High-end hotels are blooming in Israel these days like, well, so many spring flowers. Three premium hotel chains — the Hilton Corp., the Ritz Carlton and the Jewish state’s Isrotel — will open new venues in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Herzliya in the next few months, in time for the summer travel season.
Hilton is transporting New York’s Waldorf Astoria experience to site of the former Palace Hotel in the form of the 226-room Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem. The new venue blends the architectural grandeur of old Jerusalem with the hotel’s renowned state-of-the-art amenities; it is set to open just before the start of the summer tourism season.
Given the large expenditure from the Hilton chain and the hotel’s owners, expectations are running high. “Our high-end customers will enjoy the best of everything,” says the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem’s general manager, Guy Klaim, “from unprecedented service and beautiful rooms to incredible gourmet kosher food prepared by our executive chef, Franco Luise, who was the executive chef in one of the most exclusive restaurants in Venice.”
Kleiman said the hotel has already attracted many advance bookings all the way into 2015.
In Tel Aviv, the 23-story Royal Beach Tel Aviv Hotel, which is set to open in May, is the newest addition to the Isrotel chain’s “Exclusive Collection” of five-star luxury hotels. The 240-room facility, which is located on the beach promenade in the heart of the city, is, like the Waldorf, aimed at the high-end traveler. “For many years, Isrotel was known as a typical hotel company that operated some quality hotels in Eilat for the locals and European winter tourists,” says the chain’s CEO, Lior Raviv. The Royal Beach, he suggests, will be different, with large rooms with ocean views, a high-quality spa and a chic beachfront kosher restaurant. “We decided to change our strategy and aggressively target the business traveler and upscale tourist markets, because we believe that the high-end service we already provide in our Exclusive Collection hotels (Bereshit, Carmel Forest Spa, etc.) as well as the new Royal Beach Tel Aviv, will enhance our image as offering the best ‘destination’ hotels.”
“In June, Isrotel will also open the Cramim Spa Hotel as part of its Exclusive Collection. The 156-room boutique hotel, which is located in the scenic hills between Jerusalem and Modiin, will target young couples and business travelers who can enjoy a unique spa experience amid the beauty of the area, which is adjacent to forests and mountains,” says Raviv.
Within the scenic Herzliya Marina (located just north of Tel Aviv), the Ritz Carlton Hotel chain is preparing to open its first luxury facility in Israel in June. The hotel, which sits atop the tony Herzliya Arena Mall, features 197 rooms and 82 suites, with balconies overlooking the marina and the Mediterranean coastline. Amenities will include a rooftop pool, multi-level spa and health club, as well the chain’s first kosher restaurant.