Hard to part with Yam Suf

Yam Suf Hotel 88 248 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Yam Suf Hotel 88 248
(photo credit: Courtesy)
On shore leave without our three young children for two nights, my husband and I were eager to get away from it all, and this included most other people and especially their children. Isrotel's Yam Suf Hotel (formerly the Ambassador) fit the bill. Located on the Coral Beach side of Eilat, it is far from the madding crowds one so associates with the resort town and its booming hotel industry. Instead, the Yam Suf Hotel, home of the Red Sea Sports Club, caters to divers and sportsmen eager to test their mettle in the surrounding sea and surf. Purchased by the Isrotel chain some two years ago, guests at the Yam Suf enjoy all of the chain's trademark elegance and kosher five-star cuisine in relaxation and relative isolation. (Interestingly, instead of capitalizing on this and marketing to hermits like us, the PR material pushed the hotel as a perfect family vacation, complete with a new kids' recreation center and fun pools for the whole family.) There are several types of rooms; we were given one with a balcony and stunning sea view. (A word of warning: Smoking is prohibited in the rooms, so unfortunately the balcony refuge at times becomes a smokers' gallery.) But the room itself, perfectly climate controlled at your personal whim and complete with a table for two and love seat for lounging, was the true oasis as we spent two nights on the king-sized bed and luxuriating in steamy hot showers. Foggy thoughts, "Too bad we're still in Israel, otherwise I'd take three showers a day," were entertained, but the chain itself keeps you on your environmental toes and asks guests to conserve water by not unnecessarily exchanging towels. The dining room was staffed with a mob of pre- and post-army youth, as is the norm in Eilat. This particular team, however, seemed better trained and managed than most venues. Shabbat dinner was a highlight, with some half-dozen assorted meats, two soups and innumerable salads and desserts. But my favorite hotel meal always was and will be breakfast. Aside from the various fresh salads and fruits, cheese and fish assortments, the staff also served hot options (made the day before) such as traditional Yemenite jachnun and egg dishes. With a pitcher of hot water on each table and a carafe of coffee making the rounds as well, could there be a more pleasant way to start the day? If time permits lounging by the pool, be on the lookout for the fabulous rocking chairs. At the end of our stay, I was hard-pressed to get out of mine and part with the Red Sea. The writer was a guest of Isrotel Yam Suf.