Israel Travel


Staff Writer
01/24/2011 - 19:00

Birders To Converge
On Eilat

Gearing Up For ’11, And Adding Perks

Special To The Jewish Week
01/24/2011 - 19:00

2010 was record year
for tourism to Israel, with nearly 3.5 million foreign travelers coming to the Jewish state, and the Israeli hotel industry is hoping for a repeat performance in 2011. In fact, many major hotels are in the midst of upgrading their rooms and services in order to lure new visitors from North America during the ’11 tourist season.

Here is a roundup of what some of the top hotels in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and beyond are offering guests.



The Boutique Difference

Growing number of intimate, arty hotels offer variety of experiences.
Special To The Jewish Week
01/24/2011 - 19:00

One transformed a neglectED
Bauhaus-style Tel Aviv building that was the home of the old Esther Cinema. Another, in the mystical city of Safed, is built upon ancient Roman foundations. Still another showcases the work of local Israeli artists.

The lobby of the Cinema Hotel, top, complete with an old film projector. Above, the West Tamares Hotel in North Tel Aviv.

My House Is Your House

Home exchanges and ‘couch surfing’ are growing, and cheaper, travel alternatives for those who want to see Israel like a local.
Special To The Jewish Week
01/24/2011 - 19:00

Every summer when
she was a little girl, Lior Student and her family swapped their Mediterranean beachside house for an apartment nestled inside the walls of the Jerusalem Old City’s Jewish Quarter.

“To this day — and you have to understand I come from a secular family — that was my first experience with religious kids,” Student said. “I got to know the religious quarter by heart. My parents sent us to buy pitas from the Arabs in the market.”

Israel Home Exchange founder Lior Student’s Tel Aviv apartment.. Courtesy of Lior Student

Israel Travel January 2011

Jerusalem: The new capital of cool. Plus: apartment swaps for the cost-conscious traveler, boutique hotels spreading, and more.
01/24/2011 - 19:00
Israel Travel January, 2011

El Al Seeing Growth

Staff Writer
11/22/2010 - 19:00

El Al Israel Airlines
witnessed a 10 percent increase in passengers during the first half of this year compared to last year due in part to an improving economy and a feeling of security in Israel, according to its new president, Elyezer Shkedy.

“There is an understanding that Israel is becoming more and more of an attractive land for the Jewish people, for Christians and Muslims all around the world,” he said

El Al’s new president, Elyezer Shkedy.

Rimonim’s Local Flavor

Hotels in No. 5 chain ‘tell a different story.’
Staff Writer
11/22/2010 - 19:00

Although Rimonim Hotels
and Resorts is Israel’s fifth largest hotel chain, many of its nine hotels are small enough to capture their location’s local flavor.

The Ruth Rimonim in Safed.

Vacations For Body And Soul

‘Urban’ and ‘day’ spas moving beyond the Dead Sea experience.
Special To The Jewish Week
11/22/2010 - 19:00

Agrowing demand for
vacation activities that revitalize the body and stimulate the soul is spurring a revolution across Israel’s hotel and spa industry. While the Dead Sea continues to lure tourists to its natural wonders, hotel spas in the region and across Israel have tweaked their services to address the changing lifestyles of local and foreign tourists.

Facial treatment at the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel spa.

Onward Christian Tourists

As foreign tourism increases, new Israeli focus on Christian and general markets in U.S.
Staff Writer
11/22/2010 - 19:00

Haim Gutin, who recently became Israel’s tourism commissioner for North and South America, has been with the Tourism Ministry since 1982. He previously served here as consul for Tourism, director of the Israel Government Tourist Office in the northeastern U.S. and acting tourism commissioner for North America. He spoke with The Jewish Week last week about where Israel’s tourist industry stands on the cusp of a new year.

Jewish Week: We’re hearing from visitors to Israel that the streets and hotels are packed with tourists. What are the latest figures?

Haim Gutin, Israel’s tourism commissioner for North and South America.

Northern Exposure

More Israelis are discovering the charms of easy-to-overlook Nazareth.
Israel Correspondent
11/22/2010 - 19:00

I never wrote the story, but I was surprised to find in Nazareth’s Old City a charming guest house, a cozy pub and a cosmopolitan feel that left me with the feeling that something was afoot in the largest Arab city in Israel.

Ever since, when hanging a right-hand turn at the T intersection on Highway 65 outside of Afula en route to the Upper Galilee, I would get a momentary urge to go left toward the ascent to the city that is known worldwide as the childhood home of Jesus.

Church of the Annunciation courtyard, above. Arched windows of Al-Mutran Guest House.
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