Wondering where to stay in Israel? The 2019 guide to special accommodation in Israel

Hey guys
Booking a hotel or hostel in Israel is very easy to do, but I decided to make this video
for three reasons: First, the main complaint I hear from tourists
is that hotels in Israel are expensive. The average price is $240 per night. This is why for each area I’m going to point
out the luxury hotel, for which prices start at around $400 a night, the mid-range option,
for around $180 to $300 a night, and the best budget options, starting at $20 a night. The second reason is that when you sleep outside
the cities, in the Negev and the Galilee, you can try, and I recommend you do, different
kinds of accommodation, such as ‘Chavot Bodedim’, or ‘Airuach Kibbutzi’. I’ll talk about them in a minute. And the third reason is that, at the end of
the day, you spend quite a lot of time in your accommodation, and you pay a lot for
it, so it had better be good. By the way, my name is Oren and I am a professional
tour guide in Israel. I should mention that there are loads of great
hotels that didn’t make it onto this list, first, because I’d rather give three options,
as opposed to, say, eight, and, more importantly, I’ve focused on the special options and
not the good-but-standard hotels. I’ve already made videos about hotels and
hostels in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Judaean Desert so now I’ll just talk about them
briefly to give you an overview. Here I want to focus on hotels and hostels
in the Galilee and the Negev. All the places I’m going to mention (and
I will mention a lot of places) you can find in the post. I’ll leave the link down below. Let’s start with Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a complex city in every respect
except for accommodation. The city center is small and all options,
from five-star luxury hotels to hostels, are located within walking distance from the Old
City and the new city center. When deciding on your sleeping arrangements
in Jerusalem you also need to think about the Judaean Desert. You can see the main sites: Masada, Ein Gedi,
Qumran and the Dead Sea all in one day, as a day tour from Jerusalem or you can choose
to sleep there. In general, if you’re coming in winter,
when it is nice and warm in the desert, or if you like the desert scenery, I would recommend
sleeping there, but if you’re coming in summer or don’t have a lot of time, then
take a day tour to the Judaean Desert. In Tel Aviv you need to ask yourself how important
the beach is to you. If the answer is “very”, then choose a
hotel on the promenade: on HaYarkon Street or Herbert Samuel Street. In the inner neighborhoods there are great
boutique hotels. If the prices are too high than I don’t
have many mid-range hotels I can recommend, but a private room in a hostel is the best
option for those who don’t want to sleep in dorms. And now for the best part: accommodation in
the Negev Desert. The Negev Desert takes up 50% of Israel, so
there is a lot to cover. I’ll start in the north and work my way
down to the south. Although Be’er Sheva is considered to be
the capital of the Negev, skip it and head straight to the Sde Boker and Mitzpe Ramon
area. I always recommend Mitzpe Ramon, whether you’re
traveling in summer or winter, on a low or high budget, with or without a car. It’s a small town with a perfect location
right on the Ramon Crater, with all the facilities and activities that travelers need. If you want the best, then Beresheet Hotel
is the only option. A luxury hotel in the perfect location. Good mid-range options are the hotels IBIKE
and InnSence, both highly recommended. They have a clean modern design. There are three low-budget places I like to
recommend: Meever – A hostel located in a big hangar. They have various accommodation options, from
pitching a tent to domes to staying in really nice private mud huts. If you have a car then I can highly recommend
Silent Arrow. It’s located on the outskirts of Mitzpe
Ramon, a small place with private domes and dormitory tents. It’s a perfect budget option for those who
love the desert. The Green Backpacker is a small, very clean
and quiet hostel. It’s a great base for trekking in the Ramon
Crater. Located in a regular home, unlike Silent Arrow
or Meever, the advantage here is that if you’re unlucky with the weather (it can get very
cold in Mitzpe Ramon) you’re in a cozy apartment and don’t need to walk outside to get to
the showers. Another option is sleeping at havot bodedim
in this area of Sde Boker and Mitzpe Ramon. Havot bodedim literally means “lonesome
farms”. Most of the farms were established in the
nineties and are run by a single family that owns a lot of land (in Israel “a lot”
means more than a few hectares). Many of them grow wine grapes, olives or have
goats. Most of them have 2-3 zimmerim, or cabins. Personally, I really like them. The money goes to individual families and
you feel the desert as soon as you open the door. Many of them are located north of Mitzpe Ramon
so it’s about two hours’ drive from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Naot Farm is a really nice farm: unlike other
farms, which only have cabins, here they have what they call the tube hostel for budget
travelers. Succah in the Desert is an eco-farm. You need to arrive before it gets dark as
there are no lights. There is no cellphone reception either so
that you don’t have any distractions and can enjoy the real thing: the desert. Carmey Avdat is another great cozy cabin option
that I can recommend. Each cabin has an isolated location with views
of the vineyard. The next kind of accommodation I want to talk
about is sleeping in a special community. One day I’m going to write a post about
the subject, but for now I’ll just say this: in Israel, for various historical reasons,
there are many community-villages built around a political, ideological or ecological idea,
and on the way to Eilat there are some interesting communities offering accommodation. The rooms are usually quite basic. But you can walk around the village and in
some places they offer a short tour, sometimes for free and sometimes for something like
$7 dollars. Neot Smadar is a very special ecological kibbutz
or community. This is their art house. They offer basic accommodation Ktora is a kibbutz whose members mostly belong
to a Conservative Judaism movement. The rooms are simple and good but the focus
here is on the kibbutz. You’ll also get a short tour through this
unique community. Lotan is a kibbutz that belongs to the Reform
Judaism Movement and offers educational programs about permaculture and eco-life. They offer tours here too. Tzukim is a new village that focuses on art
and tourism. I love this place. There are loads of accommodation options,
of which I like to recommend the places I know: Desert Days and Midbara. But I think all the options here are good. Eretz Arava is the most luxurious cabin in
the area. And now we get to the end of the Negev, to
Eilat. I like the sea and the mountains but the hotels
get expensive and full during the summer and at weekends. Check out the prices and see for yourselves. The high-end hotels enjoy a beachfront location,
as you might expect, and offer all the luxury of grand hotels. The top hotels are Royal Beach, Dan and Herods. Of the mid-range options, my favorite is Isrotel
Yam Suf, which is close to the border with Egypt and would suit those who like to be
in nature and near the sea, but be aware that it’s harder to access without a car (it’s
about 3km from the city center). If you prefer a city hotel that offers good
value for money, then I can recommend Isrotel Agamim. A minute’s walk from the beach and you pay
half what you would for the first-rate hotels. And now that we’ve talked about the desert,
let’s talk about the Galilee. On the way to the north, in Zikhron Ya’akov,
there is a special art hotel called Elma. It’s a luxury art hotel, so if you’re
art fans you should definitely check it out. Another luxury option on the way to the north
is the Carmel Forest Spa Resort, just before Haifa. If you’re looking for a quiet, green place
to relax, this is it. In Haifa you pay much less than in Tel Aviv,
so you can spend the day in Tel Aviv and head north in the afternoon. I like to recommend Schumacher Hotel and the
Colony Hotel. Haifa hostel is a great budget option with
a great location. I really like Acre. The Old City of Acre is small but very interesting
and you have all the options you need. Hotel Afendi is the high-end option: a beautiful
house that has been renovated. For the mid-range there is the beautiful Arabesque
boutique hotel. And for budget travelers there is the Eco
Akko. I love all three options here. In the heart of the Galilee, in Nazareth,
I can only really recommend these budget to mid-range options in the Old City of Nazareth:
Fauzi Azar Hostel and Al Hakim Guest House. Otherwise there are some more guest houses
in the Old City. If you want to enjoy views over the Jezreel
Valley, I can recommend the Holiday Village Kibbutz Mizra. By far the best hotel around the Sea of Galilee
is a new luxury hotel called the Setai. Right on the shore. Kibbutz Ein Gev is a good resort with cabins
offering sea views. In Tiberias is the historical Scots Hotel,
while for those on a budget there is the Tiberias Hostel and David Hostel. In Tiberias you have all the car rental companies
so it’s a good place to get organized for a trip to the Galilee and Golan Heights, or
even continue to the Judaean Desert. The best luxury hotel in the Upper Galilee
is the Mizpe HaYamim organic spa resort. Galilon is a nice place located between the
Sea of Galilee and the sites further up north (Banias, Dan, the northern part of the Golan
Heights). Of the kibbutzim up north I like to recommend
Hagoshrim and the Pastoral Hotel at Kfar Blum. In the post you’ll see I’ve also written
about accommodation in the Golan Heights and you can find all the links there. If you find this video helpful, please book
your accommodation through the links in my internet site. You pay exactly the same but if it through
my site I’ll get a small commission, The only way for me to continue uploading content
is to ask you to purchase my booklets and book your hotels and hostels through my website. Again, You pay the same. That’s it, if you liked this video then please
share it and hit like. My next videos are going to be about the timeline
of the land of Israel, so subscribe and hit the bell. Don’t forget to tell me what you think in
the comments below. Yalla bye!

Paul Whisler


  1. Todah Rabah (תודה רבה) Oren, very useful information, thanks! 👍 ❤️ 🇮🇱

  2. Last July I stayed at the Dan Acadia in Herzliya for a 30 days. Next time I’m not going to stay out in Herzliya I plan on staying at the Abraham hostel.

  3. Could you do a video about car rental..I have an American Mastercard debit card which I use all over the U.S to rent cars but apparently this is a problem in Israel..I don't use credit cards. Does anyone allow debit cards for car rental in Israel? Toda Rabah

  4. Thank you for your info. Appreciate it greatly. Planning to visit next year and hope to join your group tour.😊

  5. As usual a very interesting and informative video. Are there public transportation between these sites. My wife and I, traveled once from Galilee to Tel Aviv, on a small van bus, it was very interesting but there was only one passenger that spoke English, and when he got off, we were confused about where we were and when we should get off. My wife and I were sitting directly behind the driver, and we learned quickly that comes with its own unique obligation of passing money back and forth between driver and the passengers, multiple times. Again interesting, but the language gap was pretty scary. Even though I've studied Hebrew, when over there things happen so fast, I couldn't begin to keep up. Again, I love your videos, and I recommend everyone buy your booklets, they are well priced and an absolute necessity. שלום

  6. Thanks for the tips! Do you have any tips for places to go with children? Mine are age 10 and I want to mix in some fun things to do with children between visiting some religious sites. For a small budget is best of course 🙂

  7. Hi there, I just found this channel and I subscribed and am currently making my way through the videos. Thank you for all the great information. I'm planning a trip to Israel right now and would love to hear more about the experience of renting a car and driving around the country independently. Where can I drive? Where could I not? One online source said Nazareth may be off limits. It sounds like certain areas in the westbank are off-limits, but would I be able to drive from the Sea of Galilee down to the Dead Sea through the west bank? Thanks

  8. Shalom Oren. Thanks for your great videos. We are two couples who have traveled to Israel on our own, renting cars and booking accommodations different ways for 10 years.
    Now we are finding it more and more expensive and are looking for very cheap ways to sleep for for about 5 days at a time.
    We have found hostels with double rooms in Jerusalem and Jaffa. But really is 250-300 NIS pr. person pr. night the cheapest possible? Have you any other ideas?
    Thanks again for the videos. 😊

  9. Oren, I am trying to buy your booklets but your site is down. Can you please let me know how to go about this? Thanks, Alex F.

  10. I'm a new subscriber,
    appreciate all the info.
    Debit cards are not accepted at all in Israel?
    also , is it possible to hire a car and driver outside the cities to see a few biblical sites?
    I don't want the usual tourist sites, I like markets and food and intermingle with local people.

  11. I enjoy your videos. I will traveling to Israel in October and will be there for 28 days. These videos are a great help, thank you.

  12. You Vida are great and we come to your wonderful home many times.
    Back in March 2020 and want to join your tours.
    Thank you

  13. Oren, in the old city there is a couple who have extensive archaeological work below their home ? I think they could be called Sven's or something like that, I have tried to find them so many times with no luck and want to go so much.
    Can you help me.

  14. We ve got your booklets+ a round ticket flight+reservations at Abraham Hostel, we'll be arriving on December the 23rd. We are not going to Rent a car, but can se still Made it with a debit card for paying other services?

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