The Jerusalem Post

Pull into nazareth... and stay at the Golden Crown

- • By HERB KEINON

So sang the Band in their 1968 classic song “the Weight.” despite what one might have thought, the nazareth in that song, according to band-member robbie robertson, was nazareth, pennsylvan­ia.

But that should have been obvious by the lyrics. Why? Because in nazareth, Israel, there are plenty of places to lay one’s head, and one of the more comfortabl­e places to do so is the newly renovated Golden Crown hotel on mount precipice.

With summer vacation just around the corner, with trips abroad with children who have not been vaccinated against CoVId-19 rather “iffy,” with eilat sweltering in the summer, tel aviv a fortune for a family vacation, and horshat tal sure to be teeming with loud campers, many people are scratching their heads wondering where would be a nice place to take the family away for a few nights. think nazareth. that’s right, nazareth, usually thought of primarily in the context of Christian tourism because of the city’s unique history and its bevy of churches and holy sites.

While the Golden Crown is a prime location for Christian visitors interested in being close to the town’s religious sites, there is more to nazareth than just the Church of the annunciati­on, St. joseph’s Church and mary’s Well. nazareth is a town for Christian pilgrims, but nazareth is not only a town for Christian pilgrims.

there are also narrow alleyways, colorful markets, inviting shops, lovely vistas, an old City and even a boutique brewery. It’s a city ripe for exploring.

and not only is nazareth a great place to explore, so is the jezreel Valley, with the hotel serving as a great jumping-off point for touring the region, an area often overlooked and bypassed by people on their way to the Galilee or Golan. If Idaho and montana are fly-over states in the uS, the jezreel Valley is a drive-by region in Israel. Few stop to look around, which is a mistake, because there is a lot to see.

Within a four-minute drive from nazareth, one can hike on mount tabor, scamper around the ruins at the tzipori and meggido national parks, and swim at Gan hashlosha (Sahne) if you travel south – or take a dip in the Sea of Galilee if you go slightly northeast. nazareth is a prime spot for those interested in day trips and outdoor activities in the region.

But the Golden Crown is also well-suited for people who just want to take a couple of days off and stay pampered inside the hotel – relaxing and reading in the spacious, wide-open lobby, which affords a commanding view of the biblical valley below, or sitting poolside and enjoying that same view.

In addition to the main pool outside, the hotel also features a smaller, heated pool inside the spa area. the inviting and relaxing spa includes several comfortabl­e massage rooms, as well as a jacuzzi and saunas.

one of the nicest features of the hotel is its feeling of spaciousne­ss. the lobby is large, and the ceilingto-floor windows looking out onto the valley below make it feel even more so. the same is true of the cafeteria – large enough to accommodat­e hundreds of guests without the feeling of people being seated right on top of you. the arch motif in the lobby gives the hotel’s interior the cavernous feel of a Crusader castle.

Spacious rooms are also available for families, with one of the hotel’s family-vacation selling points being its 26 family rooms – among the 270 in the hotel – that can be divided into two by a sliding door: one for the parents, and the other for children sleeping on sofas or pullout beds. these ground-floor rooms open up to a lovely garden, which looks onto an even lovelier valley.

nazareth – not what you thought.

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