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“Heaven on Earth” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Kibbutz Ein Gedi Country Hotel

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Kibbutz Ein Gedi Country Hotel
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Ein Gedi 86980, Israel   |  
Hotel amenities
Egerton,Kent,UK
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Heaven on Earth”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2010

It is always interesting reading opinions of Ein Gedi. It is amazing how peoples comments seem to focus on the quality of accommodation when the real magic here is the environment. Dealing with the hotel first - it is not a 5 star multi national. It is unpretentious, clean, comfortable and functional. The outdoor swimming pool is vast. It is not heated - so it can be cold in the Spring and Autumn and warm at the height of the summer. There is an indoor pool and gym on the site. The Spa is a bit worn but it is nearly impossible to keep indoor sulphur pools in spotless condition. The outdoor pool is very nice. The tractor to the Dead Sea beach is very naff but it wasn't needed when the spa was built and the sea came to the door. That is the price to be paid for the extraction of water from the Dead Sea.
But do not come here for the facilities - come here for the amazing view, the turquoise of the Dead Sea, contrasting with the red of the mountains, the dramatic and utterly surprising scenery of the Nahal David and Arugot, the amazing lush botanical garden which you stay right in the middle of, the proximity to Masada, the wonderful year round weather, the healthy atmosphere. The hotel is fine the rest is out of this world.
Israelis rude? Yes they are and they don't mind admitting it either. Go with it - they are warm and friendly people when you get to know them.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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92 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
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English first
New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2010

Convenient location. Beautiful surroundings. Comfortable pool. Surprisingly extensive buffets. The facility itself is nothing special.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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LOS ANGELES
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2010

So the Kibbutz Ein Gedi is way over priced for what you get.

The rooms (had to book the more expensive "renovated" desert rooms since the others were not available) are so very 2 star basic. There is a fridge, old TV and bed is motel basic. The shower and bathroom are also older and could be replaced. The air conditioning thankfully worked well.

The gardens are very nice and well kept. The pool is nice, quite large and nice to lounge about, though the water is very warm and not very refreshing.

The pool bar is VERY expensive with hot dogs around $6-7. The cafe bar at the lobby is very basic and not cheap either. The food is barely edible. Drinks ok. The best is the chilled watermelon.

The food at the restaurant is stunning. Breakfast buffet is very large lots of food, many different options and became our main meal for the day. The dinner is definitely worth the price, 100 NIS. The hard part is that if you aren't that hungry you don't have any other options.

The Spa is free for the guests and 5 km down the road. The facilities are pretty disgusting in that it's old, loud and hardly soothing. It's like an old community spot rather than a Spa. The sulfer baths are available. They are doing some remodeling but really the whole building should have been torn down and redone. There is an outdoor pool that is pretty decent. There are some sulfer showers and other waterfalls as well.

To get to the Dead Sea it's a 10 minute walk or there is a tractor that takes you regularly. There are only basic plastic chairs and shade at the Sea, the the mud is FABULOUS!! The water is quite hot and don't have any cuts nor shave prior to getting in, otherwise it will sting.

Overall, service was lacking, not friendly but seems standard Israeli indifference. The rooms are horribly overpriced for what you get. The experience was decent for the hike up to Masada and the mud but really not worth two nights. Just stay one.

Recommend having your own car too if possible.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2010

We stayed in a renovated Arugot room.

Positives: Excellent dinner buffet, great location, free passes to Ein Ged Spa, evening entertainment, nice opportunity to meet other families.

Negatives: The room was a bit dingy.

Also, remember to ask for a safe key when you check in - they don't tell you this, which required us to go back and wait in line again.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2010

We stayed at the kibbutz hotel for one night. We booked two upgraded rooms as recommended on this website. When we arrived only one of the two rooms was ready and when we dropped off our suitcases and unpacked a bit, we were thrilled. The room was spacious, clean, bright and had an amazing view. And the location was beautiful.

After a few hours of sightseeing we returned to learn that the adjoining room was accidentally given away and thus we had to leave the first room. The only rooms that were available were a distance away. We were assured that the 2 new rooms were of the same calibre as the first. However, this was not the case! It was smaller, not clean, the upholstery had cigarette burns, lightbulbs needed replacing, and in one room the air-conditioning was broken. The airconditioning was repaired quickly. Despite our request to have non-smoking rooms, these were smoking rooms. When we complained they had no solution so not wanting to wait around as they took a very long time to sort it out, we accepted the rooms and suggested a later check-out the next day. They were not willing to move us, and we wanted to just move on with our day. So instead of 11am checkout, we were to have one room till noon, the other till 1pm. They also offered us lunch the next day.

That night, we discovered a bloodstain on the comforter. The people who came to change the sheets were angry and irritated with us for some reason and wanted us to use the scratchy wool blanket in the closet. We asked for the comforter to be replaced with a clean one and they did so very begrudgingly. They also commented on the airconditioning setting. It was set at well over 70 degrees, and to be perfectly honest, was none of their business.

The next morning we visited Masada, when we arrived back at our rooms we discovered that the cleaning staff had come in our rooms during our absence and were telling us to leave the rooms. They were the same people who came to deal with the bloody blanket and were very rude. We explained that we had late check out, but they knocked on the door to hasten our departure and the front desk called us and asked us to leave the room as well.

After all this the customer service manager who I spoke with, called to tell us that he looked into the matter and guaranteed that it would never happen again. It seemed like a bunch of lip service. He offered us the opportunity to return to the kibbutz. But really, why would we change our itinerary to return to this hotel, and also this was the trip of a lifetime, we will not be back to Israel for a longtime. They did not offer any discount or remedy, outside of a free lunch, that made any sense to us. We left feeling only grateful that our stay was over.

A lovely spot, but I would not recommend...

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2010

With some trepidation we booked for 3 nights in the Arugot rooms. Poor reviews on this site gave me some concern but I reasoned that we were afterall going to stay in the desert region and so 5 star services could not be reasonably expected. And the location would surely more than make up for any shortfall in service and comfort.

At check in my fears were confirmed. Three guests in the next queue were checking out, all with complaints. The first couple asked to speak to the manager which was met with a churlish grump from the receptionist. After a phone call it seemed the manager was conveniently at lunch. The lady complainer was offered a customer feedback form instead, much to her indignation that no one seemed in the slightest bit interested in her complaints. Her list included toilets not working, air conditioning not working, stained sheets, rude staff, noisy neighbours, late night disturbances etc. Others in the queue echoed these sentiments including poor value for money.

But.....and this what I found astonishing, our experience was completely the reverse. The Arugot rooms do cost more but the view is stunning...and I mean stunning. The rooms were spotlessly clean, well equipped and everything worked. The food was out of this world, as good as if not better than most 5 Star hotels I've stayed in. The swimming pool was busy at times but so large that it was easy to accommodate a crowd - plenty of sun loungers available too.

We received a free pass for the Ein Gedi Spa where we spent a pleasent day applying mud and swimming. Masada is only a few kilometres further south which made Ein Gedi the perfect spot to spend a few nights.

The Kibbutz also runs its own entertainment programme with daily activities such as yoga classes, tours of the kibbutz, music etc .

We never once encountered the surly staff as described on this site, in fact they couldn't have been more helpful. During checkout I had a problem with my payment card which required several telephone calls to my bank abroad - all free of charge. We spent three hours at the reception desk trying to sort out the problem - my fault, not the Kibbutz's. In the end the staff waved me on my way and just told me to pay them later once the problem was resolved. How trusting is that !!!!

During our holiday in Israel we stayed a three locations and the Kibbutz was my favourite for the true feel of Israel. We'll definately be back.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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oesterreich
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2010

service: great, friendly staff
rooms: various choice of different types of rooms, facing the garden or the sea or the desert, all having a private balcony
restaurant: BF, half- and fullboard possible, buffet type, various choice of typical israeli food, very good quality
very family friendly, quiet place to stay, ideal for relaxing, shuttle bus to en gedi spa on the dead sea, private beach and also hot sulfur water pools, private pool in the resort, botanical garden in the kibbutz for visiting, close located to masada, fantastic views

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kibbutz Ein Gedi Country Hotel

Address: Ein Gedi 86980, Israel
Location: Israel > Dead Sea Region > Ein Gedi
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Ein Gedi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 176
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 176 room Ein Gedi Kibbutz Resort Hotel is located in one of the most scenic areas in the world, on the edge of the Judean Desert, overlooking the mineral-rich Dead Sea and Moab Mountains. Ein Gedi Country offers a variety of safari routes in the wild, remote interior of the Judean Hills. ... more   less 

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