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The NEA boutique hotel offers peace and quiet in the Galilee

CM 14/08/2021

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Recent tension along the northern border didn’t make families who were vacationing there pack up and go home. With COVID-19 limiting the possibilities of traveling to many destinations in Europe, our beautiful North offers some cooler options for a relaxed family holiday. 

With the Kinneret and the Golan Heights to the east, and the Mediterranean to the west – as well as many other water attractions in between, the Galilee is the perfect area to take time off with family and friends during the summer and the upcoming holidays. 
Shavei Zion is a small moshav located between Acre and Nahariya. It’s on the beach, making it very desirable real estate. But many families of the original settlers are still there, and this modest village still retains an air of “Good Old Israel.”
Located in Shavei Zion is NEA boutique hotel, which is a great option for those looking for quiet and comfort.

Upon entering the hotel, one is instantly transformed into vacation mode. The lobby may make you feel as if you travelled back in time to the more simple way Israeli guesthouses were designed – but make no mistake – the rooms, especially the ones in the spa area, the pool and the spa, as well as the restaurant are anything but basic. 
Your stay will start with a warm welcome of complimentary cocktails served in the lobby bar while you wait for your keys. We took our cocktails outside and sat on reclining chairs under the trees until our room was ready. The spacious green areas, the trees, the quiet and the fresh air got us immersed in the experience and made us forget our long drive there.
The hotel has 74 rooms in three different areas; the main building, offering regular double rooms, the family cabins with private pools, and the luxury spa rooms, each with a spacious veranda. 
We stayed in the spa building, and walking in, one is enveloped with the relaxing smells of the aromatic oils and the soft music. 
Before exploring the indoor and outdoor pools and the spa itself, we decided to take the short five minute-walk to the beach. There are benches arranged where even if you don’t wish to go to the water, you can still sit and enjoy the magnificent sunset. 
We got back to the hotel, took a shower in the very comfortable bathroom, equipped with everything, and had a short rest before we headed to the hotel’s renowned restaurant. Unlike other hotels, NEA’s restaurant, which serves only hotel guests, operates like a real chef restaurant. Under the helm of Shlomi Nahum, the kosher dairy restaurant offers a dynamic Galilee-inspired menu made from local ingredients.
On the evening we were there, the menu was Italian and we tried an amazing pasta, as well as a fantastic pizza, baked in a stone oven. There were so many salads, breads, main dish options and desserts, and the portions were so generous, that we had to ask the staff to stop, we were so full. One of us is vegan and the chef offered many vegan options, which did not feel like a compromise, as is the often the case in hotels. 
Breakfast was just as delicious as dinner, offering Galilee-style dishes with fresh breads, salads and fruits, as well as a cheese trolley with locally made mature cow and goat cheeses cut to request, eggs made to order, marmalades made in the area and much more.
A ROMANTIC SPOT on the hotel grounds (Credit: Uri Ecerkman)A ROMANTIC SPOT on the hotel grounds (Credit: Uri Ecerkman)
THE SPA offers a range of treatments by well-trained professionals and a relaxation area, as well as an indoor-heated pool. The treatment one of us couldn’t say no to was perfect. “One of the best I had,” she said. 
Throughout our stay, we enjoyed the magical corners the hotel has to offer throughout. There are hammocks hanging under the trees, as well as romantic seating areas, where one can have a drink or read a book, or as some people we saw, play chess. 
When it was time to leave we wanted to stay a little longer – so we got a locker at the spa and left our suitcase in the lobby, and headed to the outdoor swimming pool. Surrounded by flowerbeds, it offers shaded private areas, reclining chairs and a bar where one can also order light meals. We spent a few hours there, lying in the shade, swimming, enjoying the breeze and the birds singing.
Yes, we want to come back here – for the comfort, the quiet, the beach and the pool, but most of all for the warm hospitality from the staff members. Leaving after only one night, it felt as if they were all old friends and we will miss them until next time we meet.
NEA boutique hotel, 4 Haella St., Shavei Zion. For more details and reservations: (04)9958888 www.nea.co.il/
The writer was a guest of the hotel.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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