Yearim Hotel: A country getaway near the city

Situated in the peaks of the Jerusalem hills close to Kibbutz Ma’aleh Hahamisha, Yearim Hotel is far enough from the city to relax and enjoy nature, but is still close enough to be convenient and easy to get to for a quick midweek getaway. The newly renovated hotel, with its […]

Situated in the peaks of the Jerusalem hills close to Kibbutz Ma’aleh Hahamisha, Yearim Hotel is far enough from the city to relax and enjoy nature, but is still close enough to be convenient and easy to get to for a quick midweek getaway.

The newly renovated hotel, with its 13 spacious conference halls, the largest being able to host up to 450 people, boasts an incredible view of the hills and is surrounded by greenery in every direction, making it hard to believe that only a few minutes away is a busy highway.

The atmosphere in Yearim is anything but stressful, however. With a variety of different all-inclusive packages made to suit any customer who walks through the doors, the hotel is an excellent choice for midweek vacationers, as well as those looking for a longer getaway.

One such package provided by the hotel is its “midweek wine getaway,” which offers vacationers a bed and breakfast package with a tour and wine tasting at Kadma Winery in nearby Kfar Uriya.

Kadma first opened in 2010, and is a family-run boutique that sets itself apart by being the only winery in Israel to use clay casks – each one handmade in Georgia – adapting and modernizing this ancient technique for its successful business.

The tour of the winery starts inside, where we had the opportunity to learn about the history of the winemaking tradition and the family-run business before seeing the handcrafted casks. We were then allowed a glimpse into the inner workings of the winery, where each step of the process is laid out along the way.

After the 30-40 minute tour, visitors are invited to step outside into the beautiful and breezy terrace, which overlooks swaths of open green fields. There we were served a light lunch, which included cheeses, olives and roasted vegetables, which all went perfectly with the glasses of white wine and rosé that were poured for us. The midweek winery package is NIS 700 per couple.

Even if wine tasting isn’t for you, there will be something at Yearim that is. With spa packages at NIS 899 per couple, culinary tours in Mahaneh Yehuda at NIS 740 per couple, and a summer package suitable for the whole family, the hotel has something for everyone.

The summer package includes a family vacation with three meals in the hotel’s dining room – all cooked with locally sourced products – an indoor and outdoor pool, a children’s club and evening activities for the whole family. The package can be purchased for NIS 1,290 per couple per night, or for NIS 800 for breakfast only.

After a morning at the winery, we arrived at the hotel and checked into our room in the Shaked building. Entering the room, we were greeted with a bottle of red wine and a fruit platter, which we enjoyed while looking out at the spectacular panoramic view of the Jerusalem forests.

The Shaked rooms are one of three different options guests can choose from, and all are designed in beautiful forest and earth tones, mimicking the surrounding outdoors.

All 160 rooms are equipped with a minibar, safe, cable TV, coffee and free Wi-Fi, as well as a variety of toiletry products.

The hotel boasts a large indoor pool, a shaded and grassy outdoor area, a gym and a spa. And for visitors hoping to go further afield, bicycles are available to rent.Yearim Hotel (Credit: Courtesy)Yearim Hotel (Credit: Courtesy)
The hotel is in close walking or driving proximity to a variety of historic locations including Har Adar, which was a key site during the War of Independence, Castel National Park, St. John in the Wilderness Monastery and Beit Zayit, where prehistoric dinosaur imprints, the only in Israel, are still visible in the ground today.

Nature enthusiasts can also choose from any number of hiking routes including Har Haruach and several other routes that follow the forest’s natural streams.

Whether you choose to go by bike or by foot, you won’t want to miss out on any of the beautiful scenery surrounding the hotel. Leaving the cool and elegantly decorated hotel lobby, we walked the short distance to Kibbutz Ma’aleh Hahamisha to learn about the local history from our tour guide, a New York native who has been living on the kibbutz for more than 30 years.

The guided tour, which guests can take up every Sunday and Wednesday in July and August, tells the story of the kibbutz from its founding in 1938 by the Gordonia youth movement up until the present day. Guests can also visit the barn, where they will learn about the milking process of the cows.

The tours are in either Hebrew or English and are a fascinating look into kibbutz culture and the way it has changed over the years.

Close to the entrance of Ma’aleh Hahamisha, guests can enjoy a meal at a dairy restaurant, run under the kashrut supervision of Tzohar, which doubles as a plant nursery, bringing nature inside.

Leaving the kibbutz to the background of the setting sun, we made our way back to the hotel dining room. Plenty of options made with local produce were laid out in a buffet, and guests could choose from a plethora of meat, fish and vegetarian options.

After a restful night and a buffet breakfast, we checked out and drove the short distance to Janana Park in Kiryat Anavim.

The newly opened park is the first of its kind in Israel. The main attraction is the large and vivid ropes course, which features 130 different rope combinations, 25 climbing walls, bungee jumping and a zip wire, which at a length of 440 meters, is the longest in the country.

By September, the large space will also feature a go-karting track, paintball, virtual reality experiences, and more. It is open seven days a week, and is for children ages four and up.

For more information, reservations, and online exclusive discounts visit www.yearimhotel.com

The writer was a guest of the hotel.

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