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Luxury Hotels in Israel

Luxury Hotels in Israel

Old Sep 17, 13, 3:40 am
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Luxury Hotels in Israel

does someone know if Dan Hotels Jerusalem is aluxury hotels or standard hotels.

I intend to visit in Jerusalem and I don't understand it.
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Old Sep 17, 13, 9:25 am
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This could be an interesting thread. I guess most people whould call King David a luxury hotel, but I donīt know it by my own eyes, so I canīt really judge.
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Old Sep 17, 13, 10:41 am
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For Israel, the King David would be considered a Luxury Hotel.

The rest of the Dan properties are 3 star hotels at best
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Old Sep 17, 13, 11:27 am
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Originally Posted by Shlomi228 View Post
does someone know if Dan Hotels Jerusalem is aluxury hotels or standard hotels.

I intend to visit in Jerusalem and I don't understand it.
No, the Dan group are not luxury. The only true deluxe hotel in Jerusalem is Malmilla - http://www.mamillahotel.com/
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Old Sep 19, 13, 2:00 pm
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We have commented on this before but there is no such thing as true luxury in Israel and there is certainly not a service culture.
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Old Sep 19, 13, 5:55 pm
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Originally Posted by OliverB View Post
If you want a TRULY memorable experience unlike any other, stay in The Efendi in Acre. It's a beautifully restored 19c Ottoman Palace that's definitely world class and one of the nicest hotels I've ever stayed anywhere in my life. Destination worthy on it's own, approx. 2 hrs drive from Tel Aviv. The service, food, cocktails, attention to details were top notch and unmatched - the best we've experienced in the country! It's owned, operated and personally overseen by famous chef Uri (forget last name) of Uri Buri who was there to personally wlecome us on arrival and apologize for some issues we had entering the old town due to some kind of Muslim celebration that had blocked off the streets. The hotel had sent someone on foot to collect our luggage and escort us to the property, which is tucked away inside winding alleys above a centuries old mosque and the bustling marketplace overlooking the old ramparts and Mediterranean. We lucked out in that we were among the first guests to stay after it's opening and booked the best suite they had.

The only two properties I'd return to in Israel are The Efendi and American Colony in Jerusalem. The Efendi would be a destination on it's own. The town itself was in my opinion, the most fascinating, picturesque and exotic feeling in Israel.
Originally Posted by OliverB View Post
The Efendi and to a lesser extent, The American Colony, were the only two exceptions that I would return to.

The only hotel to discuss on this forum (Luxury Hotels) in the whole of Israel is The Efendi. There really isn't any other truly luxe property in the country
http://www.efendi-hotel.com/

Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
i see 12 room efendi opened march (14th?) 2012, after perhaps 8.5 year restoration

Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
Originally Posted by 1/[email protected] View Post
Closest thing I have found to a luxury hotel in Israel is the Montefiore hotel. Its a tiny little boutique hotel with excellent service - easily the best service I ever had in Israel.
www.hotelmontefiore.co.il - tel aviv 12 rooms
confirmed via PM they were referring to that one in tel aviv and not the one in jerusalem
upcoming waldorf >
Originally Posted by damaxer91 View Post
Interesting write up from the Times of Israel on the Jerusalem hotel scene: http://www.timesofisrael.com/check-i...-david-street/

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Sep 23, 13 at 2:07 pm
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Old Sep 20, 13, 10:00 pm
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
This could be an interesting thread. I guess most people whould call King David a luxury hotel, but I donīt know it by my own eyes, so I canīt really judge.
I already posted in that thread - which contains some useful advice - so Iīll only post a brief reply:

There are many decent hotels in Israel, but very few if any truly luxurious properties.

In Tel Aviv, I tend to recommend either the IC Tel Aviv or the Dan Hotel - both decent hotels, but somewhat overpriced for what they offer.

In Jerusalem thereīs the King David, the Mamilla and the American Colony Hotel - which are all decent options, but nothing extraordinary in terms of service.

There are a few boutique hotels which some people seem to have enjoyed, but I canīt personally comment on any of those.
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Old Sep 20, 13, 10:03 pm
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Originally Posted by speedbird001 View Post
We have commented on this before but there is no such thing as true luxury in Israel and there is certainly not a service culture.
I would somewhat disagree with that statement.

I have encountered many hotel staff who definitely embraced a service culture (and according to some people who live in Israel things have been improving over the years), however I havenīt stayed at a hotel that was able to consistently deliver 5* service.
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Old Sep 21, 13, 10:19 am
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The Waldorf in Jerusalem has been pushed back again...... Summer 2014 now
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Old Sep 21, 13, 2:13 pm
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there's going to be a Ritz-Carlton Tel Aviv

There's going to be a Ritz-Carlton Tel Aviv. Don't know the opening date, but I do know it will be open in time for Festive Season...
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Old Sep 23, 13, 1:48 pm
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I would really like to visit Israel and be happy to wait for the Ritz-Carlton to open!

BUT Is it true that if I visit Israel, I can never visit any other country in The Middle East? This will be a problem as I often visit Dubai.
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Old Sep 23, 13, 5:04 pm
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Originally Posted by travelafrica View Post
I would really like to visit Israel and be happy to wait for the Ritz-Carlton to open!

BUT Is it true that if I visit Israel, I can never visit any other country in The Middle East? This will be a problem as I often visit Dubai.
No, some Arab/Muslim countries have a policy to refuse entry to people when they have proof that youīve been to Israel.

This used to be a bigger issue when Israel stamped passport, but they havenīt been stamping passports for over a year now (you receive a small paper slip instead).
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Old Dec 21, 13, 4:46 pm
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Some Responses

First time I have ever posted a reply, so hopefully this works.

Jerusalem - At the top end, I would add the David Citadel Hotel, though its been open for more than a decade and could use a refurbishment. Hopefully the opening of the Waldorf Astoria (taking bookings from August 2014) will force others to lift their game.

Ritz Carlton - Actually in Herzaliya, not Tel Aviv. 15-20 kms north of Tel Aviv. Seems to have just opened.

Tel Aviv - Hotel scene is pretty dismal. But a host of new boutique hotels have recently opened. Cannot really describe them as 5 star as they lack the standard facilities of 5 star hotels - pools, spas, ballrooms etc. But they have excellent rooms, food and service. I have stayed at both the Hotel Montefiore and the Rothschild Hotel (96 Rothschild) and would recommend both. The latter is now ranked #1 at Tripadvisor.

Dubai - No problems travelling to Dubai with Israeli stamps in your passport. I have done it several times. In fact I have travelled from Dubai/Abu Dhabi to Israel via Amman and had my bags checked through all the way to Tel Aviv. Likewise no problem with Egypt and Jordan, both have diplomatic relations with Israel. You should check for other countries.
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Old Dec 22, 13, 10:15 am
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Welcome to FT, Victraveller!
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Old Dec 24, 13, 5:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
We stayed in this room (last photo on the page is a different suite; all others are the same and the best on property) and the site pictures don't do it justice:

http://www.efendi-hotel.co.il/?categoryId=95014

The service exceeded that of any five-star hotel I've visited and would easily be comparable to any of the finest small luxury hotels of the world.

The food was a particular highlight; truly outstanding and chef-driven. A deliciously fresh, homemade Middle Eastern breakfast feast is offered communal style (although we were the only guests on property!) around a knights' table in a centuries-old room that dates from the early Ottoman Empire, situated steps above an ancient Crusader cellar. A personal chef prepares your meal from a table-side cooking cart using the freshest locally sourced ingredients. Save room for the many interesting offerings at the old city shuk though! Creative artisanal cocktails & fresh juices, snacks and aperitifs are also served throughout the day.

I can say with absolute confidence that there is not another hotel in the entire Middle East that can compare to The Efendi. My wife and I both stayed in the Presidential Suite at the Ma'In Six Senses Hot Spring in Jordan on this same trip, and it paled in comparisson. The Efendi is truly a bespoke experience and a very special place that should be discussed more frequently on this forum. I doubt if any other members have visited besides myself, and that's truly a shame, as it fits comfortably right alongside the best luxury boutique hotels I've stayed at. It's not just a diamond in the rough for Israel, but a truly world-class property in it's own right.

I've said it before and I will say it again, the hotel matches any of the Aman properties I've stayed at (and even outdoes a handful!) with regards to it's design, restoration and architecture; it's sense of history and heritage, and the attentive level of service experienced. We truly felt as though we had been whisked away to an exotic faraway land, torn straight from the pages of Arabian Nights. Far moreso than any of the five-star Marrakech hotels, or similar destinations that one might possibly compare with The Efendi. Good luck finding that anywhere else in Israel!

The old town of Acre is a destination in itself. Situated on the Mediterranean and steeped in history (infamous as the sole city that Napoleon failed to capture in his conquest through the Middle East) it's somewhat similar to Jaffa in certain respects, only without the upmarket touristy element which detracts from the romance and exoticism of the surroundings. You won't find any high end tourist galleries or overpriced gelato shops with spinning racks of postcards. Just everyday people going about their daily lives; flowing in and out mosque at prayer time; children playing in the streets, dodging in and out of alleyways; crowds winding through maze-like corridors that snake through the the old quarter like arteries, carrying life from the heart of the bustling city center (where merchants trade in everything from enticing aromatic street foods to homemade trinkets, jewlery, clothing, toys and even bootleg electronics) all the way up to their cramped living quarters that rise above the boisterous streets like colorful and carefully placed building blocks, providing serenity and shade to the contrasting world below.

Above all of this rests The Efendi- at the end of a long and narrow lane which is blocked off to vehicles. Modest and unassuming from the outside, it naturally blends with it's surrounding environs. Once you pass through it's doors however, you are instantly transported back to 17th Century palatial opulence of the Ottoman Empire. The painstakingly thoughtful attention to the most minute of details is evident in every corner of the building. Our room itself was sublime! I'm told that archaeological surveys were done on the entire property and specialists from museums in Italy were flown in to restore the stunning painted murals which adorn the ceilings. The entire restorative effort took the better part of a decade. Make no mistake - this is first and foremost, an obvious labor of love!

We didn't get a chance to experience the beautifully preserved Turkish hammam, though I would watch the sun rise above the sea walls from the claw-footed tub in our suite each morning and wake to the chants of prayer from the nearby mosque. Sundown from the seaside terrace which peers out over the ancient ramparts is pure magic, as pink and orange hazes are cast over the emerald waters of the Mediterranean, reflecting off the waves. We would lay out on the day beds and watch the sun dip behind the horizon each evening with a glass of champagne. I could smell the sea air and feel the warm breeze as I type this!

If you are spending an evening in the old quarters of Akko, reservations at Uri Buri (the namesake of the famous chef who also happens to be proprietor of The Efendi hotel) are a must! A full two-nights are really needed to fully take advantage of the property and experience the highlights of the town at an enjoyable and leisurely pace. The old city of Akko is a UNESCO heritage site and a prearranged walking tour of the Crusader Fortress and Templars Tunnel would be highly recommended. If interested, Boaz Shalgi is an excellent guide. The rest of your time should really be spent enjoying The Efendi though. Spend some time walking through the marketplace and promenade in the late afternoon (no reason whatsoever to leave the old quarter as the modern town of Acre is not very appealing) but definitely reserve a full day to simply enjoy all that The Efendi offers.

I've posted these photos before, but here they are again in higher resolution. Unfortunately the only photos we have saved from this leg of our trip are taken from my wife's cell phone, as our camera was stolen from our luggage on our return. We don't even have a photo of the room. I think these still give a pretty solid overview of what you can expect though:









Last edited by OliverB; Dec 24, 13 at 6:07 pm
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