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Where to stay in Tiberias

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In Tiberias itself, if you are looking for an upscale splurge, I recommend the Scots Hotel, which is situated downtown on Lake Kinneret.

The hotel is owned by the Church of Scotland (the Presbyterian Church in the United States), and in the early 2000s, the church renovated and greatly expanded what was a hospital and pilgrim’s hospice that dates back to the 1880s. Some rooms incorporate sections from the original buildings, and there are new towers as well. The breakfasts are fantastic, and the pool is sparkling clean and overlooks the lake. Unfortunately, prices have skyrocketed since it opened in the early 2000s, so while it may be worth a splurge, be forewarned of sticker shock. Also, note that the Scots Hotel is not kosher. Another, much less expensive option is Kibbutz Nof Ginosar, just north of the city.

This is the place with the 2,000-year-old boat. The kibbutz has both a hotel and a set of small cottages called Ginosar Village. Rooms are priced reasonably, and it is located right on Lake Kinneret just a few kilometers north of Tiberias. In 2015, I stayed in one of the cottages in Ginosar Village; it was basic but charming and quiet. But this place is hugely popular with the big bus tours and a bit overfull of American tour groups for my taste—I love my countrymen, but I don’t go to Israel to hang with Americans. Visitors and experts on the Trip Advisor forum also speak highly of Ma’agan Holiday Village on the southern side of Lake Kinneret, and a so-called “dude ranch” called Vered Ha-Galil, complete with horseback riding, is located on the north side of the Kinneret. That may be my next place to try.

On the eastern side of the Lake, at the base of the Golan Heights, I recommend the Ramot Resort While this side of the Lake is a bit more remote, the Ramot Resort is a gorgeous facility with spectacular views of the Lake from nearly every room. Sunsets over the Galilee hills are stunning! Ramot offers both hotel rooms and private cabins.

I stayed there a few years ago and liked it a lot—though navigating the hordes of Israeli families at meals can be a not-so-pleasant experience. This is a kosher place, run by the nearby moshav of Ramot. (A moshav is a communal settlement like a kibbutz, but property is privately owned.) Another and perhaps better choice within the moshav itself is a small guesthouse that an Israel friend recommends, called The Best View There Is (Ha-Khi Nof Sh’Yesh).

You can have a different experience by staying in a guesthouse, which Israelis call a “zimmer” (from the German/Yiddish word for “room”; the “z” is pronounced “ts”). These are akin to what North Americans would call a “bed-and-breakfast,” though breakfast may incur an additional charge; you need to check. The moshav Amirim has many zimmers available. I stayed at Nof 10 (“View 10”) in May 2008, and the view of the entire Kinneret region from the cabin and its balcony, shown below at right, was simply unbelievable. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed. This was a definite splurge at ₪1,100 a night for a cabin (₪800 a night on weekdays), but it was very much worth it. Just look at that view of the Kinneret, the Golan, and the entire region—all visible while soaking in a Jacuzzi!

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