Monday, September 3, 2018

An Overnight Stay in Netanya – Mediterre Hotel and Vitkin Winery

Sometimes all we need is a short one night getaway. There is no need to go far anymore, as there are so many good hotels and attractions right around the corner. With this idea, we came to Mediterre for a short summer retreat of one night, enjoyed the beach and a short trip to the Turtle Bridge and the nearby Vitkin Winery.

Mediterre Hotel
Meditrre Hotel is a new stylish boutique hotel in Netanya. The hotel, situated in the northern part of Netanya overlooks the beach. The 60 rooms of the hotel spread over seven floors, many of them have a balcony and some face the beach. All Mediterre rooms are pampering and very spacious. Among other things, the hotel offers family rooms, double rooms, single, business and more. In addition, four luxurious suites were built with a private spa in each (this sounds fantastic for the winter!).
As we entered the hotel, we immediately noticed the luxurious décor combining white, grey and black marble, extravagant chandeliers, and blue and white furniture. The corridor to the elevators had stylish iron doors and a lighted glass mosaic inspired by the sea shapes and tones, with facing mirrors that reflected, making it a visual art exhibit of waves.

Our Room – A Panoramic de Luxe room
Our room was a Panoramic deluxe room located on the fourth floor. As we walked into the room our jaws slipped. The room had two panoramic glass walls – one facing north to the promenade and one facing west to the Mediterranean with a balcony. It was full of light and the coastline and sea was visible everywhere! In the evening we watched the sunset from bed and enjoyed the sea breeze on the balcony.

The room had a king size bed, a desk, and a seating area separated by a semi-transparent natural bamboo screen. The décor of the room was inspired by the sea with shades of blue and sea related elements. The décor follows the sea motif – a seaside vacation!

Like the room, the bathroom was spacious too and had a full bath with a rain shower, extra terry bath towels and robes, and Bvlgari toiletries. The room was equipped with a huge closet, fine soft linen, an espresso machine, mini bar, safe deposit box with a power outlet, climate control and flat screen TVs. It is clearly ready for longer stays.

We were told that the bathroom has an under-floor heating system and that the photographs on the walls are by the top-ranked landscape photo artist – Edward Stern.
While the hotel does not yet have a pool and spa, we were told that they are in the process of obtaining access for hotel guests to the building’s swimming pool. They do offer in-room spa treatments and a complimentary package of sunshade and beach chairs at the nearby Tamnoon beach. We took advantage of this and walked to the beach, located across the street from the hotel. On our way we got a voucher for the sunshade, chairs and beach towels. The beach is very close but it is not accessible - it requires descending (and then climbing) a descent amount of stairs. However, it is beautiful and has a lifeguard on duty during the day time. We caught some waves and rested, and found there showers and restaurants.

Medittere has an active dining room. Stays are based on bed-and-breakfast, which is very good and includes a generous buffet featuring salads, fish, cheese, pastries and eggs by order, and coffee served to the table. On Saturdays and holidays they also offer dinner.

On weekdays, one can eat at the lobby restaurant, which is called “The Butler”. That’s what we did. The menu here is dairy and includes a fair amount of salads, sandwiches, pastas and fish. We started with very tasty bread and dips; had salads, ravioli, gnocchi and desserts. The food is made well and is moderately priced.

Vitkin Winery and the Turtle Bridge Observatory
A few miles north of the hotel, which is located in the northern part of Netanya, there are two worthwhile attractions – Vitkin Winery and the Turtle Bridge.
Vitkin Winery is one of the leading wineries in Israel in terms of innovation. The winery was established in 2001 by Doron and Sharona Blogolovsky and Asaf Paz, Sharona’s brother, and has promoted Mediterranean varieties such as Caringnan, Cabernet Franc and Petite Sirah. Following the success of the winery in making fine Mediterranean wines, the road was paved for the whole industry! The winery makes each year 100,000 bottles of fine wines in four series that won medals and prizes and is environment friendly.
The winery visitor center is large and includes a wine shop and seating areas including a private tasting room. It is open on weekdays for tasting. On special occasions (Fridays, before holidays, and more) they throw here events, which include a kosher inexpensive catering. We visited the winery during the harvest season and had an opportunity to see wine making in process, as well as tasting the grapes and some of the grape juice. We loved the wines! I highly recommend the red Israeli Journey special edition that is sold for less than NIS 100. They also have some excellent wine deals and holiday gift boxes for Rosh Hashana.

If you are already in Vitkin Winery, walk a few steps to the adjacent turtle bridge on Alexander River. It is the habitat of the largest community of giant turtles in Israel. There is a groomed park here and a small riverside promenade where you can watch the big black and white dotted turtles. Do not feed or touch them, please; not only that they bite, this is not healthy for them.

Practical Information
Mediterre Hotel, 20 Sderot Nitsa, Netanya, Tel: +972-9-973-7333, Kosher.
Vitkin Winery, Kfar Vitkin, Turtle Bridge road, near Alexander stream. Tel: +972-9-866-3505,, Kosher.
Disclosure: the writer was a guest of Hotel Mediterre and Vitkin Winery.

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