid the green grass, the numerous palm trees and the turquoise water, when you walk into the place, you feel as if you walked into a dreamy postcard. This is the perfect place for a brief getaway, be it a romantic one or a family vacation.As we drove into the village after a long day of touring the Galilee, the first thing we noticed was the quiet. All we could hear was the gentle wind the rustling in the tops of the palm trees. And the sight of the trees, planted everywhere, gave us an immediate sense of relaxation.Walking from the parking lot to the resort’s offices, we noticed that the sun was about to set. We were tired and in dire need of somewhere to stretch out and relax, so after a short explanation given to us by a friendly staff member, who took us on a tour of the place, we got to our room. There, on the balcony facing the sun setting into the Kinneret, we took a deep breath of fresh air and listened to the gentle, soothing sound of the waves, relaxed at last.Try to get a room in the Ein Gev Village during Succot or Passover vacations or during the long summer vacation, and you will probably have to wait for a cancellation.People place their reservations months in advance. But if you decide to take advantage of their new winter vacation offer, you may just be as lucky as we were and get one of the new seafront suites.The Ein Gev Resort has a variety of rooms and price levels. There are family rooms for up to five people and adjacent huts that friends can take together and enjoy spending time as a group, preparing their own dinners on the barbecue facilities built in the hut’s yard.The village offers many other extras in and around the rooms, such as hammocks and garden furniture.The special winter deals, offered until March 2016, include B&B, dinner for two at the Ein Gev fish restaurant, a visit to the Hamat Gader resort spa, tickets to movies at nearby Beit Gabriel and, of course, the beautiful scenery of the Kinneret just a few steps away from your room.The 12 new exclusive suites (opened in May) offer a lavish and pampering experience.Our suite faced the sea, with only a grassy slope leading to the water a few meters away.The first view we saw walking into the room was a stunning sunset over the Kinneret.Talk about great timing… The suites are designed in a modern but classic decor, mainly in black and white, with a few splashes of color. The luxurious bathroom offers a bathtub and a walk-in shower, Dead Sea toiletries and thick terrycloth bathrobes. It was far from what we had envisioned when we thought of going to a kibbutz guest house.The bed and bedding were extremely comfortable (I fell asleep the minute my head touched the pillow).Extending from the room is a lovely balcony with white furniture, including a comfortable sofa overlooking the sea and a few potted plants. We sat on the balcony just before going to bed, listening to the waves, breathing in the fresh air and relaxing, thinking it was the perfect ending to an eventful day.But before the evening ended, we had to have dinner.There are a few dining options. You may choose to eat in the resort’s dining room.When we were there, it was Asian night.Or you can opt for the kibbutz’s famous fish restaurant in the Ein Gev port or go to the nearby Marinado steakhouse and deli, which is known for its meats. We went there despite the fact that one of us is a vegetarian and were surprised to find vegetarian dishes on the menu.The resort’s suites combine the best of two worlds – luxurious pampering décor inside and the natural, simple surroundings of a kibbutz outside.The Ein Gev Resort boasts the only sandy beach around the Kinneret. They actually brought the sand to make life more comfortable for their guests.The food in the breakfast buffet is fresh and tasty, and the seating is very pleasant. But if you so desire, you can prepare your meals in your room and shop for groceries at the mini-market in the resort.Other facilities include billiard and ping-pong tables, a bar, a gift shop, a synagogue, rooms for conferences and events, as well as a small outdoor gym, where you can break a sweat while gazing at Lake Kinneret.The nearby Ein Gev port features more activities for families, such as a tour of the kibbutz in a mini-train, a workshop for children at the Saba Yossi carpentry, the Olea Essence visitors’ center, and the Fruit Hut, which serves natural fruit shakes and juices.■ For more information and reservations, call (04) 665-9800 or go to www.eingev.com.The writer was a guest of the hotel and the restaurant.Marinado Ein Gev Not kosher Tel: (04) 665-8555 For other branches, call 1599-503-080 or go to www.marinado.co.il.
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