Israel's 11 Best Family-Friendly Hotels

Posted by Sophie Friedman on August 31, 2016 at 4:00:00 PM EDT | Post a Comment

Tel Aviv

With year-round perfect weather, delicious Mediterranean cuisine, and plenty of opportunities to swim, Israel is an ideal family vacation destination. Israel has two sides—historic and the contemporary. No visit to the country is complete without a visit to the Old City of Jerusalem, Masada, or the Dead Sea. The country is also home to fantastic restaurants and has a vibrant wine and craft beer culture. Whether you’re coming to Israel to soak up the old or the new, check into a family-friendly hotel to keep everyone happy. Here are some of the best options, from the capital to the coast.

Isrotel Dead Sea Hotel

Where: Eik Bokek
Floating in the ultra-salty Dead Sea is a must-do in Israel, but it’s really nice to be able to hop in the pool afterward, as you can at this 300-room resort. Isrotel Dead Sea has indoor and outdoor pools with plenty of seating in the sun and shade, a lawn where kids can roll around, and a game room. The food at the buffet is surprisingly good, and with enough variety to please even the pickiest eaters. This Dead Sea resort is a good family option for kids elementary school age and up.

Insider Tip: Do not shave the day before or the day of your Dead Sea dip or the sting will be painful. The same goes for cuts and open wounds; if your child slid into first base and has a skinned knee, a dip in the Dead Sea will literally be rubbing salt in the wound.

Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Around Jerusalem and the Dead Sea Guide

Dan Panorama Tel Aviv

Panorama

Where: Tel Aviv

During summer, holidays, and school vacations, this hotel runs a supervised kids’ program called Danyland. During the rest of the year, kids can pop into the children’s club, filled with games and toys, and splash around in the pool. The Junior, Club, and Executive suites have a separate bedroom and can accommodate an extra bed in the living room.

Insider Tip: For a laid-back outdoor meal, walk 10 minutes to Suzana, in the leafy Neve Tzedek neighborhood. The restaurant serves affordable Mediterranean fare and a seat in the shaded garden is a delightful place to tuck into lamb kebabs, shakshouka, and ultra-fresh grilled sea bass.

Plan Your Trip: Visit  Fodor’s Tel Aviv Guide

David Citadel Jerusalem

Where: Jerusalem

This 384-room hotel just outside the Old City knocks it out of the park with a sleek play center that looks straight out of Architectural Digest. There’s even a market where kids can shop for toy produce and take it to the miniature kitchen. There’s a stage where kids can put on performances, along with toys, blocks, and squishy furniture that begs to be climbed on. A computer corner will keep tweens and teens happy. Families have two room options here. There are suites and interconnecting rooms, and among the interconnecting rooms are the Alcove rooms, which have a king or two single beds and a sofa bed.

Insider Tip: The pools are heated year-round, and there’s a lifeguard on duty at the toddler pool.

Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Jerusalem Guide

Leonardo Hotel Club Eilat

Where: Eilat

One look at the water slides here and your kids will be whooping with joy. If you’ve ever dreamed of checking into a hotel where your kids can run wild without disturbing other guests, this is it. The kids’ pool is a mini water park, with two water slides, splash toys, and a lifeguard on duty. Take cover from squealing and splashing at the adjacent adults’ pool, where a big slide proves kids aren’t the only ones who get to have fun. By night, there are song and dance performances and other variety shows to keep your kids occupied while you enjoy some precious alone time. Leonardo Hotel Club Eilat is all inclusive, and while there are plenty of basic, kid-friendly dishes, the quality of the food is quite good and includes enough variety—Mediterranean salads, barbecue, Israeli-style sushi—to keep grown-up palates happy.

Insider Tip: On the off chance it rains, or if it’s simply too hot to swim, there’s an ice-skating rink five minutes’ walk from the hotel.

Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Eilat and the Negev Travel Guide

Hotel Yehuda Jerusalem

Yehuda

Where: Jerusalem

You’ll get a good workout chasing kids back and forth between the shallow children’s pool and the Gymboree, where a ball pit, games, and toys provide rainy-day entertainment. For adults and older children, there’s a large, partially shaded pool and, near the hotel, several low-impact hiking trails. This hotel is removed from the center of Jerusalem—its room rates reflect that—and is surrounded by nature, so Hotel Yehuda is best for families who plan to sightsee during the day and retreat to the hotel at night. Yehuda isn’t in the middle of nowhere; there are a handful of restaurants and bars within 15 minutes’ walk.

Insider Tip: The hotel is 15 minutes’ walk from the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, which everyone calls the Biblical Zoo. The petting zoo, where kids can feed and pet sheep, rabbits, guinea pigs, and miniature goats, is a big hit with the under-12 set.

Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Jerusalem Guide

Isrotel Lagoona


Where: Eilat

It’s ice cream galore at this all-inclusive resort, where kids can run back and forth between the pool and the indoor kids’ club. The colorful space is stocked with toys and games, and cheerful, energetic staffers organize programs like story time, arts and crafts activities, and puppet shows. Family rooms here can accommodate up to two adults, three children, and a baby. For a break from the resort atmosphere, walk 10 minutes down to the beach and go for a swim in the Gulf of Aqaba.

Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Eilat and the Negev Travel Guide

Arbel Suites

Where: Tel Aviv
On a leafy residential street in Old North, Arbel is a stone’s throw from Dizengoff St. and 10 minutes’ walk to the beach. The hotel makes a great base for exploring Tel Aviv—and you can do it on foot or on the free provided bicycles. The regular suite (one large open space) and one-bedroom suite have sofa beds and can both accommodate four people, and the kitchenette makes snack prep a breeze. Coffee, tea, and cookies are always available in the lobby.

Insider Tip: At breakfast, be sure to try the honey, produced by a local kibbutz. It’s particularly nice mixed with labneh, a thick strained yogurt.

Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Tel Aviv Guide  

Inbal Jerusalem Hotel

Inbal

Where: Jerusalem
Inbali Club, the hotel’s play space for toddlers and younger kids, has Gymboree-type equipment, arts and crafts supplies, and games and toys. During school holidays, playroom staff run activities including balloon sculpting, chocolate workshops, face painting, and games of Bingo. For older kids, there’s air hockey, Ping-Pong, billiards, board games, darts, and karaoke equipment. Both adult and toddler pools are heated and open year-round. A kids’ menu caters to finicky eaters with fail-safe favorites like pizza, pasta, and grilled cheese.

Insider Tip: Liberty Bell Park, just five minutes’ walk from the hotel, has a roller-skating rink, playgrounds, and a children’s theater.

Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Jerusalem Guide

U Coral Beach Club Eilat


Where: Eilat
The roster of activities here for both children and adults reads like a list of summer camp electives. There’s mini golf and archery, trapeze instruction, tennis, basketball, beach volleyball, windsurfing, snorkeling, and interactive dance performances. The hotel has a white-sand private beach with row upon row of lounge chairs under umbrellas, so there’s no rushing to the beach to grab a seat; the same goes for chairs around the pool. All-inclusive U Coral is the ideal resort for parents who want some alone time while ensuring their kids are safe, engaged, and having a blast. The resort has three well-supervised kids’ clubs—one for ages 2–4 (at an extra fee) and, included in the room rate, one for ages 4–11 and one for tweens and teens.

Insider Tip: Take advantage of the kids’ clubs and go scuba diving in the Gulf of Aqaba. Dive shop Marina Divers is right next to the resort, so you can go diving in the morning and be back in time for lunch.

Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Eilat and the Negev Travel Guide

The Lusky

Where: Tel Aviv
In addition to the two-bedroom family suite, the other suites at this 27-room boutique hotel can accommodate up to four people—with a double sofa bed or two single beds and either a double or two singles in the bedroom. Kitchenettes are well equipped for snack preparation, and you can conveniently order groceries delivered to your suite. Tea, coffee, water, fruit, and pastries are available in the lobby all day at no extra charge, and with the sea view and fast Wi-Fi, it makes an ideal space for planning your day in Tel Aviv. There’s no pool, but the hotel is just a block from the beach, and there are two places within the hotel where kids can play: the rooftop terrace with sweeping sea views and the tranquil garden.

Insider Tip: Falafel Gabai has been slinging hot, crispy falafel and fluffy pita since 1946, and the restaurant is less than 10 minutes’ walk from the Lusky, down Bograshov St.

Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Tel Aviv Guide

1926 Designed Apartments Hotel

1926

Where: Haifa
This eight-room boutique hotel marries the conveniences of an Airbnb rental with the services of a hotel, and nothing is too much trouble for owner Moshe. The Triple Studio has one double and one single bed, and another can be added for a small fee. Decor is simple but bright, with cheery yellow bed frames and accent walls, brightly patterned dining chairs, crisp white linens, and two full-length windows that let in plenty of sun. A well-equipped kitchenette makes it easy to keep snacks and drinks on hand, and milk, water, tea, coffee, and cookies are provided. Right by the port, in Haifa’s Lower City, 1926 is a stone’s throw from the subway, buses, restaurants, and walking distance to beautiful Bahá'í Gardens.

Insider Tip: Three minutes’ walk from the hotel is craft brewery LiBira, where you can sip local lager while the kids munch on pub grub.

Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Haifa and the Northern Coast Guide

Photo Credits (top to bottom): Boris Stroujko / Shutterstock, Dan Panorama Tel Aviv, Hotel Yehuda Jerusalem, Inbal Jerusalem Hotel, 1926 Designed Apartments Hotel,

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