Overlooking the ancient city of Safed, Villa Galilee is one of the few hotel accommodation options in the North of Israel. Unfortunately it wasn’t a very impressive place, nor was the stay particularly memorable, even though there were some nice moments (we were celebrating a bachelorette weekend).
Ha-Gdud ha-Shlishi St 106, Safed, 13100, Israel
18th October 2015
This is probably the one (and only?) thing the hotel has going for itself. It's perched on top of Mount Canaan with stunning views of Safed and the surrounding Northern Galilee landscapes. Standing on the hotel's balcony at sunset was really quite breathtaking.
It was a mixture of orthodox and non-orthodox Israelis, Jewish and non-Jewish tourists, mostly middle-class.
Style and Character
They were going for a cozy, country-style feel, from "the french landscapes of our childhood" (quoted from their website). In some ways, this is the style of the hotel, however it's in dire need of a renovation and refurbishment, especially in the lobby area. My biggest pet peeve is artificial flowers, and there were way too many of them around here.
The service was decent, but very simple. There is one front-desk receptionist at all times, who doubles as restaurant host and house-keeping. The two receptionists really were very nice but things just took too long when asked for, and service was inconsistent.
Rooms and Suites
We stayed in a Deluxe room which was very spacious and had a lovely balcony with amazing views. The bed itself was quite comfortable but the linen was just not good at all. The towels were even worse - scratchy and with a few old stains (!!). As I mentioned, there was just one toilet paper roll and so we had to keep ringing down asking for more which was ridiculous and inconvenient (especially since they kept coming up with, again, just one roll). Bathrooms were clean, but the shampoo/conditioner/shower gel was not very nice. Lastly, while the website notes that all rooms come with bathrobes and slippers, ours did not. When I mentioned this to the front-desk their response was a blank stare.
Food and Drink
Tzfata Restaurant, or La Marjolaine, is supposed to be a gourmet Kosher French chef restaurant, and one of the finest in the Northern Galilee. This was very far from the truth. At dinner there was a nice menu selection and the food was actually quite decent. I had lamb which was tasty, but the side dishes left much to be desired and the bread was dry. It was clear that I ordered the best thing because most other dishes were extremely disappointing and tasteless. Breakfast was not great at all with a poor selection of food and again, dry bread.
Features, Wellness, and Amenities
There is quite a nice pool at the hotel and we spent most of the weekend lounging by it. The lifeguard was really friendly and the pool area was very inviting and lovely. The only complaint I had was that the water temperature was very cold. We mentioned this and the following day it was warmer.
Even though the hotel advertises itself as a luxurious 4* boutique hotel, it's not. The rooms are not cheap (even though accommodation in Israel, in general, is quite expensive) and it's not worth the money. I'd be interested to know when they do decide to renovate and would happily return and give them a second change. Until then I would much rather stay at Mizpe Hayamim, Bayit Bagalil, or the Carmel Forest Spa. Stay tuned for those reviews..