‘My Favourite Hotel’ review – Carmel Forest Spa Resort, Haifa, Israel

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Today, our ‘My Favourite Hotel’ review is a unique mountain resort in Israel.

We are currently running this reader-written feature to provide some positivity and inspiration to Head for PointsYou can find all of the ‘My Favourite Hotel’ reviews so far by clicking here.  This was scheduled to be a series of about 25 hotels, but a good response from readers means that we have commissioned another batch and are continuing the series.

Today’s hotel is the Carmel Forest Spa Resort, part of the Isrotel chain.  It is reader Ruth’s favourite hotel and here is her review:

Overview

When most people think of taking a holiday in Israel, their first point of call is usually Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. However, the third most populated city in Israel is Haifa, and just a 20-minute drive away from this bustling city sits the Carmel Forest Spa Hotel located on the Carmel Mountain.

Carmel Forest Spa Resort hotel review

This quiet spa hotel does not allow children under 16, or mobile telephones in public spaces, and provides an extremely relaxing break. A minimum of two nights is recommended.

Save with a hotel membership

The Carmel Forest Spa is one of five Exclusive Collection hotels run by the hotel chain Isrotel. They also have 11 other hotels in the country.

Isrotel has a membership scheme called the Sun Club which costs tourists 350 NIS (around £80) for a 2-year membership. If you plan on visiting multiple Isrotel hotels, it is well worth becoming a member. Membership includes 10% off all rooms booked via the Isrotel website, and 10% discount on all expenses during your hotel stay. The club also offers birthday and anniversary treats including a bottle of wine and a free meal in the hotel restaurants.

Booking

The cheapest way to book your stay is directly via the Isrotel website.  Usually the best deals you can find come with at least one free spa treatment so it is worthwhile checking out the “deals” section of the site before booking your stay. The cheapest days to arrive are usually Saturdays due to the Jewish Sabbath.

Arrival

Guests can arrive at the hotel from 1pm onwards and rooms are guaranteed to be available from 3pm (these times are slightly later on a Saturday). On arrival you will find a welcome stand with healthy treats such as fresh juices, tea and oatmeal cookies.

I highly recommend arriving at the hotel as early as possible if your stay will be short. Upon arrival you are greeted by a porter who will take your luggage, and you will receive a text message once your room is ready, allowing you to benefit from the hotel’s facilities as much as possible.

Food

All bookings include half board meals. Being a spa hotel, the food tries to remain healthy, and all meals include a vast salad bar together with whole-wheat, low fat, low sugar and low carb options. You will get a call from the hotel ahead of your stay asking if you have any other dietary requirements and the hotel is always happy to accommodate any special diets .

Carmel Forest Spa Resort hotel review

You can also opt for full board dining.  However, the breakfast room remains open until 11am and even if you do feel hungry ahead of dinner, there is a lounge café with reasonably priced snacks and salads. Dinner is served a la carte and a secret that only the regulars are aware of is that you can request multiple main dishes from the waiters without any extra charges.

Carmel Forest Spa Resort hotel review

Rooms at Carmel Forest Sa

The hotel offers many different types of rooms. The cheaper rooms are on the higher floors (6/7), and as you get lower down the rooms get larger and feature balconies or even small gardens. There are also a number of suites available. Your room choice, however, is not so important as the majority of your stay will be spent using the hotel’s spa facilities.

Carmel Forest Spa Resort hotel review

Spa facilities

The hotel has an indoor and outdoor swimming pools, jacuzzi, dry sauna, wet sauna, Turkish baths and a solarium.

Carmel Forest Spa Resort hotel review

There is also a outdoor tennis court – rackets and balls are provided. Being a Spa hotel there is also a large fitness room which is open 24/7 and multiple work-out rooms offering activities from kick boxing over mediation, to couples’ yoga. There are multiple individual and couple treatment rooms and the hotel offers various types of massages, dermatological treatments or dietician consultations.

Carmel Forest Spa Resort hotel review

Hotel facilities

The hotel also has a large reading room containing all the latest magazines, a large cinema where films are shown most evenings, multiple conference rooms, a cosy bar that usually offers an evening happy hour and a large lounge area.

My tips for your visit

  • If you are celebrating a special occasion, tell the staff at check-in, they will be happy to spoil you. We had rose petals on our bed, together with a fruit platter and a bottle of wine awaiting us in our room when we told the hotel we had recently got married.
  • During the day there are a range of teas and fruits available in the waiting room of the spa
  • The reading room is filled with all the latest magazines and books so be sure to pick up your fill of literature for your stay
  • On your day of departure, even once you check out, you can stay in the facilities until 6pm, and the hotel offers a locker service for guests to use
  • Be aware that most guests will wear their robes for the duration of the stay, however these are not allowed at dinner
  • Dinner usually gets very busy, so make sure you book a time slot with the concierge upon arrival

Conclusion

The Carmel Forest Spa Resort is a warm, friendly hotel, and is perfect for a getaway. The staff are very friendly, and if you need anything they will go out of their way to accommodate. This is a hidden gem in Israel. Once you have tried this hotel, the other Isrotel Exclusive hotels are also a must.

If you want to find out more, the hotel’s website is here.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. Andrew MS says:

    A once beautiful forest now filled with ugly concrete

  2. Andrew says:

    Again, what’s the price?

    • Helen says:

      Clicking on the link to find out would have been quicker than typing your comment

      • Andrew says:

        Of course but my point was more that the majority of these reviews don’t mention the price which is rather an important thing to mention as part of any review. At £200/300 a night this hotel sounds pretty good, less so at £500. There’s a price at which even the best hotels are no longer worth it. How hard would it have been to add a sentence at the end simply stating “Standard rooms start at £X per night” to save a few thousand readers from having to search individually?

        If we’re expected to go to the hotel website to fill in important gaps in these reviews then 3/4 of the entire article could be removed since it’s all there on their homepage.

    • Jonathan says:

      From £320 for a standard room.

  3. Novice says:

    This review reads like an ad, just like last one. I think it’s the use of “ you can do” instead of “I did”…

    A review is essentially meant to be an opinion piece and should have an aim of arguing why something is good or bad. It’s not supposed to be telling people what they should feel about something. Eg. If I review a book, I should be stating how it made me feel and why the author’s message was good/bad and how I interpreted it. It shouldn’t be my so called review stating “you will feel like you are there living the character’s life” etc.

    A reviewer has no right to tell ppl how they will like something😂

    • jack bloggo says:

      “reads like an ad” is a constant theme across all these recent “reviews”, including that most of them dont mention how much was paid, or when the stay took place (which is highly relevant as the decor, cleaniness and service might well be entirely different today compared to an ‘old’ review).

      Not a single personal experience is noted in the above ‘review’ . Not one.

      These ‘reviews’ come across as little more than blog filler filler that’s been bought en masse, rather than the insightful contribution from readers that they proport to be.

      • We commission them based on what was suggested by the reader in a 4-5 line summary. Writing this stuff in long-form is harder than you think – some turn out to be really well written, given that the writers don’t do this for a living. In general, a focus on the facilities etc is more useful than direct commentary on specific meals, especially as the stays are likely to have taken place quite a long time ago. It would be weirder if someone who stayed at a hotel 18 months ago was able to give specific feedback on a meal they ate.

        • Novice says:

          I wasn’t trying to say a review needs specific details but I do believe that the reviews should read like opinion or have some personal reasons for said-opinions.

          Nobody is asking if a meal was good it’s not masterchef. And you can write about facilities etc from a personal point of view. Maybe it’s because I am a writer that I am more critical but honestly this and the Algarve reviews both could have just given the hotel website details and left it at that. These aren’t reviews.

          And I understand that these are from ppl who don’t write for a living but surely anyone in this world can review something they have experienced if they are literate. 🙄

        • jack bloggo says:

          however it *is* weird that someone that chose to designate this as their favourite hotel, did not recount a single personal experience regarding the hotel.

          And what about the tagline “Once you have tried this hotel, the other Isrotel Exclusive hotels are also a must.” at the end (I note you deleted my comment regarding that). How does someone allegedly citing personal experience of a single hotel, conclude that all the other hotels in the group are now a must ???

          • I assume the person has visited some of them!

          • Hi all,
            Just to clarify a few points in the article:
            1. I visited the hotel at the end of February this year, and I usually visit 3 times a year.
            2. All the tips throughout the article (and everything written in bold) were based on personal experiences staying at the hotel.
            3. I have visited ALL of the other Isrotel Exclusive hotels, and it is on that basis I said that I highly recommend them.

  4. Hotels in Israel are extremely expensive – and it’s a very problematic destination.

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