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“Romantic in the middle of the desert”
Review of Kfar Hanokdim

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Kfar Hanokdim
Ranked #1 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Arad
Certificate of Excellence
Dusseldorf, Germany
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Romantic in the middle of the desert”
Reviewed September 28, 2012

Kfar Hanokdim - for the third time.
I've slept here for the first time 2008 in one of the big tents - not my style and I didn't like it. But what I had already liked then was the quiet and peace in the desert, the breathtaking view, the wonderful main tent with the breakfast and in general the good food.
The cabins on the other hand are a really nice place to stay. They are clean with nice, handmade decorations and own bathrooms with a bathtub and everything you need, even a coffee-/teamaking facility which was more clean than in many places I've been.
Depending on the amount of people, the dinnr is served as a buffet or at seperate tables, the breakfast is a huge buffet with tasty spreads, great (and really sweet and strong) tea or arabic coffee with cardamom.
The camel ride is at first time adventurous, but after three times it becomes a bit boring - still, it is great to see the desert mountains from the back of a camel.
The stories told by real bedouins can be funny and interesting - and somehow you feel so welcomed and everyone talks to everyone and I've always met people to talk to in quiet evenings in the desert.
If you are there - go for a walk in the night and see the stars.

One thing to mention: This camp can be reached only by taxi from Arad or car (parking available) and lies away from "everything". It is easily reachable and it is close to Massada which can easily be visited from here. Also the Dead Sea is not too far away (the hotel beaches are about 50 km distance).
I would definitely come back, since it is also not too far from Jerusalem (it's a spectacular two hour drive along the beautiful Dead Sea coast.
Only the price seems a bit high, since you can stay in a hotel for the same price - but you'll have nice arabic food, a camel ride and the pure experience of the desert beauty.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank DaniWien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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133 reviews from our community

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English first
Port Gentil, Gabon
Level Contributor
35 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2012

we organised one night over with my family; everything was fine the welcome
, the camel trip, even the room was better then our expectation. they also proposed to the kids to sleep in a wooden cabane. then we woke up at 4h45 am with my 4 years old kid, my 12 and 8 years old neview and my sister and our husbands to go to Massada. we climbed to Massada while it was still dark, had a look at the beautiful star in the sky. It was not very hard to climb, about 20 min. and then we saw the sunrise on top of Massada. something we would probably have never done if we did not sleep to thhis charming Kfar. the food is very abondant and good and then after the Massada visite peiple come back to the Kfar have breakfast and shower and they pack their things to leave. very good experience, a bit roots but with aircon, private bathroom, with towel and soap...what else!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rachelbis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haifa, Hefa, Israel
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 28, 2012

Kfar Hanokdim gave me an opportunity to taste a sample from Bedouin life (to be honest – we are too spoilt for real Bedouin life..) .
It is in the middle of the dessert and about 15 minutes from Masada.
During dinner, we had a nice conversation with the owner of the place and afterward we enjoyed a nice tea in the bonfire with other guests.
Do not expect this to be a fancy hotel. It is a Bedouin camp, and the accommodations fit the style, though were above my expectations. It was clean and comfortable and the most add value is their uniquely design which you will find nowhere else.
Great experience, recommended especially for families with children.

Room Tip: In the hot season it is recommended to take rooms with AC.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Efrat M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
62 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2012

This is really an interesting experience. You will sleep in a Beduin tent on the ground. It is exotic and totally unlike anything else I've experienced. You are literally in the middle of the Israeli desert, you eat on the floor and you listen to Beduin music.

I would definitely suggest it for any Western tourists who want to experience Beduin culture.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank youngmontrealer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2012

First things, first: our 1-night stay at Kfar Hanokdim was, for our 3 kids (ages 7-11), an absolute highlight of a pretty full 2-week Israel vacation. Sure, it's not an authentic Bedouin village, but it's a world away from Disney. From the extraordinary desert location, to the camels, the people, the accommodations, and the food, this is likely to add up to the sort of vividly different and memorable experience that many parents will want for their (younger) kids.

The location: smack in the middle of nowhere, Kfar Hanokdim is just 20 minutes from the west approach up Masada. So if you wake up at 4 or later (depending on time of year), it's easy to drive to Masada and make the 15-minute hike to the top before sunrise, and then return to the village in plenty of time for the breakfast.

The food: both dinner and breakfast were excellent. Breakfast was served as a buffet, but the dinner was served family style to each group of guests, seated as couples or families, as the case might be. All the guests we spoke with agreed that the amount provided to each table was vastly excessive, ensuring that an obscene amount of food would be wasted. If the owners read this, I truly hope they find some way to reduce the waste.

The camel ride: The website promises "rides of up to 45 minutes that take you on a circular route beside local Bedouin settlements allowing you to see the layout of desert life from a camel’s or donkey’s view point." Not our experience. The ride was a slow 10-minute walk straight out to nowhere, followed by another 10 minutes retracing the route back to the start, and was led by a few unsmiling young men, Pretty lame. Our kids still enjoyed it, but I could imagine others being fairly disappointed.

The rooms: there are three options--communal tent, cabin, or lodge/sukkoth. Parents should expect a generational disagreement: the lodges will fascinate the kids, the adults are likely to prefer the cabins. We stayed in a cabin, after bribing our kids off with promises of I don't remember what. We found the cabin surprisingly comfortable and quite clean. Our experience was not at all the same as that of a previous reviewer who complained about hygiene and cleanliness.

Price: I guess I'd like to see some discount for kids. Over $500 for one night for a family of a five is a little pricey, though the kids enjoyed it sufficiently that I don't regret it.

An explanation of the title of this review: the night we visited, Kfar Hanokdim hosted just over 100 guests. The previous night, we were told, there had been more than 700. It's predictable that the number and type of guest is going to strongly affect one's experience. Frankly, I would have preferred more guests than were there our night. There is a campfire right in the middle of the main square (so to speak) that went unused when we were there. A fire with conversation and music would have been a real plus. Indeed, I had expected a fire to be provided, though I'm not sure why I did. On the other hand, other reviewers have warned of the unattractiveness of a couple of hundred loud (and possibly drunken) teenagers. So travelers might want to know how many guests are expected before making reservations.

Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank AustinAmbler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 23, 2012

We had a great experience staying at Kfar Hanokdim. The place is trim, clean and well maintained. The location is great if you love the desert – an oasis surrounded by desert, desert and desert!
There is so much safe open space for the kids to play, with the added interest of the desert landscape and animals. As the kids were so happy we could actually relax! A rare treat!
I wish there was a swimming pool there. It's really required here.
We stayed at the cabins, because we were worried how we will manage with the kids at the lodges but I think that it should be a great experience, especially for kids. The cabins are very comfortable and specially designed.
The team comes once in a while to check up if everything goes well.

Room Tip: We stayed at the "designed lodges" - great for families!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Alex B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2012

I've stayed the night in a tent in Kfar Hanokdim in order to experience true Bedouin experience. I was quite disappointed to find commercial companies holding events with loud music until late night which wasn't really the point of night in the desert. The food was OK. The service was good

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank RamPardes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kfar Hanokdim

Property: Kfar Hanokdim
Address: Route 3199 | כביש 3199, Arad 89100, Israel
Location: Israel > Southern District > Arad
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Arad
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2 star — Kfar Hanokdim 2*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the Kana'im valley which is in the Judean desert, between the city of Arad and ancient Masada, lies Kfar Hanokdim. It is a green oasis shaded by palm trees and crowned with Biblically inspired gardens. Merely walking into Kfar Hanokdim reveals a picturesque scene - Bedouin tents comfortably fitted with colorful rugs and mattresses. Kfar Hanokdim, surrounded by the breathtaking views of the Judean desert, offers relaxed desert hospitality, a real break from daily life. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kfar Hanokdim Hotel Arad

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