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October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
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UNDERAGE RAGE

Fearing Vandalism, Eilat Hotels Refuse Guests Under Age 21, IDF Soldiers Included

Hotel chains are composing a blacklist of Israelis who have behaved particularly badly, and those will find themselves homeless on their next vacation.

IDF soldiers aren't allowed into some of the Eilat hotels they protect.

IDF soldiers aren't allowed into some of the Eilat hotels they protect.
Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90

Tourism experts say the decision of some Israeli hotels to bar young people under age 21, including soldiers, from staying, was born by multiple cases of hotel room vandalism, especially in Eilat, the young people’s favorite resort, Globes reports.

A Globes reporter recorded (clandestinely) sales representatives at the reservation centers of the Club Hotel and C-Hotel chains, who said that young men under 21 are not allowed to stay in any of their hotels, blaming it on “Rules of the chain.”

Those same representatives were unable to explain why an IDF soldier is good enough to serve his or her country but not good enough to stay at their hotels.

Chairman of the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers (AWIS) Avigdor Kahalani told Globes: “We are surprised and shocked to hear that there are hotels which do not host IDF soldiers. We hope these procedures will be changed. We invite the soldiers to stay at any of the AWIS facilities scattered all over the country.”

It appears that the damage these hotels have been sustaining from young, exuberant Israelis outweighs the PR disaster the decision to bar even enlisted soldiers is sure to cause.

According to Globes, luxury hotel chains such as Dan and Isrotel have placed no such limits on the age of their guests, including in their prestigious outlets, Dan Eilat and Royal Beach, Eilat. The reason is the high price, which acts as a natural selector, keeping up the middle-income youngster who, apparently, is more likely to break stuff.

Unless the young guests at those super-luxurious hotels belong to a rock band…

Ronnie Pivko, CEO of the Club Hotel chain, said in response: “I feel the pain of the soldiers who want and are not allowed to stay with us, but the damage outweighs the pain. We had to draw some kind of line, and, if you ask me, we should have raised the age limit to 24 this line, because these guys don’t stop going wild even at 24.”

Which should have placed the age limit at 25, much like cheaper car insurance.

Pivko said he is working, in his capacity as acting president of the Israel Hotel Association, a blacklist, which will include the names of both young and old guests with a troubled past in Israeli hotels.

“The list will be distributed to all the hotels in Eilat, where most of the problem exists, and those problem guests will not be allowed in,” said Pivko. “I plan to raise the blacklist for discussion at the next meeting of the Association.”

The Club Hotel chain runs two hotels in Eilat and one in Tiberias.

Or Bareket, VP of marketing for C-Hotel, emphasized that young people accompanied by their parents are, of course, always welcome.

She also said that her hotel chain hosts many lonely IDF soldiers on holidays, and support many other FIDF programs.

“Unfortunately, we have received numerous complaints about inappropriate behavior of young people in our hotels,” she said.

C-Hotels runs five hotels in Israel, one of them in Eilat.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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3 Responses to “Fearing Vandalism, Eilat Hotels Refuse Guests Under Age 21, IDF Soldiers Included”

  1. Of course, they didn't mention the Arabs who routinely vandalize hotel rooms when they come to Eilat. When I was in Ulpan, many of the other students worked in the hotels. I heard first-hand from them how the Arabs wrecked hotel rooms, stole everything not tied down, & even removed mezuzot. But that wouldn't be politically correct to mention.

  2. richard e.sherwin says:

    just because theyre idf doesnt give anyone a right to vandalize others’ property. alone or in groups. whatever their background or religion. if it’s too difficult to hold the vandalizers accountable for damages and trouble caused, a blacklist seems moderately reasonable. i’m just not sure it’ll work out all that successfully, but otherwise it seems fair.

  3. Bottom line, not every hotel in Eilat or elsewhere in Israel is suited for everyone… before you book your hotel, make sure you are making the right choice!

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