1. We chose this hotel for our honeymoon trip, the tour operator staff recommended it. Our trip was at the very beginning of January 2013.
I will write right away about what we liked:
1. The hotel is beautiful, large in appearance corresponds to its stars. Rooms are large, luxurious. Our room was huge and very comfortable, everything we needed and more. The view from the balcony was the sea.
2. Every day, after cleaning, we were left fresh flowers in vases (one bouquet in the room, another in the bathroom) and a vase with different fruits, champagne. This of course was pleasantly pleasing.
3. The location of the hotel was also attractive. 3. The location of the hotel also attracted. The beach – fine pebbles. On the territory of several swimming pools. All the city infrastructure is available: stores, restaurants, banks, entertainment and shopping centers.
Now about the inconvenience to us:
1. The language barrier – for me this is important. The only person at the hotel, speaking in Russian, was the guide (came only at certain hours in the morning).
2. Food – to your liking. The hotel kosher menu and not everyone likes it. And if I found a couple of attractive dishes (such as buckwheat with dates, nuts and herbs), my husband was categorically dissatisfied with the type of food. By the way, the products there are all fresh, vegetables and fruits are juicy. By the way, there is a fish restaurant near the hotel – very good food, speak Russian badly, but you can understand. By the way, there is a Russian restaurant nearby – the food there is excellent, the portions are huge, and everyone speaks Russian very well.
3. 3. The prices – this is, of course, a very individual item. I think that the prices there are unreasonably high. And they are high on the territory of the hotel everywhere: in cafes and restaurants, spa services, etc.
4. The staff are indifferent to everything…. No other way to put it.
But despite all the pros and cons, I liked the rest very much. Israel is a country to visit. There are many things to see and places to visit for any believer.
2. This summer I had the chance to do an internship at the Royal Beach Hotel. I went to Eilat to try my hand at the professional kitchen of one of the leading chains of Isrotel hotels.
I got the internship without any problems, according to the program. I didn’t have a health record book, they demanded the minimum of certificates, and we all know the value of our certificates, and they didn’t do any medical checkups. From the first day I was allowed to do everything in the kitchen and that without any experience and skills. Of course I wasn’t assigned any complicated culinary processes, but they were minimal. Because in the local kitchens everything was made from semi-finished products. From the first day I started to notice all kinds of big and small breaches, because at the same time I was taking a course in the theory of cooking, sanitation, hygiene and kashrut at Ben-Gurion University (it was part of the program).
There were plenty of violations. Food was kept in the refrigerator longer than it was supposed to be, since everything was stocked up, the stock was sent to the refrigerator, and from there they took out what had already been stored there for some time. The dates of course were nowhere to be found, all in the not too reliable memory of the workers. They froze and thawed it over and over again. Everything was cooked out of hand. The meat came from the butcher cut into pieces, the pieces were spread out on racks, smeared, sprinkled or poured with sauce, and sent on a cart to the oven, the volumes were impressive, so no one cared about a single piece.
If food fell on the floor, it was either ignored or picked up and put back. We were allowed to work with or without gloves, but nobody cared about the purity of our hands. But everything was strict about the caps. Only the higher patrons were allowed to work without caps. If the vegetables and fruits were not washed in the sink, which was located in the vegetable warehouse, no one washed in the kitchen either. Cockroaches and mice could be found in the corridors. Water often flowed from the ceilings and there were puddles on the floor. But all these and other annoying little things paled in comparison to what was going on in the service.
Service is the time of the meal when 200, 300, 500 guests enter the dining hall at the same time and go to get their food. Hotels operate in a buffet style of serving. This is when there is a large counter with food and the person himself takes what he wants on his plate and sits down at the table to eat. Is it necessary to explain that when people take food from the dishes, it runs out very quickly and someone, in this case the most inexperienced cooks, trainees and other rabble-rousers have to carry around and fill these containers. This position in the kitchen is called a ranger, and there’s a reason for that, because you have to carry and fill very quickly.
So everything was taken, spread out and poured somehow. They used their hands, any spoons, scoops and pans, clean or not, and it all lasted for 3-4 hours while breakfast, lunch or dinner was being served. The workers were naturally angry and tired and worked not so much for the quality, but just not to fall off their feet by the end of the day. After all, all of these disruptions came not from being unable or unwilling, but simply from working too intensely, too hard, for too many hours each day. The staff was often understaffed, especially during the season and holidays.
I worked 8 months and saw a lot in that time, but don’t think it was just one hotel in particular, no. There were two groups of 24 of us on the program. One group trained at Isratel chain, the other group trained at Fatal chain. Each hotel had 3 or 4 trainees, so almost each of them had our people, and it was the same everywhere. We shared curiosities and mishaps from work experience and sometimes it was scary, because we ate here in the hotel. Food for the workers was prepared or rather made up from what the guests did not eat.
Well, not from the guests’ plates, of course, but from what was left in the warming stoves and was heated all the time and from what was left on the buffet, although this was forbidden. And if the food was still good it was given to the guests next time, and if not, it was given to the workers. By the end I already knew how most of the dishes were made and what they had gone through, and my appetite was not very good. The masters did not eat in the canteen for the workers, but we had to, because there was no place to cook at home. So we ate all three meals here. There were cases of poisoning among our classmates, but I usually survived (in a different sense). How they weren’t sued for this quality of food is a mystery.
Apparently Israelis are not picky eaters at all. After all, I personally witnessed a lot of cases where the food had been on the plate many times and once again came to be spoiled. This was dairy products and salads and salted fish, and everything in sight. To throw away food was considered wasteful and the height of unprofessionalism, so it was done very rarely and secretly. Although it was not fair on the part of the hotel management, because people had already paid for the food they had not eaten, what right did they have to re-serve it or feed the workers who had their wages deducted for food?
After this experience I became even more squeamish about catering, especially the huge food outlets, so I decided to share these observations with you. All of the above, unfortunately, is one hundred percent true experience from my life, so I strongly recommend you to watch where and what you eat. Be healthy!