Apr 24, 2015
A top general manager at luxury hotels once told me it can take a year to get the staff up to the levels one expects at a new, five-star property. In many instances, hotels have “soft” openings, meaning not all facilities are completed. Sometimes restaurants, gyms and spas aren’t open for months after the first guests arrive. If you are traveling on vacation, unfinished facilities can be an annoying trade for a great rate. If you are on business, paying big dollars to stay at a luxury hotel, you expect it to be a fully operating office on the road. The top carriage trade travel agents are out of their office more than in, traveling the world to get a first glimpse at new places for their customers to stay. With that in mind I asked nine agents for their favorite new business oriented hotels that they have visited and are actively selling to clients.
Tel Aviv, Israel
The Norman Tel Aviv
Michael Holtz, SmartFlyer
Tech, at over $18 billion, now accounts for 45 percent of Israel’s exports, meaning increases in business travel and the need for accommodations that meet the needs of the high-end executive. “Tel Aviv is a global tech hub,” affirms Michael Holtz, owner of SmartFlyer, noting, “The Norman has a British owner, so they know the type of service Americans want. It’s sleek and sexy. There is a non-kosher restaurant on the roof with amazing views. Tech is the perfect mix of form and function, with all the right plugs right next to the desk.” The hotel is built from two historic buildings, and rooms are individually designed. If you get done early with work, there is also a free shuttle to the beach. Rates from $349.