Travel

Dan Eilat Presidential Suite Pampers You Like A Royal

WHEN in Israel for a luxury vacation, you will most likely find your way to Eilat. Especially in winter, when you’ll want to escape the showers in Tel Aviv and the cold snap of the Jerusalem hills. That time of year in Eilat the hotel pools are teeming, the beaches are crowded and the Gulf of Aqaba is great for a dip. Just watch out in the summer – keep in the shade in the afternoon when the temperature climbs above 100 F.

Lior Mucznik with hostesses Liron and Tanya in the King David Executive Lounge

Talk about luxury, you can’t do any better than settling in at the Presidential Suite of the Dan Eilat. Your own sophisticated butler will attend to any needs. It’s not only luxury, it’s heaven. We know from personal experience in January. Nina and I are still reminiscing about it.

Presidential Suite with kitchen at left and patio at right

Check in on a regular winter day and your bill will reflect a charge of $2,310 per person per night. But if you stay here on peak days, meaning holidays or summertime, expect to pay up to $2,750. To book the room of your choice and check the price of any of the 375 rooms and 30 suites, call 972-8-6362222 ordaneilat@danhotels.com.

And we ambled across the hall to the King David Lounge where we nibbled on delicious desserts and raised glasses of wine.

Resources Before you go on any trip, be sure to pack a cell phone. I found it indispensable. My phone wouldn’t work in Israel so I obtained a dedicated Israel cell phone from TravelCell. The Nokia came fully charged (up to seven hours talk time), along with a wall charger, leather case with belt clip, and carrying bag. They even gave me some business cards with the cell phone printed. To rent a cell phone visit www.travelcell.com, call 1-877-CELL PHONE or email sales@travelcell.com. Mention my name and they’ll make you a satisfied customer just like me.
I found an essential guide in Frommer’s Israel, 6th edition (Wiley Publishing, soft cover, 534 pages, $23.99Amazon.com Price: $16.31. On the Dan Eilat: “Adam Tihany, who did the interiors of trendsetting hotels and restaurants on three continents, decorated the public areas with elegant, lively reinterpretations of contemporary décor from the 1940s, 50s and 60s that might be installations in a museum of design.” You get the picture: Dan Eilat is a first-class gem among all the high-end hotels in this resort city.

The Presidential Suite spanned almost the entire top 14th floor; the rest of the floor is the King David Executive Lounge. We spent time lounging on the terrace of our Suite, with our own private outdoor hot tub, with views of Jordan’s Aqaba(and the royal palace) on the left, the city of Eilat on the right, Egyptian border further out, and Saudi Arabia yonder which you can see if you sail out in your yacht. We watched oil tankers and gleaming yachts vying for space on the Gulf of Aqaba.

Nina and I shared some treats in the Executive Lounge with the affable general manager, the refined Lior Mucznik. He’s been here for two years, having come from his previous post at the Dan Panorama Jerusalem. The Dan chain operates 14 hotels throughout the country. So far Nina and I have visited five of their properties in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Our brief stay in Eilat is unsurpassed.

We learned that Mucznik was born in Tel Aviv but raised in Lagos, Nigeria, where his father worked in the oil industry. His father is 80 years old and still goes to his office at Amisragas in Tel Aviv every day. The company is the largest supplier of gas in Israel.

His great grandfather, was the chief rabbi of Lisbon. He helped build the Shaare Tikva Synagogue there in 1904. The president of Portugal, Jorge Sampaio, hosted a celebration on the synagogue’s centennial in 2004. The president’s maternal grandmother was a Sephardi Jew from Morocco of Portuguese origin. Sampaio was raised Catholic, but considers himself agnostic.

Nina on the patio with Eilat over her shoulder
Dan Eilat pool before it becomes crowded
Arab women enjoy the sun’s rays at the pool