Founded on what was once desert land and offering stunning views across the Red Sea, the Herods Eilat Hotels stand as a monument to ingenuity, architecture, and utter dedication. A luxury hotel complex housing nearly hundreds of guestrooms, its foundation is a result of one man’s dream to build something special, something that would be remembered.
One man’s vision
The Herods Eilat Hotels are the brainchild of architect, entrepreneur, businessman, and avid sailor Yoav Igra. Born and educated in Jerusalem, Igra served in the army before relocating to Canada where he earned a degree in architecture, before embarking on a number of successful entrepreneurial pursuits. In 1989, Igra returned to Israel with one vision in mind; to create not only a beautiful hotel complex but the most beautiful hotel complex in the country. A 140 million USD project ensued, overseen by the Igra Group and collaborative investors. The architect saw a plot of barren desert transform into a well-appointed and tranquil resort setting.
Building something memorable
The foundation of Igra’s vision balanced on one simple concept; to build something memorable. Whereas other luxury hotels struggled to maintain a fresh appearance merely a decade after opening, Igra wanted his hotels to stand the test of time, something to wow those that laid their eyes on it. The architect was meticulous in his design work, fashioning historic-looking arches, towers, domes, and columns to go alongside modern, state-of-the-art amenities. Each detail was scrupulously contemplated and re-contemplated, from door knobs and furnishings to construction materials and structural fittings. The majority of decisions came directly from Igra himself, each one designed to create something unforgettable.
Capturing past cultures
During the initial design period, Igra opted to take a different approach to the hotels that were typical of not only Eilat but Israel in general. He looked towards the famed Las Vegas Strip and decided to create the country’s first themed hotel resort. When it came to adopting a theme, Igra decided to tap into the region’s rich cultural past. Research introduced him to seven past and present cultures that had great influence on the region: the Egyptians, Nabateans, Greeks, Romans, Ayyubids, British, and Israelis. The hotel would be fashioned a little on all of these cultures. In addition to creating a unique and interesting establishment, Igra also hoped that by building the hotel complex based on historical cultures rather that current fashion and trends, the property would become ageless, one that would always maintain a certain ‘wow factor’.
An extraordinary resort
In 1999, Igra’s vision became a reality. The Herods Eilat Hotels complex opened to much fanfare, boasting exceptional luxury facilities. The complex itself houses three separate hotels, each designed with a specific audience and purpose in mind.
Herods Palace Hotel, the main hotel building, features 297 luxury rooms and serves as the family-friendly part of the resort. Complete with swimming pools, stylish accommodation, and easy access to Eilat’s central promenade, the hotel features mosaics, costumed staff, and a number of other features that evoke the cultures of yore.
Herods Boutique Hotel, once known as Herods Forum Hotel, is designed with business travelers in mind. The 91-room hotel houses high-end business facilities, including conference rooms, alongside a work-friendly atmosphere.
Herods Vitalis Hotel is the elite spa hotel, a space designed for guests to unwind in consummate luxury. Sporting the largest spa in the entire region and a fully-organic restaurant, the hotel features just 53 rooms, making it one of the city’s most exclusive properties.
Planning for the future
With more than a decade under its belt, the Herods Eilat hotel complex continues to receive upgrades and improvements, and Igra remains at the forefront. The enigmatic architect calls the Palace Hotel home, literally, residing in a penthouse apartment from which he oversees his imagined vision. Looking forward, Igra and the management group continue to tweak the hotels, always looking to make further improvements that will entice visitors to Eilat from around the world to join a most respectable guest list. And as it was back in 1989, the foundation of Herods Eilat Hotel continues to be based on creating a memorable hotel that makes for a truly memorable stay.