Booked well in advance (January 2008...knowing first week of May would be rough due to holidays, etc.) through website InIsrael.com. Got a fast reply and confirmation all set up, confirmed with credit card, no problem.
By the way, this is no longer the Palmira!!! It's now called the "Royal Tulip" (right across the street from the Crowne Plaza and next to the Golden Tulip). It's not super far from the seashore, maybe a 20 minute walk at a moderate pace. So if you're looking for beach front or near beach, this aint the place.
Basically I chose this place because it had decent reviews, vacancy during the time I wanted, and Eilat was mostly a launching point for a visit accross the border to Petra anyway (stayed for only three nights, and it was at the end of an 11-day road trip through much of Israel, so was just about out of energy and out of cash in any case). Didn't get to see the dolphin parks or any of the other big sites in Eilat (again, arriving one afternoon; going to Petra the next full day; and finally spending the last day, a Saturday, lounging around the pool; leaving early Sunday AM).
We did walk up to the beach area a couple times... beach is very rocky with few places to lay out (if you bring your own blanket)...otherwise you have to rent a recliner (didn't rent in Eilat, but in Netanya this cost 15 NIS each for the entire day...umbrella extra...Netanya has a much much better beach IMHO), and the areas where you are allowed to swim and where there a recliners are very very crowded (some of the shore-side hotels have staked claim to pieces of the beach, too).
OK, back to Royal Tulip. Easy check-in, very friendly young girl at reception who was very helpful that day and during the entire stay (wish I remembered her name...brunette with glasses). Room was very clean and modern. There are rooms in the main building (views looking out over the street toward Crowne Plaza) and rooms with balconies which surround the pool area in the back. We had a room in the main building, so no balcony (Smoking is not allowed inside the hotel or in the hotel rooms...just at pool area and probably on balconies). Room was made-up every day; free coffee and tea in the room, even gave us complimentary sweets our first day (little pastry things). Parking was pretty slim...that is, there are spots along a service road which runs around the hotel...I was lucky to get one when we checked in...but it was full the whole time, except after Saturday evening when everyone seemed to split. Sunday morning (when we set out back to Tel Aviv to fly home) the place was like a ghost town.
Pool area was nice, clean, big pool with entertainment on that Saturday. Breakfast was good, too. Only major complaint (and I guess this has stuck with me since it was my last contact with the hotel upon leaving and was pretty important in and of itself) is that they FORGOT to prepare our breakfast boxes (you know, when you have to have early breakfast before the restaurant opens...). I had asked well in advance the day before, watched the guy fill out the form (some dude with a pony-tail), everything (I thought) was AOK...but then, coming down at 5 AM the next morning to check-out and hit the road for a 4-5 hour drive to Tel Aviv, I was told that the evening shift forgot to give the little slip of paper to the people to the kitchen...that nothing had been prepared...and the kitchen was locked up for another hour or so...and so nothing could be done. Oh well. I was really surprised, too, because we had done this already (the girl who helped me check in on the first day, bless her heart, took care of this no problem, since our first morning we had to leave early for Petra and needed breakfast to-go).
So, that's pretty much it. I mostly liked the hotel; again, lots of positives, decent price at $129/night and good facilities/amenities, housekeeping good, etc. Just be sure 1) if you see a parking spot, to snatch it up right away, 2) expect a good walk to the sea-shore if that's your thing (though I personally would not return to Eilat just for it's beach), and 3) if you ask for an early breakfast in a box-to-go for the next morning, be sure to double check with them again the evening before to make sure the reception dude gave the slip of paper to kitchen dudes...or you mind end up driving home on an empty stomach. Dude?
- Also Known As:
- Royal Tulip Eilat Hotel Eilat
- Royal Tulip Eilat Hotel
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