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Top or bottom of Mt. Carmel

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montana
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Top or bottom of Mt. Carmel

We are coming to Haifa in the Spring 2008 and can't decide whether to stay at the top of the mountain - Dan Gardens or the bottom - Port Inn. Which of these 2 is less touristy - more real Haifa? Which is closer to good simple eateries for evening meal ?Also - if we stay at the bottom will we have train noise all night ?

Israel
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1. Re: Top or bottom of Mt. Carmel

The Dan's location is a much nicer area of Haifa. Port Inn or in its Hebrew name "Pundak Hanamal", is near the enterance of the port and you might find it pretty unpleasant in the evening. The train will be the least of your problems if you decide to stay there. I think that the Port Inn is a guest House suited for the younger travellers, mostly backpackers.

I am aware that they receive pretty good reviews, but still I would definitely advise you to choose the Dan's location: Lots of restaurants and shops. And many citizens of Haifa who live around the area.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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2. Re: Top or bottom of Mt. Carmel

I second Erirya's response in toto. Plus the view from the top of Mount Carmel is breathtaking! Trust me -- you'll kick yourself if you miss it. And there are some inexpensive eaterie choices nearby.

Enjoy one of my favorite cities in the world!

Douglas Duckett

Tel Aviv, Israel
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3. Re: Top or bottom of Mt. Carmel

I would strongly advise you against staying in the downtown

area. First of all as of 5-6 in the afternoon everything closes down and it becomes sort of a ghost town. I am not sure how many of the eateries are open at night. The third reason is that its not pleasant to walk in that area at night. The train does go through most of the night and in order to do sightseeing in Haifa and the surrounding areas, downtown is not really the best place. If the only reason you ponder between the two options is money, I would still say its worth to pay a bit more and stay in the Dan Gardens and not downtown.

Lexington, Kentucky
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4. Re: Top or bottom of Mt. Carmel

Just a "head's-up": We were booked at the Dan Gardens in Haifa, and had already paid and received our voucher weeks and weeks before, but they sent us a fax the day before we were to be there, saying that they had overbooked and were "upgrading" us to the Dan Panorama.

I have "upgrade" in quotes, because we thought the DanPan really stunk.

I don't know how to avoid this situation--truthfully, I've never heard of it happening with a hotel.

More on hotels later ... if we ever get out of the Newark airport!

california
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5. Re: Top or bottom of Mt. Carmel

I hope you expressed your displeasure about this. Even now, it's worth complaining--maybe they'll offer you a free night in one of their hotels on your next Israel trip as compensation.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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6. Re: Top or bottom of Mt. Carmel

Jan, I am certainly not trying to talk you into liking the Dan Panorama, but it is quite a bit more expensive than the Dan Gardens, so from their perspective they are viewing it as an "upgrade." I've never stayed at the Dan Panorama, but what did you not like about it?

Douglas Duckett

Illinois
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7. Re: Top or bottom of Mt. Carmel

I vote for the top of the mountain. We stayed at the Dan Gardens for several days this summer and the view was possibly one of the most amazing I've ever seen. Not only that, but you have more eating possibilities than you can ever imagine for eating right around the corner - fast, leisurely, simple, not-so-simple... The best meal we had in all Jerusalem was at the Asian restaurant a block or so from the Gardens, Tokai (not exactly simple but truly an exceptional meal).

Just remember that if you're staying at the Gardens you'll have lots of stairs to maneuver so pack light. Our commitment to one carry-on size rolling bag and one backpack per person served us well at that hotel.

The other issue with the Gardens is that, if you have a car, it's street parking only. We were nervous one evening to take the car sightseeing because we didn't think we'd find a parking place upon our return. We took the train down and a taxi back to avoid that problem. But still, it's a good hotel in a great location.

Arizona
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8. Re: Top or bottom of Mt. Carmel

Jan, I ran into the exact same problem at Dan Gardens -- but I missed the part about them paying for the 'upgrade' and stood my ground with all the cranky stubborness 22 hours on planes and sheruts could generate. I got to stay, in a tiny room, and it took Douglas and me weeks to nail down where the mix-up was. I always thought it was probably too bad I didn't take the upgrade, but maybe not. What didn't you like about the Dan Panorama?

Tel Aviv, Israel
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9. Re: Top or bottom of Mt. Carmel

I never heard complains about the Dan Panorama, I thought it was a better hotel (4 star) than the Dan Gardens. Its great location and the breakfast bufffet queite impressed me but I admit I never stayed there. So I would also like to know what caused the bad impression?

Lexington, Kentucky
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10. Re: Top or bottom of Mt. Carmel

I'm composing a post on all the hotels we stayed in, so I'll go into more details there, but briefly ...

The Dan Panorama to us was sort of like staying in a Holiday Inn or Howard Johnson's that had their same 1970s decor. It was very bland, and needed painting and upgrading and repairs and just general remodeling. It didn't have a speck of charm.

The worst part was that they had several mix-ups with us, and were downright rude .... and it wasn't the much-talked-about Israeli "prickliness" either, because we knew about that and had no problem with it. It was more that they were haughty and acting like we didn't deserve to stay there! It was quite bizarre.

Really, we are very easy-going, and not complainers; we thoroughly enjoyed all the other places we stayed, and reveled in their differences.

But if any of you reserve a room at the Dan Gardens and get bumped to the Dan Panorama ... try to find someplace else to stay! :-)

Cheers,

Jan

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