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Accomodation Tel Aviv

Melbourne, Australia
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Accomodation Tel Aviv

Not sure if any one can help me with this or not.

From the 23rd of Nov to 4 of Jan we are spending 2 weeks in Israel and 4 weeks in Europe.

Accommodation wise for the whole trip we do not really care if it is 5 star ect but as long as it is clean and in a good part of town we are happy.

We are doing a tour of Israel from Sunday the 30th to Sunday the 7th of December. We are looking at booking 2 nights pre tour and 3 nights post tour accommodation.

The company we have booked our tour through has suggested the Hotel Gilgal in Tel Aviv

Is this a good Hotel and in a good area?

I also have 3 booking options

All calculated at 1 room x 2 Adults and 1 room x 1 Adult for 2 nights.

1. Tour Company total is AUD $1928

2. Bookings.com total is AUD $652 ($610 USD)

3. Hotel Gilgal $610 (I assume this price is USD)

As you can see there is a big difference between the tour company and the other 2 options.

My questions are if I book direct or with bookings.com is there any hidden costs, taxes ect that I should expect?

I get the warning on bookings.com that "Please note that there is a 18% VAT for Israeli citizens. This tax is not included in the total price". If I have understood this correctly (I am a Graduate Accountant in Australia it would be bad if I have it wrong lol) I just have to prove I am not Israeli to avoid paying the tax?

Also I am looking at possible booking some of the accommodation for Europe with bookings.com has anyone had any experience (good or bad) with Bookings.com?

Thanks in Advance

Tel Aviv, Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
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1. Re: Accomodation Tel Aviv

The Gilgal Hotel is a simple 3-star property located in central Tel Aviv, a couple of blocks from the beach. It's certainly not a deluxe property, but if all you're looking for is a clean place to stay in a central location, the Gilgal Hotel should be fine.

Concerning the VAT exemption, all you need to do is show your Australian passport and provide your overseas address at check-in to qualify.

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
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2. Re: Accomodation Tel Aviv

Certainly don't pay the tour companies prices for the Gilgal. You might want to check out some of the other hotels such as Shalom and Relax, Centre Hotel, Cinema Hotel, Orchid Park Plaza, City Hotel all of which are not 5 star, are in great locations offering great access to tourist sites and services and are all clean and comfortable hotels.

I have used booking.com many times with no problems however, if the price is the same, book directly with the hotel as you are more likely to get upgraded and cancellations are easier.

Tel Aviv, Israel
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for Israel
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3. Re: Accomodation Tel Aviv

The Atlas Group properties mentioned above are all likely to cost more than the Gilgal Hotel. If your budget allows for them, the best of the bunch (and well located) are the Shalom and Relax and the Melody Hotel. Both of these properties are located directly opposite the Tel Aviv Hilton and a nice neighborhood in north Tel Aviv. From either you can walk easily to the beach and to the Tel Aviv Port entertainment district as well.

Gippsland, Australia
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for Jerusalem
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4. Re: Accomodation Tel Aviv

We have used booking.com often, (it's my favourite site for booking hotel accommodation) and have always used it when travelling in Israel. The cost you are quoted is what you pay with no hidden costs. BUT when booking a hotel in Israel it is the price that you are given on the day you book in US dollars. So even if you set your options to Australian dollars you need to take note of the cost on the day you book in US dollars because our exchange rate against the US dollar fluctuates. There might be a fluctuation up or down, just a little from the price you pay on the day because our exchange rate alters against the US dollar.

Definitely don't book through the tour company. :). We have always got a much better rate going through booking.com than any quote we have received via an agency.

Israeli VAT is not included in the price you are quoted in booking,com. When you pay your hotel bill at the end of your stay have your passport and visa (you get this on arrival in Israel) with you and you won't get charged VAT. Sometimes you have to show your passport and visa on arrival at the hotel.

To save a little extra... If you have your evening meal at your hotel and have that charged to your hotel bill account you will also not pay VAT on your meals. :). The amount saved can mount up by the end of two weeks or so. :)

israel
Destination Expert
for Tel Aviv, Galilee, Israel
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62 reviews
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5. Re: Accomodation Tel Aviv

The hotels anmejoshme mentioned are nice and well located. Eating your dinner at the hotel might save some money (not sure) but the food is a very standard buffet. If you eat out it is up to you how much you spend and what kind of food you eat. Breakfast at the hotel is much, much better. I have used booking.com many times, also booked directly with hotels. I suggest you search the forum for a travel agent named Chantal that provides better prices.

USA
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6. Re: Accomodation Tel Aviv

We had Chantal book for us. She was generally able to get a better price than we could get on line. The savings were not enormous -- but any savings is good, right? And she was responsive and easy to deal with. (She does not deal with every accommodation -- especially zimmers, etc. -- so some places we booked ourselves).

israel
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for Tel Aviv, Galilee, Israel
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7. Re: Accomodation Tel Aviv

Could you share Chantal details?

USA
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8. Re: Accomodation Tel Aviv

You can call Chantal from the US at (866) 383-6130 (it is a US toll free number, but mind the time difference, as she is in Israel) or email regent@actcom.co.il

NYC/Israel
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for Israel
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9. Re: Accomodation Tel Aviv

Someone else tried to book a less expensive accommodations and she didn't handle them. I do not know if she handles the Gilgal our not--there is no reason not to use booking.com.

BTW EVERY hotel will require you to show your tourist VISA to check in and avoid VAT. An overseas address is NOT sufficient. ( many Israelis have dual citizenship and could show a foreign passport and provide an overseas address--but they still pay VAT, without the tourist VISA)

10. Re: Accomodation Tel Aviv

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