March 30, 2009
Review: Hotel Cinema in Tel Aviv
The past week or so, I was put up in the Cinema Hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel. I honestly was looking forward to the hotel, simply because I heard many good reviews. In fact, people were very positive about it and shared great stories. I, on the other hand, felt the hotel was not at all what I imagined. I was honestly, very disappointed with it and I would likely never go there again.
For me, the most important attributes to a hotel room is the bed and the shower. I use to care about internet speed, but now I bring a wireless card with me, so I don't care about that.
The rooms are pretty small, which is fine. But I cannot stand bathrooms that are so small that when you try to turn around, you hit the sink or the toilet. Nothing like taking a shower, stepping out and then touching a toilet with your leg. Here is a picture of the toilet, right next to the shower. Do note that the sink is right at the end of the picture, there is not much room to move back and forth:
They had this glass swinging door that is in place of a shower curtain. I assume they use the glass door to make the bathroom look more spacious, but it really didn't help. The door is awkward and makes you feel like you are getting the bathroom soaking wet. Here is a picture:
Also, they don't give you much in terms of bathroom accessories. For example, I wanted to shower when we got to the hotel and I looked for soaps and shampoos. I couldn't find any, so I called downstairs and they told me the liquid dispenser is an all in one combo, for soap and shampoo. Here is a picture of two dispensers, and guess what, the one in the shower did not work:
To make things worse, I needed tissues to take with me the next day. So they give you a pack of ten for the room. I figured if I take the tissue travel pack, they would give me a box or a new pack the next day. I arrive back in the room and there is none. So I call and ask for more tissues and an hour later, they bring up a single ten pack. I was sick that night, so I blew through the tissues in no time. I decided to buy my own bag of tissues at a nearby convenient store. That lasted me the week, but it was annoying.
Another annoying thing that was missing was that there were no alarm clocks in the room. In fact, there was no clock at all. There was also a very limited number of AC sockets to plug my stuff into. Finally, I heard the internet was almost unusable (which wasn't an issue for me, cause I bring my own Internet).
The worst part of the hotel is that the hotel was not kosher certified. How can the Israeli Consulate send 4 observant Jewish people to a Jewish country and send them to a hotel that was not certified kosher. The hotel said they were kosher, but they had no certification. So, if you are observant, and you want a kosher hotel - don't go here. In fact, there are few "Mahadrin" places to eat in Tel Aviv, but the hotel itself was not even Rababnut kosher.
The rooms also have switches for air conditioning, but they didn't seem to work. Both Tamar and I tried turning on the cold air, but it just blew warm air, even though the switch was on the cold position. I think Tamar got sick from the A/C, which then got several others of us sick.
Here are some more pictures of my hotel room via a slideshow:
I would honestly never go to this hotel again. It wasn't "horrible," but it wasn't what I expected. There is history with this hotel and being an old movie theatre, but art and history doesn't make up for comfort.