The emergence of Israel on the global high-tech stage as a “start-up nation,” combined with the growing number of international business and Jewish organizational events held in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, has spurred a slew of major hotels to invest in upgrading their various services to discerning executives who endeavor to mix business with pleasure.
“The growth of social media, which includes business- and travel-oriented forums, has allowed our staff to engage with people who are planning business trips to Jerusalem and other points in Israel, offering them the opportunity to take advantage of the hotel’s varied services, many of which are tailored to the business tourist,” said Ilan Brenner, the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel’s executive assistant manager of sales and marketing.
The five-star hotel has regularly played host to a variety of business and organizational conferences in its various halls, including El Al, Hadassah and the Jewish Agency for Israel.
“As there are several types of business travelers — ranging from the high-powered executive who seeks a luxurious WiFi-equipped suite with a terrace that overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem, to a salesperson who might want to conduct a private meeting with a colleague in our rooftop Executive Lounge — we can provide a variety of settings based on need and budget,” Brenner said.
In metro Tel Aviv, where the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and many of the nation’s top corporations are located, a number of the city’s finest hotels regularly cater to a business clientele. However, several hotels have tweaked their interior design concepts and external marketing agendas to discourage “family tourism” and focus almost exclusively on luring upscale business travelers.
The posh Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv City Center Hotel, which has been built into the prodigious Azrieli Towers business, shopping and entertainment complex, prides itself on being a concept facility.
“We like to think of ourselves as a leader in the development of the business tourist concept,” said Michael Plesz, general manager of the Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv City Center Hotel. “Nearly 60 percent of our customers are business people, 85 percent of whom come from overseas, including, of course, North America. The upbeat design of our public areas and rooms enhances the notion of a place where one can find the right atmosphere to do business and rest between meetings.”
In addition, metro Tel Aviv’s renowned beach, bar and restaurant scene is a magnet for business tourists.
Want to know more about who offers the most enticing business and relaxation combination packages? We’ve compiled an abridged list of hotels that offer myriad business services and pampering perks:
Inbal Jerusalem Hotel
There are dozens of beautiful suites, executive or deluxe rooms to choose from in this venerable facility. The intimate Executive Lounge features a computer station, a variety of newspapers and magazines, light meals and snacks. In order to keep the lounge as an exclusive benefit, its use is restricted to guest staying in suites, executive or deluxe rooms. There is also a 24/7 business center featuring a variety of services upon request. There are special corporate rates available to companies that commit themselves to a minimal annual turnover.
Many local and foreign business people use the spa and health club in their after-hours down time to work off the daily stress and reinvigorate body and soul. The hotel also offers all guests free tickets to local cultural attractions.
For more information, visit inbalhotel.com.
David Citadel Hotel
The Executive Lounge, located high above the city, offers a majestic view of the Old City and provides a perfect setting for business people who wish to mingle, nosh or conduct one-on-one meetings. The hotel also offers a wide range of rooms that cater to the various needs of business travelers. Special arrangements can be made for private spa treatments in guest rooms or in the hotel’s new spa and health club downstairs. Private concierge service is also available for VIPs, which includes arranging special transportation to local events and cultural attractions. Private tour guides can also be arranged. The hotel plays host to a variety of business functions in its adjustable meeting rooms and halls. The David Citadel complex also boasts the critically acclaimed Scala Chef Kitchen & Bar as well as the rooftop Mamilla Café. For more information, visit thedavidcitadel.com.
Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel & Towers
The entire third floor has been reconfigured to meet the needs of business guests with a new business center, 12 newly designed guest rooms and meeting areas. The new guest rooms feature a work desk, ergonomic chair, WiFi and landline connectivity, flatscreen TVs, Nespresso machines, step-out balconies and soundproof windows that overlook the sea. In addition, all the new rooms feature a stall shower instead of a bathtub. “This is a new market trend, especially amongst the business travel community,” general manager Jean-Louis Ripoche said. “Most of our business guests are too busy to use a tub, or they are just not interested in it.”
The meeting rooms are complemented by a modular, multifunctional hall divisible by means of soundproof movable partitions, each with its own audiovisual equipment — LCD projectors, screens, bulletin boards — and coffee-break stations.
For more information, visit sheratontelaviv.com.
David InterContinental Tel Aviv Hotel
The David InterContinental Tel Aviv Hotel offers two new highly stylized business lounges — the Executive Lounge on the third floor and the Club InterContinental on the 24th floor. In addition, the redesigned Club InterContinental Lounge offers greater food diversity, improved décor and enhanced services. Both lounges offer WiFi and business services, including copier, printer and fax. The Club InterContinental Tel Aviv offers private check-in and check-out services as well as private concierge services with activities designed to match busy schedules, including the handling of itineraries and access to restaurants and shows at the last minute. The newly renovated Aubergine restaurant offers a business lunch specializing in Mediterranean delicacies infusing local cuisine with an international flair. The David InterContinental Tel Aviv offers a full-service spa and fitness center, as well as a ritzy sports and cigar bar called Inca.
For more information, visit intercontinental.com.
Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv City Center Hotel
Guests receive an automatic upgrade to a deluxe room. Each room features spectacular panoramic views of Tel Aviv. Business travelers receive a free drink voucher, daily newspaper in English, welcome refreshments, and free entrance to the spa and health club with a 15 percent discount for treatments. Free tours of the city are offered to guests every Saturday. A variety of meeting rooms are available upon request, and the business lounge is open 24/7. Guest rooms are equipped with free WiFi service. The hotel also features an upscale a la carte kosher restaurant.
For more information, visit afi-hotels.com.
Dan Tel Aviv Hotel
Guest rooms feature cable TV, wireless Internet access (in public areas as well), in-room safe, mini-bar, hair dryer, bathrobes and 24-hour room services. Express check-in and check-out. Use of the hotel’s King David Crown Lounge is free, as is personal Butler Service for guests staying in Executive Sea View rooms and suites. Every Saturday features a free guided bus tour to historic sites and attractions. A “smart” (i.e., high-tech) conference room, which accommodates up to 150 people, is available, along with 13 smaller conference rooms, all featuring sea views.
For more information, visit danhotels.com.
Prima Tel Aviv Hotel
Located directly across from the bustling seaside promenade, the hotel is popular with businessmen and vacationers who wish to enjoy a quality hotel in a central city location, relish a lavish breakfast overlooking the sea and want to begin each successful day in an intimate atmosphere. Each of the hotel’s floors is dedicated to a renowned Israeli artist who lived and worked in Tel Aviv. Additionally, the hotel’s stairwells are adorned with large mural photographs of famous city boulevards.
For more information, visit prima-hotels-israel.com.
The growing chain, which features hotels all over Israel, accentuates the pleasure aspect within the “business-and-pleasure” equation. Many business people quietly take a break from the daily adrenalin rush by relaxing in one of the chain hotel’s spa resorts in Tiberias and the Dead Sea. Rimonim is currently offering a special “Discover & Drive” package that includes a three-night stay at any of the Rimonim hotels and three-day Hertz car rental. The idea behind the package is to encourage guests to explore a number of Rimonim properties during their stay in Israel. A sample itinerary for the north of Israel would be a combination of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv with three nights at the Rimonim Galei Kinnereth Hotel, located on the banks of Lake Kinneret (Tiberias), or three nights in mystical Safed at the Rimonim Safed Boutique Hotel. Six nights in the south could combine the luxurious Royal Dead Sea Hotel with the Rimonim Eilat, situated on the shores of the Red Sea.
For more information, visit english.rimonim.com.