This chapter covers:
accommodation in hotels, hostels, kibbutz hotels and inns.
Listings are presented in the same geographical order as the guide contents, with Jerusalem first, followed by: the Dead Sea; the PNA areas, including Bethlehem and Gaza; Tel Aviv; and the Mediterranean coast; Galilee; the Negev and Eilat.
After the question of accessible/practical transport, finding suitable and adequate accommodation at a reasonable price is the most difficult thing for the disabled visitor. Unfortunately, many travel agents, tour operators and even hotel managers, do not understand the necessary details which make a difference to access and are unable to describe their facilities accurately. A few, of course, do understand, and will give good advice and reliable information, and it is a joy to come across people who know what they are talking about. The IGTO/Israel Hotel Association listings of hotels are a nonsense. They include a category represented by ‘DIS’, which means that the hotel purports to have facilities for disabled visitors. Some do, and some don’t, and it seems that there are no standards or guidelines to validate the information.
What ‘dis’ OUGHT to mean is that there are reserved parking spaces near the hotel or guest house for disabled visitors, and step free access to reception. There should then be step free access to all of the main facilities, including the lounge, bar and dining room, as well as to any adapted rooms. The bedrooms should include enough space for a chair user to turn round, and in particular, have a bathroom with a door wider than 70cm and opening outwards, and side transfer space alongside the toilet of over 70cm. The bathroom should have either:
- a wheel-in shower with a fold-down seat, easy lever controls and an adjustable height and a flexible shower head (see the chapter on Design advice); or
- a bath with support rails and a transfer board, plus a flexible shower head with a long connector and easy lever controls, and a drain in the main floor which will take the flow without causing a flood. This would enable someone who cannot use the bath to take a shower sitting on a plastic chair.
Hotels and hostels should have a minimum of four adapted rooms, two of which should have wheel-in showers. In addition to the physical provisions, staff should all have disability awareness training so that they can both understand and meet their customers needs. Accurate information about these facilities, including details of distances and slopes should be available to the intending visitor.
Unfortunately, many so-called adapted facilities do not meet these criteria, and some which we saw were simply ‘standard’ cramped hotel bathrooms where the hotelier has reversed the inward opening door and made it open out, calling this an adapted facility for disabled guests. We are very much in favour of starting with changes which constructively use the ‘best practicable means’. This is a well known principle in engineering circles in Britain, and simply means looking for action which brings maximum benefit for minimum cost. Making a door open outwards instead of inwards, may be a good first step. If this is accompanied by the use of a transfer board over the bath (see the chapter on Design advice), a flexible shower head, and lever taps and controls, then it can make even a small room much more disability-friendly. Providing a well-fixed wooden ramp for the two or three steps at an entrance, and a handrail, can make getting in much easier. What is needed is accurate and factual information from the hotel or hostel about the provisions for disabled travellers, and this is not usually available. Managers and staff often do not know or understand what is important to a disabled person about the facilities they have, and the advantages and limitations of the facilities.
Carol Randall who runs the Accessible Travel Source website in the US gave us some excellent tips for finding out whether the information about a room was accurate. She said “ask if the person you are talking to has actually been IN the room themselves, and if they say no, treat the information with some care”. A good ploy is to ask to speak to the person in charge of housekeeping and room cleaning, because these are members of staff who do go into the rooms and get to know the geography in a way that other staff do not.
A number of hotel chains claim to have a policy of providing adapted rooms for disabled guests, but the standards applied are highly variable.
Price indications are taken from a number of sources, and identify only broad ranges – ie bottom end, mid-range and top end. Prices vary considerably depending on the time of year and on how many people are sharing a room. You can find more up-to-date indicative prices in the IGTO/IHA listings, and also from websites. The broad brackets we have adopted are that:
- bottom end costs less than $60/night for two people including breakfast;
- mid-price costs less than $120;
- mid-price to top end costs less than $200/night; and
- top end costs more than $200/night for two people, including breakfast.
There are only a tiny number of affordable and accessible hotel/hostel rooms in or around Jerusalem. The two in Beit Shmuel are superb with step free access and a spacious bathroom with wheel-in shower, but the six bed arrangement will not appeal to all. The three rooms at the new Rabin Youth Hostel are also excellent. The one adapted room in Christ Church Guest House, and the one at St George’s are both worth considering. After that, there are a number of expensive hotels including the Hilton and the Laromme with adapted rooms; then there’s the new Eldan Hotel (see write-up), which is less expensive; and there are places like Notre Dame where the bathroom doors are about 60 cm wide. If you can cope with that they offer good value. There is also the Ramat Rachel Kibbutz Inn about 5km from the centre, and the Bethlehem Hotel about 10km away.
Beit Shmuel, 6 Shamma Street, Jerusalem 94101 Tel: 02 620-3473/3465 Fax: 02 620-3467. Situated off David Street, with the only approach by car via Emil Botta. There’s a petrol station on the corner. Go down Emil Botta and turn left into Shamma. It’s in the area of what was ‘no mans land’ between 1948 and 1967, and is now being extensively rebuilt. The guest house operates as a place of dialogue for Jews of all religious movements and for visitors of all faiths, promoting religious pluralism, mutual respect and tolerance. Street parking. From street level, there are two large metal electric doors that lead to the UGCP. An entry button (H100) will alert security staff of your presence. Entrance via the UGCP. Go to the left to find the lift, over two 5cm lips and D80. This bypasses +3+9+5+3 steps (outside) up to reception. The lift (D110 W130 L200) goes to all floors. Step free to dinning room, small café, courtyard, conference room and roof garden. Two well adapted rooms, numbers 217 (D94) and 317 (D97), which both have six beds. BathroomD80, and each has a wheel-in shower and ST100+. Wheelchair cubicles in the toilets on the GF.
It is a relatively easy walk/wheel into either the Old City (Jaffa Gate) or into the Ben Yehuda Street area of west Jerusalem. The ‘relatively easy’ routes still involve going up and down long, steepish slopes to both destinations. To get to the Jaffa Gate, you can go down Metiv Nagen Street in David’s Village, just up the road from Beit Shmuel. The fairly gentle ramp down ~100 steps is bizarrely designed, with split ramps in some places and a lethal -1 step right at the bottom. The builders hadn’t appreciated the reason for the ramps ! Go across Ha-Emek, with the large UGCP, and then there’s a ramped route up to the Gate, bypassing another ~100 steps (so it’s quite a long route).
Bottom end for a group sharing.
Caesar, 208 Jaffa Road, Jerusalem email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 02 500-5656Fax: 02 538-2802. Situated north of the museums, up Ha Nasi Ben Zvi Road, turning right on to the Jaffa Road. Steepish ramp into the foyer. Lifts (D80 W130 L130). Bar and restaurant step free. They said that they had seven adapted bedrooms, but we were not able to see any of them. Adapted toilet (D80 ST80, partially obstructed by a basin, reducing it to 55) off the foyer, on the right.
Mid price to top end.
Christ Church Guest House, Jaffa Gate, Old City, Jerusalem email:email@example.com Tel: 02 627-7727 Fax: 02 627-7730. Located some 150m from the Jaffa Gate opposite David’s Citadel. Old and atmospheric buildings. Pedestrian entrance has +1 step, up a slight slope. CP in courtyard. Somewhat bumpy. Dining room step free from the end nearest the gate, there are -2 via the main way in. Lounge -1-1. One well adapted bedroom (Room 15) separate from the main accommodation via +1 [6cm]; D70+, bathroomD76, ST130 and a wheel-in shower. Two other bedrooms on the GF via just a few steps with standard facilities. Brilliant location inside the Old City.
Bottom end to mid-price.
Crowne Plaza (Holiday Inn), Ha Aliya Road, Givat Ram, Jerusalem Tel: 02 658-8888Fax: 02 651-4555. The hotel is something of a landmark being on top of the hill with twenty floors. CP outside with disabled persons’ spaces. The ramped kerb was obstructed when we visited. Flat entrance, with restaurant and bar on the GF. Lifts (D120 W200 L140). Four adapted bedrooms. Room 834 seen, with D75, bathroomD75, no ST to toilet and a low bath H40.
Eldan Hotel, 24 King David Street, Jerusalem website: www.eldan.co.il Tel: 02 567-9777 Fax: 02 624-9525. Situated next to the YMCA with its distinctive tower, and very well placed for visiting either the Old City or west Jerusalem. CP outside. Step free to the main facilities, restaurant and bar. It is a modern hotel with lift access to all floors. Two adapted rooms (numbers 101/102) on the GF, with bathroomD75, ST70, but there is only a gap of W35 between the toilet and the basin which would prove something of a challenge to a chair user who wants to take a bath! We have suggested a redesign, to move the basin and have a wheel-in shower.
Mid price to top end.
Hilton Hotel, 7 King David Street, Jerusalem email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel:02 621-2121 Fax:02 621-1000. Centrally placed and within easy walking distance both of the Old City and the centre in west Jerusalem. Two disabled persons parking places with ramped kerbs nearby. Step free to all main facilities, including the lounge, bar, café (on the first floor) and restaurant (on the fourth floor). They have five adapted rooms, four of them on the first floor with bathroomD80, ST120 and both a wheel-in shower and a bath. There is one on the ninth floor with bathroomD85, ST65 and a wheel-in shower.
Laromme Hotel, 3 Jabotinsky Street, Jerusalem email: email@example.com Tel: 02 675-6666 Fax: 02 675-6777. On the edge of the Ha’Pa’amon Garden, and near the junction with David Street. It is almost within walking/wheeling distance of the Old City, although there is a valley in between. The information we have comes from the hotel management, but their description indicated that they understood access requirements and criteria. There is parking, and step free access at the entrance, and to the bar, lounge, dining room and lifts. In a hotel like the Laromme, the lifts are likely to be very adequately sized. There are eight adapted rooms for disabled visitors, some with a connecting door to a second room. BathroomD85, and has both a bath with support rails and a wheel-in shower with flexible shower-head. Although we have not seen the Laromme, we were impressed by the quality of the information the management provided.
Notre Dame Guest House, POB 20531, Paratroopers Road (opposite New Gate), Jerusalem 91204 Tel: 02 627-9111 Fax: 02 627-1995. The guest house has been extensively modernised, but not yet to the stage of providing any adapted rooms. CPoutside, but there’s a steep slope up outside of about 25m to the entrance. You can drive up and drop-off, but there’s no guarantee that a car can be left there (although when we stayed there, our driver, who used a wheelchair, was able to park outside). Whichever way you go out from the guest house it is hilly (as is much of Jerusalem), but you are very close to the Old City, and the New Gate. Step free access to GF café and restaurant, and to the lifts (D80 W120 L110). The chapel is on the first floor and there’s a bar on the fourth floor, all step free. There are 150 rooms, and the ones we have stayed in all had bathroom doors D60 to 65. Notre Dame say that they now have about twenty rooms more or less fitted for guests using wheelchairs with bathroom doors D65 to D68..
Bottom end to mid-price.
Rabin YH and Guest House, POB 39100, Givat Ram, Jerusalem 91390 Tel: 02 678-0101 Fax: 02 676-6566. Situated near the Israel Museum on the junction between Yehuda Bourla and Nahman Avigad, and opposite a petrol station. It is a superb facility, and construction was nearly complete when we visited. It was due to open late in 1999. UGCP with lift access (D80) to all floors. The two lifts had not been commissioned when we saw them, but are almost certainly of adequate size. On the main floor with the reception, there is an atrium, suitable for socialising and for some small performances. Lift to the dining room where there are wheelchair cubicles (D70 ST70) in both mens and womens toilets. There are three well adapted rooms with a separate wheelchair toilet (D80 ST70) and wheel-in shower (D80, sliding) attached to each room. Outside there is a small ampitheatre for performances with step free access to the front via the lift and CP. A remarkably well designed facility.
St George’s Guest House, POB 19018, 20 Nablus Road, East Jerusalem 91190 email:firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 02 628-3302 Fax: 02 628-2253 is situated by the cathedral, some 800m from the Damascus Gate. CP outside. The rooms are mainly on the GF. Ramp to reception, bypassing +2 steps. There are odd steps around the place, and some of the bathroom/s would be a bit of a challenge for a chair user. We stayed in room 10 on the GF, which was step free from reception, and then to the dining room. It had a wheel-in shower in the bathroom, and the shower tray was only slightly recessed into the floor by about 3 cm. It was surrounded by a movable curtain. They have promised to widen the door by moving the surround and making it open outwards. When that is done it should be D70, just wide enough for most chair users, and while ST is a bit restricted, front transfer should be fairly straightforward. The guest house is also an excellent place for disabled walkers. Dining room and lounge on the GF, bar -15.
Bottom end to mid-price.
There are other top end hotels listed as having adapted rooms and facilities for disabled people, including the Hyatt (email: email@example.com), and Renaissance (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). The Renaissance e-mailed us to say that they were putting in two adapted rooms to be available from March 2000, but gave no details.
Mitzpeh Ramat Rachel Hotel, Kibbutz Ramat Rachel, DN Tsfon Yehuda, Jerusalem 90900 website: www.ramatrachel.co.il email: email@example.com Tel: 02 670-2555 Fax: 02 673-3155 is on the southern outskirts of Jerusalem off the Derech Hebron at Arnona. It is best approached either via Khanokh Albek running into Leeb Yafe or by turning into the area at Ein Gedi. It is more than 0.5km south of the main built-up area, down Goud Ha-Avoda. The hotel is quite spread out, and it’s nearly 100m from the CP to reception, another 50m to the lifts and 50m to some rooms.
Large CP; step free to reception and to the two lifts (D100 W140 L165). A ramp avoids the +3 steps to the lifts, restaurant and gift shop. Reception and the hotel lobby are on floor 2 as indicated by the lift buttons. Seven adapted bedrooms, two with just a wheel-in shower, and five with both shower and bath. All had card operated locks, which are generally easier than using a key. One seen (room 474) with D85, bathroomD80, ST110, it has a wheel-in shower as well as a bath. In spite of the fact that the door opened in there was plenty of room.
To get to the swimming pool is over 300m from reception, going up the hill and then down again. The route for a chair user is somewhat tortuous, going down in zig-zags inside the kibbutz, to avoid steps. The pool is covered with a pressurised tent during the winter, making it slightly more difficult to get in the building because of the air-locks involved. Stepped access into the shallow end of a large pool.
Mid-price to top end.
Kibbutz Hotel Maale Hachamisha, Judean Hills, 90835 email:firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 02 533-1331 Fax: 02 534-2144. Located off route 1 from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv near Abu Ghosh approximately 15km outside the City. Abu Ghosh is well signed. New hotel built on the side of the hill with long ramps in place of steps. CP with four disabled persons spaces and ramped kerb. Reception, lounge, bar and dining room are step free. Six adapted bedrooms, one seen: D70+, bathroomD70, ST 110, with a wheel in shower. Two adapted toilets (D100 ST55) on the GF to the left of reception.
In the Dead Sea area there are a good number of accessible places to stay. The only ‘bottom end’ one is the Masada Youth Hostel where there is one ‘accessible’ room with a somewhat cramped bathroom. At the south end of the Dead Sea there are a number of spa hotels, which are mainly up-market and quite expensive.
The hotels are listed starting at the north end of the Sea and finishing in the south.
Kibbutz Almog Guest House, MP Aravot Hayarden, 90665, Northern Dead Sea Tel:02 994-5201/5 Fax: 02 994-2447. Almog is signed from the Jerusalem-Jericho road, route 90. The guest house is inside the guarded area of the kibbutz, and is a small vacation village with chalets and a swimming pool. Step free to reception. The site is quite large, but the paths are mainly paved and flat. It is about 100m to the dining room, which is step free and has a disabled persons toilet (D70+ ST70+) attached. We were told that there is one adapted room number 50 with wide doors and a wheel-in shower, but we did not see it. In their brochure they advertise that three rooms (out of the fifty) are suitable for disabled guests.
Kalia Guest House, MP Kikar Hayarden 90666, Kibbutz Kalia, Northern Dead Seaemail: email@example.com Tel: 02 994-2833 Fax: 02 994-2710. Located 1.5km north of Qumran off route 90. It has over forty chalets, with another thirty under construction. There is a water park, swimming pool, solarium and a zoo featuring farm animals, all nearby. Spacious CP. Reception has +4 steps with a ramped bypass. Self-service restaurant with movable furniture and step free access. One adapted room (number 24) with no steps and D80, bathroomD80, ST180, wheel-in shower with a [4cm] step for drainage purposes. It interconnects with room 23, so that a small group could share the bathroom facilities.
Metzoke Dragot, Kibbutz Mizpe Shalem, 86983 Dead Sea email:firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 02 994-4222 Fax: 02 994-4333. The hostel/guest house is well signed from route 90 as Metsuqe Deragot. Take the right fork at the entrance to the complex, which consists of several buildings, see write-up on pxxx. There are several rooms with big bathrooms which are better than many ‘adapted’ rooms we have seen elsewhere. We saw room 51 at the top end of the complex. Parking outside, step free entrance with D80, bathroomD70, ST250 and a sunken shower cubicle [-8cm]. From this room it was about 100m down a steep slope to the dining room, which has step free access, but you could drive to within about 20m.
Ein Gedi Guesthouse Resort Hotel, MP 86980, Kibbutz Ein Gedi, Dead Sea Tel: 07 659-4222 Fax: 07 658-4328. Situated about 500m off route 90, a few km south of the Nahal David Nature Reserve. Reception +1 step, bypassed by ramps about 5m on either side. There are over 100 chalets, and the dining room is about 75m from the main complex. It is up a slope from the adapted rooms with +5 bypassed by a ramp on the left. There are five adapted rooms with parking outside and ramped entrances. We were told that the ensuite shower and toilet were not adapted, and that the only difference in the rooms was the wider entrance door.
Mid-price to top end.
Ein Gedi YH, MP 86980, Dead Sea Tel: 07 658-4165 Fax: 07 658-4445. Up the first turn to the right at Ein Gedi as you approach from the north, at the entrance to the nature reserve. It is built on the side of a hill. Steep ramp at the front bypasses +26 steps, and another ramp bypasses +3. It is possible to park for a short time just by the +3. Step free to reception and café. Rooms 6-9 on the GF are step free. We saw room 7 with bathroomD60. Other rooms have just 2/3 steps from the upper CP, but doors to showers and toilets can be as narrow as W56. There are no adapted rooms.
Masada YH, MP 86935, Dead Sea Tel: 07 658-4349 Fax: 07 658-4650. Follow the Masada turn from the route 90, and the YH is on the far left of the roundabout. CP at the front. 40m steepish ramp to reception and dining room. One adapted room near reception, (number 2) with a wheel-in shower, bathroomD70, ST40 (and generally quite cramped).
Crowne Plaza, MP 86930, En Boqeq, Dead Sea Tel: 07 659-1919 Fax: 07 659-1911.CP outside with five disabled persons spaces and ramped kerb. Flat to reception and lifts (D90 W135 L150). Two restaurants on the lower GF. The main one is 50% step free, while the rest has -4 steps. In the Giraffe Restaurant there is a gentle ramp bypassing +4. Nine adapted bedrooms. Number 624 seen, with bathroomD85, bath and ST80. Wheelchair toilet (D80 ST75) near the restaurants. Also on the lower GF are the Health Spa facilities. Flat access to the majority of pools and treatment areas. The sauna had D65 and +1 [10cm]. There is access down a shallow ramp to the large outdoor swimming pool, and then it is some 50m to the beach and a further 20m to get to the sea. +1 to the shower. The spa and beach facilities are available to the public (presumably for an appropriate fee), but this would seem to be one of the easier and more pleasant places to go if you want to have a “swim”.
Hod Hotel, En Boqeq, Dead Sea. Tel: 07 658-4644 Fax: 07 658-4606. A slightly smaller and more friendly-size hotel than some others in En Boqeq. CP outside with two disabled persons spaces. Step free to reception, bar, lounge and restaurant. Three lifts (D85 W130 L140). Two adapted rooms (numbers 319/321) with a sliding bathroom door D70, but no ST. What they had done was to replace the inward opening door with a sliding door on two standard bathrooms, and then called them adapted rooms. We were told that they have a special chair to put in/on the bath if required.
To get to the sea, there is a paved ramp to within 20m, and a gently sloping sandy approach. They have provided an interesting floating wooden platform with HRs to help people to get into deeper water. A new pool for Dead Sea water was under construction.
Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa, MP 89680, En Boqeq, Dead Sea, Tel: 07 659-1234Fax: 07 659-1235. With 600 rooms, this claims to be the largest hotel in Israel, and is enormous. CP outside with disabled persons spaces some 40m from reception. There is flat or ramped access almost everywhere, but the place is big, so there are some quite long distances. Lifts (D100 W200 L200+) to all floors. We were told that there are eight adapted rooms, but we did not see one. We also did not find any wheelchair toilets in the ‘public’ areas.
Lot Hotel, MP 86930, En Boqeq, Dead Sea, Tel: 07 668-9200 Fax: 07 658-4623. CPoutside with disabled persons spaces and a ramped kerb. A ramp bypasses +3 steps at the entrance. Lift (D95 W125 L200), plus a smaller one. Bar and restaurant on the GF. Step free almost everywhere. Five adapted rooms, one on each floor. We saw room 836 with D70, bathroomD70, ST60, and a bath with HRs. Spa on lower floor with wheelchair toilet and shower (D75 ST200+). To get to the sea there is a ramped path to within 10m of the sea, and then a sandy stretch.
Mid price to top end.
Park Inn, En Boqeq, Dead Sea, email: via email@example.com Tel: 07 659-1666Fax: 07 658-4162. CP outside with two disabled persons spaces. Kerb [14cm] then it is step free to reception, bar, restaurant (on the first floor), swimming pool and garden. Lift (D80 W150 L80). Two adapted bedrooms, but with inward opening bathroomD70, and some quite restricted gaps. ST to the toilet is obstructed by the basin. The shower door means that there is a gap of only W38 into the shower, even though it is flat. Removal of that door (and of the bathroom door) would improve things considerably.
Mid price to top end.
Tsell Harim Hotel, MP 96930, En Boqeq, Dead Sea, website: www.tsell-harim.co.ilTel: 07 658-4121 Fax: 07 658-4666. The hotel has an unusual design in that it is built as a recreational village. CP outside. It is a relatively low building with four floors, including the swimming pool, restaurant and bar. There is ramped access to all of these from outside, although the solarium on the top floor can only be reached via about 15 steps. The bedrooms are in eight separate bungalow blocks between the main building and the sea, and there is only one adapted room with bathroomD75, bath with HR but ST0. Adapted cubicles (D68 ST100 mens; D60 ST100 inward opening door, womens) in the toilets on the reception floor of the main building. The ramp to the sea stops about 10m short. There is a sandy stretch, then there is a ramp with HRs to a depth of about 0.8m.
Mid price to top end.
There are several hotels at Newe Zohar and more are under construction. They provide complete package on-site holidays, often including a ‘kids club’ or some such, as there is nothing else to do or see outside the hotel, unless you go off on a tour.
Grand Nirvana Hotel, MP 84960, Newe Zohar, Dead Sea, email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 07 668-9444 Fax: 07 668-9400. A huge spa/resort hotel alongside the Dead Sea with nearly 400 rooms. CP outside. There’s a small lip [2cm] at the entrance followed by step free access almost everywhere to the lounge, bars, restaurant and swimming pool. The pool has ordinary water, and stepped entry. Lifts to all ten floors (D80 W130 L130). Five superb adapted bedrooms. We saw number 141 with D80, bathroomD80, and ST70 to the toilet. It had both a wheel-in shower and a bath with rails and a movable bench seat. These were amongst the best we saw anywhere. Wheelchair cubicles (D70 ST70) in the mens and womens toilets in the basement, near the lift.
Access is possible into the Dead Sea with some minor difficulties. After the paved path there is about 20-30m of gently sloping sand, and then in the water, there’s a wooden ramp with handrails. The sea itself is pretty shallow.
There are relatively few places to stay in the PNA areas, and sadly, in some of the new buildings going up, access has not been considered. Bethlehem, Gaza, Jericho and Ramallah all have hotels, but we found few that were remotely accessible without problems.
For accessibility, the Bethlehem Hotel is outstanding, although for location the Casa Nova Guest House is also worth considering. In Bethlehem you will get a much better feel for the place if you stay there, and wander around before and after the main tour groups have invaded.
Bethlehem Hotel, POB 1069, Manger Street, Bethlehem website: www.bethlehem-hotel.com email: email@example.com Tel: 02 277-0702 Fax: 02 277-0706. A large hotel with 180 rooms built into the side of the hill. It is some 500m from Manger Square, which is further up the hillside, and so there’s a bit of a climb near the square. Entrance +1 [20cm] step which can be avoided if you use the CP on the first floor. Lifts (D75 W120 L140) give step free access to all the main facilities including the dining rooms, lounge and meeting rooms. Six adapted rooms, on different floors. We saw room 521 with D72, bathroomD85, a wheel-in shower and ST200+. The toilets near the dining room had adapted cubicles (D80 ST100 but with inward opening doors) in both mens and womens.
Mid-price to top end.
Casa Nova Guest House, POB 996, Manger Square, Bethlehem Tel: 02 274-3981Fax: 02 274-3540. In an ideal location, almost next door to the Church of the Nativity, and right at the top of the hill. Well worth battling with a few internal access problems for the benefit of being right on the edge of the Square. Entrance +2 steps from Manger Square, or step free from the CP underneath via the lifts (D75 W110 L110). There is a small step [11cm] from the CP which can be bypassed. The lifts give step free access to the restaurant and bar, and to some rooms. We were told that all the bathrooms were the same, and the one we saw in Room 407 (+3 from reception) had D70, bathroomD63 and an inward opening door to a shower with a conventional tray. Removing the door would make it slightly better, but it was still somewhat cramped. In the mens toilets by the dining room there was a cubicle with D63 ST73.
Grand Hotel, POB 591, Paul VI Street, Bethlehem email: Bandaks@p-ol.com Tel: 02 274-1440 Fax: 02 274-1604. Situated some 500m from Manger Square, and slightly further up the hill. Small UGCP. Entrance +8 steps, but we were told that these could be bypassed from the parking place. Flat to dining room. Two lifts (D70 W100 L100). Most bedrooms have a bathroomD60 (though easily capable of enlargement). There are some apartments with bathroomD70.
Paradise Hotel, POB 96, Manger Street, Bethlehem email:firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 02 274-3769 Fax: 02 274-4542. 180 rooms and some 800m from Manger Square. CPacross the road. Entrance +2+3 steps, but a portable ramp is available. Step free to bar and dining room on the GF. Lift (D75 W100 L110). No specially adapted rooms, but we saw room 315 with D75 bathroomD60, and flat to a shower which was recessed/sunk by 4cm, allowing possible ST to the toilet. No wheelchair toilet elsewhere.
During 1999 when we visited, two large new hotel complexes were being built. These were the Jacer Palace Interconinental on Manger Street, near Rachel’s Tomb, and the Meridian, on a hilltop some way south of the town. Both will have top end prices.
Ramallah Hotel, POB 843, El Masoun Street, Ramallah, West Bank website:www.ramallahhotel.com email: email@example.com Tel: 02 295-3544 Fax: 02 295-5029. Apparently ‘El Masoun Street’ refers to all the streets in one of the suburbs, so it is not, perhaps, a very precise address. From the main street, go past the police station, and turn off down the slope. The third on the right has a sign to the Ramallah Motel, and you continue downhill to the hotel. Entrance +8 steps, GF restaurant, no lift and +21 to unadapted bedrooms. They claimed that there would be a lift and a swimming pool by 2000 as major renovations were planned.
We looked at two new hotels in Jericho, but neither had made any provision for disabled guests, and accessibility had not been considered in the design.
Jericho Resort Hotel, Qasr Hisham, Jericho Tel: 02 232-1255 Fax: 02 232-2189 is just outside Jericho, near Hisham’s Palace. A brand new hotel and bungalow complex, where, unfortunately, accessibility has not been considered in the design. CP outside. High kerb [20cm] leads to a ramp bypassing +5 steps. Lounge and dining room on the GF, and lifts (D75 W100 W130), but no adapted rooms/bungalows. We saw one room with D70, bathroomD65 and an inwards opening door, and virtually no ST space.Mid-price.
There are quite a number of new hotels, but, as yet, accessibility has not, generally been a design feature. The Beach Hotel had no lift and no GFBs.
The Adam Hotel, Al Rasheed Street, Al Meena Tel/Fax: 07 286-6976; 07 282-3521. Parking outside. Entrance +6 steps. Then step free to reception, lounge and restaurant with super views out over the Med. Lift (D68 W85 L180) to the five floors with bedrooms. There are many adapted rooms, but the adaptations vary considerably. One idea used by the management which makes the bathrooms much more accessible is the use of plastic folding concertina-type doors. These are a very neat way of minimising the intrusion of the door into the bathroom area. We saw several rooms, of which the ‘best’ were room 664 with bathroomD70, ST70+, impeded only by a slightly recessed shower tray (about 5cm down), and room 656 with bathroomD68, ST60 and level access to the shower.
Bottom end to mid-price.
Palestine Hotel, Ahmed O’Rabi Street, Gaza Beach Tel/Fax: 07 282-3355; 07 282-3356. Parking outside. Entrance +1 [9cm] step. Then step free to lift (D75 W110 L120) which goes to the bedrooms, but the dining room is via -26. Perversely there is an adapted cubicle (D70 ST66) in the mens toilets on the lower floor (down the 26 steps !), and this cubicle includes a bath with low sides [17cm], and a shower and floor drain. We were told that there were some adapted bedrooms, but we were unable to see them.
There is only a limited amount of reasonably priced and accessible accommodation. The youth hostel in the north has two adapted rooms, and there is the Center Hotel just by Dizengoff. Other accessible places are in the four and five star class and price-range. The Mercure is worth considering for value/accessibility. We have also included the Moss Hotel which we have used several times as it is well sited and reasonably priced. There are access problems detailed in the write-up.
Center Hotel, 2 Zamenhoff Street, Tel Aviv Tel: 03 629-6181 Fax: 03 629-6751. Ideally situated just off Dizengoff Square, so parking could be a problem. They have an arrangement with the CP for the Dizengoff Shopping Mall for overnight parking, but it will cost money. Parking hassles may be worth it for the very central location. Alternatively, don’t bother with the hire car while you’re there. Entrance +3 steps, bypassed by a ramp. Lift (D75 W125 L75) step free from reception. Lounge area -3, and -15+2 from the 1st floor to the breakfast room. The management are happy, however, to bring your breakfast to your room, and eating out in the evening is no problem because of the central location. Three adapted rooms (105, 205, 305). Room 205 seen, D85, bathroomD85 and although ST0 because of the basin, there is adequate space in front of the toilet. All the rooms have a bath, with only minimal handrails, but the management plan to purchase a special chair to fit over the bath to facilitate showering for some.
Crowne Plaza, 145 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv 63453 email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 03 520-1111 Fax: 03 520-1122, just north of the Sheraton, with seventeen floors (and therefore something of a landmark). Parking outside, and the concierge will park your car for you. Lifts (D80 W120 L145) provide step free access to most facilities, although one of the two restaurants involves +8 steps. Three adapted rooms, number 115 seen, with D75, bathroomD75 and a wheel-in shower. ST was slightly obstructed by the basin, and there are no grab handles. Balcony with a 14cm threshold. To get to the beach, and bypass the -17, use a staff lift (D70 W150 L120) and then there’s less than 100m across the sand to get to the sea.
Hilton Hotel, Independence Park, Tel Aviv 63405 Tel: 03 520-2222 Fax: 03 527-2711. A large hotel with seventeen floors which is easy to spot. Drive in through Independence Park to the CP around the main entrance. A ramp bypasses +1 step at the entrance. There are several bars and restaurants on the GF, and access is step free to all main facilities. Lifts (D105 W195 L130). Four adapted rooms, but we were unable to see any of them. We were told that they had both a bath and a floor drain, so it would be possible to use the flexible shower head outside the bath.
HI Tel Aviv YH, POB 22078, 36 Bnei Dan, Tel Aviv 62260 Tel: 03 544-1748 Fax: 03 544-1030. Located in the north near the Yarkon River and near the junction with Brandeis. Street parking is relatively easy. A ramp at the front bypasses +5 steps. Flat to reception and dining room. There are steps to most of the bedrooms, but there are two adapted rooms (nos 5 and 6) which are off a courtyard with ramped access from reception. No 5 seen, D85 bathroomD85 ST100+ and a wheel-in shower. The room had four beds (two bunk beds). Contrary to some reports, there’s café life and shops about 500m away in Yehuda HaMakabi.
Lusky Suites, 84 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv 63432 Tel: 03 516-3030 Fax: 03 517-1047. Just south of the Sheraton and on the opposite side of the road from the sea. Therefore considerably cheaper ! UGCP and step free to lift (D80 W105 L150), or flat from the street. Café and bar on the GF with no steps, and wheelchair toilet (D85 ST85). One adapted suite, No 102 with D75, bathroomD75, ST80 and a wheel-in shower with a 2cm lip. -1 [5cm] to get out on the balcony.
Mid-price to top end.
Mercure Marina Hotel, POB 3282, 167 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv email:email@example.com Tel: 03 521-1777 Fax: 03 521-1770. Towards the northern end of Hayarkon Street. No hotel parking, but there’s a UGCP under the shopping mall with spaces near the basement level of the hotel, and with lift access to reception. The main hotel entrance on the beach side was being rebuilt when we visited, and our team found their way in from the shopping arcade. Flat access to reception. Lifts (D75 W135 L115). Bar and dining room on the first floor. Two adapted rooms, number 354 seen: D95 bathroomD75 ST85 with a wheel-in shower.
Mid-price to top end.
Moss Hotel, 6 Nes Ziona Street, Tel Aviv 63904 Tel/Fax: 03 517-1655. A friendly and inexpensive hotel with a small CP on-site. Virtually the only way of approaching it by car is to come down Herbert Samuel from the north and turn left just past Planet Hollywood where Pizza Hut is. You then go across Hayarkon and turn left and left again. Entrance +7 steps. Small lift (D68 W144 L100) can take some chairs with footplates removed. The rooms have different bathroom designs, and some have direct access in from the bedroom, albeit through a narrow door. Room 315, for example, had D75, bathroomD58 and a bath with a seat at the back. Restaurant in the basement via -16. While the hotel is NOT accessible by most standards, it is centrally situated, good value, and if you can cope with the bathroom, quite practical for some. Our survey team used it.
Bottom end to mid-price.
Near the Mediterranean, going north
The main places of interest from an accessibility viewpoint are the Kibbutz Hotels at Shefayim, and Nes Ammim, just past Acre/Akko.
Kibbutz Hotel Shefayim, Kibbutz Shefayim (Shfayim), 60990 email:firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 09 959-5595 Fax: 09 959-5555. Located 15 minutes drive from Tel Aviv and 35 minutes from Ben Gurion Airport. Approximately 200m from route 2, well sign posted roughly 5km north of Kfar Shemaryahu. It is a substantial site with a conference centre and the adjoining Shefayim Water Park. It also has a popular private beach, which can make car parking difficult in the afternoons.
Step free to the main facilities. There are seventeen adapted rooms. We saw room 135, with D80, bathroomD80, but ST only 38. It had a bath with an inflexible shower head.
Arches Hotel (Park Inn Suites), 4 Remez Street, Netanya 42271 email:email@example.com Tel: 09 860-9860 Fax: 09 860-9866. CP at the back of the hotel. Entrance +6 steps, bypassed by a side entrance to the left, en route to theCP. Step free access to the room where breakfast is served. Lifts (D75 W110 L130). Seven adapted suites, and we saw numbers 821 and 841. The accommodation we saw consisted of a twin bedroom, sitting room and kitchen. It would be perfectly possible to put extra beds in the sitting room which would reduce the cost per person. BathroomD70, and although it opens inwards, there is reasonable space inside. Wheel-in shower and ST150+.
Mid-price to top end.
Beth-Shalom Hotel, POB 6208, 110 Hanassi Avenue, Haifa 31061 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 04 837-7481/2 Fax: 04 837-2443. Located opposite the large Nof Hotel in Central Carmel, this small but friendly hotel only has thirty rooms but ten areGFBs. Parking space outside and +1 step at the entrance. There is a lift (D75 W110 L114) to the restaurant in the basement. TV lounge +2-3. Room 101 seen, with D69, bathroomD70 and a bath but no ST.
Bottom end to mid-price.
Haifa Bayview Holiday Inn, 111 Yefe Nof Street, Haifa 34454 Tel: 04 835-0835,Fax: 04 835- 0836. This luxury hotel is set on the hillside of Mount Carmel with stunning views. CP with two disabled persons spaces. Entrance step free. Restaurant on the GF with a view right over Haifa. The lobby area in front of reception is -2 but there are portable ramps. There are a hundred rooms over five floors served by two lifts (D88, W110, L150). Room 811 seen: D85, bathroomD85 with a 3cm lip, ST80. Bath with a fixed handrail. Wheelchair toilet (D80 ST75) on the GF.
Nof Hotel, 101 Hanassi Avenue, Haifa 34642 email: email@example.com Tel: 04 835-4311, Fax: 04 838-8810. Set in the hills overlooking Haifa, The Nof Hotel is located on a main road almost adjacent to the Panorama Hotel/Shopping Centre Complex. Entrance +5 steps, bypassed by a steep ramp. Lounge and bar +3. Dining room is step free. Three lifts. We saw room 104 with D70, bathroomD55. The hotel could be suitable for disabled walkers but would be difficult for a chair user.
Mid-price to top end.
Nes Ammim Mobile Post Western Galilee 25225 email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 04 995-0000 Fax: 04 995-0098. Situated approximately 10km north of Akko off Route 4 and well signed. CP about 100m and step free to reception, bar and shop. The +8 steps to the dining room can be bypassed by going up a slope outside and tapping on the window to attract attention.
There are twenty-four adapted rooms (nos 101-112; 301-312) all on the GF, in two separate buildings. We suspect that they weren’t designed with access in mind but nonetheless they provide a valuable facility. Room 101 seen: D80, bathroomD75, but opens in, and past the toilet the maximum width is W68. ST is blocked by the basin but because the basin and toilet are down one side of the room, most chair users will be able to cope, though possibly with the door open. The bath has a handrail. The flexible shower head over the bath can probably be used over the floor space as there is a floor drain, and a 1cm lip by the door to prevent flooding the bedroom carpet. There are wheelchair cubicles (D80 ST80) in both the mens and womens toilets by reception.
There is a lovely big swimming pool about 100m from reception. It is reached via -1 [5cm] +1 [5cm] through a foot-cleaning bath, and has stepped access into the pool itself.
Nes Ammim is one of the few accessible hotels in the region, and particularly with three beds in a room provides good value. It may be worth booking dinner in advance, as there’s nowhere nearby to go out and eat. The kibbutz to which the hotel is attached is working for reconciliation between Christians and Jews. If you’re interested, they will tell you about this, and take you for a kibbutz tour (which is virtually step free).
Lohamei Hageta’ot Country Lodging, Kibbutz Lohamei Hageta’ot, Bait Vakait, Western Galilee 25220, Tel: 04 993-3271, Fax: 04 993-3218. The Kibbutz is well sign posted from route 4, just north of Akko. Enter through the gates, turn immediately left and follow the signs. The CP is outside on rough ground; there is then a 60m walk along a concrete path to the office, which has +1 [5cm] step then ±1 [15cm] threshold. There is cabin type accommodation (in separate buildings), with no adapted rooms at the time of our visit but we were told that there will be two, possibly during 2000, although plans had yet to be finalised.
Bottom end to mid-price.
Carlton Hotel, POB 124, 23 Haga’aton Street, Nahariya Tel: 04 992-2211 Fax: 04 982-3771. About 50m from junction with Golomb Street, with some on street parking. The entrance is ramped, bypassing +4 steps. Step free to the bar and restaurant. Lift (D80 W110 L140). Room no 323 seen with D78, bathroomD69 inward opening; no side transfer because of the bidet is in the way. Our surveyors didn’t think this was one of the adapted rooms offered by the hotel.
Mid-price to top end.
Erna Hotel, 29 Jabotinsky Street, Nahariya Tel: 04 992-0170 Fax: 04 992-8917. The hotel is 150m from Steinmete Street, there is on street parking outside with a dropped kerb [5cm]. The entrance is flat. The lift (D80 W115 L105) is -6 steps from reception, on the dining room/bar level. Room 101 seen which is a GFB, step free from reception, D70, bathroomD60, ST85 with a bath. Other rooms are reached via the -6 and the lift. Unisex wheelchair toilet (D80 ST120) on the left hand side on this level.
Bottom end-mid price.
Hotel Frank (Days Inn), 4 Haaliyah Street, Nahariya Tel: 04 992-0278 Fax: 04 992-5535. Located 20m from David Ela’Zar Street. There is on street parking with a 10cm “dropped” kerb. Entrance ramp (80cm wide) bypassing +6 steps. There are a further +6 (not ramped) to the bar and restaurant. The hotel has two GFBs step free from reception. We were told that one of these was adapted, but we were unable to see it. The swimming pool is across the road via two kerbs.
Sol Marine Hotel, Haaliyah Street, Nahariya Tel: 04 995-0555, Fax: 04 995-0556. The last building on this street at the far northern end of town. CP outside, and a +1 [15cm] kerb, unramped. Entrance with +8 steps which are ramped. Step free to the bar. Lifts (D90 W130 L160) to the dining room and bedrooms. There are two adapted rooms. Room 202 seen with D75, bathroomD90 and ST65, with a 3cm lip into the shower. There is a ±1 [9cm] threshold to the balcony.
The pool is -8 from the lobby, but it can be reached step free from the street by going through the gate just to the left of the main entrance. The gate also gives step free access to the beach, but it was locked when surveyed. Adapted toilet (D85 ST55) with a fixed handrail by the pool, reached via a ramp behind the water slide.
Mid-price to top end.
North of Nahariya
Kibbutz Gesher Haziv Country Lodging, Western Galilee 22815 Tel: 04 995-8568Fax: 04 982-5971. Just 4km north of Nahariyia off route 4 and clearly signed to the right. The site consists of a number of chalets built onto a hill, and consequently there are some steepish paths. CP by the Tennis Court. The office was not clearly signed but is to the left of the path as you leave the CP. One adapted room (number 16) with step free access, and a big bathroom with a wheel-in shower: D85 bathroomD85 ST100. From the main part of the site there are +25 steps to the dining room. An alternative way of getting there is to use the ‘top’ road. It involves leaving the CP, turning right and right again at the roundabout, then follow the road round to the large green fuel tanks, it is then the fifth turning on the right. It’s about 1.4km, but gives you step free access for breakfast ! Bed and breakfast only.
Bottom end to mid-price.
Shlomi YH and Guest House, Shlomi, Northern Israel Tel: 04 980-8975 Fax: 04 980-9163 is only a few km from Rosh Hanikra in northern Israel. Off the 899, take the turn to Harita (north), and then turn right through a new housing estate. The redbrick hostel stands out overlooking the valley. CP outside. Flat to reception, and to the dining room via a lift (D70 W95 L110). There are three so-called adapted rooms with a cramped and badly designed bathroom. D75, bathroomD75, ST0. There’s a narrow gap about W80 past the basin to the wheel-in shower D70 with a 90º turn. There is no way that a chair user could turn around in the space, and the provision is disappointing in such a relatively new building. Level with the dining room on floor -1 there are adapted cubicles (D80 ST50) in the mens and womens toilets.
Galilee and around the Sea of Galilee
The write-ups start in Nazareth and the surrounding area. This is followed by accommodation on or near the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret) starting at the northern end, then Tiberias, the southern end, and the holiday villages on the eastern side. Finally, it covers Western Galilee towards the Mediterranean, and the northern part of Israel, towards the Lebanese border.
There is quite a wide range of places with ‘accessible’ rooms with various degrees of adaptation made. The ones that we would highlight beacuse of particular access/value features are the Karei Deshe Youth Hostel; the Nof Ginossar Kibbutz Hotel and Inn; Ma’aleh Gamla Country Lodging; the Galilee Hotel in Nazareth and Kibbutz Lavi. Many other places are described with their various advantages and disadvantages. We did not manage to find any remotely accessible accommodation in Zefat (which is a difficult place for access because it is built on a steep hillside) although the youth hostel is said to have two adapted rooms.
Galilee Hotel, 65 Paul VI Street, Nazareth Tel: 06 657-1311 Fax: 06 655-6627. It claims to be the oldest hotel in the Middle East, and Winston Churchill (among other famous people) slept there. About 500m from the Basilica, down the hill, and at the other end of Paul VI Street from Mary’s Well. On street parking. Entrance +1 step [18cm]. Three lifts (D80 W110 L140). Six adapted rooms. Room 231 seen: D75, bathroomD75 but opens in; ST40. There’s a good shelf at the back of the bath for transfer. Meeting room and restaurant on first floor: step free. Adapted cubicle (D75 ST53) in the mens toilets in the restaurant.
The arrangement of the hotel souvenir shop and bar is interesting. You get there, following the signs from the first floor, via ±1 [25cm] and -20 steps. It is in fact a shop just to the side of the main hotel entrance, so the easiest way to get there is via -1 to the street and +1 into the shop and small bar. The shop offers substantial discounts to hotel guests, much as it does to other customers we suspect.
They are building another floor on top of the existing hotel, and we left them with the outline design for an accessible bathroom with a wheel-in shower. The management said that they were planning to include at least three such rooms in the new development.
Bottom end to mid price.
Sisters of Nazareth Convent (Religieuse de Nazareth), POB 274, No 3 Street 306, Nazareth Tel: 06 655-4304 Fax: 06 646-0741. There is a guest house as part of the convent. It is some 100m from the main entrance to the basilica, and level with the main entrance. Go up Casa Nova Street and turn left opposite the basilica entrance. Flat through the car entrance. Small CP for three cars. Small lift (D75 W100 L90) to the dining room (with +1 [10cm] step), and bedroom +1-1 with bathroomD60. There is one small dormitory -6, with showers and toilets with D55. The guest house is friendly and atmospheric, and an ideal location for visiting the basilica and souq. Some chair users might cope (at a pinch, and with some help), but it is better suited to disabled walkers.
St Margarets Guest House, Orfaneg, Nazareth Tel:06 657-3507 Fax: 06 656-7166. A really nice place with a superb view over the town, but the whole area is extremely hilly, and you will need transport to get in and out of town. A steep slope down off Salesian Street up near the St Gabriel Monastery, leads to a large CP. Ramped bypass through the main entrance leads to a lovely courtyard with quite rough flagstones. Entrance +2 steps to reception, with seven bedrooms then step free. Although the bathrooms are quite small, by the main entrance there are two adapted toilets/showers (D67 ST90, although the door opens in there is room for most chairs).
Bottom end to mid price.
There are a number of other hotels, some of them quite expensive, like the Marriott, but none are within walking/wheeling distance of the Basilica or of the town centre.
Kibbutz Hasolelim, D.N.Hamovril, near Nazareth. Tel: 06 640-6506 Fax: 06 646-3060. Well signposted off route 79, just south of the junction with route 77. A track runs round the outside the site so it is possible to park within 10m of everything. When we visited, reception was in a Portacabin, but the manager uses an electric scooter, and so is well aware of access issues. Restaurant 100m from rooms down a gently sloping, smooth path: flat access, with movable tables and chairs. Three adapted rooms, about 50m from reception down a gently sloping, smooth path. Room 41 seen: bathroomD80, ST80 and a wheel-in shower. There are plastic chairs in the room which could be used in the shower. The beds can be varied in height. Shops nearby.
En Route to the Sea of Galilee
Kibbutz Lavi Hotel, Lower Galilee 15267 website: www.lavi.co.il email: email@example.comTel: 06 679-9450 Fax: 06 679-9399. It is the only Orthodox Jewish kibbutz hotel in the Lower Galilee. It offers programmes and seminars for groups interested in understanding Judaism and the kibbutz way of life, and brings groups of Christians and Jews together to study. CP outside. Entrance 30m from CP and +4 steps, bypassed by a ramp. From reception there are +3, bypassed by a ramp to the lift (D75 W100 L125). Twelve adapted rooms. Room 302 seen: D80, bathroomD75 (inward opening but lots of room), ST80. Bath with a movable shower head. Restaurant +3 (ramped) from the lift and slightly congested. Wheelchair cubicles (D88 ST85) in both mens and womens toilets on the GF. A new block is planned and will include more adapted rooms.
Around and near the Sea of Galilee
The listing in this section is arranged in geographical order, starting to the north of the lake, and going southwards on the west side first, and then back northwards on the east side.
Amiad Kibbutz Country Lodging, Galilee Tel: 06 693-3829 Fax: 06 690-9307. The kibbutz is well signed off route 90 just north of the Amiad junction with route 85. The lodging is signed to the left, inside the kibbutz entrance. Gravelled CP. Reception +1 [17cm] step, but it is not always staffed, and there is a phone inside to contact the duty manager. There are twenty-four simple chalets, and guests use the kibbutz facilities. Three adapted rooms/chalets, numbers 22-24 near reception. We saw no 23: D80, bathroomD75 ST90+ and a wheel-in shower with a slightly recessed shower tray [3cm] in the ST space. The whole site is fairly flat and well paved. The shop is about 200m away with a ramped bypass to +3. The dining room is a further 100m, and step free. Another 100m and you find the swimming pool with a step free entrance on the far side, furthest away from the dining room. You come first to the children’s pool and then to a steep narrow (W60) ramp bypassing +5 to the main pool. There’s an alternative gate with just -1 giving access to the grass by the main pool, nearer the dining room. Stepped access and a handrail for getting into the pool.
Vered HaGalil Guest Farm, Korazim Junction, Galilee 12340 website:www.virtual.co.il/travel/travel/vered or www.veredhagalil.co.il email:firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Tel: 06 693-5785 Fax: 06 693-4964. On the road towards Korazim, just off route 90 and well signposted. From the signpostedCP there are +4 steps to the main building, but there is a step free route from an adjacent parking space (take the turning just before the one marked CP, if you are coming from route 90). It is 30m over crazy paving to reception with +2 steps. Step free to restaurant. Rooms 11 and 12 are described as accessible with wheel-in showers, good ST and parking outside. Both are “cabin style” like all the others. They are across the road from the main building. From the main building you can walk around the farm step free. To the pool, there is a steep slope and -4, but you can also drive round. At the top of the slope (about 60m from reception across the lawn) is a toilet block which has a wheelchair toilet (D85 ST80) and a wheel-in shower (entrance 75cm)
Karei Deshe YH, MP Korazim 12365, Galilee Tel: 06 672-0601 Fax: 06 672-4818. Situated approximately 12km north of Tiberias on route 90, well signed. It is a big new youth hostel that does not (yet) have any adapted rooms. Large CP outside. A steepish ramp bypasses the +6 steps up to reception. The hostel has a wonderful feeling of space, and faces back down to the edge of the Sea of Galilee. Step free to the self service dining room. There is also a substantial bar built overlooking the lake. A grassy slope leads down to the shoreline.
There are two unisex wheelchair toilets, one (D90 ST120) is to the left of reception on the GF, the other is on the 1st floor (D70 ST100), reached via the lift (D80 W105 L140).
GFBs numbers 7,8,9,16,17 and 18 can be reached via ramps. Room 18 has an open area to sink with separate toilet and shower adjacent to each other. Door to walk in shower 60cm, door to toilet 60cm, access to sinks, toilet and shower 95cm. First floor has flat access to rooms 37-46. They say that they are going to adapt two of the GF rooms to improve access to the toilet and shower. The changes mean making the door to the toilet/shower wider and removing the dividing wall, thus making enough space for a chair user to move around. This would make the hostel really good for access and we hope that this will have been done by the time we publish.
Nof Ginosar Hotel, Kibbutz Ginosar, Galilee 14980 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel:06 679-2161 Fax: 06 679-2170. Situated on the edge of the Sea of Galilee some 10 km north of Tiberias, and a good centre for touring. CP outside. Ramped kerb and flat entrance. Step free via the lifts (D75 W110 L135) to all major facilities. Wheelchair toilet (D80 ST100) on the first floor near the restaurant. Eight well-adapted bedrooms with D75+ and bathroomD75+, ST90+. The bathroom has a bath with a movable wooden bench: really helpful for people getting in and out. Wheel-in shower as well. Swimming pool outside: step free. Water about 25cm below the edge, and stepped access with a handrail, into the water. It is possible to swim in the sea, but only after crossing more than 80m of rough gravelly sand.
Mid-price to top end.
Nof Ginosar Inn, Kibbutz Ginosar, Galilee 14980 email: email@example.com Tel:06 679-8762 Fax: 06 672-2991. Close to the hotel, the inn offers simpler and less expensive accommodation. The inn has +1 step [9cm] to reception. The buildings are spread around the site. Paths are generally flat, with smooth, but slightly variable surfaces. There are many GFBs and six adapted rooms. We saw room 28 which had a ramped entrance, D70, bathroomD85, ST70 and a wheel-in shower. Others were being built to similar criteria. All rooms have self-catering facilities. You may have to take breakfast in the hotel 100m away.
Caesar Resort Hotel, 103 The Promenade, Tiberias 14202 Tel: 06 672-7272 Fax: 06 679-1013. On the right, through the public CP, as you go down Hayarden Street towards the Lake. Eight disabled persons parking spaces by the drop-off point at the front. Entrance +4 steps, bypassed by a ramp. Reception area flat with three lifts (D80 W140 L125). Bar and restaurant +3, bypassed by ramp to right of lifts. No adapted rooms. Room 718 seen: D78, bathroomD57, ST0, due to bath and inward opening door.
Gai Beach Hotel, Hamerchazaot Road, Tiberias Tel: 06 670-0700 Fax: 06 679-2776. On the left as you leave Tiberias on route 90 to the south. CP directly outside. Entrance up a kerb [13cm], then step free to reception. From reception there is ramped access to lobby and lift (D100 W130 L140) to all floors, including the restaurant. One GF room seen: D85 bathroomD80 and inward opening, ST130, bath with movable shower head. The small balcony with wonderful view of the lake has a 2cm lip.
Holiday Inn, PO Box 22, Tiberias 14100 Tel: 06 672-8555 Fax: 06 672-4443. 1.5km south of Tiberias on route 90. Fifteen disabled persons parking spaces outside the main entrance (chained off when we visited). Step free to reception, ramped to lifts (D89 W107 L142). Flat access to restaurant by the lifts. Seven adapted rooms. Room 461 seen: fairly spacious with bathroomD80, ST60.
Jordan River Hotel, HaBanim Street, Tiberias 14201 Tel: 06 671-4444 Fax: 06 672-2111. In the town centre, 100m from the promenade. CP by the side of the hotel, with three disabled persons spaces 20m from the entrance. There’s quite a steep ramp up from the road, and reception is effectively up at 1st floor level. Entrance +5 steps, bypassed by a ramp. Flat to reception, with plenty of seating, and to two restaurants. Lifts (D75 W170 L100) to rooms. Eleven adapted rooms. Room 208 seen: bathroomD70, ST0. Adapted cubicles (D67 ST85) in both mens and womens toilets on the level below the lobby, from where there is also ramped access to the pool. To get to the toilets from outside, go up the ramp, into the main lobby. The lifts are straight in front of you, past the hotel reception desk on your right. Take either the one on the left or the one on the right, and NOT either of the central ones. Go to level -1, and the restrooms are well signed.
Mid-price to top end.
Radisson Moriah Plaza Hotel, PO Box 375, HaBanim Street, Tiberias 14103 Tel: 06 671-3333. Fax: 06 679-2320. In the town centre 100m from the promenade. Three disabled persons parking spaces by the main entrance (chained off). Step free to lobby and lifts (D80 W140 L120). Restaurant and bar -3 steps, bypassed by a ramp. Four adapted rooms claimed. Room 524 seen: bathroom D66, ST0. There is a tight 90° turn into the bathroom. A chair will be provided to go into the bath if requested.
At the southern end of the Sea of Galilee and on the eastern side
Alumot Kibbutz Country Lodging, Alumot, Sea of Galilee Tel: 06 665-3494 Fax: 06 670-9790. Situated some 3km from the Sea of Galilee off route 767, the kibbutz has built some thirty small family units. They are just above sea level with superb views over the (sunken) Jordan Valley and Lake Kinneret. CP outside. Reception is +5 steps from the CP and is at the end of the parking area. There is flat access to reception if you come down the path behind the dining room. The dining room is an old kibbutz building with +4. There are ten adapted units. No 406 seen with +1 [5cm] at the entrance, D70 and bathroomD66 opening inwards. Access for a chair user is complicated by the use of two hinged shower doors. With a little determination and flapping of doors, transfer, washing and showering are possible, much of it with the door open. If they had used shower curtains and made the door open out the provision would have been much better. The bungalow units have twin beds and a sitting room with two settees which can turn into temporary beds. To get to the swimming pool, go right past the pool, some 400m from the CP, and down a sloping tarmac path to a gate which you may have to get opened specially. If you ignore the ‘no passing cars’ notice, you can park off the path and just by the gate, making the whole exercise rather easier.
Degania Bet Country Lodging, MP Jordan Valley, Kibbutz Degania Bet, 15130. Tel:06 675-5758/5660 Fax: 06 675-5877. Degania Bet was the first kibbutz, established in 1909 and now in the silicon business. Follow the signs for “First Kibbutz” or “Tank”. The lodging is in converted kibbutz buildings spread out for about 150m. Drive past the tank on your right and follow signs for reception. Three adapted rooms. Room 21 seen: entrance +1 [14cm] step, D75+, bathroomD85, ST90, with a wheel-in shower. Room 6 also seen: with +1 [8cm], bathroomD85 ST70. The dining room is 150m from reception on the flat. Ramped entrance, bypassing +2 and an adapted toilet (D75 opening in, ST70).
Maagan Holiday Village, Jordan Valley 15160 website: www.inisrael.com/maaganemail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 06 665-4400/11 Fax: 06 665-4455. Just to the east of the junction of routes 90 and 92 and well signed. CP outside. Ramped kerb and flat to reception. It is about 30m to the back entrance of the restaurant, which is flat. The resort isn’t yet finished, but there are presently two adapted rooms, nos 108 and 109. D85, bathroomD73, ST110 with both a wheel-in shower and low bath with a seat. Steep ramp from bedrooms to beach and pool, soon to be bypassed by a lift.
Ha’on Holiday Village, Ha’on, Sea of Galilee Tel: 06 665-6555 Fax: 06 665-6557. A simple lakeside holiday village, just off route 92, with about forty chalets and a restaurant. As elsewhere, swimming in the sea isn’t easy. There are +4 steps to the restaurant, bypassed by a ramp. Ten of the chalets are adapted for disabled guests, with a (temporary) ramp for the +2 at the entrance. We were told that the bathroom had an outward opening door D70+ with a wheel-in shower with a curtain. The shower space provides ST for the toilet. There was a group of disabled people using the facilities when we visited, and that was why we were unable to see a room. There is accommodation for up to four people in each chalet. Wheelchair cubicles (D70 ST70) in both mens and womens toilets by the restaurant.
Golan Rooms, Sagi Farm, Moshav Ramot, Sea of Galilee 12948. Tel/Fax: 06 673-1814. Inside the Moshav, about 2km from the green gates at the entrance, which is 2km from route 92. It is well signed from the green gates: follow the arrows on the Hebrew signs over the “Golan Rooms” signs. CP outside the farmhouse/reception: 20m walk and +2 steps. Breakfast is served upstairs, and there is no lift. Two adapted cabins (numbers 7 and 8) with ramped entrance, D85, bathroomD80, ST120, and a wheel-in shower. Flat to pool and wheelchair toilet (not seen). Self-catering.
Ma’aleh Gamla Country Lodging, Golan, Northern Israel Tel/Fax: 06 673-2430. Described by Arik Vamosh, who is a wheelchair user, as a ‘jewel of a country lodging that specialises in accommodating disabled guests’. There are two cottages, and plans for two additional units. The rooms, bathrooms, showers and other facilities are all designed for special needs visitors. The addition of a heated swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna and treatment room is planned during 1999. It sounds really good, although our survey team failed to find it and so we didn’t visit.
Bottom end to mid-price.
Western Galilee and towards the Lebanese border
Peki’in YH and Guest House, Peki’in, Northern Israel Tel: 04 957-4111 Fax: 04 957-4116. The village is on the 864 and also called Bukei’a. It is not the village a little way north called Peki’in Khadasha. The village is predominantly inhabited by Druze, but according to tradition, there was a Jewish community there who had never been exiled, right up to 1936. The hostel was opened in 1998.
If you come from the north along the 864, the hostel is remarkably well signed at every junction. Small CP outside with a ramped kerb. The hostel is built on a hillside. Access has been considered, and there are ramped bypasses to steps. The lift (D85 W110 L140) leads to other floors. The dining room is reached via an open lift (W80 L90) to bypass -10 steps, but it is tested only twice a year (see comments about small lifts in the Design advice chapter). There are three adapted rooms, but the bathroom layout was very poor considering the space allocated – which was generous. BathroomD75 opens inwards and there is ST30. No attempt had been made to provide ST because of a large horizontal shelf into which the basin was recessed. The wheel-in shower had D70 and a 90º turn. It’s all usable, but could have been so much better at no extra cost. Disappointing in a brand new building.
Sde Nehemya Country Village, Galil Elion, Northern Israel 12145 Tel: 06 694-6010Fax: 06 694-7449. A group of just ten chalets located 5km off route 918 in the Hula Valley near the Lebanon border. No adapted rooms, but all the rooms are on the GF, as they are in bungalows, and the bathrooms seem to be generously sized. Reception is just past the restaurant, 100m from the main entrance. Uneven grass stretch to get to bungalows. Room 2 seen: +1+1 steps at the entrance, bedroom with double bed and bunkbed. BathroomD77, ST 90. Step free to restaurant. Uneven path from restaurant to the bar with -2.
Kfar Blum Kibbutz Guest House, Upper Galilee 12150 Tel: 06 694-3666/695-9441Fax: 06 694-8555. Located off route 90 to Kiryat Shmona, turn right at Gomeh Junction onto route 977, then first left to Kfar Blum on Route 9778. Two disabled persons spaces in the CP. Step free access to reception, shop, bar and restaurant. Six adapted rooms out of the twenty-one GFBs. Room 61 seen with D83, bathroomD83 ST160; a wheel-in shower and a bath. Unisex adapted toilet (D90 ST60) just past reception. The management seemed both aware and helpful about the requirements of disabled travellers, and can possibly borrow extra equipment if guests have special requirements.
Kfar Giladi Kibbutz Guest House, Upper Galilee 12210 Tel: 06 690-0000 Fax: 06 690-0069. Situated halfway between Kiryat Shmona and Metula in the far north. This information is based on our 1988 visit, confirmed by telephone. The area is hilly, and there is a CP outside. Facilities in the main building are on two floors. Entrance flat. Reception, bar and dining room on the GF. Two adapted rooms (numbers 80 and 85) with spacious bathrooms; bathroomD75 and ST75+. These are in chalets a little way from the main building, but step free. There is a wheelchair cubicle in the womens toilets near reception. The place was generally very wheelchair friendly when we visited, and the manager at the time was a chair user himself.
Hagoshrim Kibbutz Hotel, Hagoshrim, Upper Galilee email: email@example.com Tel: 06 681-6000 Fax: 06 681-6013. Off route 99 between Kiryat Shmona and Hermon, about 5km from the junction with route 90. Gently ramped from CP to entrance, from where there is step free access to the bar and restaurants. Unisex adapted toilet (D75 ST50) at the back of the lobby by the reception desk. Five adapted rooms, of which four are in the new block, including 2GFBs. Room 1315 (GF) seen: D80, bathroom D80 but inward opening (a chair user in our team only just got in) ST95. There was a wheel-in shower and a low sided bath (H40).
The hotel swimming pool is about 200m downhill from the main hotel reception area. It is down a path which is steep in places, though there is car access to it. The wheelchair toilet (D90 ST120) by the pool is used as a store cupboard.
The Negev and Eilat
Beit Yatsiv YH and Guest House, 70 Ha’atzamut, Be’er Sheva Tel: 07 627-7444Fax: 07 627-5735. There is only a tiny sign outside, and Ha’atzamut is one way. To reach the CP, go on around the British Military Cemetery, going left, left and left again, and you come past the back of the hostel. It is not at all obvious ! From theCP there is ramped access throughout the site. It is about 50m to reception. The youth hostel is in one group of buildings (and it cheaper to stay in) while the guest house is in other buildings, and is somewhat more expensive.
The Youth Hostel has some GFBs, with no steps, which might be suitable for a disabled walker.
The Guest House is some 80m from reception, and has nine adapted rooms. The adaptations vary. Room 309 had a sliding bathoomD75, a wheel-in shower, a toilet with ST100+. Another adapted room had a shower cabinet in it restricting wheelchair access, and ST to the toilet. It is step free to the dining room which is behind reception.
Bottom end to mid-price.
Desert Inn, POB 247, Sederot Tuvyahu, Be’er Sheva website:www.desertinn.hotel.com Tel: 07 642-4922 Fax: 07 641-2772. When we came to Israel for the first time in 1978, the Desert Inn was the only hotel which we found in Israel with adapted rooms. These are now being modernised and improved, and we were told that there will be four adapted rooms when renovations are completed. CPoutside, and also parking outside the adapted rooms which have a ramped entrance. Step free to reception, bar and restaurant – and also to the swimming pool. The pool has a stepped entry, with HR, and there is a nearby large changing cubicle and a wheelchair toilet (D100 ST150+).
Mitzpe Ramon YH, Nahal Ela Street, Mitzpe Ramon Tel: 07 658-8443 Fax: 07 658-8074. CP outside, with ramps to bypass +8 steps. Small lip [3cm] at the main entrance. Step free to dining room. About ten GFBs including one well adapted bedroom (no 104). It has D75, bathroomD70, and a huge area inside including a toilet (ST200), wheel-in shower and a basin.
In Eilat, the hotels are split into three areas. The largest group are on the North Beach, but their address in the IHA listing disguises the fact that some are on the seafront, some are in the next row back, and a further line are in a row further back again. The second group of hotels is on the far side of the airport runway, and the third (including the youth hostel) is on the road running south towards the Coral Beach.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, North Beach, Eilat Tel: 07 636-7777 Fax: 07 633-0821. The hotel backs on to the marina, and there is a steep slope up from the road (Kamen Street) to the main entrance, but one disabled persons parking space near the door. Step free access to all the main facilities, including the bar, dining room, lounge and pool. They claim to have four adapted rooms, but we were not able to see one.
Eilat YH, Hahandassa, Mitzrayim Road (next to the Club Hotel), Tel: 07 637-0088/637-2358 Fax: 07 637-5835. The hostel is on the right as you go south towards the coastal road from the Tourist Information Office. There is a CP outside. At the main entrance there are +19 steps to the lift (D75 W90 L150) which takes you up to reception. The hostel is, however, built into the side of a hill, and there is a way round the back giving step free access to reception. You have to go further down the road towards Taba (south), past the Dortel Sol Hotel. Take the first road to the right, then first right again. Where the tarmac road turns left, go straight on, and you will find the back of the hostel – where it is possible to park – just past the rear wall of a small open-air amphitheatre. You have to go up a steep rough track to get there, just before two pylons carrying high voltage electricity. Once at the back of the hostel (to walk, it would be over 500m from the front entrance), there are two step free entrances to reception and to the TV room area. Two rooms near reception are adapted (nos 11/12) with D78 and a 1cm lip. They have bathroomD78, ST80, and a wheel-in shower. There are ten other rooms on the same level with no steps. The lift mentioned above goes down to the dining room.
Eilat Four Points Paradise Hotel, Kamen Street, North Beach, Eilat Tel: 07 630-4444 Fax: 07 633-2348. Street level parking with disabled persons spaces 40m from the hotel entrance which is up a slope. The hotel is compact, and is in the second row of hotels behind the north beach. The bar, dining room, and pool can be reached step free. There are eight adapted GFBs close to the main facilities. Five have wheel-in showers. We saw room 1101 which had a sliding bathroom door (D90), and was spacious inside, although strictly ST was 0 as the toilet was partially recessed. There are many other GFBs.
Mid-price to top end.
Holiday Inn Patio, 3 Shfifon Alley, Eilat, 88000 Tel: 07 636-4364 Fax: 07 634-0118.
On the west side of town. One disabled persons parking space by the main entrance. Step free via lifts (D90 W120 L200) to all the main facilities, including the bar, dining room and pool. One adapted room, number 102: D80, bathroomD80 and ST70. Wheelchair toilet (D70+ ST70+) but the basin in the ST space means you can’t a chair get right back to the wall.
Mid-price to top end.
Mercure Mirage Hotel, 3 Hativat Hanegev Street, Eilat 88000 email:Mirage@mercure.co.il Tel: 07 638-2333 Fax: 07 638-2301. On the west side of town. UGCP with three disabled persons spaces and step free via two heavy doors to lifts (D80 W120 L160). Step free at the main entrance, and to all main facilities, including the pool. This has the water level almost up to the edge, and wide steps into it for children and others. Four adapted rooms near the lifts. One seen: D80, bathroomD80 but limited ST space. It had a bath and overhead shower, but no support or grab rails. On level -1 there are adapted cubicles (D65 ST60) in both mens and womens toilets.
Mid-price to top end.
Nova Hotel, 6 Hativat Hanegev Street, Eilat 88000 Tel: 07 638-2444 Fax: 07 638-2455.
On the west side of town. It is an ‘all-suite’ hotel which can be somewhat expensive for just one or two people staying, but the suites can sleep four or even five people, it can be good value on a per head basis for that number. Main entrance +2 steps, but with a ramped bypass to the right. UGCP with step free access to the lifts (D80 W120 L180). Step free to the main facilities, including the bar, dining room and pool. The pool has water up to the lip, and stepped access for children and others. Three adapted suites. Room 540 seen, with D80 bathroomD80 ST60, and good rails on the bath. If needed, and with some hassle, there are step free wheel-in showers in the employees washrooms on level -1.
Mid-price to top end.
Palmira Hotel, Kamen Street, North Beach, Eilat 88000 Tel: 07 636-6000 Fax: 07 633-7279. In the second row of hotels behind the North beach, and opposite the Crowne Plaza. Step free access to all the main facilities, including the bar, dining room and pool. We were told that there are four adapted rooms, accessed by lift (D80 W120 L200).
Radisson Moriah Plaza Hotel, North Beach, Eilat Tel: 07 636-1111 Fax: 07 633-4158. Steepish slope up to the hotel entrance. CP outside, but about 80m away. One disabled persons space near the entrance, but with a very steep kerb ramp to negotiate. Step free access to the main facilities with the ramped route to the main pool at the east end, bypassing -9 steps. There are said to be two adapted rooms on the first floor, but we were unable to see one. Wheelchair cubicles (D80 ST70) in both the ladies and the gents in the east wing, to the left of reception, but ST is slightly obstructed by projections.
Red Sea Four Points Paradise Hotel, Kampen Street, North Beach, Eilat Tel: 07 636-3636 Fax: 07 636-3630. Step free at the entrance, and to the main bar and dining room. +3 to a small central coffee bar. There is a gentle slope down to the pool. One adapted bedroom number 188: with D70, bathroomD75, ST60.gal