Would you take a vacation in the Palestinian Authority (PA)? It seems that while hotels in Israel are struggling with the cost of living, and are offering expensive prices, luxury PA hotels have been revolutionized, and are being praised to the skies on review websites based on wisdom of the crowd, according to a study by the HotelsCombined comparison website, which measured information published by vacationers who actually stayed at hotels in the PA.
One of the leading PA hotels is Movenpick, a five-star hotel in Ramallah, which received a near-perfect rating of 9.6 from the website. The rating weighs indices such as cleanliness, service, diversity of facilities and services, meal arrangements, and others. The 170-room hotel is located in the heart of the tourist district in one of the West Bank's liveliest cities.
The Palestine Plaza, another five-star hotel, received a 9.0 rating. The hotel is on floors 15-20 of the tallest building in the PA, The hotel's websites says that its rooms provide an unforgettable view of the western suburbs of Ramallah, and the Mediterranean Sea is visible on a clear day. The 100-room hotel's restaurants are considered among the best in town.
The rating for the Jacir Intercontinental, a five-star hotel in Bethlehem, is 8.9. The building's original design is based on typical Palestinian architecture. The 250-room hotel offers its guests a tennis court, heated swimming pool, spa, and nightclub.
According to HotelsCombined Israel CEO Ayal Segal, the revolution occurring in PA hotels is attracting tourists coming from Israel for several days to Ramallah or Bethlehem. Good reviews from hotel critics are not easy to obtain, as can be seen by a comparison with the marks given to five-star hotels in Eilat and Tel Aviv, which in many cases are in the 7-8 range. Tourism in the PA has been turned around, with international hosting standards being offered.
How much does a PA vacation cost? The luxury hotels are asking NIS 440-1,180 a night. As noted by Segal, however, hotels there are also facing stiff competition from hosting apartments offering an overnight in Ramallah or Jericho for only NIS 70.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on January 18, 2017
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