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Israel’s Mizpe Hayamim: A Most Magical Place

FrommerLuxuryTravel
Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer

We had spent a lot of time in Jerusalem and even moreso in Tel Aviv. Meeting more than 85 people, interviewing them for our new oral history It Happened in Israel (2017) was rewarding but hard work. The frenetic pace of Israel had become a way of life for us hustling about from place to place.

It was time for a time out, an overnighter. We flew on a very early flight out of Tel Aviv in a small plane and were picked up at a tiny airport and whisked in a Mercedes van to Mizpe Hayamim, a 37 acre outpost between the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights.

   A guard checked our name off a security list, and the barrier was lifted. Down a private, wooded, winding road we went. Another adventure - -and we have had many in our long travel writing careers.

The spa-hotel and wonder of wondrous places is one of only two Relais & Chateaux hotels in Israel.  It is expensive by Israeli standards, but well worth the price people pay who come from all over and then return again and again. Repeat guests are a way of life.

The lobby was a most magical place. Long hanging vines, the fragrance of blooming flowers the distinct and pleasing aromas of chamomile and lavender, the serene sound of songbirds, water trickling from fountains, all were part of the ethos. 

Our schedule only permitted just one full day in this over-nighter, but it seemed we were there for a week – we did so many pleasing things. The Mizpe Hayamim is a working organic farm, a soap factory, an organic dairy, a coffee plantation.  We attempted to experience all the rewarding and usual aspects of the property like the farmyards where puppies mingled with sheep and goat and cows – all friends, all happy, all living peaceful lives. We took in the orange groves, the vegetable fields and the herb plantings in the sun.

We wandered about on the stone paths. We went into the bakery, a place where daily organic breads were created.  We were directed into the cheese making facility, received samples, and took in the giant wheels and the bulging varieties of cheese. 

Mizpe Hayamim has more than 200 dedicated employees and almost a hundred rooms. About half of them are suites with their own whirlpool tubs. We had a suite that we shall never forget – roomy, beautifully furnished, one that had a panoramic view where we could see the lights of nearby villages below in the distance glittering in the night and still further out the Golan Heights and beyond that Syria. We could also catch a glimpse of the Sea of Galilee. All our senses were attuned to the wondrous world we experienced and we still remember when we out on our private balcony -- the sounds of birds singing, swooshing about. 

Clientele at Mizpe Hayamim gets the up close and very personal treatment but never –in-your-face attention. The award winning spa showcases olive-branch massage and rubdowns with oils taken from wildflowers. The indoor swimming pool and two large Jacuzzis are free of chemicals.

Dining is a special experience, and the organic restaurant has bragging rights to being one of the best in Israel.   The Muscat (non-kosher) meat Restaurant with its white linen draped tablecloth, its local wines, and its dishes replete with ingredients from virtually on the hotel’s doorstep is a prize winner.

 There is a saying among the staff: “Nothing smells of the refrigerator." That is simply as a result of no time to refrigerate. Zero kilometer dining is the norm.  Olives, cracked and pickled in a nearby Bedouin village, underscore this theme. There is also a mainly vegetarian restaurant, where freshly caught fish is served along with all kinds of pleasing fare.

To be at Mizpe Hayamim is to drink in the marvelous mountain-fresh air of the Galilee. To be at Mizpe Hayamim on the eastern slopes of Mount Kna'an, a bit east of Safed and north of Lake Hula, is to be at peace.

Part working farm, part sanctuary, part oasis, part retreat, part luxe resort, all of a splendid piece - -   Israel’s Mizpe Hayamim is truly a most magical place.

For all those who work there, for all those who go there, is the best o itf times.

 One day we plan to return.


The Dining Room


Coffee Making Time


Serenity on Terrace


A smiling cheese maker


Golan Heights and Syria in the distance


Breakfast-time in dining room

 

Hotel Mizpe Hayamin
Safed Road 89
Rosh Pinna, Israel
Phone: +972 4-699-4555+972 4-699-4555
Web: 
http://mizpe-hayamim.com

(Photos courtesy of Harvey Frommer) 

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Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer are a wife and husband team who successfully bridge the worlds of popular culture and traditional scholarship. Co-authors of the critically acclaimed interactive oral histories It Happened in the Catskills, It Happened in Brooklyn, Growing Up Jewish in America, It Happened on Broadway, It Happened in Manhattan and It Happened in Miami , they preach what they practice as professors at Dartmouth College.

As travel writers and food critics, they have published hundreds of articles in newspapers, magazines, and on the Internet. Their interest in the intermingling of past and present in Jewish communities around the world has led to a body of work whose locales range from New Delhi to Istanbul to Sicily.

Accomplished and charismatic public speakers, the Frommers have appeared before live audiences and on the media throughout the United States lecturing on their books and travel experiences.

Harvey Frommer is an acclaimed sports journalist and historian, the author of 43 books on sports including the autobiographies of legends like Nolan Ryan, Tony Dorsett, and Red Holzman. He also authored the highly notable sports oral histories Remembering Yankee Stadium, Remembering Fenway Park and When It Was Just a Game: Remembering the First Super Bowl.

Myrna Katz Frommer is a poet and contributor to such publications as The Forward, Ha'aretz, The New York Times, and The Encyclopedia of Jewish Women.

You can contact the Frommers at: myrna.frommer@dartmouth.edu, harvey.frommer@dartmouth.edu

This Article is Copyright © 1995 - 2016 by Harvey and Myrna Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.

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