Eilat recommendations

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Oct 12th, 2004, 08:14 AM
  #1
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Eilat recommendations

We may be able to squeeze in a few days in Israel around the first week of December and are thinking about three or four nights in Eilat. Ms. Loo has been, I haven't. Any recommendations for hotels that won't break the bank without being too downmarket? Not considering Taba, for obvious reasons. Thanks.
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Oct 13th, 2004, 07:16 PM
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There have been quite a few inquiries on this board about Eilat. Do a search for Eilat.

I found it much easier to find really good deals when doing the booking while already in Israel (or ask a friend there, if you have) than making reservation from the USA or Europe, or even on-line...

Also, while driving there (especially if you already are planning car rental) is a real treat (4-5 hours from Tel Aviv), but you can find good combination deals of flight+hotel there. Both Arkia airlines and Israir have good deals.
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Oct 14th, 2004, 12:00 AM
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eri
 
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It depends if you want a hotel that lies on the beach or not. The more famous (and expensive)hotels on the beach are: Herrods, Sheraton Queen of Sheba, Royal Beach (belongs to the Isrotel chain that owns quite a few hotels in town)and Dan Eilat. They are all in the same area. Then there is the Hotel Meridian which is not far from the center. Further toward the Egyptian border are Reef Hotel (very modest but still decent and on the beach), Orchidea (Orchid)- like a Thai village and Princess Hotel which is very close to the border check point. The 2 last hotels mentioned are across the road from the beach.
There are, of course many more hotels in Eilat. I personally prefer the new Hotel Agamim (meaning "lakes") which not on the beach (about 7 min walk, 1 min drive). But only the rooms on the ground floor! Those rooms have each a private deck from which you jump directly to the pool. Absoloutly gorgeous! This is the hotel's site:
http://www.hotels-of-israel.com/agamim_hotel_eilat.htm
About reaching Eilat. I would urge you to drive to Eilat. The desert road going down is really unique. When you have a car you can even take short car trips in the vicinity of Eilat. Lot's of interesting places around.
Feel free to ask anything concerning Eilat and Israel. I'll be happy to assist you.
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Oct 14th, 2004, 07:29 PM
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Eri - Thank you for your offer to respond to Eilat questions. We are going to Eilat next month. We will be there 3 nights. One day we are taking a tour to Petra.
We have been looking ideas on how to spend the rest of our time.

We looked at the underwater observatory as well as the free dolphin swim. Do you recommend these? Are those two activities a good amount to fill a day?

We will not have a car. How would you recommend traveling to the sites? Taxi?

We are staying at the Sheraton Moriah - do you know anything about it?
Thanks again!
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Oct 15th, 2004, 01:33 AM
  #5
eri
 
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Answers:
Petra is fantastic. I had the pleasure of going there right after the peace treaty was signed (I am an Israeli citizen). I think it is amazing!
The Sheraton Moria is a nice enough hotel. Nothing special but in a good location. The Sheraton Queen of Sheba is fancier, newer and probably more expensive.
If you have no car with you, then the only way to move around will be by taxi. There are loads of them all over Eilat.
The underwater observatory (you reach it by taxi) will take you about 2 hours max.
I never had a swim with the dolphins so my knowledge is limitted. Are you sure it is free? In any case it won't need more than 2 hours. Just remember that even in Eilat the water in the sea in December may be too cold... You could combine it with the observatory. If I am not mistaken ther in the same area.
Another place you might like to visit is TIMNA National Park. It is a desert park were the ancient copper mines used to be. The highlight of the park are King Salomon's Pillars. Read about the place on this site:
http://www.bibleplaces.com/timnavalley.htm
Another site that might help you on "what to do" is this site:
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/...vie/Eilat.html
You could rent a car for 1 day to move around or ask the hotel to connect you with a local tour guide.
Hope this helps.
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Oct 15th, 2004, 04:54 AM
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Thanks for the details. The dolphins are free to swim in and out - they are not captive. There is definately a cost to swim with the free dolphins.

We are using points at the Moriah - and it is less than have the price to the other Sheraton hotels, so we are going for cost. As long as the hotel is reasonable - we're okay.

Thank you for the bible land links. We had thought of going to Mt Sinai, but in light of the recent events we think it is probably too risky for a US citizen to travel in the countryside of Egypt.
Your thoughts?

This is our second trip to Israel, but our first to Eilat. We will also have 9 days in Jerusalem and Galilee area. (6 days on tour, 3 days on our own)

We want to go from Jersalem to Nazareth. Do you have any tips on transportation to get there? Will it be a 2 hr drive?
How expensive would it be to get a taxi?
Thanks
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Oct 15th, 2004, 06:30 AM
  #7
 
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hi there

i stayed at Orchidea and loved it. great food, great thai atmosphere and nice and quiet with a great pool.
i cannot remember the cost but it wasn't too high.

-toccare
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Oct 15th, 2004, 01:02 PM
  #8
eri
 
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I think that you are right not to go to Mount Sinai. Especially not after last week.
There is no direct bus from Jerusalem to Nazaret. You'll have to change buses in Tel Aviv.
The cost of the tickets per person is around 12 dollars one way. A taxi one way will probably exceed 100 dollars. This is just a guess. But you might be able to negotiate a better deal with a driver when you are in Israel. The trip (considering bus changes, schedules etc. will take you much longer than 2 hours. Probably closer to 4. Perhaps you should consider staying a night or 2 in Tel Aviv. It is much easier to travel from Tel Aviv than from Jerusalem.
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Oct 15th, 2004, 01:51 PM
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Ooh....I'm so jelouse. Israel is my favorite place on this earth!

I've been 3 times, once when I was 10, another when I was 16, and then again for 2 months when I was 17.

I don't remember where we stayed when I was 10, but my 2nd trip we stayed at the Princess. I have no idea what it will cost, but it's a BEAUTIFUL hotel with a mountain built right into the dining room, and overlooking the pool. Its the most gorgeous hotel I've ever been too. The third time I went I slept in a sleeping bag outside...I don't recommend that.
Have fun! Say Shalom for me!
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Oct 15th, 2004, 06:16 PM
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Eri - thank you so much! My first visit to your homeland was a live changing experience for me. Looking forward to another visit to the Holyland. Thank you so much for your advice.
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Oct 15th, 2004, 06:25 PM
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Eri -
What will the weather be like in Eilat and Petra mid Nov? It looks like it is hot year round. Are shorts okay in Petra?

Do the rains normally start in Nov in Jerusalem? Is the rain long and dreary or short and heavy? We have heard it can be very windy.

Trying to determine the right clothes to take. Last year we went to Turkey and Greece in Oct. We prepared for winter and it was hot. This time we want real input from someone who really knows.
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Oct 16th, 2004, 04:52 AM
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Weather is just that "whether it will be hot or cold, wet or dry?"

We visited Petra in October and the days were warm, but as to shorts - my friend put on shorts, but before leaving the hotel the guide suggested she wear long pants as the Petra donkey handlers take visitors to the entrance of the Siq on a donkey - not very comfortable in shorts. My friend change to pants and found the donkey ride more comfortable then had she been in shorts. I walked to the entrance (the donkeys were kind of nasty with lots of flies around them). Most all people were wearing capri, cropped or long slacks and short sleeve shirts or t-shirts. A hat is recommended.

When visiting Jerusalem in January we were told it would be cold, wet and dreary and brought appropriate clothing. To our surprise the temps were in mid-70s, sunshine, no wet (except for my last day), evenings were cool. My mom stayed on for 3 more weeks and had just as pleasant weather, so who knows.

Even our time in Turkey in the month of October which is supposed to be pleasant, we found cold nasty and wet with evening/night temps down below freezing. Granted it was the year of El Nino.

Trying to deterimine the right clothing when you're traveling between seasons is difficult at best, so you have to be prepared with layers.

 
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Oct 16th, 2004, 06:29 AM
  #13
eri
 
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The weather is really unpredictable. It is never miserably cold here. We had some very rainy Novembers, and then we also had Novembers without a drop of rain. Jeruasalem is cooler then Tel Aviv especially in the evenings and at night.
Eilat and Petra are usually warm even in the winter. I would guess around 75 (24C) during the day and around 60 (15C) at night. It rarly rains there. A light Jacket and/or sweater should be enough.
I would wear long light slacks and short sleeves T-shirt to Petra. Not that you can't wear shorts. Take a pair with you and change if you are too warm.
The donkeys: My suggestion is to walk all the way down (it is downhill) on your way into Petra. It is easy and usually done early in the morning before it gets really hot. Do use the donkeys upon your exit when you are tired and don't feel like walking uphill. Like Sandi said, they are not the most pleasant and clean mean of "transportation", and I recommend minimizing the use of them.
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Oct 16th, 2004, 02:39 PM
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The weather there can be rough. My first trip to Israel was in December of 1990? 1991? I don't remember exactly, but it ended up snowing terrably in Jerusalem. We were all walking around with shower caps in our shoes! Regardless, Israel is an amazing place and even if it snows it can't ruin your trip
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Oct 16th, 2004, 02:56 PM
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Yes, the weather is quite unpredictable in Israel (at least in the center and north)...

Last year's winter was very rainy (very good for the water stuation there)... But not too much snow in Jerusalem.

You can expect rainy, windy days in the 40s (and 30s in Jerusalem) and then, 2 days later sunny, bright days in the 70s, even 80s in Eilat, and 90s in the Dead Sea...

Mentioning the Dead Sea - this is must for anybody visiting Israel! The most healthiest spot on earth, especially for people with muscles aches (back pains), Arthritis and skin problems.

I got rid of many lower-back attacks in the past by sending myself to the Dead Sea for a day.
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Oct 16th, 2004, 03:00 PM
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...Actually, correction needed here:
Winter is unpredictable in Israel... Summer is VERY predictable there... It is between hot and very hot. No rain, ever.
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Oct 16th, 2004, 11:49 PM
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eri
 
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Everything said about the weater in Jerusalem is true. But I can't remember ever snowing in November! If there is snow it is usually in January-February and even then it is only for one day. Jerusalem is stunning covered in white.
November can be very rainy. on the other hand it also can be sunny with blue skies.
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Jan 30th, 2005, 07:04 PM
  #18
 
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I will be in Eilat in September. I have the opportunity to stay at any Sheraton Hotel for free (I have hotel points that I plan on cashing in). I am reading on this post about Sheraton Queen of Sheba, but when I go to the Sheraton site they only list the Sheraton Moriah, Sheraton Herods Vitalis Spa, and Sheraton Herods Palace.

Which place would your recommend?

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Jan 30th, 2005, 07:43 PM
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The Queen of Sheba is a HILTON, and quite a WONDERFUL one...

I know Sheraton Moria, which is quite OK, nothing fancy, but at the very center of the strip.

Herods Palace is also one of the more elegant hotels (but a bit outside of the strip, at the very east end, close to the border with Jordan). I am not aware it belongs to the Sheraton chain.
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Feb 1st, 2005, 06:21 AM
  #20
eri
 
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As Mamamia pointed - the Queen of Sheba is not a Sheraton. The Moria is pretty mediocre. The Herods is a very nice hotel. Real 5 stars place on the beach. If possible, choose the Herods.
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