The Carlton Hotel on Tel Aviv seafront has remained open despite the coronavirus pandemic and the consequent dearth of tourists. The hotel owners couldn't bear to shut up shop so it's business as usual even though average occupancy has plummeted from 90% to about 10%. Hotels are still allowed to operate providing they comply with Ministry of Health instructions.
Carlton Hotel Tel Aviv general manager Yossi Navi said that the guests include defense industry workers from abroad who came to Israel before the Covid-19 outbreak and will stay until it is over as well as medical tourists who also came before the crisis and Israelis who come for a break, preferring to be in lockdown in the hotel for a day or two instead of at home.
Guests also came for the Passover seder led by the hotel's cantor. Ten people sat in a large room with more than two meters between each of them with zoom screens in every direction. One guest from Jerusalem who decided to support the hotel because it has stayed open, booked a suite for 10 days , and another guest booked the presidential suite.
Navi said, "The hotel is decorated with flowers, the swimming pool on the roof is open, but only for sunbathing and the fresh air because going in the pool is prohibited. Each day each guest receives a gift from us to reward them for staying with us at such a difficult time. There is a family atmosphere here while of course observing the instructions. And the prices are not so low but somewhere between high-season and low-season. Guests are paying NIS 1,300 per night and getting five-star service.
Anybody asking to come and be in isolation in the hotel will be politely refused.
The Carlton Tel Aviv has 270 rooms, and 12 suites, half of which are occupied.
Navi said, "Everybody who comes is upgraded to rooms on the top floor overlooking the sea."
The hotel has 250 employees of whom 50 are still working. Of those still working most are not entitled to unemployment pay. They have been kept on for "humane reasons and thinking about the day after."
On Passover eve for the seder meal, the hotel donated 1,000 meals to Holocaust survivors.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 13, 2020
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