When arriving at any hotel in Israel, you should always start by heading to the reception. That’s the front desk of a hotel and this is where you will officially check-in. If you are accompanied by your guide, he/she will probably handle all this for you and in that case, just find a sit in the lobby and chill out. For more info on that look up one of my previous blogs – Hire the best guide when visiting Israel if you want to be amazed.
Have your passport, reservation confirmation, and form of payment (preferably a credit card with lots of room on it) at hand. When you passed through passport control, you received your visa in the form of a small printed piece of paper, the size of a business card. The receptionist will make a copy of your passport and visa before checking you in, this is required under Israeli law and is very normal so please let them. Most hotels will place a hold of the full amount of your stay plus a percentage as incidentals per day, so it’s best to not give them your debit card. However, if you chose to allow the tour agency or your guide to handle the hotel bookings that will not happen.
Next, take note of hotel amenities and make sure to note the location and time of breakfast, internet access and passwords, office work areas, lounges, bars, restaurants, gym and spa facilities and the like, to make your stay more comfortable. Don’t hesitate to ask questions as the receptionist and/or the concierge can provide you with a map and with recommendations about where to go and what to do nearby. Again, if you are accompanied by your guide, this is not as necessary but still worth doing. Do not leave the reception without a business card of the hotel in Hebrew (the local language) and English. When you need to return to the hotel in a taxi this may come in very handy if your driver isn’t fluent in English or if you forgot the hotel address.
Don’t forget to get the keys and always ask for two keys as well as the key to the gym. Many keys are electronic today, but some hotels still have old-school metal keys, sometimes necessary to run the electricity of your room. When you enter your room, you will find next to the door a key slot that without the keycard in it, the electricity doesn’t work. Having two keys allows you’re A.C. to continue running when you head to breakfast or dinner as well as your camera or phone chargers.
Most hotels will hand you the keycards in a small envelope that contains all the info including meal times, Wi-Fi passwords etc. Those envelopes may hold in them a couple of stickers with your room number on them. If you do not wish to carry your luggage up yourselves, simply stick the stickers on your luggage and the bellhops will make sure it reaches you. Never leave your computer, passport, money etc. in the bags for them but instead, carry that one yourselves. If you chose to use the bellhops, don’t forget to tip them. Sometimes the journey involves a nice trolley and elevator but in some cases, the bellhop literally has to haul your luggage up numerous flights of stairs so tip accordingly.
Always Inspect your room before you unpack and get comfortable. Check and make sure that everything in your room is as promised, check for cleanliness, sufficient bathroom linens and supplies and check the closet for extra blankets and pillows. When booking through us or using the hotels we recommend on the website, you will not have these issues but it’s always good to check and make sure. If you are displeased with your room’s location, scent, or noise-level, politely request to be relocated. Hotels will often comply if possible. If they cannot place you in a similar room, ask if they will upgrade you to a nicer room or a room with a view. If your guide is there, ask them for their help. The cultural difference and language used may mean they might be more successful, especially if you didn’t book the rooms yourselves, but allowed the tour agency or guide to handle it for you. Look up one of my other blogs – Israeli hotels – all the best kept secrets – for more information on that subject.
Relax and unpack wisely, think carefully how many nights you are about to spend here before putting everything away. If you’re here for only one night, maybe best not to unpack at all. After a long flight, or a long day, there is nothing better than turning on the A.C. and taking a nice long shower before getting ready for the next thing. Always plug your phone and camera into their chargers when entering your room. This way you can make sure when you need them next, you’ll be able to use them.
Before you leave the room to head to dinner or out, don’t forget to place your valuables in the safe, especially your passports. Make sure you have with you the keycard, hotel info and your guide’s info as well just in case. If you want to go to a nice restaurant, the concierge or your guide can assist with reservations and directions. Last, don’t forget to reach out to your guide and make sure you know when and where you are meeting the following day.
Now that you’re all comfortable, enjoy your stay ☺