A Review: Ritz Carlton Herzliya
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About a week ago I began toying around with the idea of staying at the Ritz Carlton Herzliya – the second of two aspirational point redemption hotel properties in Israel. You can review that here, where we reviewed the best redemption option for that property.
I ended up booking the Cash + Points option.
And now that I’ve completed my stay, was it worth it?
The entrance of the Ritz Carlton Herzliya is nestled between two mall entrances. As you enter, the staff takes you up the elevator to the beautiful lobby where you can check in.
I’m a lowly Marriott Silver (granted through the credit card) so I was not expecting any upgrades, but we were granted late check out (2:00 PM – yay!) and given a corner room with a view of the Herzliya Marina.
All rooms at the Ritz have a balcony with views of either the marina, beach or street. Seemingly, the nicest ones would be the marina. And boy, those views were nice.
But those views come at a cost.
As expected, the room is modern, clean, and well furnished. But, it is not excessively opulent like the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem. The best part about a corner room is that they’re usually bigger. Not having stayed in other Ritz room, I wouldn’t know for sure, but it did seem a bit bigger, especially in the hallway leading to the room.
So what’s that cost?
The noise. The noise!
Having stayed at several hotels in major metropolitan cities, you’d think I’d be used to that?
Well, no. Why not? Because there’s no need to get used to it when hotels use thick windows (or glass patio doors in this case) that are designed to muffle as much sound as possible–which is indeed the case in cities like Paris, Tokyo, New York and Chicago.
I’d consider that a major design flaw.
I eventually fell asleep, quite late because of the noise. For context, right below the hotel’s side facing the marina are several bars and restaurants. Israel municipal laws dictate that establishments must turn off the music at 11:00 PM. However, it was the end of Ramadan and there was a Euro cup match on with the bar’s TVs on extremely loud, it may was well have been music.
I was offered to switch after calling the front desk, not once, but twice. There’s nothing worse than packing everything up, waking up your significant other and switching rooms at 2:00 AM. I wasn’t offered to move up and away (they were all “full”); rather on the other side, but the best part about the hotel is the Marina…
Listen–I understand you can’t make every guest happy about every little thing, but 1) this is the Ritz and 2) one of the best parts about going to hotels is the peace and quiet!
I love the beach, but I’m a pool person 100%. The Ritz pool seats about 50 people and has marble beams which block the sun deck, placed at 10-foot intervals. If it wasn’t so frustrating, it was humorous to watch the pool attendant and guests maneuver through the overly packed sundeck to squeeze an inch here and an inch there to get out of the way of the sun-blocking beams.
Understandably, the hotel tries to upsell the beach (it’s about 10 minutes walk). Granted, Herzliya probably has the cleanest beaches in Israel, but one would expect a hotel in a warm climate to have a stellar pool.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, those who travel to Israel on points and stay at Israel hotels on points, have talked this hotel up so much and set the expectations extremely high. Maybe that’s why I was disappointed. So, putting aside the pool, the noise and pretty disappointing customer service (each request to the front desk had to be called in two, and sometimes three, times) is it worth it?
Let’s tally up the options:
- 50,000 Marriott point redemption? No.
- $490.00 Cash booking (before taxes)? No.
- Ritz-Carlton Chase Credit Card certificates? Maybe, but probably not.
- Cash + Points? Maybe.
Why would I say “maybe” for option number four, after giving a scathing review? Because of the four options it’s the “cheapest” and best redemption value. It’s also the best points option in Herzliya, but if you were to full pay cash there are other options that may give you a better bang for your buck.