Gayle Shimoff
Teacher, Educator, Savta and Blogger

Vacationing in Eilat – Fun and Sun Corona Style

Last week, my husband and I had the good fortune of vacationing in Eilat, before Hanukkah. It was our first  vacation since before the coronavirus, and we wanted to beat the rush. It was beautiful. The weather was perfect and the sun was shining every day.  The palm trees, flowers, and water were so very good for my soul.

Eilat is as close to Hawaii as we will get in Israel.

I am very proud of Eilat. The city has really upped its game since I was there last, quite a few years ago. The boardwalk has been upgraded and the beaches are clean. The municipality has set up more than 100 stations around the city with free activities. There were posters announcing the times and places of each event, like yoga, aerobics and musical entertainment. Outdoors, organized and free, that’s a win-win for the city and the people.

Watching the preparations for the Desert Marathon was so exciting for me, as I wondered which of my neighbors and friends would be coming down to run through our southernmost desert.

Setting up for the Desert Marathon on the boardwalk.

A big shout out to the  Dan Eilat Hotel. While I truly appreciated the effort all the staff made to be friendly and helpful throughout our stay, I was quite impressed with their ability to enforce Corona rules.  Upon our arrival my printed Green Pass was examined carefully and, lo and behold, the hotel employee at the front desk noticed it was no longer valid. We were not allowed to check in until I showed them the updated pass on my Ramzor app.

And breakfast! Who doesn’t love an Israeli hotel breakfast? Not only was it terrific, and with too many choices, but the dining room staff was forever vigilant, continuously insisting on mask wearing over our mouths and noses, even when we rose from the table to refill our plates! It was nice to see guests cooperating; none of the attitude you often see in other places.

All of the Dan Eilat Hotel outdoor swimming pools are heated. While it is one of the higher end hotels in Eilat, I do recommend staying  there if swimming is important to you and you can swing the cost. Being able to swim every day in the sunshine was the highlight of my vacation.

My husband coming out of the waterslide at the Dan Eilat Hotel.

For those of you going to Eilat or anywhere on vacation this week, I hope you have a wonderful time and hope Corona rules are enforced even with crowds of people.

Don’t be afraid to ask the staff to enforce the rules if they are not. It is your right. It is everyone’s right to stay healthy and feel comfortable and protected wherever they are.

Finally, we did manage to pull ourselves away from the pool one day, in order to visit The Underworld Observatory Marine Park Eilat. It was a wonderful experience, and we found both their indoor and outdoor exhibitions interesting and well designed. The guides enforced COVID rules and educated the visitors about the Eilat marine life ecosystem and about taking care of our sea creatures and coral.

I learned many interesting facts. For instance, there are two types of turtles in the park, one with a round head, like in Finding Nemo, who is very large and can live until 120. The smaller one, with a pointier head, will only live 80 or 90 years. Did you know that sharks  need to eat only once a week? And they don’t really eat humans. We don’t taste good to them.

As I reflect on our very relaxing and enjoyable vacation, I do have one piece of advice for the Dan Eilat Hotel, and all the other hotels as well. While I appreciated being provided with new water bottles each day, I felt really bad throwing them away when I was done.

How about doing away with disposable plastic bottles, and providing each of your guests with a reusable water bottle emblazoned with your logo?  This way you can advertise your hotel and save the planet!

Have fun in Eilat on Hanukkah, or wherever you will be. Chag Urim Sameach!

All photos were taken by Gayle during her trip.

About the Author
Gayle is a specialist in the fields of dyslexia, reading development & learning disabilities, having worked with hundreds of students during the span of her 35 year career. She also initiated a community project which established a home for lone soldiers in Beit Shemesh and was operational for 7 years; taking care of scores of English speaking young men during their service in the IDF. Gayle Shimoff grew up in New York and moved to Israel with her family in 1994. She lives in Beit Shemesh with her husband Danny and their dog Krembo and loves being a savta! ​
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