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Welcome to another post of helping a reader travel! Due to the recent mistake fare to Israel, I figured this would be the perfect way to help those who jumped on the deal plan their trip. Unlike some of the other “Help a Reader Travel posts, I actually have been to Israel, but it was when I was 16 years old. My trip consisted of a 5 week tour with my Brookline, New Hampshire-based summer camp. There was over 100 of us on this teen tour, some who I knew since I was 8 years old. Mr. Deals was actually on this same trip with me (yes, we met at a very early age!) and neither of us have been back since. While this trip was amazing, I hardly remember where we went and what we saw. It also did not consist of utilizing hotel points, which I am sure many of you are eager to do! Instead, we spent our nights sleeping at hostels, a home stay at a kibbutz, a moshav, sleeping at a bedouin tent, sleeping outside in the desert, sleeping outside of a water park (to this day I cannot figure that one out!), and a variety of other random sleeping situations. What I remember loving about Israel is that it has activity, culture, beach. Not too many places where you can find all three!
If you are looking to use your points, I’ve compiled a list of all the chain hotels (which is very limited):
- Le Méridien Eilat – This is located in the southern part of the country on the Red Sea. When I was there I remember going sailing and snorkeling in the Red Sea. This area is relatively far from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and I am not 100% sure of the safety of Eilat right now.
- Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel and Towers – This is located on the promenade, which is right on the beach.
- Le Méridien Dead Sea – Located near the Dead Sea and Masada. Both are must-do’s if you haven’t been to Israel. If you are going to Masada, I’d suggest staying there the night before so you can wake up early (4am-ish) and hike to the top. You can also do this as a day trip from Jerusalem if you’d prefer and not sleep over. This hotel only requires 2,000-3,000 points a night, but the reviews are not very good
- Hilton Tel Aviv – Located on the promenade with beach access. This is a popular hotel in Tel Aviv and I have a friend that just stayed there a few weeks ago. She recommends the hotel, but it is quite expensive if you aren’t using points.
- Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem – Not yet open. Expected to open March 2013.
- Hilton Eilat Queen of Sheba Hotel – I do not know much about this hotel, but again, it is near the Red Sea.
- Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel – Also located on the promenade with beach access. I have another friend that just stayed at this hotel and they probably would not recommend it. It also just went up to a category 6 recently, so is a lot of points for not a great hotel.
- No Hyatt hotels in Israel
- Club Carlson:
- Park Plaza Orchid Tel Aviv – On the promenade a great opportunity to use your Club Carlson points! While this hotel does require 44,000 points/night, hotels in Tel Aviv are over $200/night.
- Priority Club:
- Crowne Plaza Jerusalem – This hotel receives mixed reviews on TripAdvisor, but only requires 25,000 points/night.
- Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea – I unfortunately have no information about this hotel.
- Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv City Center – This hotel is NOT on the beach, but more in the city.
- Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv – This hotel is on the beach, on the promenade. Another friend stayed here and said it’s a solid hotels. Reviews on TripAdvisor were pretty decent. This hotel is close to the Hilton.
- InterContinental David Tel Aviv – Also on the beach and has a nice pool (says my friend who stayed here).
- Hotel Indigo Tel Aviv Diamond Exchange – This hotel is not opening until April 2013.
- Holiday Inn Ashkelon – If it is your first time to Israel, this is probably not a city you need to visit.
- Crowne Plaza Haifa – While I went here during my first trip, I do not remember anything about Haifa. However, I’ve heard it is a good place to go. Suggestions here would be much appreciated!
- Crowne Plaza Eilat – Again, I do not know anything about this particular hotel.
- Ramada Jerusalem – This hotel is a 15 minute walk to the Old City and receives good reviews on TripAdvisor.
- Ramada Hotel and Suites Netanya – As a tourist I do not believe Netanya is a city you’d visit, however, it is only 15,000 points!
While this Israeli-based hotel chain, Dan Hotels, will not allow you to use your points earned, they seem to have great reviews. You can, however, use your CapitalOne points, American Express pay by points, or Chase Ultimate Rewards pay by points:
- Jerusalem: King David Jerusalem, Dan Jerusalem, Dan Panorama Jerusalem, and Dan Boutique
- Haifa: Dan Carmel, Dan Panorama Haifa, and Dan Gardens Haifa
- Tel Aviv: Dan Tel Aviv and Dan Panorama Tel Aviv
- Eilat: Dan Eilat and Dan Panorama Eilat
- Ashkelon: Dan Gardens Ashkelon
- Herzliya-on-Sea: Dan Accadia
- Caesarea: Dan Caesare
If you’ve been to Israel, let’s help out many readers (and me!) by commenting below. Thank you in advance!!!
- What are some of the “Must-do’s” if it is your first time being in Israel
- What are some of the “Off-the-beaten-path” things to do if you’ve been before and want to get away from some of the touristy stuff?
- What hotels would you recommend?
- How would you recommend getting around the country?
Also, if you have any upcoming travel where you need some help, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be a featured “Help a Reader Travel” Monday special. Feel free to check out some of the other “Help a Reader Travel” posts as well: Maui, The Greek Islands, The Pacific Coast Highway, Argentina, Costa Rica, Cape Cod & The Islands, Iceland, Geneva, Canadian Rockies, and Rome.