Hos­pi­tal­ity at the Her­bert Sa­muel ho­tel chain

The Jerusalem Post - The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - ARAB MEDIA - • ALAN ROSENBAUM

If there is one word that best de­scribes the Her­bert Sa­muel chain of ho­tels in Is­rael, it is pas­sion. A pas­sion for hos­pi­tal­ity, and a pas­sion for at­ten­tive, per­sonal ser­vice in all of their lux­ury ho­tels through­out the coun­try, from the Bayit Ba­galil Bou­tique in the north to the Reef Ei­lat Ho­tel in the south, and the other ho­tels in be­tween. Ran Bal­bus, vice-pres­i­dent of the Nakash Group in Is­rael, which owns and man­ages the Her­bert Sa­muel ho­tels in Is­rael, ex­plains that this pas­sion be­gins at the very top, with the Nakash brothers, own­ers of the Her­bert Sa­muel brand.

“The Nakash brothers love Is­rael very much – they are Is­raelis. They want to in­vest here in or­der to sup­port the coun­try and do good things. They have a great deal of faith in tourism in Is­rael for the long run.”

In ad­di­tion to the Her­bert Sa­muel chain of ho­tels, The Nakash brothers also own and op­er­ate the Se­tai Tel Aviv, Se­tai Sea of Galilee, and the Orchid Tel Aviv ho­tels.

Bal­bus notes that the pas­sion for hos­pi­tal­ity and ser­vice at Her­bert Sa­muel ho­tels be­gins from the mo­ment that cus­tomers call the ho­tel’s reser­va­tion line and ex­tends through­out their stay. Her­bert Sa­muel ho­tels of­fer nu­mer­ous ser­vices such as com­pli­men­tary Wi-Fi and free in­ter­na­tional calls from ho­tel rooms, both of which ex­press their ba­sic philosophy of mak­ing things sim­ple and easy for their guests.

“We don’t want to ruin the am­biance. We want our guests to en­joy their stay and have fun.”

The Wi-Fi ser­vice in Her­bert Sa­muel ho­tels doesn’t re­quire the guest to en­ter an ob­scure code or pass­word. It just works.

We want our guests to en­joy their stay and have fun

“We try to make things easy,” says Bal­bus. “If you want to rent a bi­cy­cle to ride around the city, we don’t make you download an app, and we won’t re­quire you to bring your ID card. Just go have fun and en­joy your­selves.”

The name of the ho­tel chain – Her­bert Sa­muel – re­calls the well-known Bri­tish Jewish po­lit­i­cal fig­ure, who served as the first high com­mis­sioner for Pales­tine un­der the Bri­tish Man­date from 1920 un­til 1925 and was the first Jew in 2,000 years to govern the his­toric land of Is­rael.

“The mod­ern State of Is­rael is more than 70 years old,” says Bal­bus, “but it’s im­por­tant to re­spect and em­brace other eras.”

There are cur­rently seven ho­tels in the Her­bert Sa­muel fam­ily, in­clud­ing Bayit Ba­galil Bou­tique, lo­cated north of Tiberias, the Mi­los Dead Sea Ho­tel, Her­bert Sa­muel Jerusalem, the Okeanos Suites Her­zliya, the Opera Tel Aviv Ho­tel, the Royal Shangri-La Ei­lat and the Reef Ei­lat.

Ev­ery ho­tel fea­tures unique el­e­ments that re­flect its sur­round­ings. For ex­am­ple, the tran­quil Bayit Ba­galil Bou­tique, nes­tled in the heart of the Biriya For­est, the largest planted for­est in the Galilee, is sprin­kled with charm­ing lit­tle spots for re­lax­ation and quiet con­tem­pla­tion, and its res­tau­rant fea­tures an ar­ray of tasty Galilean dishes. The 137 rooms at the Her­bert Sa­muel Jerusalem are de­signed with touches of Jerusalem stone, and the rooftop res­tau­rant fea­tures a mag­nif­i­cent panoramic view of Jerusalem old and new, while the Opera Tel Aviv’s cut­ting-edge fit­ness room, lively lobby bar, and fully equipped meet­ing room re­flect the hus­tle and bus­tle of the busy metropo­lis. Tak­ing a cue from its nat­u­ral sur­round­ings, the Royal Shangri-La Ei­lat is lo­cated on the top of a moun­tain and fea­tures both in­di­vid­ual rooms and vil­las. Most of the rooms of­fer a bal­cony with panoramic views of the Gulf of Ei­lat, smart TVs and lux­ury fur­nish­ings. The most pres­ti­gious wing of the ho­tel, the Villa Royal, fea­tures two lux­u­ri­ous vil­las lo­cated on top of the moun­tain with breath­tak­ing views and is sur­rounded by pri­vate swim­ming pools and spa­cious tan­ning beds.

De­part­ing from its des­o­late nat­u­ral sur­round­ings, the Her­bert Sa­muels Mi­los Ho­tel, which is sur­rounded by the stark and bar­ren land­scape of the Dead Sea, comes alive with a vi­sion of vi­brant Greece, com­plete with Greek-style stones and bricks, bot­tles of ouzo in each room, live Greek mu­sic ev­ery night and a Greek-themed res­tau­rant menu.

One of the most distin­guish­ing fea­tures of all of the Her­bert Sa­muel ho­tels is their prime lo­ca­tions, which makes it easy for tourists and vis­i­tors to see and ex­pe­ri­ence nearby sights.

“Our ho­tels are sit­u­ated in the best lo­ca­tions in Is­rael,” says Bal­bus. “The Opera Tel Aviv, for ex­am­ple, is just 20 steps away from the beach, and in just mo­ments, your feet will be touch­ing the sand. The in­cred­i­ble en­ter­tain­ment, culi­nary and cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ences that Tel Aviv and Jaffa have to of­fer are min­utes away.”

The Reef in Ei­lat, adds Bal­bus, is lo­cated di­rectly on the Co­ral Beach. “Walk out­side your room, and you are on the beach. There’s no need to cross the road, or take a bus, and the ho­tel of­fers wind­surf­ing and snor­kel­ing free of charge.”

The Her­bert Sa­muel Jerusalem is just a short walk to the Old City and its re­li­gious sites, and the city’s renowned tourist des­ti­na­tions, en­ter­tain­ment venues, restau­rants, cafes, bars and of course, the Ma­haneh Ye­huda Mar­ket, are close by and ac­ces­si­ble.

Soon to be added to the Her­bert Sa­muel lineup is the Sir Her­bert bou­tique ho­tel in Tel Aviv, near Al­lenby Square, lo­cated in a pre­served, his­toric build­ing. With just 29 rooms, the ho­tel has a unique, in­ti­mate feel, and most rooms are equipped with bal­conies that of­fer a ro­man­tic sea­side view.

“In the early 1900s, this area was the ‘Times Square’ of Tel Aviv,” says Bul­bus. “Ev­ery­thing was hap­pen­ing here. The names ‘Sir Her­bert’ and the nearby Opera Tel Aviv Her­bert Sa­muel Ho­tel carry great mean­ing in this area.”

Ho­tel man­agers in the Her­bert Sa­muel chain, says Bal­bus, are trained to be re­spon­sive to the needs of their guests, and cater to their in­di­vid­ual needs.

“Guests in our ho­tels are not just a room num­ber in the queue for the din­ing hall. They are unique in­di­vid­u­als, and we treat them as such.”

All of the Her­bert Sa­muel ho­tels are small enough to en­sure that em­ploy­ees are avail­able to ho­tel guests when they need as­sis­tance.

“The ho­tel man­ager is usu­ally near the ho­tel’s front desk,” says Bal­bus, “and sees the check-in, ac­com­pa­nies guests to break­fasts, is present at meals, and at the pool, and is al­ways try­ing to pro­vide for their well-be­ing. Ser­vice is above all – it is paramount.”

He adds that man­age­ment at Her­bert Sa­muel learns a great deal from cus­tomer feed­back, and tries to im­prove the level of ser­vice, based on com­ments and sug­ges­tions from their guests.

“Not many ho­tel chains in Is­rael can pro­vide this level of hos­pi­tal­ity. From north to south, from the Dead Sea to the Mediter­ranean Sea, Her­bert Sa­muel ho­tels are mod­ern, up-to-date, and sit­u­ated in the best lo­ca­tions in Is­rael.”

But that’s only part of the story. It’s re­ally about a pas­sion for ex­cel­lent ser­vice. As Ran Bal­bus says, “Run­ning a ho­tel is much more than de­sign­ing a build­ing, and han­dling check-ins and check-outs. A ho­tel is life.”

Ev­ery Her­bert Sa­muel ho­tel fea­tures unique el­e­ments that re­flect its sur­round­ings

THE OPERA TEL AVIV pool beck­ons.

TAKE A few laps in the main pool at the Mi­los Dead Sea Ho­tel.

(Pho­tos: As­saf Pinchuk Pho­tog­ra­phy)

WINE AND dine at Okeanos Suites Her­zliya.

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