My initial impression of the hotel, perched on the edge of some major roads in a pretty non-descript part of Tel Aviv did not bode well. However, the reception was well lit and welcoming. Check-in was a smooth and painless process and within a few minutes of walking into the hotel I was dropping my bags in the room…and then things begun to fall apart:
The room was pretty standard, a decent sized bed, small mimibar, kettle etc. There was nothing remarkable about the room but equally so there wasn’t anything offensive about it either. The blinds really didn’t close and the bed sheets were measurably too small for the bed but in the general run of things these can be considered to be the most positive aspects of my stay. The bathroom was definitely shabby, cracked tiles in the shower, a bizarre and somewhat disturbing metal sink which looked like it has been forcibly removed from an operating theatre and tiny slivers of soap which really only served to underline the feeling that someone in the hotel’s management had once heard of complimentary toiletries but failed to grasp the overall concept. The biggest issues with the room was that the air-conditioning, despite being reasonably functional, produced a eerie dripping sound the whole night giving me the impression that I was actually sleeping in a deep, dank cave. Close inspection of the unit did not reveal the cause of this dripping and I didn’t want to complain to the hotel in case the charged we extra for in-room entertainment.
The Lobby Bar
Shortly after my arrival I retired to the lobby bar for a drink and dinner. In the 45 minutes that it took me to attract the waitresses eye for the menu I managed to contemplate the sheer genius of someone who cant work an empty bar and still remain unaffected by the night’s solitary punter gesticulating wildly and making the universal signs for, ‘Help I am dying of thirst…’
The wait for the menu however had set the expectations high which was a major problem as the fare offered, so called Italian Tapas appeared bland and uninspiring. However, I can not make a fair and honest judgement here as after another 30 minutes of trying to catch my waitress I simply gave up and went to bed hungry.
Normally in Israel breakfast is a wonderful spread of fresh fruit, fresh bread, cheeses, coffee, cakes and other such wonders. I have been known to eat my own body weight for breakfast in Israel and was distraught when I saw the breakfast on offer here. Ignoring the fact that it took me 27 minutes to find someone to bring me a cup of coffee (which the more generous traveller, I am sure, will agree, is perfectly acceptable…especially considering the amount of effort it takes to server the two other punters…) the selection was pretty poor. My overall impression was that it has been assembled from left over breakfasts collected from lower star rated hotels. The fruit all looked well past its prime or came from cans, the cheeses all looked bruised and slightly sweaty whilst the yoghurt (at least I hope it was yoghurt…) was something that I will see in my nightmares for many years to come. I am going to ignore whatever was growing in the honey dish as it seemed to be thriving quite nicely and had doubled in size the next day (I only went back on the second day as I have a car crash fascination with the macabre…). I would also strongly advise people of a nervous disposition to avoid the omelette chef as my request for an omelette was received with as much disdain as I have ever seen from one human being.
The gym wasn’t too bad – the treadmills seemed to be in good working order and there was a punch bag, which was an added bonus. I didn’t use the pool but it looked clean and well maintained.
I do have to question the concept of putting people who really, obviously detest humanity, in customer facing positions. On my departure (and yes I was smiling from ear to ear…) I asked the concierge to book me a taxi that I could pay using a credit card. This resulted in a series of scowls and long faces and another look of such utter contempt that would have given the poor omelette chef a run for his money. When the taxi arrived, the concierge jerked his thumb in the general direction of the taxi and watched as I struggled to open the door whilst juggling two bags. I don’t think it even crossed his mind to help me or even open the boot of the car.
Clearly, I wont be staying in this hotel again as a there are many many better hotels in Tel Aviv staffed by people who understand the concept of customer service
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
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- Also Known As:
- Sheraton Ramat Gan
- Ramat Gan Sheraton