We spent a weekend in February 2012, in typical Israeli fashion checking in around 2PM on Friday and checking out around 4PM on Saturday. We could have checked out later but we wanted to avoid the checkout and traffic rush just after sundown. The coastline in Ashkelon is dominated by a very pleasant and amusing promenade located on the cliff above the sandy beach. At the southend of the promendade is the marina and the northend the iconic cone shaped structure of the hotel. Along the promenade are two outdoor fitness centers, a modern sculpture, a medieval tomb of a sheik, two breathtaking lookouts and other great landscape architecture. There are no other hotels along the promenade and the area is quite open. We started our walk around 8AM on Saturday morning, had a drink of freshly squeezed orange juice at the marina and returned around 9:15 for breakfast. This was the high point of our stay. You can only enter and leave the hotel through the main entrance and the gate leading directly to the promenade is closed, in typical Israeli fashion. To reach the promenade you have to walk along a sandy trial from the parking lot. If you like beachfront wild flowers this is an interesting walk - a few a Israeli bluebonnets were coming into bloom. Friday evening meal was also a very interesting event. The dinning room was full of young religious couples and family groups all dressed in their Shabbat finest coming from prayers in hotel's synagogue. The meal was punctuated by singing ancient melodies from one long table that was countered by another table at the opposite end of the large, very pleasantly decorated dinning room. The buffet provided a great opportunity to sample delicious Jewish North African dishes, such as Mafrum and couscous, along with traditional Jewish Polish Ashkenazi dishes. The service was extremely attentive. We asked for a room with seaview and got a room on the ground floor overlooking a grassy area. Since there were children playing outside our window on the lawn, we had to keep the curtains closed. When we wanted to take our Shabbat afternoon nap, our neighbors sent their children out to courtyard on the otherside to play soccer. Their wild banter was amplified by the Guggenheim-like architecture. Their parents probably got some much needed rest, but we didn't. The hotel management probably realized this would happen, so on Friday afternoon they showered us with wine and a free pass to the spa. If you expect to wake in the morning and check your email for the first time since checking in forget it. When you try to log on you have to pay - up to around $24 for 24 hours, unless someone had told you before that when you check-in you should request a 24 hour password for free WiFi. Altogether our stay was a pleasant experience and provided a convenient base for taking the wild flower trail - Adom Darom or Red South.
- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Ashkelon Hotel Ashkelon
- Holiday Inn Ashkelon Hotel
- Ashkelon Holiday Inn
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Just 40 minutes from Tel Aviv lies Holiday Inn Ashkelon hotel located on the beach near the marina, and is the preferred choice both for business guests and tourists visiting the area. Holiday Inn Ashkelon hotel houses a large swimming pool surrounded by enormous green lawns. The pool is covered and heated during the winter. Hotel guests are welcome to use the hotel basketball and tennis courts.Holiday Inn Ashkelon hotel offers a range of services to business guests. Two floors are dedicated to business guests along with a business lounge that serves hot and cold beverages and light snacks. The lounge also includes direct access to the Internet and Wireless High Speed Internet Access (WiFi) is available. The hotel restaurant serves three meals each day. The rich and varied breakfast includes a salad bar with a wide selection of cheeses and breads. Gazpacho Restaurant - fusion restaurant that combines the traditions of east and west. The menu combines flavors of the Mediterranean basin using ingredients from all over the world. The Spa and health club offers a Jacuzzi, dry and wet sauna, fitness room, pressure shower and a range of pampering treatments. The hotel s entertainment staff offers a varied program of activities including shows, games, workshops, quizzes and dance parties into the early hours ** Check-in time update : for Saturday evenings is 19:00. ... more less
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