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The Scots Hotel Tiberias & The Sea of Galilee – A Tale of Two Traditions

The Scots Hotel Tiberias & The Sea of Galilee – A Tale of Two Traditions

HOTELS, ISRAEL, LUXURY TRAVEL, MIDDLE EAST

One of the amazing things about traveling around Israel is the mixing of so many different cultures and traditions.  Imagine my astonishment when our hotel on the shore of the Sea of Galilee turned out to be like a visit to the Scotland of a hundred years ago!

Bordering the Sea of Galilee in Tiberias, the Scots Hotel in Israel boasts an exceptional blend of fascinating cultures, both local and foreign. Founded by a Scottish surgeon on a medical mission, Dr. David Watt Torrance came to Israel and built a hospital in 1894. This hospital transitioned into a maternity hospital in the 50s, and in 1999, the Church of Scotland opened a hotel that would serve as a commonplace of peace for all guests passing through. The only Reformed church in Galilee, the Church of Scotland often uses the Scots Hotel as a host for concerts and religious groups of all persuasions, a place where multiple cultures combine. This open atmosphere was the perfect setting on which to base our trip to the holy land, providing us with exceptional service during our exploration of the rich history surrounding the Scots Hotel.

Old Photos of The Scots Hotel Tiberias Israel via The Scots Hotel
Old Photos of The Scots Hotel Tiberias Israel – via The Scots Hotel

Tiberias is located on the western shores of the Sea of Galilee and has long been associated with health and processes of healing. It is a popular holiday destination, combining the best of relaxation, nature, history and culture.

The Hotel Exterior and Gardens via The Scots Hotel
The Hotel Exterior and Gardens – via The Scots Hotel
The Scots Hotel Entrance (via The Scots Hotel)
The Scots Hotel Entrance – via The Scots Hotel

The reconstructed antique rooms of the hotel are located in two separate buildings. These incredible rooms bring guests back to the end of the 19th century with a few key, modern improvements. Plasma screen TVs, espresso machines, and hair dryers are some of the few amenities that founder Dr. David Watt Torrance certainly didn’t have access to back in the day. These rooms are located in what was originally his house, or, in the nursing school that was also home to the minister.

Antique Rooms via The Scots Hotel
Antique Rooms – via The Scots Hotel

Our room was a deluxe room located in the main building. These rooms offer a modern take on classic Scottish style, many of which offer a beautiful view of the Sea.

Deluxe Room with a view of the Sea of Galilee - via The Scots Hotel
Deluxe Room with a view of the Sea of Galilee – via The Scots Hotel
The view of the Sea of Galilee from my Deluxe Room
The view of the Sea of Galilee from my Deluxe Room – The Scots Hotel

The David building is host to the Torrance Restaurant, where you can enjoy a truly different dining experience while on a balcony surrounded by gorgeous gardens. Originally the maternity hospital, the Torrance Restaurant plays with traditional Israeli cuisine and Scottish influence, creating a culinary twist on two very different styles of gustation. With herbs grown from the hotel’s garden and ingredients from local vendors, you are guaranteed a true taste of Galilee.

Torrance Restaurant - The Scots Hotel Tiberias
Torrance Restaurant – via The Scots Hotel Tiberias
Torrance Restaurant Outdoor Seating Area - via The Scots Hotel Tiberias
Torrance Restaurant Outdoor Seating Area – via The Scots Hotel Tiberias

Thousands of wine bottles from the wineries of the North make up the wine cellar at The Scots Hotel. What was once the hospital’s stove now contains bottles from wineries in Galil Mountain, Daltan, and Basalt (to name a few) as well as select wines from France and Italy. The Knight’s Table in the cellar plays host to whisky and wine workshops and tastings, and can sit up to 20 diners for meals and private events.

The Knight’s Table Wine Cellar via The Scots Hotel
The Knight’s Table Wine Cellar – via The Scots Hotel

There is no question as to which culture has laid the foundation for the Ceilidh Bar: the majority of the 80 types of whisky available are imported from Scotland. Located in the David building’s lobby, it is commonplace for guests to sip whisky or indulge in one of the seasonal fruit shakes while listening to the featured performers or demonstration of the soiree.

The David Building Area - The Scots Hotel
The David Building Area – The Scots Hotel
The Ceilidh Bar via The Scots Hotel
The Ceilidh Bar – via The Scots Hotel
The Ceilidh Bar via The Scots Hotel
The Ceilidh Bar – via The Scots Hotel

Guests can enjoy the instant gratification of waking up and running straight out to the water; the grassy areas behind the hotel give way to the enchanting Sea of Galilee. There is also the hotel’s enormous swimming pool, an enclosure large enough to hold events of up to 400 people. The area known as “The Beach Garden” and displays a unique variety of plants and flowers, it’s also a great spot for events or performances.

The Pool Area via The Scots Hotel
The Pool Area via The Scots Hotel
A boat ride on The Sea of Galilee
A boat ride on The Sea of Galilee

You can take advantage of the nourishing minerals yielded by a landed blessed with the best of the mountains and the sea. The Lakeview Wellness Centre & Spa by L’Occitane invites you to relax in the tranquil atmosphere provided by expert therapists and rejuvenating treatments. Whether you seek a traditional Hamman Treatment or are incensed by the aromas of the French-inspired L’Occitane therapies, you are sure to emerge feeling revitalized.

The Lakeview Wellness Centre & Spa Reception Area via The Scots Hotel
The Lakeview Wellness Centre & Spa Reception Area – via The Scots Hotel
The Lakeview Wellness Centre & Spa Treatment Room via The Scots Hotel
The Lakeview Wellness Centre & Spa Treatment Room – via The Scots Hotel
The Lakeview Wellness Centre & Spa Outdoor Relaxation Area via The Scots Hotel
The Lakeview Wellness Centre & Spa Outdoor Relaxation Area – via The Scots Hotel

The hotel also has a large gallery with original works of art of Jewish, Moslem and Christian artists mainly from the Galilee region displayed indoor the galleries and outside the hotel gardens areas.  Make sure you stop in and see the collection.

Art sculptures displays in the outdoor gardens of The Scots Hotel
Art sculptures displays in the outdoor gardens of The Scots Hotel
The Hotel Gallery via The Scots Hotel
The Hotel Gallery – via The Scots Hotel

The Scots Hotel is centrally located in Tiberias Old City, and adjacent to Saint Peter’s Church and within a 10-minute stroll of Tiberias Marina. The hotel offers free breakfast, free parking and free Wifi in rooms and public areas.  If you are coming to Tiberias book a room here, you won’t regret it.

The Scots Hotel, Gdud Barak St, Tiberias, 14100, Israel

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder and Senior Editor of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

35 Comments

  1. Nancy
    January 21, 2017 at 12:41 pm
    Reply

    First of all I have always wanted to visit Israel for the history and the beauty. But this hotel? Well, if we make it to the Holy Land this is the place to stay. Love the rock walls inside the room and spa. The Scots Hotel looks very elegant.
    Nancy recently posted…London Paris VibeMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 22, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      We loved our trip to Israel. We visited many of the holy sites, and churches. The Scots Hotel was the perfect place to spend a night when we visited this part of the country.

  2. Tamara
    January 21, 2017 at 1:59 pm
    Reply

    All of this looks amazing! Especially the wine cellar, the views of the Sea of Galilee and of course that swimming pool 🙂
    Tamara recently posted…10 reasons the Fairmont PJ Party should be your next girls’ getawayMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 22, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      After watching many movies and hearing reference to the Sea of Galilee, we couldn’t of be more thrilled to be staring at it from our hotel room window.

  3. Tammyonthemove
    January 21, 2017 at 4:21 pm
    Reply

    What a beautiful hotel. I love Scottish architecture, but it looks a bit strange being situated in sunny Israel as Scotland is always rainy. 😉
    Tammyonthemove recently posted…An adventurous weekend in San Gil (Part 1)My Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 22, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      It was a little strange to us too when we heard the history behind the hotel, and how it still maintained the Scottish heritage. It was truly a unique experience staying here.

  4. Steph Be
    January 21, 2017 at 9:36 pm
    Reply

    Israel holds so much character, what a beautiful and historical place! That hotel looks stunning- as well- I wouldn’t mind getting into the pool !!

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 22, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      When we visited it was mid October, and it was a little cool outside. So we didn’t get to enjoy the pool as much as I would of liked.

  5. Elaine J Masters
    January 21, 2017 at 11:28 pm
    Reply

    Such a beautiful and rare destination. I love the mix of cultures and the healing environment.
    Elaine J Masters recently posted…Oysters and Champagne – Seafood in SydneyMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 22, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      It’s hard to imagine that the hotel was once a hospital. I’m glad that they keep the buildings and refurbished them to be used as hotel rooms.

  6. Carol Colborn
    January 22, 2017 at 12:01 pm
    Reply

    That is indeed an interesting hotel. I would love to sleep in those rooms with those views and dine at the Knight’s Table!

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      I really enjoyed staring out the window of our room with the views of the sea, it was really relaxing.

  7. Aisha
    January 22, 2017 at 3:07 pm
    Reply

    Wow. What a great find. I can’t decide if I would have preferred the antique room with the stone walls or the room with a view of the sea.
    Aisha recently posted…Cruising – Bahama Mama!My Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      Both of the rooms are wonderful. The room with the stone walls have a wonderful view of the tranquil gardens outside.

  8. Supriya
    January 22, 2017 at 4:48 pm
    Reply

    I would have never known that such a hotel exists in Israel – it sure looks marvelous! Thanks for sharing.

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      I had never heard of the hotel before our trip to Israel. It was a great find.

  9. Kerri
    January 22, 2017 at 6:10 pm
    Reply

    Oh so much to love about this place. A very interesting history and so great that it lives on in the hotel’s decor and theme. I could just imagine sitting at the Knight’s Table having a long lunch! And, I’d most definitely be having a room with a view of the sea! Couldn’t miss that.

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      I know – so interesting to wonder about that! Thanks for your fab comment, Kerri.

  10. knycx.journeying.com
    January 22, 2017 at 11:10 pm
    Reply

    Just in time as I am planning to go to Israel so your blog post gave me some idea about where to stay! The view of the Galilee looks amazing and peaceful and I think that’s what I like to see when I wake up~ 🙂 @knycx.journeying

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      Glad to hear it! Hope you have an amazing time.

  11. Nathan
    January 22, 2017 at 11:46 pm
    Reply

    I will have to keep this place in mind as I’m planning to visit Israel in the next few months! The rooms are gorgeous, just perfect really. You got some great shots!

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      How exciting! You’ll have an amazing time, I’m sure. Let me know if you have any questions 🙂

  12. Sia
    January 23, 2017 at 3:02 pm
    Reply

    Such an interesting place! Definitely not something I would have expect to see in Israel. Honestly, I don’t have much expectations when it comes to Israel so I would probably be pretty surprised if I ever visit.
    The hotel looks great and it was so interesting to read about its history, the church and the hospital. Places with a rich history are always much better than just general hotels.
    Sia recently posted…+Tova cafe and working space, Sofia, BulgariaMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      I know what you mean, Sia! This hotel really went above and beyond my expectations. It’s such a memorable place.

  13. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie
    January 23, 2017 at 9:00 pm
    Reply

    The Scots Hotel is an experience unto itself! I’m not sure I’d leave. I love the history and culture of Israel and this hotel goes along with that theme. The views of the Sea of Galilee are stunning from the bedroom window. The refined atmosphere and tranquility come through perfectly in your photos and descriptions. I’d love to indulge in a stay here.
    Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie recently posted…How to Plan a Successful 1 Week Utah National Parks Road Trip ItineraryMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      You’re right about that – it’s definitely an experience in itself! Thanks for commenting, Jackie!

  14. Rosemary
    January 24, 2017 at 6:30 am
    Reply

    I continue to be fascinated by Israel. Now, the Scottish influence?? What a fascinating overview in your article. Of course, The Scotts Hotel, has it’s own unique heritage as well. Love the room with the views to the Sea of Galilee. Absolutely stunning.

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      Thanks! I couldn’t overlook their incredible history.

  15. Harsh
    January 24, 2017 at 1:08 pm
    Reply

    The Antique rooms of The Scots hotel look awesome! Totally in awe of the ambience and the healing environment.

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 24, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      I was in awe while I was staying there!

  16. Chrysoula
    January 24, 2017 at 5:40 pm
    Reply

    I find hotels with a long history really fascinating. I really like how the hotel was restored and how the incorporated the modern amenities. Definitely a hotel I would stay!

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 26, 2017 at 8:10 pm

      I’m the same way, I really enjoy staying in hotels that have some history behind them too.

  17. Megan Jerrard
    January 24, 2017 at 9:48 pm
    Reply

    Sounds like a wonderful accommodation experience – I love that they seem to have so beautifully fused Israeli culture with Scottish influence, and created a diverse and welcoming space. I love how the amenities are modern while still maintaining a classic decor and feel. Thanks for the hotel review, we’re hoping to visit towards the end of the year 🙂

  18. Lauren
    January 27, 2017 at 12:13 am
    Reply

    Carmen, this looks awesome! I just fall in love with any places that have the exposed brick walls like that. It has such a history and it’s such a unique place to stay.

    • Carmen Edelson
      January 28, 2017 at 2:14 am

      So glad you think so, Lauren! It’s truly a special place.

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