The Good - The rooms at the Leonard are relatively clean, very quiet, and the beds quite comfortable. Some of the pictures on the web make it look quite upscale. In fact, the lobby and bar area are quite nice but the room we had was extremely basic in its decor and furnishings. However, we did have three excellent nights sleep even though I had a cold and was up a couple of times at night with it and bit of jet lag. Because our room had three beds (one queen, two twins - must have been a junior suite) my wife slept on one of the twins and we both slept well. Our room was on the second floor and faced the inside courtyard where there is a pool. There are many activities, weddings, receptions, etc. at the pool with a loud speaker. The first night the mayor of Beer Sheva was hosting a dinner reception and we thought we won't be able to sleep until late. In fact, each night the parties wrapped up by 9 pm and it was blissfully quiet.
Just on the other side of the parking lot there is a little mall that has several very nice restaurants, including one bar/grill that had a wonder Ahmedinejad Soup! Just thing for my cold.
The Bad - I spent a long time trying to find online another hotel for comparison. There are none. If you are staying in Beer Sheva, this is the only hotel so they are not very motivated to make it a pleasant stay. The breakfast buffet was adequate but not up to international standards.
The Ugly - The key cards!!! Apparently to save money they keep reusing these so they don't hold their magnetization. Half the time you try to get into your room and you have to go back down to the lobby and wait in line to get a new key card. Worse, because of security (I assume) you cannot drive up to the lobby/parking lot or get out of the parking lot without a key card. When we first came in the gate was open but then couldn't get out. Imagine a line of taxis honking behind you and you have to run into the lobby to get a new key card. Same thing several times trying to get out of parking...
Israeli's are very warm and wonderful people, but not known for their warm and fuzzy customer service. The Leonardo, however, sets a new standard. The "bell hop" had zero interest in any of our problems and although a few of the understaffed and overworked desk clerks were nice, one was basically yelling at us that her job is tough and she doesn't have a single room free to switch us (when we were concerned about the pool noise).
CONCLUSION - Overall, we had very mixed feelings about the Leonardo. We remembered the restful nights sleep and the wonderful Negev desert as well as our time at the University with our friends and colleagues. But the key card nightmare was something else.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- If you are in the Beersheba area on business, then Leonardo Negev is the perfect way for you to combine business and pleasure in the capital of the Negev. Leonardo Negev is the only hotel located in the heart of Beersheba, and offers all that you need to turn a business trip into a true pleasure. The hotel’s prime location near Ben Gurion University, the government complex, and the mall, and only a short drive from the Omer industrial park, makes staying at LeonardoNegev a relaxing and amiable experience. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Beersheba Golden Tulip
- Golden Tulip Beersheba