The Leonardo Plaza Hotel of Tiberias has so much potential but it doesn't even come close to meeting it. There are a few Leonardo Hotels in Tiberias, two are right next to each other. This one is the one closer to the lake than the other, the other being closer to the main street.
One of the first things we noticed was that parking was very tight. The unloading area is very narrow (only room for one car to park and another to pass by), and we had to wait for other vehicles to move in order to unpack. Once we did, we asked for hotel parking and we were told that there was none (although we never got a straight answer as to why some people had their cars parked in chained-off spots - we were finally offered one but were told we could not move our van during our stay once parked, and we wanted to explore the area at will, not to be stuck in Tiberias, so we declined). We were offered a discount rate on the nearest community parking lot, where you either bought the ticket from the munimeter or from the hotel. As one had to pay for parking during the day from 8 AM to about 6 PM, there was plenty of parking during the day, BUT at night it was a very different story. At about 5 PM people start streaming in and park up the lot, staying there for hours of free parking to experience the Tiberias scene. People parked very tightly and blocked others in, it seems without a care. To top it off, people was literally fist fighting over spots. With this in mind, we made sure to get back to Tiberias early from our travels and once parked, we stayed there for the evening.
Now onto the hotel. The lobby is pleasant and well kept. The hallways have old worn and stained carpets. To add to that, they were hot, so people left the windows open, letting in the bugs, The rooms were old too, with furishings which were worn, and broken, and it seemed from the 70's. The flat screens televisions seemed to be the only update they made to the rooms in many years. The air conditioning was fair, but better than some other hotels that we used in the area. The refrigorators worked poorly as well. There was a charge for the WiFi, and it worked very poorly and often not at all (we gave up on it after a day). The beds were fairly comfortable, so they must have at least changed the mattresses and boxsprings more recently too. The sheets and blanket though were well worn. The fire escape, which was just outside our door was very rickity, and had garbage on it from what looked like years ago. I was thankful there was no need to use it.
The hotel had three very small and slow elevators. It was very common for people to jump on anything that came so many folks went up just to eventually go down. This meant that at times you had to wait over 10 minutes to finally catch an elevator (we were on a high floor and we were not about to walk up and down the stairs). The elevators were worst at breakfast time.
The breakfast was very crowded. There was food was plentiful but my teenage kids did not enjoy it. I found it tasty enough. One big compliant here was the there was only one person at the omlet / fresh eggs section so the line was huge and it didn't pay to wait for that.
The pool and spa were very good. In the summer the winds pick up in the area, so it may get chilly for an afternoon swim. The only negative I have with the pool was that they closed promptly and eary at 6 PM. For someone on vacation, that is a bit too early. And there is not direct access to the Kineret. When we inquired, they said we could drive to one of their other Leonardo hotels out of the town to use it. We decided that it did not pay.
Finally at night, it sounded like a party was just outside our windows. It was noicy from about 8 PM, to about 2 or 3 AM every night. Although it was a central location and we enjoy walking to all the nice restaurants and attractions in the area, this was a very unexpected disappointment for our family. We had to leave the televisions on just to fall asleep to drown out the noice a bit. Normally we enjoy silence when we go to bed.
So the central location was the best part of the place but we will never stay there again!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Leonardo Plaza Tiberias located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee where you can rediscover yourself, visit our pampering SPA while the children amuse themselves in the Children’s Club, enjoy rich dinner at the Herod’s Restaurant or just relax on the beach with a book. Enjoy the pampering hotel service, nature and sea treasures in an exclusive atmosphere. Modern rooms, generous service and balconies overlooking the Sea of Galilee make your stay at Leonardo Plaza Tiberias an unforgettable experience. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sheraton Tiberias
- Tiberias Sheraton