Location: Nachal Tzippori, Beit Lechem Haglilit
‘We just came back from a great one night stay at Suite Camping Tabash, Allone Abba. It is a holiday park with air conditioned tents patio area with table and chairs and kitchenette. It has a great pool looking over the mountains, hot tubs and a games room. There are activities for the kids to do in the day and at night a film is shown on a big screen. It is apparently kosher but we bought all our own food as we didn’t know, also it was cheaper. We booked on bookings.com for 600 nis but you can get deals including full board. Cold drinks and coffee are available all day at no extra cost. Just a heads up, you will hear the Muslim call for prayer at 5 in the morning. The route to get there is towards Beit Lechem Galilit then take the dirt track on the left. The staff could not be friendlier the kids of 12, 8, 5 could not be happier, so all in all brilliant 600 nis spent!’
‘Glamping’ -camping in air conditioned tents
By Deborah Dickson August 2014
How much you enjoy staying here depends on what kind of experience you are looking for. If you’re comparing it to camping, then this is ‘glamping’. If you’re looking for a luxurious night away, then this is not for you. Were we happy we went and did the kids have fun? Definitely, yes!
Sarah Kaye (see post below) had quite a reaction upon arrival and the truth is we did too… We arrived at 2pm (after a lovely visit to Kfar Kedem) and it felt very busy – lots of children and their parents lounging around, the pool water was cloudy and the Jacuzzi area pretty dirty.
However, the girl who showed us around was very sweet and helpful and our tent was fab. We were in no.20 which meant we only had one neighbor and a great view. There are clusters of tents at either end, but we were lucky to be away from those areas in terms of personal space.
The tents open up to an indoor space that leads to two bedrooms or spaces with a double bed in each. The linen was clean and the tent well-kept. The websites say tents can only fit 5 but they allowed all 7 of us in one tent – 3 kids in one part, 2 of us in another and two camp beds they provided for outside. I think I read somewhere that if you need cots you should bring your own but you would need to check that. There is definitely space for it inside, if a little cosy. The air-con was great and the temperature outside in the evening was pleasant (even in August). Each tent had a gazebo outside with table and chairs.
So despite our private thoughts about where we had come on our one night away, the kids were keen to try out the water and (cringing a little) I let them in the Jacuzzis (I was happy to see the chlorine tablets in there!). Thankfully, not long after we got there – around 5pm they cleaned everything up – changed cushion covers in the lounging areas and Jacuzzis were refilled. In hindsight, if your kids swim regularly, then I wouldn’t especially spend the whole afternoon there for the ‘spa’ facilities. Had we arrived at 5pm I think we would have started on a better foot. There is an area with football tables, air hockey table (without air!) and a pool table but we could have done with some cards or games of our own to tide us over until 7pm for supper.
As Sarah said, supper was actually really nice – BBQ meat with salads and kid friendly food and cold drinks provided. Straight after there was a great darbuka chug for everyone – the musician brought various instruments and had adults doing shira b’tzibur-style karaoke to great Israeli favorites. My kids age 2-10 all enjoyed and could come and go freely throughout if they got bored for a bit. Following this a sweet film was put on – cinemateva – and then around 10 they had bonfires. The main reason we went for this place was because I wanted my children to enjoy a bit of Israeli kids club fun and this was nicely done. They fell asleep quickly in our tent until the Muslim prayer call was heard loudly from nearby BEFORE 5am!! Obviously we seemed to be the only tent whose child woke up – our two year old was not happy and did not go back to sleep…so had a difficult rest of the day as a result. Kudos to my hubbie who watched the sunrise with her while we went back to sleep.
Breakfast was at 9am so it was good I brought provisions of our own to keep them going til then. Breakfast was basic but good enough. They have activities included in the stay – rides in Tomcars (4 in a car – 3 and an adult to drive) which was fun and dusty, and a short ride on horses which my kids really loved.
A tip – if you want to get out to do something later in the morning be sure to speak to the person at the help desk who will put you down to go first for these activities. After the activities we went to the archery in Beit Lechem Haglilit (recommended for age 7+).
All in all, as a camping experience it was great – everything is provided (except towels and toiletries) but I think it would be nicer at less busy times of the year. Having said that, it was silent all night – no noisy people – even with all ages being there, but the lower price brings a different crowd that takes a bit of getting used to initially.
It is kosher, Rabbanut of Haifa and there was a teuda on the wall although there was only one other kippa wearing guest. Also sign posts say Shirat Gan Eden even though they are now called “Suita B’Teva – and there is a way there without going on the pot-holed dirt track, through an Arab village – we came back this way using Waze.