When the Beresheet hotel opened for business two years ago in the Negev Desert, Israeli President Shimon Peres was reported to say at the grand opening gala, “For me, this is a dream come true. As I travel a lot in the world, I can tell you this is the Taj Mahal of Israel.”
The final inch of the story turned me into an emotional puddle.
JERUSALEM — It had been years since I’d ventured any farther than the lobby of the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem, so when I received an invitation to tour its spa and one of its restaurants, it was hard to say no.
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.
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?
This month's Political Journal is a tale of two labor disputes. One is dragging on and on; the other has come to a peaceful conclusion just when it seemed there might be a strike ahead.
Israel has scores of unique wedding venues. Most couples typically choose a venue between Jerusalem and Caesarea, thereby missing out on the many special venues in Israel's periphery.
On a recent Caribbean cruise aboard the MSY Wind Surf -- the largest yacht among Holland America's upscale Windstar fleet -- the talk on deck was about war, nannies and the country's best Catholic schools. Sunburned blondes lingered over a four-course dinner, featuring dishes such as bacon-crusted salmon and fresh pasta with shellfish.
Whenever there's a wave of terror in Israel, the nation's hotels come up against a wave of cancellations, and the country's entire tourist industry -- from five-star hotels to souvenir hawkers -- goes into a slump. But in a few months the terror and fear subside, and the tourists come back.
Just one floor beneath the legendary Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel, there's a large room that, for much of the week, remains locked. The chef has the key. So does the catering manager. But if they ever want to so much as crack open the door, they can't do so alone. First, they need the rabbi.