There's much to like and to dislike about the beachfront Dan Eilat. But before I venture further and invariably touch upon the negatives -- and there are many -- I'll point out that I would be inclined to stay here again. Yes, you read that right. Despite numerous negatives, this recommendation was hard won by a staff who worked tirelessly against all that this hotel has going against it.
I arrived with my family at the property and -- like many reviewers before me -- found no one willing to take our bags. This infraction, however, was minor compared to the absolutely filthy "Family Room" we were provided with. The room was so bad that a simple cleaning would not correct things, at least in the three days allotted for our stay. A long story short, the guest services manager, Heleneet (I hope I'm spelling her name correctly), enticed us out of moving to another hotel when she provided a room with a huge, jacuzzi-equipped balcony overlooking the Red Sea.
This effort to assure customer satisfaction showed itself multiple times during our stay. For example, when I left a pair of prescription sunglasses at a building several kilometers away, the concierge made arrangements for an employee to pick them up for me. And the previously mentioned abandonment by bellhops of the hotel entrance became a thing of the past when Heleneet corrected the situation ensuring that not one, but two men were stationed near the front door waiting for any new guests to arrive.
The hotel lobby and other public areas are decorated nicely. It's certainly not appointed as well as the neighboring Harrod's, but the Dan also lacks the snootiness and stuffiness that's offered next door.
I'm not giving any new insight when I point out that the guest rooms at the Dan need a bit of updating. This has been menioned in countless reviews in recent years. One thing that hasn't been discussed are the public areas, which can be quite noisy at peak times as they were during my stay.
The buffet, from the food to how it's handled, is not very appealing. The restaurant lacks sneeze guards over the food that is rather bland and lacks the variety offered in other Israeli hotels, including some in the Dan chain. The many employees standing around the dining hall doing nothing could be of better use dishing out food to prevent bare hands from grabbing the edibles. For the life of me, I can't understand the predilection of large crowds of summering Israelis who prefer to use their hands rather than the tongs provided. It's disgusting.
The Dan Eilat was designed as a family friendly hotel. As a father of small children, this feature went a long way toward making my stay more enjoyable. My kids occupied themselves for hours in the game room, the pool's water slide, or the pool's Swirlpool. The hotel must do a better job, however, of informing guests of the Swirlpool's hours. It would suddenly stop without explanation and not turn on again for quite some time. In fact, at one point, one of my boys asked the Swirlpool's lifeguard when it would resume. This individual, who went by the name of Mikhail, didn't answer. When I asked for an explanation, he refused once again to offer one. Instead, he rudely directed me to, "Talk to the manager."
Back in the rooms, my family found the beds to be quite comfortable and we slept soundly, especially the kids who didn't even wake for the rocket attack on August 13, 2013. I mention this event because of the absolute lack of information from any hotel employee as to what was going on. With no loud speaker announcements nor calls to the individual rooms explaining the situation or directing guests to the bomb shelter, we assumed there was no real danger. We certainly had no idea that a terrorist attack was underway. Only the next day when a cab driver gave us the news did we understand the true gravity of the event. A note to Dan executives: your guests are your most important asset and their safety should be of primary concern. Do not assume that everyone staying at your hotels knows what is going on or what to do under the circumstances.
Despite the break in sleep on that night, our entire stay was a restful one. By providing activities and amenities that occupied our children, we were able to have some much needed down time. And in those instances when things invariably weren't perfect, the hotel staff worked diligently to make amends. Given the over-inflated room rates regularly charged in Eilat, this is the least that can be expected.
My recommendation of the Dan Eilat proves that excellent customer service will overcome any laundry list of negatives. It's reassuring to know that a hotel's staff is on your side, determined to make your stay the best they can make it. Few establishments can make this claim.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The magnificent Dan Eilat is a self-contained vacation paradise. Located on Eilat's striking Red Sea beachfront, the Dan hotel offers everything one needs for the perfect vacation. Imaginative architecture, luxurious decor, warm blue pools and cascading waterfalls, excellent cuisine and the highest standards of service; all combine to help guests indulge and enjoy. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Dan Eilat Hotel Eilat
- Dan Hotel Eilat
- Eilat Dan Hotel