June 8, 2011
Summertime Perks for Parents and Kids
What if you were able to check in at a top Israeli hotel this summer, wave goodbye to the kids at the front desk and then, minutes later, find yourself nursing a fruity Mediterranean cocktail by the sun-kissed pool?
A mirage? Nope, it’s the real deal!
A large number of quality Israeli hotels have worked diligently to perfect summertime family vacation packages that highlight a variety of perks, including indoor and outdoor activities for kids, chill-out spa and poolside amenities for parents and, last but not least, mesmerizing displays of sumptuous culinary experiences for the entire clan.
At one time, in the not-too-distant past, this summertime product was aimed at a mostly Israeli clientele. But as tourism to the Jewish state has risen dramatically during the past few years, Israeli hotel managers have tweaked their packages to appeal to American and European families.
“We have been anticipating this demand for summertime fun for the entire family from our overseas clientele for a while now. Based on the feedback that we have received, the hotel’s summer activities have become a key attraction for our guests,” said Ilan Brenner, assistant general manager for marketing and sales at the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel.
In addition to its unique locale (near the Old City) and beautiful interior and exterior architectural design, the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel has boosted its appeal by creating perks for families with children, including adjoining rooms and spacious family units, a poolside grill bar for adults and children, a kids’ club and pool, and a state-of-the-art spa and health club for parents.
“Because the hotel is isolated from the hustle and bustle of the city and located next to a very quiet park [Liberty Bell Park], the parents can actually sample a bit of paradise in the Holy City,” Brenner said. “We’ve tried to anticipate every detail, right down to featuring a kids’ TV channel. In other words, Mom and Dad can watch the news or a movie in peace in their room while the youngsters can enjoy ‘SpongeBob’ next door, without disturbing their parents.”
The hotel also offers a variety of family vacation packages, some of which include freebies to a number of cultural sites, such as the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, considered one of the top tourism venues in all of Israel.
Four- and five-star hotels within the larger chains invest considerable sums of money toward creating a variety of other fascinating tourism encounters. For example, the Fattal Hotel chain, which boasts 29 Israeli hotels under various brand names (Herods, Leonardo, Le Meridien), is renowned for its cultural and culinary family vacation packages.
“The Fattal chain has built a value-for-the-money concept that is based on a year-round vacation experience, not just summertime, which of course represents the height of the tourism season,” said Roni Aloni, Fattal’s vice president of marketing and sales. “At our resort hotels in Eilat, Tiberias and the Dead Sea, we offer several types of cultural happenings, from in-house entertainment troupes performing for the kids and adults, to headlining some of the top stars in Israeli pop music. All of these events are offered to guests free of charge, which has made our resort hotels a big hit with families.”
The Fattal chain also recently unveiled an ultra-chic business- and family-oriented hotel that highlights a unique time-travel experience. The new Herods Hotel Tel Aviv (the former Sheraton Moriah) has been redesigned from top to bottom to reflect the cultural grandeur of 1930s Tel Aviv, right down to the smart yesteryear uniforms worn by its entire staff. It’s akin to entering an Israeli version of a Hollywood movie set.
The Herods Tel Aviv showcases luxury accommodations with an outdoor pool, indoor spa and themed culinary offerings in the dining room and 1930s-style restaurants.
“We spent over $20 million remodeling the facility, in order to create a true theme hotel. It’s a unique property, with a unique environment located along the beautiful Tel Aviv beachfront that accentuates the best of everything,” Aloni said.
In addition to the Inbal Jerusalem and Herods Tel Aviv, the following are some top Israeli hotels currently offering special summer deals for families:
DAVID CITADEL HOTEL
RAMADA JERUSALEM HOTEL
HOLIDAY INN/CROWNE PLAZA
ISLAND SUITES HOTEL
SHERATON TEL AVIV