Author: Abigail Klein Leichman, ISRAEL21c
Now that the Covid-19 pandemic is most likely behind us, you can once again visit Israel for a vacation. But where should you stay?
Israel21c picked top new hotels and alternative recreational places that would deliver a truly extraordinary experience.
Here is the first part of the list:
1. A night at the cinema
Tel Aviv’s downtown Cinema Hotel is an 83-room boutique hotel in the Atlas chain. It’s located in an original Bauhaus building that housed the Esther Cinema in the 1930s.
The hotel’s unique design is complemented by some of the original projectors and movie posters. Classic movies are screened in the hotel lobby — with popcorn, of course — to heighten the nostalgic atmosphere. Free happy hour and bike rentals.
Address: 1 Zamenhoff St.
2. Fit for royalty
Scotland may come to mind when you think of lodging in a former castle, but this one is in Tiberias overlooking the Sea of Galilee. An authentically restored castle built in 1745 by the son of the Bedouin ruler of the Galilee, Dona Castle Boutique Hotel is located on a colorful street named for Dona Gracia Mendes Nasi, a 16th-century Portuguese Jewish businesswoman who helped build up Tiberias.
Originally, the citadel was connected to the Ottoman-era wall that surrounded the city. In 1837, an earthquake damaged the castle, which was later rebuilt to house a Spanish school in 1925 and, more recently, an art gallery.
In 2007, the castle was converted into a boutique hotel and artist workshops. Its six suites are furnished in a hybrid ancient and modern style. You can have your breakfast served at the swimming pool or rooftop bar.
Address: 9 Dona Gracia St., Tiberias
3. Bed down in a bus
The Zimmerbus bed-and-breakfast was created by an Israeli couple in the Negev hilltop village of Ezuz in 2013, using repurposed buses. Zimmerbus offers three converted, air-conditioned vehicles (one for couples, two for up to five guests) covered with natural adobe and date-palm leaves and complemented with patios.
A recycling system using wastewater from the Zimmerbuses irrigates an organic orchard. There’s a chlorine-free swimming pool, ping-pong table and other amenities for children. Located an hour from Beersheva, Zimmerbus is still a family-run hospitality business.