Israeli Hotels Vie For Lucrative Passover Market
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Israeli Hotels Vie For Lucrative Passover Market

The view from the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem.
Courtesy of David Citadel
The view from the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem. Courtesy of David Citadel

Israeli hoteliers, looking to lure the lucrative market of English-speaking tourists who will be vacationing in Israel in the spring, are planning the poshest of Pesachs.

From Jerusalem to Tel Aviv to Caesarea and Zichron Yaakov, there are a growing number of first-class hotels angling for the bottom-line-padding Passover business.

The Dan Hotels chain has been catering to English speakers for a half-century now. “We understand this market segment, which brings us a lot of repeat business because of our attention to detail and pride in providing excellent service,” said Rafi Baeri, Dan’s vice president of marketing and sales. “Pesach is no exception as several of our properties, such as the Dan Accadia-Herzliya, Dan Caesarea, Dan Tel Aviv, King David and Dan Panorama Jerusalem, welcome families back year after year to enjoy a meaningful and luxury holiday.”

Jerusalem’s posh David Citadel Hotel has also become a Pesach destination for many vacationers from the U.S. During the past year, the facility has also undergone a facelift to accommodate the hotel’s discerning clientele.

All of the hotel’s rooms and suites were recently renovated, according to a hotel spokesperson. “Our exclusive Executive Lounge serves guests who stay in suites a variety of dishes and beverages throughout the day, which is unique to the David Citadel,” the spokesperson said. “The culinary vision for Pesach via our head chef Avi Turgeman is to ‘move and touch’ our guests through special traditional and modern dishes. The chef’s culinary team also features ethnic cuisine experts who fashion delicious Jewish Eastern European and Mediterranean dishes.”

With the debut of several new luxury hotels in the Herzliya marina area, tourists who enjoy the Mediterranean have several hotels from which to choose. “During the last few years, travelers’ needs have changed,” said Ned Capeleris, general manager of the Ritz-Carlton Herzliya Hotel. He explained that tourists are trying to accomplish “more in less time, getting the quintessential Israel experience in a week, especially those traveling with children.” In order to facilitate them, “the tailor-made experience provided by our concierge allows them to discover anything from authentic spice markets, to contemporary art, at the nearby high-tech hub to the Mediterranean Sea coast within one visit,” Capeleris continued. “During Pesach, we offer gourmet cuisine while meeting our client’s kosher dietary requirements, and we offer an array of adventurous children activities at the Ritz Kids club. What brings families back to our hotel, year after year, is our ‘ladies and gentlemen’ commitment to providing outstanding personalized service experience.”

Roni Aloni, vice president of sales and marketing for Fattal Hotels, the largest chain in Israel with over 30 hotels, said that the Herod’s Herzliya Hotel is an example of a quality hotel that specifically targets Anglo tourists with stellar amenities. “Because this is a high-end hotel, we make sure to offer a unique VIP experience, whether it’s activities for children or cocktail parties for adults,” said Aloni. “Our chefs are very creative and use the freshest ingredients from all over the country, whether they are preparing meals for guests in our hotels in Herzliya, Netanya, Tel Aviv and of course, the Leonardo Plaza in Jerusalem, which has been a legendary and very Pesach destination.”

Several hotels along Tel Aviv’s beachfront promenade attract many tourists during Pesach. The largest, the David InterContinental Hotel, recently renovated its top five floors and will complete a refurbishing of its Executive Rooms, which cater to wealthy clientele.

In the northern coastal town of Zichron Yaakov, the Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel is focusing on the “art of Pesach.” The hotel was built on the belief that “when you stay with art, the art stays with you long after you leave,” said Elma’s general manager, Bruno De Schuyter. The “one-of-a-kind” hotel is the brainchild of Israeli philanthropist and art collector Lily Elstein. Spread out over 28 acres, it features 95 spacious guestrooms and 750 square meters of gallery space devoted to Israeli and international artists. Elma (an acronym for Elstein Music and Art) also features two state-of-the-art performance halls, the locally sourced Oratorio restaurant, indoor and outdoor pools and a pampering spa.

“In Israel, you might find a hotel with a copy of a Picasso painting hanging on the wall,” De Schuyter said. “At Elma, we actually display over 100 pieces of original art, including an authentic Picasso item. There are always art exhibits and concerts throughout the year, including Pesach, when there will be a series of concerts during Chol Hamoed to entertain our guests.” 

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