Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Giladi Hotel – an all around vacation for the entire family

Situated on the slopes of the Naftali Mountains and overlooking the valley, Giladi hotel has all needed comforts for a perfect family vacation. It has refurbished lobby and rooms, green lawns, a heated pool, a spa with a Finnish sauna, great food and stunning views!

Over 20 years ago, I stayed at Giladi Hotel for a few nights on a business trip. Already then, I marked it as a particularly good hotel. I remember the excellent location and as a swimming enthusiast – the semi Olympic heated pool with the extensive opening hours. Since then, it has undergone major developments and has become a stylish Kibbutz hotel.

Giladi Hotel is a hotel for the entire family – suitable for a family vacation but also for couples and seniors. The hotel has a wide offering of different ​​rooms, including double rooms, family rooms, suites and more, immersed in green and with a great view.

We stayed at one of the new executive suites which are great for families. The suites are about twice the size of a standard room; they have a separation door to the bedroom, two 3/4 bathrooms, each including a shower, sink and toilet, and a balcony facing valley views. In terms of amenities there is a desk, a refrigerator, an espresso machine, two TVs, free WIFI and a safe deposit box. I do not have enough words to describe the comfort of the suite and the big advantage of having two bathrooms.

The extensive opening hours of the heated pool allows starting the day with a swim or making use of the evening hours after a trip to play in the pool. Next to the pool there is a well-equipped gym and a recreation area with table tennis, foosball and a kids club. There is also an outdoor seasonal pool. On weekends and holidays the hotel offers activities for children such as making challah, movies, tours to the zoo and kibbutz barn, lantern tours and more.

The hotel is also great for rest and relaxation - green areas of the hotel are dotted with seating areas and hammocks and adults can also enjoy the spa that is furnished with a resting room and a Finnish sauna. There are a variety of massages and I must note favorably Ina, the massagist who has a great touch.

Hotel Giladi has a beautiful terrace with a wooden deck that allows for a spectacular view of the area. The terrace is especially suitable for small groups or families for a cocktail or for a yoga class. The hotel has large modular conference halls and it is also possible to hold events in the historic basalt buildings founders’ house and cow barn built in 1918.

The hotel serves rich buffet-style breakfasts. A selection of cheeses, warm dishes, and treats such as pizza, pancakes, cakes and desserts, and fine coffee prepared on the spot.  A double omelets post shortens the waiting time.  Dinners are especially varied and the food is delicious. Beyond dishes like Asado, beef, chicken, fish of several kinds there are also dishes like Persian rice with dill and other surprises that made the meal especially good. Beyond the half-board option, dairy dishes are served in the hotel's lobby bar. We ate there one evening and admired the culinary quality. There is also a selection of drinks, cocktails and juices such as carrot juice, apples and oranges prepared on site in a cold press juicer.

The location of the hotel is excellent, firstly because of the abundance of sites in the kibbutz itself and the great view, but also because of the proximity to sites in the Galilee, Golan and the valley as well as the Israel Trail. We enjoyed that when we went to the Hula lake sunrise wagon tour and were able to get back straight for breakfast and a rest in the room. The hotel offers many activities for children as well as adults. Many attractions and historical sites are located in Kfar Giladi, most of which are across the street from the hotel.

Historical sites

The highlight of the kibbutz tour is the weapons stash, which is the largest in the country! Beneath the workshop is a small hidden opening through which one enters a steep ladder into a room full of weapons that is authentically preserved as it was during its activity. The entrance and explanations are exciting and fascinating for the entire family! In my opinion the visit is a must! There were about 22 stashes in the kibbutz but only 18 were found. The story of the Stashes' discovery is fascinating, especially when told by the kibbutz members who accompany it with their personal experiences.

Beit Hashomer is a small and lovable museum with exhibits and videos. You can take a self-guided tour inside and go up to top level viewpoint of the museum. However, it is best to coordinate a guide that explains the background a little more. Kfar Giladi was established by members of Hashomer. The kibbutz was one of the first to settle in the area and supported the Jewish settlement in the area. Jewish immigrants were hidden here during the British mandate until they settled in their localities. The tour of Beit Hashomer provides the background for a visit to weapon stash, so it is worth visiting it earlier.

After visiting these two sites you can continue to wander the "Henhouse lane". The lane features boutique shops and cafes, among them Safra Ceramics, second-hand books and records shop, jewelry and accessories, and "Ronex" eyewear boutique.

Roni Dori’s love of art and passion for eyewear has manifested in a unique art studio, Ronex, in which she decorates glasses. Each pair of glasses is handcrafted by her into a unique piece of art. If you are excited about Kusama’s exhibition, you’ll be excited to see Roni’s special Kusama collection in the museum store and to go to her Ronex’s website to pick a pair of unique glasses. Roni’s shop is a heaven for fashion lovers and you’ll probably leave it full of excitement and armed with a new look, as I did.

Ronex, https://www.ronidorironex.com/, 052-474-7771

Kfar Giladi Hotel, https://www.giladi-hotel.co.il/, 04-690-0000

Disclosure: the writer was a guest of the local businesses mentioned in the article.

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