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“Terrific and relaxing resort”

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Carmel Forest Spa Resort by Isrotel Exclusive Collection
Ranked #6 of 28 Hotels in Haifa
Reviewed 15 July 2014

We spent 2 lovely days and nights in the Carmel Forest Spa Resort. It caters for total relaxation in a quiet spot in the middle of nature , without ringing phones and children. The service was for Israeli standards outstanding, The staff always friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. We had the Tzameret room on the 3rd floor which has a terrace and is well worth the extra pay.The rooms are not big, and the bathroom is quite small, but all the other extra's make up for it: A big inside and outside swimming pool, several rest areas where you read or contemplate in silence. A great spa and exercise room and beautiful gardens and surroundings, Good food and full board included in the price. The only problem we had ( repeatedly) was with the Isrotel call-center, making the reservation, waiting times, not calling back , not well informed,

Room Tip: The 3rd floor is very convenient, because the dining room and gym are one floor above it and the spa...
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank dieuwke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (629)
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Reviewed 14 July 2014

My wife and I were given a stay here as a wedding gift (luckily we stayed elsewhere for the actual honeymoon), and I have to say I couldn't wait to leave.

The place was difficult to find, the signage is worn and unclear in English, and looked as though there were an arrow pointing left, which brought us apparently to a service entrance. Fortunately my wife speaks Hebrew and we were able to find our way back. Upon entering the hotel I was extremely disappointed to find no staff hosts/greeters/bellman or anything of the kind. There were 2 people at their desks checking people in, but we were left to stand there as other guests arrived, vying for the next counter, as there was no discernible queue or order of any kind. After about 20 minutes of waiting, check-in went fine and we asked but were denied a slightly later checkout (on a Monday? In Israel?), which was fine, it was just a request I understand. Then, we asked where we might order some food, as my blood sugar was running low and it had taken us some time to find the hotel. We were told 'Lobby'...I assume they meant there was food service in part of the Lobby space, so we went to our rooms to drop our luggage, and my wife told me we were supposed to put the bath robes on to walk around the hotel(?), which I complied with. We proceeded to the lobby restaurant where an employee was behind the tea bar (a nice selection of complimentary teas...one nice touch), sat down, picked up menus, and made eye contact with her. She looked at us, and left the area, so we assumed she was temporarily busy and would be right back, as several other people were also sitting in the area and were eating. Ten minutes went by, and nobody came back, so I went...in my bathrobe...to the front desk area where I saw a many peeking out of what I later learned was a theater space, wearing a headphone, so I asked him if he could call for someone to come to the lobby dining space and take our order. He didn't make eye contact and curtly said 'ok'. Another 15 mins passed, and by this point I had enough. I walked down one floor...in my bathrobe...(luckily I had seen that the restaurant itself was listed on that floor on the elevator listing), and I opened the door, and made eye contact with several (at least 3) employees who were 'front of house' staff, as I was holding my menu, and tried to call them over. Finally, I had to walk halfway across the dining room to a young lady who brusquely said 'okay, okay, we coming,' and waved her hand away at me.

I returned to the lobby dining area...in my bathrobe...and I was quite furious at this point, though I didn't say anything, and the waitress neither apologized nor made eye contact as she arrived to take our order. The food arrived about 15 minutes later (a long time for soup and a wrap), and as we had been at the hotel for nearly an hour and a half already, much of the time in search of food, this really put me off this hotel I must say.

I found that for the rest of the time there, there seemed to be little management or service presence, and a brusque attitude from much of the staff, with the exception of the ethiopian waiter who was very pleasant. The Turkish Hammam was unattended and didn't seem to have the right tools...something to scoop the water out, as the room was entirely too dry and the marble felt burning hot. The indoor pool was also ice-cold...and believe me, I am usually not picky about things like this at all, but both of these areas were really uncomfortable and unpleasant. The outdoor pool is quite nice, with large bed-like lounges to relax on. Yet again, I feel they are missing the mark by charging for lemonade at the pool. At 1600 NIS/320 Euros a night, do they really need to sting you for an overpriced beverage, at the heat of the day, in an outdoor pool?

Now for the good part: the restaurant cuisine is phenomenal, and a great concept: Buffet for starters, and an individual order is taken for mains and dessert. Truly out of this world cuisine, among the best in Israel (on par with the Scottish Hotel in Tiberias). My only quibble is that both at dinner and lunch the following day, the entrees did not arrive 'hot' enough. It seems that the waitstaff is overburdened with this. Perhaps they need additional staff support.

The other aspect that this hotel provides is a full calendar of events, but unfortunately during our stay there was nothing suitable. There was nothing for an 'active' person other than a 7am 6k walk, which I would have loved to do, but not at that hour. Everything else seemed best-suited for an elderly person or a native Hebrew speaker, which I guess considering everything, is their target demographic.

Our checkout time was at 12noon...and given the experience to that point (and the carefully delineated late fee structure in the materials), I didn't want to be forced to pay for going overtime, so I checked out and my wife and I went for lunch. I wanted nothing more than to leave immediately, but my wife insisted on going to the outdoor pool, so we did...public beach-style, with belongings in tow, as we were made to check out of our room before, though we were told we could stay on the premises after lunch. Our day ended with a clothing change in a public washroom. Fitting.

I spoke with the manager upon leaving, and told all of the above whereupon she furrowed her brow, wrote these things into a notebook, and thanked us for letting her know.

In short: go for the restaurant, not the hotel. Particularly if you are foreign, and a relatively young active person, I think you will find the standard of service and attitude sorely lacking, and perhaps actually offensive, and the offerings of activities and facilities also coming up short. If you want to send your grandmother in Haifa for a spa weekend, she will probably love it. Perhaps it suffers by comparison to the Kempinski in Jordan, where we had spent 3 nights just the week before (and the Carmel Forest resort charges 3 times as much), but truly, as a person who travels regularly for business, I think this hotel falls short. I give the restaurant 5 stars, and the hotel 1 star.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2014

Been there for a weekend with my wife for her B/D. Checked in 15 minutes late and got upgraded as a compensation with no extra cost plus got a late checkout with no extra charge. Great food (full board), great pools (both inside and outside), tennis court. All day activities which can fit almost everyone. One more thing which is cool is that cell phones conversations are not allowed in the public areas only in rooms which makes the environment pretty quite.
The only cons is the price with is very high compared to the rest of the hotels in Israel, but it worth ever penny :)
Does not accept kids.

Room Tip: Get a room with balcony!! It worth the extra money
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank yyacoel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2014

We come frequently to this place as it is one of the nicest and relaxed spa hotel. you are not allowed to have children under the age of 16 so the place is quiet, you hear only birds in the morning....it is a full board hotel so it makes it also convenient - not having to move the car from the moment you arrive until you leave. there are many walking areas around if you want or just have a good book to read after a great breakfast in the fresh air, they have GREAT staff and very helpful, to food is great! if you want to be on a diet you can do that as well, they have special groups providing all kinds of body cleanings etc.
they have many activities and in the evening you can watch a movie @ the movie room or a show.
we had a family reunion one time there and the staff was very helpful, they have private rooms for that as well.

Room Tip: any room you take is good but if you like in the morning after you prepared for you the first tea or...
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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Thank shmeine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2014

The resort is amazing! I cant remember the last time I didn't check my emails, facebook account for so long :) the service, food were incredible! everything you can think of is there. The location is spectacular, all green - fresh air view is all you need. Spa is one of the best I have ever visited.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Alex T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2014

very good hotel, rooms , view, service and food
place to rest enjoy life. food like exclusive restaurant.
spa every big
very quite and relaxing large gardens, services very good
very enjoyble vacation ill come agine

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Yossi M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2014

From the "Diet is Hell" series: Back from an amazing "Mediterranean Diet" workshop. Well, Google translates it into "workshop" but actually it was a few days full-board vacation at the most luxurious spa hotel in Israel, accompanied by the location's in-house dietitians. To "save" us from the amazing buffet, waiters brought the specially made food directly to the tables, observed "like hawks" by the dietitians Pictures forthcoming.

Notice that they also have juice fast week once every month.

Room Tip: Take rooms with a terrace viewing the sea.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank avinatbezeq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Carmel Forest Spa Resort by Isrotel Exclusive Collection

Address: Carmel Forest | Po 9000, Haifa 31900, Israel
Region: Israel > Haifa District > Haifa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Haifa
#6 Business Hotel in Haifa
#6 Romantic Hotel in Haifa
#6 Luxury Hotel in Haifa
#8 Family Hotel in Haifa
Price Range: £308 - £477 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Carmel Forest Spa Resort by Isrotel Exclusive Collection 5*
Number of rooms: 126
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Carmel Forest Spa Resort By Isrotel Exclusive Collection Hotel Haifa
Carmel Forest Hotel
Carmel Forest Resort

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