Medi Terre Hotel, Netanya: An unusual but luxurious experience

It wasn’t the best hotel we had stayed in, but we were positive and wanted to be together anyways and have fun – and the highlight of our visit was the time we spent together on the lovely beach.

The lobby of the Medi Terre Hotel (photo credit: Courtesy)
The lobby of the Medi Terre Hotel
(photo credit: Courtesy)
After months of intense work and a crazy daily routine, I needed to escape from the noisy city and stressful pre-holiday mood to recharge my batteries and start the new Jewish year on the right foot.
Before the end of the summer season, I was craving even just one day at the beach.
So with the excuse of our monthly anniversary, I invited my boyfriend to join me for a Shabbat break and refresh ourselves in the beautiful city of Netanya.
Right across from the beach on Nitsa Boulevard is the Medi Terre Hotel. It is part of the Azimut Hotel chain that focuses on providing guests with comfort and exclusivity. The owners spent three years renovating the building to transform seven of 30 floors in an apartment block into a 60-room luxury hotel.
We keep Shabbat, so we asked the manager about Shabbat meals in advance to prepare ourselves in terms of food. She said they just offered a night meal and early breakfast, but there was no lunch option.
We could not book a restaurant in advance or anything else involving food at the hotel, which we found funny because it calls itself “strictly kosher.” To prevent ourselves from being hungry, we played it safe and brought food with us.
The first thing you notice when approaching the hotel is the building’s strange form. I heard that the architects wanted to reflect being inside a ship, although when you enter the lobby, you encounter a mix of old and modern elements. I guess they tried to keep the exterior old style and make the interior more modern. It was a bit kitschy for my taste.
It was a bit complicated to get into our room because of the long hallways and an unclear explanation from the reception clerk.
The room that we chose was the Spa Deluxe Suite, a well-equipped living room, a bedroom with an extra-length bed, rainfall shower, Jacuzzi and sauna, and designed in a palette of blue, brown, purple and gray.
As soon as we got there we were starving, so we asked if someone could bring us some cutlery so we could have something to eat before the Shabbat meal. After more than half an hour of waiting, I asked again if someone could bring us the requested cutlery, and explain to us how to use the Jacuzzi as had been offered at Reception.
Time passed, and we managed to eat something else and not keep waiting for the hotel staff. We started filling up the bathtub with water and when we were almost ready to jump into the bubbly bath, the man who came to explain about the Jacuzzi knocked on the door.
As my boyfriend was already in the bathroom having managed to fill up the Jacuzzi, I ask the man to wait a minute at the door so I could give my friend a towel to put on. But as soon as I had it in my hand, I turned around and the man was already in the bathroom with my boyfriend, who was half-naked. He finally figured out that we needed no help and left the room.
At last we jumped into the Jacuzzi and had just started to relax in the warm water and tons of foam when suddenly someone knocked on the door again and again. At that moment, there was no way we were leaving the bathtub.
Finally we decided to get dressed and go to the door, but no one was there and we started to prepare for our Shabbat meal.
On our way out we saw that the waitress had left two plastic plates and plastic forks in the next open room, but, after all that, we did not want them anymore.
The Shabbat meal was very loud because a sheva brachot (the seven wedding blessings) ceremony was being held at the same time in the same room. So we ate quickly and went for a walk to finally rest a bit, close to the ocean.
The next day we had some breakfast and spent as many hours as we could enjoying the bright sun, sandy beach and still-warm sea.
If you choose to spend time at the beach during the day like we did, the hotel provides you with towels, which is super convenient so that you do not have to carry dirty, wet, personal towels back home, as most hotels do not let you take towels outside of the premises.
It wasn’t the best hotel we have ever stayed in, but we were positive and wanted to be together anyways and have fun – and the highlight of our visit was the time we spent together on the lovely beach.
We suggest you spend any day of the week at this hotel except for Saturday, especially if you observe Shabbat, since there’s no proper lunch and everything nearby is closed for the day. If you do need to stay over on Saturday, plan ahead and have enough food with you for a full day – there is a fridge in the room.
If you want a nice place to stay, this hotel should be perfect for you, as the rooms are nicely finished and comfortable. The bathroom lights may go on or off at any time, but in general it is enjoyable. Still, if you are searching for a luxurious experience, lower expectations might prove to be an asset here.
The writer was a guest of the hotel.