There is one place on earth that turns me into a content human being in an instant. It’s a place that, as soon as I hear, see and smell it, makes every inch of my body relax and be at ease. It’s the rainforest I’m talking about. Now you might wonder why I’m going on about this crush in a post about a spa hotel in Israel… Don’t worry, I’m not rambling on about two entirely unrelated things, but the soothing effect the rainforest has on me was just the first thing that came to my mind when our car pulled up the driveway of Mizpe Hayamim. It was quite possibly the closest you could get to the rainforest in Israel.

Mizpe Hayamim is an organic farm and spa hotel in Galilee, a province in the north-east of Israel. It’s located on a hill, so from the terrace you can see over Golan Heights – all the way towards Lebanon and Syria in the north and east. Here, Israel is as green and humid as it gets, with forests and meadows, large trees and beautiful flowers everywhere. The temperature is ideal for farming and winegrowing alike.

Hotels we love - Mizpe Hayamim Israel, by Kathi Kamleitner | travelettes.net

Hotels we love - Mizpe Hayamim Israel, by Kathi Kamleitner | travelettes.net

Hotels we love - Mizpe Hayamim Israel, by Kathi Kamleitner | travelettes.net

Coming from the dry heat of Tel Aviv, stepping out into the fresh countryside air felt like a relief. I could hear birds sing; a little stream was gurgling in between the green bushes and flower beds. We were greeted by the hotel’s hospitality manager outside the hotel lobby; he wanted to show us the farm – where the magic happened – before we would indulge in the food and spa treatments inside.

Because it is quite easy to have that sort of sustainable lifestyle in this area, the hotel tries to produce everything possible locally: veggies and fruit for the restaurants, herbs for soap and beauty products, goats, pigs and cows for milk, cheese and meats. The farm is open for everyone, and the hotel encourages guests to stroll around and find out for themselves where the food on their plate is coming from. Our tour was kicked off with a heart-warming highlight: the animal compound. A few puppy kisses and goat selfies later, we strolled through the forest and passed a few vegetable fields – just in time to witness the harvest of tonight’s greens. Oh, I’ve never eaten a kohlrabi that tasty!

Hotels we love - Mizpe Hayamim Israel, by Kathi Kamleitner | travelettes.net Hotels we love - Mizpe Hayamim Israel, by Kathi Kamleitner | travelettes.net Hotels we love - Mizpe Hayamim Israel, by Kathi Kamleitner | travelettes.net

When I was sure it couldn’t get any more serene, we were taken to a beautiful picnic table which had many of the delicious goods produced at the farm: different kinds of cheese, bread, sweet and savory pastries, tomatoes, cucumber, mulberries, rose jam, pickled veggies and much more. Without having set foot inside the hotel yet, I already never wanted to leave. Turns out the way to my heart really is through my stomach…

Well-fed, we rolled back down towards the hotel and popped by the cheese cellar, the food shop and, of course, the bakery. The chef had just taken fresh pizza out of the oven, so we had to give it a try – being a Travelette can be pretty tough. Once inside, there were plants and flowers everywhere, covering the stairwell in a tapestry of green, and birds singing. Climbing the stairs or taking the glass elevator all the way to the top floor felt like moving through different layers of the canopy.

Hotels we love - Mizpe Hayamim Israel, by Or Kaplan | travelettes.net Hotels we love - Mizpe Hayamim Israel, by Kathi Kamleitner | travelettes.net Hotels we love - Mizpe Hayamim Israel, by Kathi Kamleitner | travelettes.net

The rest of the day I spent lounging and relaxing. My room came with a big couch which stood in a corner of windows (instead of walls) and I had a small balcony overlooking the grounds behind the hotel and the art shop. I munched on more mulberries and cubes of homemade Halva, traditional Israeli sweeties made from Tahini (sesame paste). I even had my own whirlpool. But instead of jumping right in, I headed towards the spa for a beauty treatment. I went for ‘Love Therapy’ – not what you think! – which started with a thorough coconut body scrub and facial, and finished off with a full-body massage. Rejuvenated, happy and soft as a baby bottom, I ended the afternoon in the whirlpool on the sundeck before dinner.

Hotels we love - Mizpe Hayamim Israel, by Kathi Kamleitner | travelettes.net Hotels we love - Mizpe Hayamim Israel, by Or Kaplan | travelettes.net 20 Hotels we love - Mizpe Hayamim Israel, by Kathi Kamleitner | travelettes.net

The hotel has two restaurants – one vegetarian (where breakfast is served) right next to the lobby, and a fancy restaurant on the top floor overlooking the valley. We were spoilt with THE single best steak I have ever eaten in my life (‘bleu’ all the way), beautiful creations of fish, vegetables and cheese, and of course a whole truckload of sweets – so big we could barely finish it.

Hotels we love - Mizpe Hayamim Israel, by Or Kaplan | travelettes.net Hotels we love - Mizpe Hayamim Israel, by Or Kaplan | travelettes.net Hotels we love - Mizpe Hayamim Israel, by Kathi Kamleitner | travelettes.net

We checked out after only one night. I could have easily stayed an entire week; spending the mornings walking around the grounds, the afternoons getting spoiled at the spa and the evenings stuffing my face with delicious food – nothing wrong with that! The entire concept of Mizpe Hayamim was completely unexpected – and so indulging that I could barely believe it was real. Every detail was spot on without feeling too planned or artificial. I could see and feel the joy the farmers, soap makers, chefs and therapists had with their work. They loved sharing their little slice of heaven with us.

Hotels we love - Mizpe Hayamim Israel, by Kathi Kamleitner | travelettes.net Hotels we love - Mizpe Hayamim Israel, by Or Kaplan | travelettes.net Hotels we love - Mizpe Hayamim Israel, by Kathi Kamleitner | travelettes.net Hotels we love - Mizpe Hayamim Israel, by Or Kaplan | travelettes.net

If you head to Israel and want to treat yourself, your body and your soul, definitely go for a retreat at Mizpze Hayamim – it’s a real paradise!

Disclaimer: I visited Israel on courtesy of VibeIsrael, who also arranged my stay at Mizpe Hayamim.

All photos by Kathi Kamleitner & Or Kaplan.