Israel is a beautiful beautiful country, it truly is a traveller´s paradise, especially in the spring. The accomodation, however, is always a headache. In general, the quality is not nearly as high as the pricing. This time, at Emily´s (five nights, about 200 USD each) I was thrilled!
The hotel has a great location, easy to find by car, right in the center but still offering wide views of the surrounding country including the lake. It is all new, no tacky 80´s design so easy to find in so many Israeli hotels. The hotel offers free parking in its own garage. Which is great because you need a car to really explore the Galilee and Golan region (unlike the in and out organized tourist bus groups).
The room I had was on the fifth (highest) floor overlooking the old Jewish cemetery and Sea of Galilee. The views were great and the traffic noise better than the street facing rooms. I loved to sit out on the balcony at 5:30 am, watching the sunrise and listening to the birds. The room was new, clean and furnished with good taste. The bathroom had everything, plenty of good towels, good toiletries, very good shower. Free wifi was sometimes quite slow, I missed the classic minibar, it was just an empty fridge.
The dining room downstairs was always kept clean. Typical Israeli breakfast and dinner buffets were large, fresh, healthy and tasty. The Passover dinner was a delight, that veal tail consomme was Michelin star worthy! Israeli wines they serve are very good and well priced. The only negative perhaps was that the owner closed the kitchen in the adjacent sister hotel for holidays and all guests from there were eating at Emily´s. But it never felt too crowded and the staff kept the buffets full and the dining room clean.
Emily´s has a nice family feel. The owner/manager was in the lobby/restaurant every day, talking to guests, making sure everything was ok. When the gentleman in charge of restaurant saw my sunburn, he offered me a bowl of white yogurt to take to my room so I can apply it on my skin. One night I needed an aspirin and since there was none in the hotel´s first aid kit, the receptionist gave me his own (last one he found in his bag)! So after the five days at Emily´s, I felt like leaving good caring friends.
PS: Rent a bicycle next door (can be arranged and paid through Emily´s) and go around the lake (60 km, flat, but most of the way on the road, not a true biking trail), swim on the other side of the lake (more romantic and clean), eat at En Gev kibutz fish restaurant on the terrace (much nicer and less touristy than always mentioned Decks in Tiberias). Before sunset take a short walk to the hills above the hotel to Mt. Berenice for a great view (about 30 minutes leasure walk from the hotel). If you are at Tiberias, explore the whole north. For example, it only took me one leasure day in the car to see the region, including Hula N.P., Banyas Waterfalls, Nimrod fortress, Druze villages and so much more.
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