My partner and I stayed at the Herods Palace between September 7-12, and despite some minor flaws enjoyed a truly incredible vacation.
Our vacation started on the wrong foot, with us arriving on the morning of September 7th (Saturday) and being notified at the check in counter that, on Saturdays, rooms are given to guests at the late hour of 8 PM. The error was that of the Fattal call center agent who didn't inform us of that fact. The staff was very helpful, letting us know that they would do their best so that we would get our room at noon, and offering us access to the Vitalis Spa for that day (something our original room didn't include). We ended up getting our room at around 1 PM that day, a completely acceptable hour, much to our delight.
The room itself was very clean, designed with the same "Arabian Palace" motif the covers the entire hotel. Our room was composed of the main area/bedroom - containing a double bed, a flat screen TV, a dresser, a kettle and coffee/tea, an empty minibar (you order drinks/food from room service), a desk and a couch. The bathroom was pretty spacious, designed in marble and very clean. The room had a small balcony with two chairs and a coffee table. It is by no means a big room, but it suits the needs of a couple and doesn't feel small or claustrophobic.
Our room class was Executive, which afforded us breakfast at the Tamarind restaurant, bath robes and slippers and a daily newspaper. We later on decided we were interested in a larger, more spacious room, and headed to the reception counter for an upgrade. We were offered an upgrade to the Club room, which was supposed to be bigger and also granted us access to the Skyline Business Lounge and Vitalis Spa. When we got to the room, we were rather surprised to see that it was, in reality, the exact same size as our previous room (despite the higher price). Upon return to the reception, a different staff member explained that the club room is in fact not much bigger in size - but offers greater amenities. Due to the misunderstanding, we were upgraded (Free of extra charge) to a Grand Club room, which was slightly more spacious, included a King size bed and the same added amenities of the Club room.
We had two options for breakfast at the hotel, both good but one towering above the other. The first is the Tzaparim Dining Room, which is the basic option available to all guests. The dining room is very big and spacious, with a plenty of options for your breakfast; from cereal and pastries to fish and eggs, salads, fruits and vegetables and much more. The dining room is a self serving buffet, with waiters circling the tables offering coffee and tea to the diners.
The other option, the Tamarind restaurant, is in my opinion the superior one - and worth the price of an upgraded room. Tamarind is much smaller in size than the dining room, which is fitting, seeing as it is a restaurant. Upon entering you are greeted by a waiter who will take your order of eggs, pancakes or waffles, as well as coffee, tea and/or juices. You are then seated and head to the self serving buffet. The dishes carry similar concepts from the dining room, but their execution and presentation are far superior. In a word - everything is delicious! Despite there being less dishes to choose from - the variety is just as big, with dishes being more focused and thought out than in the dining room. Tamarind has a charming outside seating area, which is basically the cherry on top, delivering wonderful ambiance to a great breakfast. We highly recommend it!
The hotel's pool is big and clean, yet when the hotel is at full capacity it may feel a bit crowded. It has a central main area, with a "side pool" connected on each side. One of which is a children's pool and the other a more shallow pool - with a pool bar, serving drinks, slushies and light refreshments. There is also a pool lunch diner with sandwhiches, salads, drinks and other options for a poolside lunch.
All around the pool are tanning beds and chairs and it's unlikely that you won't find a place to seat or sunbath. All in all the pool is very satisfactory.
The hotel's Gym, despite being very small, has advanced gear which any gym rat should be familiar with. During our stay it was never packed, always having a few visitors at a time (not due to any constraint, it was simply a natural flow up people going in and out), which made it an okay option despite being small. The opening hours in September were different than the high season, so you should check up with the reception and plan properly.
The hotel's Spa is, as mentioned previously, an amenity that isn't offered freely to all room classes, but only to Club level and upwards. The Spa is in the adjoined Herods Vitalis hotel, and passage is available through the hotel grounds - so there is no need to exit the hotel. The spa has a "no smoking, no cellphone" policy, which we found great. Upon entry you receive a tower and a locker key, which you can use to store your clothes and valuables.
The spa includes a large bow shaped jacuzzi, a dry sauna, a wet sauna, warm and cold massage waterfalls and a hydrotherapy pool. The design carries the same motif as the hotel and the feeling is that you are still in the same hotel. At your disposal are showers, as well as shaving gear and Old Spice aftershave. The facilities are great and the experience is very relaxing. You can also book a massage session, which we didn't, so I can't comment on that.
The Skyline Business Lounge, another extra amenity, is situated as a hanging bridge connecting the Palace and the Vitalis on the 11th floor - and the view is great! You only enter it fully dressed (a t-shirt and short pants are perfectly fine) and dry, which really isn't an issue and rather makes sense. The lounge operates between 11AM and 6 PM and offers free food, drinks, alcohol and internet. The food varies according to the hour, changing between pastries, fish and cheeses, fruits and desserts, etc'. It is of the same high quality found in the Tamarind restaurant. There are juices, wine and various other alcoholic options, all free of charge. The lounge has a computer room with free internet and printing services, which is very useful since there is no free WiFi in the hotel. It also has a small balcony for the smokers.
We frequented the lounge quite a bit, and it basically negated our need to go out and pay for lunch, seeing as the food was very good and kept hunger at bay until diner time. This alone made the upgrade to a higher class room worth it.
The hotel is located at the eastern edge of Eilat, on the northern shore. It is, by definition, the "edge" of the city, but everything is a short walking distance away. The new Ice Mall is just five minutes away (on foot) and offers great shopping and eating options. The beach in front of the hotel is actually part of it, but isn't restricted to guests so it feels more like a public beach (a clean public beach, but a public beach nonetheless).
All in all we're talking about a great hotel, beautifully designed and offering great amenities for your vacation. It has some very minor flaws but those don't keep you from feeling like you're getting your money's worth and then some! We had a truly delightful stay at the Herods Palace and will definitely come again.
We highly recommend it to anyone visiting the city, whether for the first time or the millionth.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Luxurious Boutique Spa Hotel offering outstanding spa facilities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sheraton Eilat
- Hotel Herods Palace
- Herods Eilat
- Herods Palace Eilat