Hotel of the week: Mizpe-Hayamim
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Mitzpe Hayamim: the bedrooms are, bright, luxurious yet homely
The old Tzfat-Rosh Pinna road leads to a secluded area within the woods to the Mizpe Hayamim hotel and spa. It may sound like just another spa hotel but the lush green foliage doesn't just grow outside, it grows throughout the hotel too and gives the impression of being woven into its very architecture.
The lobby area is both spacious and peaceful and an appealing place to enjoy the free herbal teas any time.
The 150-acre organic farm in which the hotel sits is one of the most diverse in the world, built and sustained on a philosophy of "respect and love of nature".
The tour takes you past olive, pomegranate, and wild almond trees, to visit goats and cows who looked pretty nonplussed as we walked by. Almost everything here, from cheeses to home-made pastries and even toiletries are produced on the farm. Not wishing to sound like an advert, but the soap did leave my skin feeling soft.
There are two restaurants: the elegant Muscat restaurant where the focaccia and the exquisite home-grown pear sorbet left their mark on my palate. The less formal dining option is the bustling, bright vegetarian buffet restaurant, where, I felt, the vegetables suffered from sitting on hot plates.
The eco spa is an integral part of the experience here and even the walk to my facial treatment was through fragrant gardens, walking paths, pools and waterfalls. There's a gym, a couple of Jacuzzis and saunas and a swimming pool.
Our room, one of 96, was luxurious with all mod cons (bath robe, slippers, mini bar etc), yet homely and looking over the balcony I could see the Golan Heights, the Sea of Galilee, and the Canaan Mountains. There is a terrace with sunbeds as well from where to enjoy the views and depending on the time of year, the colour of your view will change but the sense of peaceful rejuvenation will not.
Rates: Rooms from £225 half-board (vegetarian restaurant), www.mizpe-hayamim.com