Marvin’s Place is a high-end guesthouse for two, located in the quaint town of Arad, in the southern part of Israel.
If you’re looking for a peaceful, quiet and romantic get-away – this is the place for you.
Imagine yourself sipping your favorite beverage on our beautiful wooden deck overlooking the captivating shapes of barren desert mountains and the distant Dead Sea on the horizon, enjoying the silent breeze of desert wind while a herd of camels stroll by, led by their Bedouin herdsman.
When you decide to return to your room, you’ll find yourself sleeping on an exceptionally comfortable mattress, watching your favorite show or listening to your selection of music on our 43-inch smart TV featuring Netflix, YouTube, Spotify and a whole lot more.
You’re welcome to cook up a storm in the kitchen or to grill your favorite meat on our Weber charcoal grill, then savor the flavors of your creation underneath the clear sky.
Marvin’s Place was designed with YOU in mind – your complete comfort is our priority.
How it all Started
Marvin’s Place served, for two decades, as the workroom of Marvin Friedman, who in August 2019 celebrated his 80th birthday; this is where he spent much of his time studying desert life and creating magnificent artwork. In this two-room / 1 bath apartment, attached to the main house but accessed separately, Marvin stored his arsenal of books, magazines, and art material.
Ask anyone in town about Marvin Friedman – they pretty much all know him as the mythological Biology teacher at the Arad High School, and a wildlife zoologist par excellence. “A legend” and “a rare person” are just two of the many powerful words used by some of Marvin’s former students to describe him. His unique teaching method involved taking students out to the desert so that they experience it, and bringing desert life into the classroom. He had a way with students, leaving them with great memories many years after his retirement; in fact, many of them claim he was the reason they began to love animals and nature in the first place.
Marvin’s workroom was recently renovated to accommodate individuals or couples looking to enjoy their time in the peaceful town of Arad, and no expense was spared to provide guests with a luxurious experience.
Arad is a small town, numbering about 24,000 people. It is situated in the southern district of Israel, on the border between the Negev and the Judean deserts. It is only a 20-30 minute drive away from the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, known for its unique beauty and serenity, and for its healing effects on various skin conditions. Thanks to its clean and dry air, Arad has attracted people suffering from Asthma and other respiratory conditions as well.
The modern town (now city) of Arad was founded in 1962 – the first planned city in Israel. It is named after the nearby biblical Canaanite town of Arad, now called Tel Arad, situated 9 kilometers west of the modern city. Tel Arad was resettled by Israelites in the 11th century BCE and destroyed by the Babylonians somewhere between 597 and 577 BCE. The name Arad was preserved by the local Bedouins (nomadic tribes) and later on became a Christian bishopric. Arad is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.
Arad is centrally located near several attractions: Bedouin communities, archaeological sites, the Dead Sea, Masada, Ramon Crater and the Small Crater, the ancient Spice Road, desert hike trails, wineries, and much more.
Arad can be reached from the West or from the East on HWY 31.
From the West: The closest main city to its west is Beer Sheva, a 45-minute drive away. If coming from the Ben-Gurion Airport, drive towards Beer Sheva but circumvent it on HWY 6 just before the town of Lehavim.
From the East: The road leading towards Arad from the east originates near the Dead Sea. If coming from Jerusalem, head south on HWY 90 towards the Dead Sea until it connects with HWY 31. If coming from Eilat, drive north on HWY 90 towards the Dead Sea and connect with HWY 31 around the town of Neve Zohar.
Traveling by Bus (does not operate Friday afternoons or Saturdays)
From Tel Aviv: bus number 389 to Arad's central bus terminal.
From Ben Gurion Airport: bus number 354 to Beer Sheva, and then bus number 388 to Arad.
From Beer Sheva: bus number 388 to Arad's central bus terminal.
From Dead Sea: bus number 384 to Arad's central bus terminal.
By Train (does not operate Friday afternoons or Saturdays)
The closest train station to Arad is in Beer Sheva. Once you reach Beer Sheva, take bus number 388 or 386 to Arad's central bus terminal.
Once You Reach Arad
Bus: number 1 to Mivtza Lot street (does not operate Friday evenings or Saturdays)
Taxi: a cab ride in town should run about 20 NIS ("Masada" taxi station is open 24/7 and can be reached at (08) 997-3333 or 4444.
Car: there is a large roundabout at the entrance to Arad. If coming from east, turn right and if from west, turn left into town. Make an immediate right turn onto Yehuda Street and drive past the main bus station and the police station. You’ll pass a couple of elementary schools on your left, followed by a kiosk. Turn right onto Akhva street and continue up the hill. Turn right onto Mivtza Lot street (Lot Trail).
Additional information will be provided after reservation is made.
Things To Do
Every Monday, you'll find fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as household items and inexpensive clothes
Restaurants and Bars
Kaparuchka is located walking distance from our place. Muza is located near the entrance to town. The Secret Garden is in the Industrial Zone and is open weekends. You'll find others in the town center and mall
Arad offers a number of unique culinary experiences - click here for more information
You'll find several supermarkets and grocery stores in Arad. There's a convenience store (LiLoLa) not far from our place, which is open 24/7 and offers pretty much everything you need (most other stores are closed Friday afternoon to Saturday night or Sunday).
Your best bet for finding clothing stores, pharmacies, office and art supplies and more is in the mall or the nearby town center. The Secret Garden is a unique store / nursery / restaurant.
Arad is home to Midbar (Desert) Winery, situated in the Artist's Quarter. You're also welcome to visit Yatir Winery, situated near Tel-Arad. Both offer wine tours with advance reservation. Also visit Sheeta Brewery for excellent local beer (open weekends).
A 15-minute drive from Arad towards Masada, Kfar Hanokdim offers camel rides and Bedouin hospitality.
Float in the Dead Sea, experience stunning views, and visit Sea of Spa, the oasis and botanical gardens at Ein Gedi, Mount Masada and much more!
Accessible from Arad (ramp) and the Dead Sea (cable car), this site goes back to the days of the Great Revolt against Rome. This is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ask about the audio visual show.
Just a 10-minutre drive from Arad, this site is the remains of a fortified city from the Early Bronze Age. Beautiful scenery, option for local camping.
Coffee Shops / Bakery
Located in the Artist's Quarter (7 Sadan St.) , Studio Coffee is open for breakfast at 7:30am through 5:30pm (2:30 on Fridays). They roast their own coffee and offer a variety of homemade toasts and baked goodies. Checkout EVENTS section of Facebook page to learn about live music nights and exhibits.
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