Sandy beaches, lapped by glittering turquoise waters; world-class diving with a coral reef reserve; rambling desert landscapes, rich in ancient history. Welcome to Eilat, Israel’s sunshine-soaked resort on the Red Sea. Holidaymakers flock here to kick back with family, splash in the shallows and work on their tans. Join them for a relaxed holiday at one of these prime stays – whether you’re after a luxurious hotel, an all-inclusive resort or a wallet-friendly hostel in Eilat, we know a place to suit.
Rising majestically up from the Red Sea waterfront – and fringed by the boat-cluttered Lagoona – this resort combines modern essentials with an old-world sense of place. Ancient Egyptian-style detailing adorns the lobby dome; floors are patterned with animal mosaics in a nod to King Solomon; a rambling swimming pool is lined with statues and fountains. Rooms are classic and bright, with balconies that let the warm air wash over you. As for the spa? Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna are all part of the deal.
Perched right on a coveted stretch of sand, steps from water-sports hire shops and beach bars, this is the place to go for a pampering fix. From detoxifying seaweed wraps to muscle-melting hot stone massages and energy-boosting reiki sessions, Royal Beach’s serene, upmarket spa has more than 70 treatments to choose from. Modern rooms, neutral apart from the occasional splash of blue or red, overlook the Red Sea’s shimmering expanse.
Life at this modern hotel – set just off Ofira Park a few minutes’ walk from the beach – centres around the pool. By day, stretch out on waterside loungers, shaded by thatched umbrellas; by night, sip cocktails in the bar, overlooking its atmospherically illuminated surface. The contemporary bedrooms come with a dose of style – think hanging metallic pendant lights, trendy tiled floors and slick polished woods. With this setup, Soleil is a natural pick for couples or groups of friends.
If you’ve come to Eilat to take in its world-class diving – and the impressive Coral Beach Nature Reserve – then this waterside hotel on the western side of the Gulf of Aqaba is perfectly placed. But there’s plenty to entice you to stay put on the hotel grounds, too: a strip of beach with water sports, a pool with sun-soaked loungers, and two restaurants for lazy lunches. You can even borrow free snorkelling equipment for your afternoon dips.
It’s only a six-minute stroll from Coral Beach Nature Reserve, but that’s not the only reason to book into Isrotel Yam Suf. A large complex of pools – lined with towering, mature palms and striped umbrellas – is a dreamy place to spend your days even if you (or some of your party) aren’t interested in diving. And if you are? A professional diving school right on-site, Manta Isrotel, will have you ready to take the plunge in no time.
Sometimes all-inclusive resorts are the only way to go – with your meals, drinks and even activities taken care of, you can really unwind and enjoy your holiday without worry. And Istrotel Lagoona, right by the beach, is a prime pick thanks to its generous roster of all-you-can enjoy treats, from afternoon ice creams to evening beers. Neutral rooms decked out in sandy hues – appropriate for a beach resort – open up to balconies overlooking sculpted peaks beyond.
Is self-catering your holiday vibe? Look no further than these holiday apartments, complete with perks like private outdoor pools, sea views and proper kitchens for whipping up your own daily feasts. Most have two bedrooms, making them suited to a small family – or a couple who really wants to spread out – though one has four bedrooms should you be travelling with a crowd. Beyond that, details vary, though no matter which apartment you pick, you can expect modern stylings.
Modern, stylish rooms, sometimes with sea view balconies or gardens; a kitchen for whipping up morning coffees or evening nibbles; a gentle Hawaiian theme – these apartments might be slightly further from the beach than some other stays, but they sure make guests feel at home. Get to know the neighbourhood like a local by visiting Pini Lek ice cream shop, or stocking up at the supermarket just down the road.
You don’t need to be swimming in cash to enjoy a holiday at this Israeli beach resort, as this hostel goes to show. Conveniently located in Eilat’s downtown, a 25-minute walk from the beach, Avara lets you save money for the fun stuff, like private cruises, desert jeep trips and dive trips in the marine park (all of which the front desk can arrange). A palm-shaded garden area lets you unwind after a long day, before you retire to your simple private room or shared dormitory.
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