Hooha! Israels first hotel for bikers up and running

aMany seasoned travelers are so over the one-week all-inclusive vacation packages to Cancun. New values have streamed into our consciousness: values like environmental awareness, keeping fit and getting in touch with the local culture and surroundings.

 Looking to fill the niche market of cycling holidays, the HooHa Cyclists House is the first cyclists’ hotel in Israel. Established six years ago in northern Israel, the hotel offers single rooms and dorms to accommodate up to 30 people looking to bike around Israel’s scenic Mount Tabor and Lower Galilee region.

HooHa caters to amateur and pro cyclists as well as teams.

Dror Nevo and his wife, Hadas, opened HooHa in the village of Kfar Tabor, but not because they were lacking work. The parents of two both had lucrative careers: he as a vice president in a high-tech software company, she as a veterinarian.

However, after a three-month cycling vacation in New Zealand seven years ago, they decided to turn their dream into reality: They would open a cyclist hotel. They scouted around, found a location, and a year later the doors were open and the wheels were rolling.

About 85 percent of their guests are Israelis, Dror surmises, about 60 percent of them cyclists, the rest just visitors who enjoy the location and ambience.

Dror has launched a marketing campaign to attract tourists, and  already has  a dream itinerary for a three-day ride.

“Of course it depends if they are mountain bikers or road bikers,” he explains. “Most of the people would like the Beit Keshet single track, a trail we established with the Jewish National Fund. And all the area of the Tabor River. We could end the trip in the area of the Jordan River or the Kinneret [Sea of Galilee].”

HooHa offers a range of room rates — the least expensive is comparable to a hostel, while the most expensive is more like a three-star hotel. Cycling equipment can be rented as part of a package, and it’s also possible to hire Dror as a guide.

He believes that bicycling is becoming a way of life for some Israelis, especially on the weekends: “It’s become like a culture and I hope it’s here to stay.”

The entrepreneur is already planning a cycling hotel network throughout Israel, linking it to Europe. — israel 21c