Kibbutz Lotan is situated a little to the north of Yotvata, and far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Eilat to the south to allow you to experience the atmosphere of the southern Arava but still make the beaches easily accessible in 40 minutes or so should you wish to liven things up a little. But if it's a swim you’re after then the kibbutz pool is a superb way to cool down in the mid-afternoon; no need to trek south unless it's sand and coral you're after. Staying at Lotan is a family orientated experience with an ecological flavour so if you want to get back to nature then this is a great place to base yourself.
I'm a very keen nature lover with a heavy bias towards birds and I've stayed here many times. It's a bird lover’s paradise. There can be literally thousands of birds in the Kibbutz grounds which act like a magnet during periods of migration – March to May is arguably the best time. A circuit round the pool, the organic gardens and the newly formed wetland area makes for a great pre-breakfast walk. Also, from Lotan you can be up in the nearby mountains within a few minutes or in remote wadis that few people visit and watch birds on your own without having to break sweat.
I've always really enjoyed the food at the Kibbutz - a good, wholesome, healthy mix which will keep you going all day usually served in a buffet manner. It can get busy in the dining area and be aware that you’ll be sharing with the families and workers from the Kibbutz which all adds to the flavour.
The rooms are simple, clean and tidy and I always feel relaxed and at home in them. I’ve had a few issues with showers and windows occasionally but there has been an ongoing programme of improvements to upgrade the rooms and they’re gradually working their way through them.
If you want bright lights and luxury then head south but if you want a really good desert experience that brings you close to nature within a working Kibbutz that puts family at the centre then I’d recommend you give Kibbutz Lotan a try.