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Kosher Hotels

What are kosher hotels?

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Derived from the Hebrew word “kashér,” which means to be proper, the term kosher refers to food items fit for consumption under traditional Jewish laws, known as “kashrut.” Collectively, these laws come under a scripture known as the Torah, which is a compilation of five different texts. Everything is underlined in these texts, from the kind of food to how it is sourced. Therefore, kosher hotels will have dining facilities and other amenities that cater to people who follow these laws.

Importance of kosher hotels for observant Jews

There are multiple reasons why Jewish people who follow kashrut might want to look into kosher hotels when they travel. One of the most important ones is it helps form a sense of community with other Jews from around the world, who might feel isolated in other non-kosher spaces. Plus, they get to enjoy their vacation without having to worry about accidentally going against their beliefs by consuming non-kosher food or not having the necessary means to adhere to rules, such as no elevators during Shabbat. The peace of mind provided by these hotels goes a long way toward ensuring that observant Jews have the best experience possible.

How to identify a kosher hotel

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One of the first steps in verifying whether or not a hotel is kosher is to check for kosher certification. If a hotel has been approved by a rabbinic agency as kosher, guests can book a stay there without worry. Look for symbols that will tell you exactly which kosher practices the establishment adheres to. You can also often find more information about the hotel's practices on the official website, as some properties highlight their kosher facilities to draw guests.

For those who don't have the time or energy to check for certification marks, it might be useful to pull up reviews and ratings from previous Jewish guests. You can find them on booking websites or even on Google.

Term Definition
Kashrut Hebrew word meaning “ritual suitability” and referring to Jewish laws regarding food
Pareve Foods that are considered neutral, meaning they are neither meat nor dairy. E.g., fruits, vegetables, grains
Cholov Yisroel Milk that was extracted under Jewish supervision
Glatt Kosher Unblemished meat from animals without adhesions or imperfections in their lungs
Kosher Certification Recognition from a Rabbinic agency certifying that a product or establishment follows the kosher laws
Shochet Someone recognized and authorized to slaughter animals according to kashrut laws
Treif Not fit for consumption under kosher laws
Challah A special bread used in Jewish cuisine
Pas Yisroel Bread or cake baked under Jewish supervision
Mashgiach Supervisor who ensures kosher standards are upheld
Basar Meat
Chalav Stam A kind of milk that is believed to be up to kosher standards despite not being supervised by a mashgiach
Kosher for Passover Something fit for consumption during the Jewish holiday of Passover
Shechitah Ritual slaughtering of animals according to Jewish law
Bishul Yisroel Food cooked by a Jewish person

Kosher standards and dietary restrictions

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Kosher rules highlight the specifics of how food should be sourced, prepared, and consumed. One key aspect is ensuring that meat and dairy are stored separately and prepared in different utensils. Additionally, only shechitah can do the slaughtering of kosher animals. Those consuming meat must also carefully drain it of all blood before it is cooked.

During Sabbath and Passover, these restrictions might get even more stringent with additional rules in place, such as pre-set room temperatures or prohibition of leavened food items.

Since these rules are so intricate and many, it is always wise to check for kosher certification. It won't be possible for Jewish guests to supervise food preparation, especially in a hotel, so a certification serves to alleviate any fears.

Typical features of a kosher hotel

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  • Separate kosher kitchen and dining areas

It is essential to have separate kitchen and dining areas to prevent accidents such as milk and meat products getting mixed up.

  • Presence of a mashgiach

A good rule of thumb is to always have a mashgiach on site who will supervise and ensure proper food preparation follows Jewish laws.

  • Shabbat/Sabbath-friendly environment

Apart from the aforementioned pre-set room temperatures, during Sabbath, Jewish laws dictate that lights must remain on in spaces, regardless of whether or not they're empty. A special keycard system could help ensure this happens. Plus, reserved lower-level rooms for Jewish guests might also be arranged to cancel out the need for an elevator.

  • Rabbinical supervision

Establishments might have a rabbi regularly visit them to check whether kosher standards are being properly upheld and advise on better ways to observe these laws.

  • Kosher appliances and cleaning products in accommodations

Separate utensils for milk and meat are a must, along with separate sinks to avoid contamination. So, you might see these more commonly in kosher hotels.

  • Culturally considerate staff

It is important for the Jewish community to feel at ease when they travel, which can be achieved by a staff well-versed in the laws and customs of their guests.

  • Cultural events and programs for the Jewish community

What better way to bond with one's culture and fellow travelers than by celebrating events together? Kosher hotels often organize events to help their guests feel more at home. You can check out the kosher hotel's official website or contact them for the event schedule.

  • Proximity to a synagogue

Prayer is an inextricable part of any religion, so kosher hotels might be next to a synagogue where guests can go to worship.

Top destinations with kosher hotels around the world

Destinations with kosher hotels in the Americas

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  • Hawaii

Packed with fun things to do, Hawaii is a favored destination for all kinds of travelers. Its capital, Honolulu, is especially popular and is home to Oahu Jewish Ohana and Chabad of Hawaii, creating a fun, engaging, and inclusive atmosphere for Jewish visitors. Plus, there are a number of wheelchair-accessible activities in Maui, one of the most popular cities in the island state, ensuring no one is left behind. There's also a range of luxe and affordable kosher hotels in Hawaii, including Holiday Inn Express Waikiki, an IHG Hotel, which you can check out if Honolulu is where you're going.

  • Florida

Known as America's "Sunshine State," Florida has much to offer, including sunny beaches, a warm climate, and a varied culture. While you're here, don't forget to check out the best kosher restaurants in Miami. Incidentally, Miami also has several synagogues, including The Center for Jewish Life, so be sure to check out one of the kosher hotels here for a pleasant stay.

  • New York

New York state's namesake city is so popular that it is almost as legendary as Paris. Despite its fast-paced life and concrete-forest cities, one of the best things that New York offers is a hotpot of cultures. It has one of the largest percentages of Jewish populations in the country. It also ensures that Jewish visitors are well taken care of, thanks to incredible kosher restaurants in New York City and a range of excellent kosher hotels peppered across the state. Those with more adventure in mind can head up to the Catskills for challenging hikes. Moreover, this region is favored by Jewish travelers in the summer and is home to Landfield Avenue Synagogue and Spring Glen Synagogue.

  • Mexico

Known for its incredible cultural heritage, Mexico is a beloved destination. Although it has many gorgeous places to visit, one of its top destinations is undoubtedly Cancún, known for its endless stretches of beaches, MUSA, which is a fascinating underwater museum, and nightlife. Even its kosher hotels are excellent, with options including a stay in Beachscape Kin Ha Villas & Suites, which offers a delightful combination of kosher food and direct beach access. Jewish visitors will be happy to know that Cancún is also home to Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish Center of Cancun, where they'll find delicious Shabbat dinners and various events.

Destinations with kosher hotels in England

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  • London

London is one of the most diverse cities in the world, so it naturally follows that it's a top destination for Jewish travelers. It has both kosher hotels and restaurants catering to observant Jews, so you'll be spoilt for choice. If you're here during Shabbat, you can pop by West London Synagogue, the oldest Reform synagogue in Britain.

  • Bournemouth

Home to Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation and Bournemouth Reform Synagogue, Bournemouth offers a welcoming environment to Jewish visitors. If you're looking for good hotel recommendations here, consider Normandie Hotel, one of the best kosher hotels in the area known for its attentive hospitality and great location. Moreover, you can relax in this town by visiting the beach or planning a glamping trip to nearby locations.

Destinations with kosher hotels in the Middle East

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  • Cyprus

The island country of Cyprus is famous for many things, with some of them being its breathtaking natural beauty, delicious wine, and delectable cheese. Plus, its kosher hotels ensure that Jewish guests have a wonderful stay. One of the country's most famous synagogues is the Great Synagogue of Cyprus, which is worth a visit, especially during Shabbat.

  • UAE

Famous for its elevated quality of life, futuristic emirates, and gorgeous landscape, the UAE is unparalleled. While here, you can visit Dubai to experience the best of the country's lavish offerings. Though not the capital, it's well known for attractions such as Burj Khalifa and the exquisite Palm Jumeirah. If you have the budget, you can even book a stay in Armani Hotel Dubai, a luxurious hotel in Burj Khalifa and widely touted as one of the best kosher hotels in the emirate. Moreover, if you plan to visit Abu Dhabi, don't miss the chance to visit Moses Ben Maimon Synagogue, famously called "the first purpose-built synagogue in the Arab world for nearly a century" by UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.

Destinations with kosher hotels in other European countries

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  • Italy

The experience of floating through a canal in Venice or wandering the storied streets of Rome are just two of the unforgettable moments Italy offers to visitors. Though the vast number of attractions in Italy certainly call for an extended holiday, those with time constraints should head to Venice for a taste of the country's best festivals and experiences. The city also has excellent kosher hotels, including Pardes Rimonim, near Jewish Museum of Venice. Be sure to also stop by Scuola Grande Tedesca, one of the oldest synagogues in Venice, to see its amazing and unique architecture.

  • Spain

Spain is a much-underrated destination with a rich culture and history. You'll also find incredible beaches in spots such as Menorca, Mallorca, and Ibiza. Jewish visitors will be especially interested in Santa María la Blanca, one of the oldest synagogues in Europe and surreal in its beauty. For those looking to go on vacation during Shabbat, Barcelona has some of the best kosher hotels in Spain for a smooth stay experience.

  • France

France is one of the most popular destinations in Europe thanks to its many historical landmarks, tours on offer, Eiffel Tower, delicious flaky pastry, and impressive fashion. It also has one of the largest Jewish populations in the world, concentrated mostly in Paris, the jewel in the country's glittering crown. This means you'll find great choices for kosher hotels and restaurants here, along with impressive synagogues such as Synagogue de la Victoire.

  • Austria

Home of Sigmund Freud, Austria is a fascinating country with beautiful villages and a serene lake region. Vienna, its capital, is especially blessed with a plethora of activities, attractions, and a long history as the birthplace of musical geniuses. Jewish guests will love the variety of kosher restaurants here to try. Stadttempel, its primary synagogue built in the 19th century, is also a must-visit.

Things to consider when booking a kosher hotel

  • Location

Location can play a huge part when planning any trip, especially if you'd like to be close to certain amenities/services or places for worship. For kosher hotels, this could mean looking for one near a synagogue to allow you to offer prayers. You could also consider hotels close to popular attractions or beaches for easy exploration.

  • Shabbat-friendly amenities and facilities

Since more stringent rules are observed during Shabbat, Jewish guests should look for hotels with amenities such as special keycard systems and lower-level rooms, to name a few.

  • Child and pet policy

If you're traveling with little ones or with pets, checking hotel policies is always a good idea before you go. This can also be true in case you have any allergies or are particularly concerned about pets getting into kosher kitchens/dining areas.

  • Accessibility

Unfortunately, not all hotels have accessible amenities, such as handrails in the shower or braille room numbers. To counter this problem, make sure to read hotel amenities carefully to ensure that the hotel is fit for you and your loved ones.

Choose the perfect kosher hotel for an inclusive and enjoyable stay

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As the hotel and tourism industry grows more inclusive of cultures, more and more kosher hotels are popping up to ensure that Jewish people can travel wherever they want without the extra headache of having to find kosher restaurants along with accommodations or choose accommodations that aren't ideal. From locations near synagogues to special keycard systems, these hotels offer every comfort imaginable to their guests through extra amenities.

Kosher Hotels in the United States

Kosher Hotels in the Middle East

Kosher Hotels in Europe

Kosher Hotels in Other Destinations

FAQ's about Kosher Hotels

  • What does kosher mean?
    Derived from the Hebrew word "kashér," kosher refers to something fit for consumption according to Jewish laws.
  • How can I confirm that a hotel is kosher?
    You can check if it has a kosher certification from a rabbinic agency.
  • Are kosher hotels expensive?
    Prices can vary based on several factors, including location, services, and amenities. However, kosher hotels can be more expensive than non-kosher hotels, especially during Sabbath or Passover.
  • Are kosher hotels Shabbat-friendly?
    Yes! Kosher hotels have a wide variety of amenities to ensure your Sabbath goes smoothly.
  • Are kosher hotels pet-friendly?
    Pet-related policies can differ based on the property's rules. But do keep in mind that since kosher food has specific guidelines, your pets may be barred from certain areas, even in pet-friendly hotels.
  • What are some examples of non-kosher food?
    Non-kosher food can range from types of food, such as pork and shellfish, to food not sourced or prepared correctly. Examples of the latter could be meat from an animal not slaughtered according to kosher rituals or milk not extracted under the supervision of a Jewish person.
  • Who is a mashgiach?
    A mashgiach is a supervisor who ensures that kosher practices are followed.
  • What are some typical features of a kosher hotel?
    Typical features include separate kitchen and dining areas, Sabbath-friendly amenities, the presence of a mashgiach, occasional visits from a rabbi, and proximity to a synagogue, among other things.
  • Are kosher hotels only for Jewish guests?
    Although kosher hotels are geared more toward Jewish guests, they're not exclusively for them. Non-Jewish guests can feel free to drop by and enjoy a closer look at the culture!
  • Where can I book a kosher hotel?
    You can check Trip101's curated kosher hotel articles for recommendations and book through or Expedia.

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