Last Updated on February 25, 2020 by Malerie Yolen-Cohen and Sandra Foyt
The Beresheet Hotel is truly heaven on earth. Set on the rim of the non-impact Ramon Crater in the Negev (mid-southern Israel), this is probably one of the most beautifully stark and surprisingly alive places in the world.
The Hebrew word, Beresheet, is the first word, and the name of the first book of, the Torah (the Jewish Bible). It translates to “In the Beginning.” It’s easy to imagine that this landscape has looked exactly the same for hundreds of thousands of years.
I stayed here for two nights in February 2015, and wished it were longer. Look at these photos and you’ll understand why.
The Beresheet Hotel seems to be a sacred place of peace in a region so mired in conflict.
Wow. Perhaps it was the happy Ibex family that greeted us at the entrance. Or floor to ceiling windows with views of the crater in the lobby. Or the exceptional and warm greeting (a new concept in this country!).
Collectively, a knockout. No wonder Beresheet tops the Best Hotel list in Israel, and secured a spot on the 2012 Conde Nast Traveler’s “Hot List” worldwide.
You need to walk or take a complimentary golf-cart shuttle to the main building from every room.
Guest chambers are housed in stone buildings on the property – each with balconies overlooking the Ramon Crater.
Rooms are large, with glass showers, Nespresso machines, high-end toiletries and comfortable bedding.
Being basically in the middle of nowhere – it’s important that food on site is at least palatable. The cuisine at Beresheet goes much farther past that, occasionally into brilliance (and sometimes not so much).
But even the most jaded diner will be blown away by many of the offerings. As with most Israeli hotels, an ample morning breakfast buffet – heavy on vegetables, salads, and cheese – is included in room rates.
But this being a deluxe hotel – the food is as lovely to look at as it is to eat.
Where else but in the “Land of Milk and Honey,” would you find a honeycomb dripping with the stuff.
You can’t go wrong with dinner, either. Chefs work away in the open kitchen coming up with inventive dishes.
On some nights, you can order off a menu, on others, its nirvana at the buffet table. Either way – incredible.
Activities at Beresheet Hotel
The landscape that surrounds the property inspires prayer and meditation. At dawn, you may see men donning prayer shawls and groups gathering for Yoga by the infinity pool.
Spa services are world-class as well, and book up quickly. In sum, this is a place to savor, a place of peace. Shalom.
More to Do in Mitzpe Ramon Israel
Take a path uphill from Beresheet Hotel to this natural and geologic history museum. The center also serves as a memorial to Ilan Ramon – the Israeli Astronaut who died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003.
The Visitor’s Center offers interactive exhibits explaining the natural processes which led to the creation of the erosion crater (makhtesh), and offers information about the plant and animal life that live in what might be assumed to be a barren and inhospitable region.
The best way to experience the Ramon Crater is to go down into it. Preferably in a jeep. And certainly with a guide who can convey the geologic history and current botanical and zoological diversity of this incredible landscape.
Ramon Tours offers a huge selection of these experiences – from 2 to 4 hour jeep tours, rappelling, and other adventure tours. First timers will thrill to learning about the formation of this “non-impact” crater – the largest of its kind in the world.
Just the Facts
Nightly room rates start at $350 with breakfast and $480 for breakfast and dinner (for 2).