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Hotel/lodging near Masada

nj
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Hotel/lodging near Masada

I'm very excited about planning our first trip to Israel next February and this forum has been very helpful with ideas and suggestions. I wonder if I could get some specific advice from the experts here on a choice of lodging near Masada. We will have a rental car and my plan is to drive from the Sea of Galilee area to the area near Masada, stay overnight, then hike up Masada early morning. We are NOT interested in seeing the Dead Sea per se as we will be going to Jordan after this trip and will see the Dead Sea from there, so our lodging near Masada does not need to be on or near the Dead Sea. I have been confused by the hotel ratings and reports; most hotels seem to have numerous negative reviews.

Basically we want to be somewhere we can get a good night's sleep in a quiet and comfortable room and have good food. We don't like buffet dinners if we can help it, buffets for breakfast are fine. We don't need a pool either. My price range is typically around $200-250, but if necessary we could pay more for this one night if that is the best option. I wondered about staying in Arad, as the walk up to Masada is shorter, but this would mean our drive from Galilee would take longer.

I would be most appreciative of any help and advice you could provide.

Thank you.

Susan

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1. Re: Hotel/lodging near Masada

There are no hotels near Masada -- it is in a very barren and rather isolated region of the Judean Desert. There is a very well thought of youth hostel there that gets good views. It is a hostel, but you can get private rooms, and it's apparently high standard compared to what many think of when they hear "hostel." I have not stayed there, though. I have stayed at the Kibbutz Ein Gedi resort about 15 minutes away, and the arugot level rooms are quite nice. It's a lovely place with a world-renowned botanical gardens. The food is buffet, though.

There are no restaurants around there -- again, it's a desert. The closest traditional hotels would be in Ein Bokek on the southern end of the Dead Sea, but that's far. For one night, I would do the hostel or Ein Gedi, which is more upscale.

Douglas Duckett

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2. Re: Hotel/lodging near Masada

The youth hostel at Masada is a wonderful choice, private, comfortable rooms. Each room also has a mini-fridge, TV, private bath, etc. and electric kettle. Breakfast is included (as in most hotels and hostels in Israel). Based on personal experience - the hostel is pleasant, comfortable and a good option.

www.iyha.org.il/eng/Index.asp…

You can either have dinner on the way south, before you get there or order dinner there. As Douglass mentioned - your other option is the Ein Gedi guest house - a short drive away.

Part of this decision is dependant on what you mean when you say you want to hike up Masada early morning. If you want to hike up very early (before it gets hot) and see the sunrise from the top of Masada then you will want to hike up the snake path. This route opens for hikers one hour before sunrise. In this case you will want to stay either at the hostel or Ein Gedi.

If not, then you can stay in Arad (and yes, your drive will be much longer). You then walk up the Roman battery - this option is available only at the regular opening time, 8am. It also means that you will have to go down the same way in order to return to your car and will not have the option of taking the cable car down.

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3. Re: Hotel/lodging near Masada

Dinner at Ein Gedi's guest house is buffet style. You could stay at the Masada hostel and drive to Ein Bokek for dinner at one of the hotels. Or you could stay the night there. It is really not that far from Ein Bokek to Masada, about 15 km on the highway. It's about the same distance to Masada as Ein Gedi, in the other directions. I've stayed at the Crowne Plaza a couple of times and was quite satisfied. Sometimes they require a minimum 2 or 3 night stay, depending on how their sales are going. Their dining room is buffet style for dinner but they have a fairly new restaurant that got some good reviews on TA.

As for staying in Arad, I would also take into consideration where you are going after Masada. If to Tel Aviv or Eilat, it's about the same from either side of Masada. To Jerusalem, the eastern side is much closer.

The Ein Gedi nature reserve is a very nice hike, up to waterfalls with hyrax and ibex wandering around. You could stop on your way from the north, or after going up Masada, if you are using the snake path.

Israel
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4. Re: Hotel/lodging near Masada

Coming from the north to Masada via Arad may not be longer than taking road 6 from Yokneam to Kiryat Gat and continuing south on 40. So that should be taken into consideration when deciding which side to climb up. The western side is the perfect solution for those who would like to climb up but cannot/don't want to walk up the snake or running paths. There are some hotels in Arad as well as a hostel. If you decide to go up from the east then the Masada hostel if perfect, or one of the hotels in Ein Bokek.

Chana

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5. Re: Hotel/lodging near Masada

I concur with everything Douglas wrote. Ein Gedi (arugot rooms are really nicely done, and the grounds are a lovely and green oasis in the barren desert) or the Masada Youth Hostel are your best bets. Arad may have some lodging options, but it is a town rather lacking in charm.

I have stayed in Ein Gedi and even though the dinner is served buffet style, the food is well-prepared and tasty.

Just be sure to avoid the restaurant at the Ein Gedi Spa -- awful cafeteria fare.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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6. Re: Hotel/lodging near Masada

Amen to that, IndigoGirl!

And I am sorry for the error on Ein Bokek's distance -- I was thinking it was farther. But point made -- compared to distances that Americans are used to driving, it's not far however you cut it!

Douglas Duckett

7. Re: Hotel/lodging near Masada

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