Israel’s standout fall getaways

The ultimate weekend escape plans.

THE KID in you will rejoice at the Dan Caesarea’s treehouses. (photo credit: SHARON FEIEREISEN)
THE KID in you will rejoice at the Dan Caesarea’s treehouses.
(photo credit: SHARON FEIEREISEN)
It takes no more than a quick scan of popular local Facebook groups like Secret Jerusalem or Secret Tel Aviv to conclude that the Land of Milk and Honey is notorious for high-priced destination hotels with mediocre service and less than five-star amenities. Rest assured, however, that this isn’t always the case and it’s a stereotype that’s swiftly changing.
A new crop of hotels has been popping up, from the North to the South, offering true value for money – and we’re not only talking about expensive options; trend-driven, affordable boutique hotels are also sweeping the country, making being impulsive about a quick weekend getaway all the more appealing.
Here’s a look at standout spots all across Israel, all of which are perfect for fall getaways.
Dan Caesarea
Re-opened in May after a $25 million renovation, this modern resort couldn’t have a more apt tagline: Happiness Is Around. Dan Caesarea is arguably the best destination hotel for families, especially those with young children. Not only is there a playroom with sitters to watch your children throughout the day, they have a huge kids pool area, playground, multiple tree houses, faux BMW cars for kids to “drive” around in and endless space for running and playing. They also have Israel’s only pool table located in an actual pool. While there isn’t really any reason to leave the hotel, they have a shuttle, should you wish to leave, that can take you to town or to the beach, which is located five minutes away. If you decide to venture out, go to the Old Town just before sunset to take in jaw-dropping views. There, you’ll also find a well-known restaurant favored by local celebrities like Gal Gadot and Helena. Speaking of Gadot, she’s among the many Israeli celebrities to have recently stayed at the renovated resort.
1 Rothschild St., Caesarea, (04) 626-9111; Kosher.
Milos Hotel Dead Sea
This newbie hotel still has some kinks to work out when it comes to service (read: don’t expect much), but when it comes to value for money, it’s hard to beat. While many competing hotels haven’t been renovated in years (though it can feel like decades), Milos is brand new, meaning everything is still glisteningly clean while being comparable in price to the area’s other leading hotels. While the main attraction is obviously the beach area, the hotel also offers an attractive pool. Non-kosher visitors will be happy to know, should you be traveling on Shabbat, that Milos is not kosher, meaning you can enjoy that Saturday morning pre-Dead Sea soak cappuccino. On the topic of food, skip the half-board option and instead go exploring. The Taj Mahal Restaurant in particular is highly recommended.
Dead Sea, Ein Bokek, (08) 668-8100; Not Kosher.
Beresheet Hotel
Something funny happens when you ask people around Israel for hotel recommendations. In my experience, at least one out of three times they’ll steer the conversation away from whatever area you’re inquiring about and tell you to beeline for Beresheet. When you go to Beresheet, located on the edge of the Ramon Crater, you’ll quickly see why. Though it’s easily one of the priciest destinations in Israel, it’s an unforgettable one. In fact, even the worst photographer would inspire Instagram envy when posting a shot from their outdoor pool area, which overlooks a primeval desert landscape complete with all kinds of wild (but harmless) animals. While it’s very much an escape perfect for a couple, it’s also family-friendly. All of the rooms are spacious and feature either their own private pool or large balconies with sweeping views.
1 Beresheet Rd., Mitzpe Ramon; (08) 659-8000; Kosher.