One of the earliest Sukkot holidays in memory has major Israeli hotels scrambling to put together special packages and offer amenities to the thousands of American couples and families who travel to Israel for the harvest festival.
The Rimonim Hotel chain, which has several facilities in the Galilee region, is offering experiences for body and soul in Safed. Near the Sea of Galilee, the city is a spiritual oasis (it’s noted for its ancient ties to Kabbalah) filled with art galleries. Says Yossi Moshe, the Ruth Rimonim Safed’s general manager: “We want you to let your soul breathe amid the mystic, romantic and spiritual atmosphere that envelops Safed.” The boutique hotel has added outdoor patios and will feature guitar and saxophone recitals in its gardens. Yoga, wine tastings and tours of the city’s colorful alleys and art galleries are also available.
Less than 20 minutes from Safed, the Rimonim Galei Kinereth Hotel is located on the banks of the Kinneret and offers a sense of serenity for Sukkot. Nadav Bracha, the hotel’s general manager of Galei Kinereth says, “The hotel’s renowned cuisine will be served in the main Sukkah, which faces the sea and the Golan Heights.” A spa with its domed jacuzzi overlooking the sea and access to the swimming pool, private beach and gardens are all part of the mood of relaxation the hotel is striving for.
Jerusalem’s Old City is always a draw for Sukkot, and several upscale hotels offer impressive sukkahs, haute cuisine and easy access to the nearby Western Wall.
“When you come to Jerusalem for the holiday, you are not just celebrating just anywhere,” says Medina Pearl, the David Citadel Hotel’s public relations director. “We are able to offer couples and families a suite featuring their own private Sukkah porch, with spectacular views of the Old City, or offer our other guests a meal in the hotel’s rooftop sukkah — these are once-in-a-lifetime experiences.”
For couples and families seeking a Mediterranean-accented holiday in cosmopolitan Tel Aviv, the Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel offers guests a seaside Sukkot agenda. The hotel has recently renovated its outdoor pool, and its terrace sukkah overlooks the beachfront promenade, where, says the hotel’s public relations manager Jane Yacoubzadi, “tourists mix with the locals and there’s always a buzz.”
Here’s a brief rundown of some various Sukkot packages:
*Rimonim Hotels (www.Rimonim.com)
Sukkot rates for Rimonim Galei Kinereth start from $172 per person in a double room. At the Rimonim Ruth Safed, a boutique hotel located adjacent to the town’s renowned artists colony and historical synagogues, rooms start at $125 per person in a double room. Minimum stays apply.
*David Citadel Hotel (www.thedavidcitadel.com)
The posh Jerusalem facility is also offering a variety of four-, eight- and 10-night packages during Sukkot. The eight-night package (Sept. 18-26), which also includes six holiday meals per person, starts from $5,680 for double occupancy and $4,680 for a single room. Children’s rates start from $1,070 (ages 3-18).
*Inbal Jerusalem Hotel (www.inbalhotel.com)
The Inbal Jerusalem has been lauded for its sukkah and superb cuisine served up by Executive Chef Moti Buchbut. The hotel is offering three packages based on length of stay. The 10-night package (Sept. 18-28), which includes breakfast and eight holiday meals per person, starts from $6,575 for double occupancy and $5,438 for single occupancy. ties.
*Dan Hotels (www.danhotels.com)
The Dan Boutique Jerusalem is offering special Sukkot rates without minimum night requirements. Single room rates start from $218 per night; doubles from $228 per night. At the Dan Panorama Tel Aviv, located directly across from the beach and in walking distance to historical Jaffa, rates start from $226 for a Double Deluxe room and $218 and $213 for a Single Deluxe Room. ◆