Ein Gedi Hotel

4 Stars

The Ein Gedi Hotel was founded by our guests, not by us. Seven women from Rehovot heard of the unique Dead Sea healing properties and decided to vacation at Ein Gedi, a small outpost in a barren area with no proper road access or transportation.

Every morning, one of the Kibbutz members would take them to the beach in a Command Car and they would each dig a ditch by one of the springs and sit in it until the Command Car returned to pick them up. Accounts of the wonderful and remote site spread by word of mouth, creating a growing demand for accommodations. One of the enthusiastic kibbutz members decided to take two wooden cabins from the old outpost and put them on the hill where Ein Gedi currently stands. He added a concrete structure that served as showers and toilets for all of the guests and, in essence, founded the Ein Gedi Guesthouse.

A Modest Beginning

The beginning was modest and simple. Accommodations were always sold for one week as the bus only stopped at the Kibbutz once a week. As each new group arrived, the staff – consisting of only four people – would board the bus, unload the luggage, and take it to the rooms. While they did this, the women of the Kibbutz would enter the vacated rooms to clean and prepare them for the new guests who, in turn, were responsible for cleaning the rooms and changing the linen on their own. There were no towels but the guests brought their own. The guests were assigned one table in the middle of the Kibbutz dining room and one of the Kibbutz members was assigned to cook special meals and serve them to the table. As the guesthouse grew, so did the need for more tables. The Kibbutz held many animated discussions on the matter, until finally deciding to build a separate dining room for the Kibbutz members. From then on, the Kibbutz members could no long enjoy the delicacies prepared for the guests.

Another wooden shack was later brought from the old outpost, the old Command Car was replaced by a Studebaker, showers were installed on the beach, and convenient beach access was arranged. A large raft was placed in the water for the guests to lounge on until the Studebaker arrived to take them back to the Kibbutz.

It was at this point that the Kibbutz decided to build a proper bathhouse and pools with the warm sulfur water. Every morning, the guesthouse manager would open the pump for filling the sulfur pools and, two hours later, once the pools were filled, he’d return with the guests. At the end of the day, he’d empty the pools and take the guests back to their rooms.

The “Membership” Era

The growing demand for Ein Gedi vacations was surprising and unexpected, making it impossible to accept new guests. The guesthouse was only able to accommodate groups of former guests who’d visit Ein Gedi twice a year on regular dates. The membership list was subject of a longstanding tradition where people would bequeath their Ein Gedi memberships to their children. The topic was even discussed on a national radio show and the guesthouse manager was asked to explain why he could not accept new guests.

The guesthouse continued to grow. The wooden shacks were replaced by concrete transportable structures, an expansive lawn was planted at the center along with two small trees – less than 1m high – now two giant baobab trees. The central law became an attraction for the guests and the center of their cultural activities. Every afternoon, the guests would mix and mingle on the lawn, sing, tell stories and develop a special intimate atmosphere unique to Ein Gedi. People of different groups, locations, and cultures converged on the lawn, barefoot and in shorts, to enjoy an afternoon of singing, storytelling and conversation.

Building and Expanding

Over the years, the location grew and expanded as Ein Gedi becoming a local and global synonym for health, tranquility, and simplicity. Yoske Arieli, whose son was a member of the Kibbutz, contacted people in Germany and attracted groups of Germans who fell in love with Ein Gedi and visited it for decades. Many considered Ein Gedi their second home. The bonds that developed between the Israeli and German guests and between the Kibbutz members and guests were unusual, leading to a special sense of friendship and camaraderie that superseded history, cultural, and geographical barriers.

The following years reflected a period of construction and expansion. The old bathhouse was deserted in 1984, replaced with the current structure of six pools, a restaurant, a sweet water pool and a large cosmetics store. The “Arugot Wing” of the guesthouse was built in 2000, with 32 spacious and designed rooms, the pool was renovated and expanded, the gardens were nurtured with love and a new structure was built for the lobby, a small shop and even a bar for evening activities, while the staff consistently grew.

The site was transformed into a hotel in 2012, with the decision to add the new boutique wing. The wing currently consists of the Arugot rooms, the mini rooms and suites, the deluxe rooms and, above all, the exclusive Synergy Spa. The hotel hired a new chef, who created a menu suited to the new hotel, based on fresh and healthy foods, vegetables and a wide variety.

Despite its expansion, the hotel retained its rural, intimate, and tranquil atmosphere. It currently consists of 166 rooms in one- or two-storied structures covering a large area and surrounding green gardens, giant tries like the baobab and Bengal fig and, most importantly, the unrivaled desert peace, quiet and beauty.

We are waiting to see you here.

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As a result of the current travel risks, now more than ever, it`s important to educate ourselves, advocate, and stand with Israel. Ask Herzl is the perfect place to take your knowledge and understanding to new heights as you embark on a fun and interactive learning journey. Whether you`re a student hungry for knowledge, a teacher looking to inspire, or simply a curious soul eager to explore, Ask Herzl has got you covered! 🙌🌟 From engaging events to downloadable resources, they`ve cracked the code for educational excellence. 📝 So why wait? Join the tribe of Israel enthusiasts and let your passion for education pave the way towards advocacy for Israel! 🇮🇱💪
To learn more and to stay updated on what`s happening in Israel click the link in our bio!

#AskHerzl #EducatingTheWorld #worldjewishtravel #JewishVirtualEducation
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Click the link in our bio to learn more about Qesher and stay updated on what's happening in Israel

#worldjewishtravel #JewishVirtualEducation #QesherCommunity #Empowerment #OnlineLearning #ConnectAndGrow

In light of the travel warnings, travel has come to a halt. This is where the beauty of virtual learning becomes invaluable, and Qesher is the perfect platform to unleash your potential on your own terms! 🌟 With Qesher`s self-paced online courses, tailoring your learning journey has never been easier. But Qesher offers more than just courses... it`s a community! 🤝💫 Engage in lively discussions in the Discussion Forums, connect with like-minded peers during Networking Sessions, and supercharge your growth with the incredible Mentorship Program 🤝. No matter where you are in your educational journey, Qesher is here to empower you every step of the way. 💪 Embrace the power of connections, amplify your knowledge, and unlock new horizons today!
🔓💫
Click the link in our bio to learn more about Qesher and stay updated on what`s happening in Israel

#worldjewishtravel #JewishVirtualEducation #QesherCommunity #Empowerment #OnlineLearning #ConnectAndGrow
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