We visited the Herods Boutique for 3 nights during August 2014, which is the high season.
We're a couple with one 1 year old baby, and we're from Israel.
I chose this hotel because of the reviews here on TripAdvisor and it being ranked number 3 in Eilat, and because it says it's quieter than the regular hotels (like the Herods Palace), the photos seemed nice and I chose a "Junior suite edom" room because I wanted a big room, I hate it when we need to squeeze in.
It was indeed big with plenty of space, you have a living room with a couch that can be opened to a dual bed, and a door that separated the bedroom, and two Panasonic LCDs.
Design wise it is outdated, with colored marble (green and red? common!) in the bathroom, seems like it came from the 90's, wall to wall STAINED carpets, stained sofas, torn curtains, torn bed sheets and all around worn out, to be fair most of Eilat hotels are outdated, but for the amount of money we paid (1700nis per night! ~ $485) I didn't expect such bad wear and tear.
They REALLY need to renovate.
The room (774) is right next to the elevator so can be a bit noisy in the living room.
The bathtub had hairs from the previous guests when we arrived - it was very clear, don't know how they missed it. We left dirty diapers next to the door (inside the room) sealed in plastic bags, they failed to clear them at times although it's obvious they are garbage - poor house keeping.
I asked for a baby cradle in my online order but that wasn't there when we got to the room, called reception and they sent us a full sized bed instead of a cradle.... then a few more minutes and the cradle arrived.
I brought with me a Dune streamer player I wanted to connect to the TV with an HDMI cable, but although I managed to change to the correct input it didn't go past loading, I think it's some kind of parental control in the TV so just gave up on that. They do supply you with satellite TV and a DVD player, I just prefer watching my own shows.
Bed was comfortable and we managed to get a good sleep, the tired baby sleeping the whole night helped too :-)
We chose half-board which means dinner included. The dining room is small and not over crowded because it's not a huge hotel, there's plenty variations of food, but for my taste it was quite average for most of it, surely not on par with a good restaurant as some other reviewer mentioned, quite honestly I can make tastier food myself and I'm no Chef. The food wasn't bad, but I didn't find it that good either.
My wife is a vegetarian and she was actually pleased with the food although she's usually problematic when it comes to eating out. During Saturday dinner she didn't find a decent dish and the cook told her she should have mentioned on reception she's a vegetarian so they would have made her something, it was 19:00 and now he can only cook it when the "Shabbat" is over (after 20:00), that is because of Kosher rules, the cook was very nice and tried to help as he could, but I think in our day and age they should have vegetarian dishes available at all times and not only by special request.
The boutique has it's own pool and it's pretty nice. The good thing about it that it's a difference complex from the main pool in the Palace, so even though it's high season it's not as crowded (in the palace people are almost one on top of the other). the bad thing is that there's no real separation, basically anyone can get into the pool, there's no guard or gate, you only need to walk across the bridge from the palace and you're there, and there goes the main advantage of the boutique. I'm quite certain a group of European tourists did just that, as the pool was filled with them (about 90%), I saw some of them leaving back to the palace, and we didn't see most of them during the meals. There were no "Arsim" at the pool, but these tourists were unfortunately not much better.
We always found clear chairs when we went to the pool which is good during this time of the year.
Many of the other guests were families with small children (ages 6m to 10y), so if you want to relax by the pool, even though it's "quieter" hotel, it's not quiet enough and you should probably go to the Vitalis which is adults only ;-)
The separating gate between the baby pool and the main pool has a a rod missing - they should fix is as a baby can pretty easily pass if parents don't stay aware.
If you're a family and you want activities for the young ones then the kids club is at the neighbor complex - the Herods Palace which is a bit of a walk. We found that a 1 yr old doesn't have much to do there. It's oriented mostly for bigger ones or ones that only crawl. The games that interests him weren't there and it was empty when we got there, when other kids showed up they supplied some interest. We found it's a shame the kids club closes at dinner (18:00) and doesn't reopen after - if we want to stay at the hotel, what are we supposed to do with him after dinner? just stay in the room? There were activies outside the club like a show of the TV star "Yuval hambolbal" at 20:30, but that's too late for him as he already goes to sleep, plus he's too young for it.
All in all it was a relaxing vacation, considering high season the hotel wasn't over crowded, nor as quiet as it can probably be off-season. check-in and out were swift, and plenty of parking. but for an old and torn design and basic food I feel like we didn't get the value of our money.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At the Herods Boutique you’ll enjoy a complex of rooms in Eilat that offers private space and quiet for professional activity and for groups, as well as all the unique advantages and services offered at the luxurious Herods Eilat such as a diverse cuisine, the colorful and lively Cardo shopping center for special treats and an abundance of treatments. ... more less
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