2010 was record year
for tourism to Israel, with nearly 3.5 million foreign travelers coming to the Jewish state, and the Israeli hotel industry is hoping for a repeat performance in 2011. In fact, many major hotels are in the midst of upgrading their rooms and services in order to lure new visitors from North America during the ’11 tourist season.
Here is a roundup of what some of the top hotels in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and beyond are offering guests.
Inbal Jerusalem Hotel. The five-star luxury hotel is now offering free WiFi to all guests in their spacious rooms. Inbal’s general manager, Bruno de Schuyter, said in a release that a trend in travel these days “shows that travelers need to stay continuously connected. As a result certain amenities are becoming a basic requirement for visitors. We are proud of the fact that we are offering WiFi to our guests as a standard service.” Guests will also be able to make all phone calls (local and international) at a discounted rate of 25 cents per minute. For guests who use iPhones or Androids, the hotel is now offering a free downloadable Inbal mobile app. The application offers guests exclusive news, offers, deals, direct reservations etc. via their smart-phones. The hotel is also a pioneer in the use of multiple forms of social media to stay connected with their clients. For more information: www.inbalhotel.com
Mamilla Hotel. An Oriental-accented wellness center dubbed “Akasha” that showcases a gym, spa and organic bar has recently opened at the posh hotel, which is part of the Alrov Mamilla Avenue tourism and shopping complex, located directly across from the entrance to the Old City. Akasha highlights a “harmonious experience for the body, mind and soul,” featuring Technogym equipment, a private training room, and daily yoga and meditation classes. The spa offers a variety of unique hydro treatments in a “watsu pool,” with special music, aromas and lighting in the background. The organic bar features an array of healthy salads, sandwiches and fruit shakes. For more information: www.MamillaHotel.com
Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel & Towers. A series of new suites have opened at the Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel & Towers. After renovating most of the hotel’s guest rooms, the Sheraton Tel Aviv turned its attention to the four floors that comprise its “Towers” area, and especially to the 19th and 20th floors. “What we created in the new Mediterranean, Ambassador and Presidential suites on both of these floors are suites that can fulfil a number of purposes,” said General Manager Jean-Louis Ripoche.
“Each of the newly refurbished suites — and the rooms too in this part of the hotel — has been enhanced by one-of-a-kind paintings by young Israeli artists.” The Mediterranean and Ambassador Suites are aimed at business travelers and guests who enjoy a “romantic ambience.” The white-work desk features a split-screen computer that has been outfitted with Internet, built-in camera and a printer that faxes and scans. The 115-square-meter Presidential Suite features a state-of-the-art flat-screen TV and surround system, remote control DVD, touch smart desktop PC and Internet. A bar and a master bedroom face the Mediterranean Sea. Guests who book the Presidential Suite are also pampered by a private butler. For more information: www.Sheratontelaviv.com
David InterContinental Hotel. The luxurious five-star hotel, which recently refurbished its conference rooms and introduced two new types of suites for guests, is putting the finishing touches on a redesigned third-floor atrium lobby. The new atrium will include an additional business lounge, an upgraded version of the hotel’s popular Aubergine restaurant, as well as an outdoor terrace bar by the pool overlooking the inviting Tel Aviv beachfront. For more information: www.intercontiental.com/telaviv
Rimonim Mineral Tiberias. Formerly known as the Holiday Inn, the renowned Rimonim hotel chain recently added this popular northern Israeli tourist venue to its roster. The Rimonim Mineral is part of the Tiberias Hot Springs complex, where guests can soothe body and soul in the thermo-mineral water pools, sweet-water pool, spa, sauna and health club. The hotel boasts a private beach for guests along the Sea of Galilee. During the winter season, the Rimonim Mineral Tiberias offers special mid-week and weekend rates for couples and families, and other discounts via direct booking. For more information: http://english.rimonim.com