20 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Great location - let down by poor service and facilities
"The ORchid hotel is in a beatiful setting - about 5 km south of EIlat City Centre.
The location is perfect. A short walk to an amazing coral beach - where as a hotel guest you get free chairs and snorkel rental. In fact the hotel should take the staff from the beach to run the hotel - fantastic friendly service - clean and tidy.
Back to the hotel. It is trying to be Thai - why I don;t really understand - but never mind. Overall the facilities are average to poor. The food is terrible (who ever heard of Kosher Thai food?)
Service is very hit and miss.
- The main bar is awful,
- front desk average,
- tourist office let down by poor English,
- on site shop expensive and very random approach to opening times,
- Tuk Tuk (a golf cart to take you to the rooms since the hotel is built on very steep terrain) usually good.
- Breakfast clearing staff - overworked by horrible customers
THe clientele is also hit and miss. A lot of Russians who seems to treat the place as their own little pig sty - terrible manners - public drunkeness and inapporpriate behaviour by the pool for a family with children.
One can;t blame the hotel for the clientele as such - one can blame them for not being sensitive to "normal" standards of behaviour and imposing it when things get out of hand.
Overall if they could sort some of these issues it would be a good hotel.
Oh the rooms and room cleaning - average at best. WHen paying top rate I expect a little more luxury (bathroom ??) consistent number of towels and equipment which works. Hair drier wasnt fixed in spite of 4 separate reminders!"
- Travel date: Thu 6th of December 2007
You better think twice...
"You see the picturs on their web site you here the sounds and you think to yourself: this is paradise.... well- think again !!!
This 5 stars hotel in nothing but 5 * !
I was in one of their best suite with a privte deck & jacuzi but the damn thing did'nt work ! when i got to the room and wanted to put some water in the fridge - it smelled like sour milk !
And after 2 nights there (after we asked to clean the fridge and fix the jacuzi) it appered that the hot tube does't work either.
I red some of the other reviews here and one of them said that the service at this hotel is "israely typical" - i hardly disagree !
There are some great hotels in israel with great service this hotel is just NOT one of them !
We asked many times for them to clean / fix the room (one of the best and most expensive rooms at the hotel) the only thing they had to say is :" why did'nt you speak with the manager"
Long story short - this hotel service is a disgrace, with the attitude that we got there i can't even remeber one good thing about it."
- Travel date: Wed 5th of December 2007
Great building and surroundings but dirty and badly managed
"We stayed in this hotel 3 days in August for a special occasion that we had planned many months before. So we came with a lot of friends and family (around 15 rooms).
We shared the beautiful royal villa at the top of the hotel with 3 other families. The site and the villa are gorgeous. There is a small private swimming pool and a quite garden. The view is also spectacular!
This hotel could be the best in Israel. But the service is really bad and it is dirty everywhere. We paid a lot of money for this villa because it was a special occasion. The rooms are great but for this price you would expect a perfect service. We had a dedicated valet but he was not really nice and did not speak a word of English ,which is amazing in a 5-stars hotel. It was dirty everywhere from the windows to the bathrooms.
At the reception, the people do not speak English. If you speak Russian or Hebrew, they will probably help. But if you speak English or any other langage, you will notice a complete lack of communication.
Another thing is that they charge your room upfront on your credit card! And it was the same for the royal villa and for the standard rooms.
Some rooms (Siam rooms) are dedicated to families and can accomodate 4 people. There is a double bed downstairs and 2 matresses on the floor on the mezzanine (difficult access through a ladder). But it seems that nobody cleans the mezzanine because it is full of dust! And we had the same feedback from all our friends.
In conlusion, this hotel could be a real gem. The surroundings are great and far enough from the noisy part of the city, the Thai style of the cottages is nice.
However it is really not properly managed and certainly not as a 5-stars hotel. It is DIRTY everywhere (chairs in the dining rooms, windows in the royal villa, forks and spoons...).
The only professional person we met was the public relation manager, a very nice lady.
Anyway, this hotel badly needs a real manager who will check the cleaning and all the details that you can expect at this price."
- Travel date: Fri 30th of November 2007
Great place to stay in Eilat
"We were at the Orchid in the offseason, so it was not that crowded and very relaxed. We were very pleased to find that the hotel was out of the way of the honky tonk downtown Eilat and the characterless hotels across the lagoon.
Contrary to what the website implied, there was no water view from our standard room, it overlooked the tuk tuk path. Fortunately, it wasn't that loud but if we were there in full season, would probably have gotten unpleasant because the carts are rather loud. It also meant there would be very little privacy. The room itself was perfectly clean and acceptable and roomy. Nothing fancy, but nothing icky.
Service at the hotel was typically Israeli: perfunctory. They haven't quite got the customer service thing down. We got tired of waiting for the tuk tuk guy to pick us up with his luggage, so hauled them up ourselves. We got massages at the spa from cranky masseuses. Breakfasts, however, were unbelievably ample, an enormous selection. Quality was average. But having breakfast by the pool overlooking the Red Sea was so lovely it made up for the food. The thai restaurant associated with the hotel is very good.
We did not think the hotel catered only to religious tourists, which we certainly were not. Although the hotel and restaruant are Kosher, there were a wide range of tourists of all nationalities and degrees of observance (and dress, for that matter). We were comfortable there.
the hotel is within walking distance of Coral Beach, which we loved. It is not at all fancy, it is very funky, back to the 60s hippy-ish beach. Waiters from the snack bar bring you food and drinks thru out the day. You just put it on a tab and pay when you leave. When you get hot you can dip into the Red Sea and look at the fishies. (The hotel will entitle you to free mask and snorkel, you have to pay a few shekesl the fins)
NOT TO BE MISSED: Take a day trip to Petra in Jordan, it's well worth it and can be arranged through the hotel."
- Travel date: Wed 26th of September 2007
"This review is a long time coming - we visited the Orchid for 3 days last summer, but I've been meaning to write it since then. We stayed in one of the individual villas at the top of the property set amongst the granite walls of the surrounding mountain. The room was amazing with a wrap around deck, jacuzzi pool, and palapa - very secluded. We had amazing views of the Gulf of Aquba. Staff was very friendly and courteous and available to give us a ride to our bungaloo. We did not spend any time at the pool but took a short walk to a lovely beach with a lovely little outdoor bar/grill, that we called our own for the duration of our stay.
The breakfast buffet every morning was great and we had a great dinner at the Thai restaurant on the property.
I would recommend this to anyone."
- Travel date: Sat 25th of August 2007
Better to go to the Princess next door
"The facilities are lovely but the place is not managed properly.
Go to the Princess nearby for a better experience. This hotel is trying to cater to the ultra religious and offers absolutely no help to satisfy the guests. For example there were thorn bushes that had thorns on them that were whipping in the wind and cut my girlfriends face. Would they tie them up or cut them? nope!
The am lifeguard is one of those workers who got fired for being too rude to the guests. But they keep hiring him back and he keeps yelling at the guests for having drinks near the pool that the bar staff bring to you. If they don't want them near the pool then why do they hound you to buy drinks? Go to the Princess where there is a nice drink bar IN the pool."
- Travel date: Sun 19th of August 2007
Nice, not brilliant
"The hotel has a nice theme-the thai theme which adds to the experience. The Scenary is beautiful and all rooms have great views. Pool is somewhat small though doesnt feel overly crowded even though it was the peak season and the hotel was fully booked.
The downside is the small details: some plates in the dining room were not 100% clean, rooms didnt always have hand and floor towels, reception process was not very efficiant.
Generally, we had a nice time but it is certainly not a 5 stars hotel."
- Travel date: Wed 8th of August 2007
This place grows on you
"I have taken a bit to write a review of this hotel. It's a very multifaceted place which grows on you in a funny way. You arrive and at first you are taken by the very peculiar setting - a village of Thai huts and villas on a mountain opposite the sea shore, outside Eilat towards Taba. Then you start noticing the glitches - the air conditioning takes a long time to cool the room properly, there are lots of stairs to go anywhere, the beach is not great. Then you slowly fall in love with it - the beautiful public areas, the soaring wood ceilings, the quite of the villas, the view, the "tuktuk" (small electric vehicles) which takes you from place to place, the fact that even when it's fully booked you can find a quiet corner, the pool and the waterfalls, the plants and flowers, the nice food, and all the nice touches - free internet in the lounge, free bikes, games at the pool area. So if 5* hotels are not your standard ( but 3* and 4* are) and you are ready to try something else and need some R&R, definitely go for this place."
- Travel date: Sun 15th of July 2007
Beautiful indeed... but be aware of the awful hotel's beach
"This hotel should be definitely praised for a great location and beautiful views. We had a very nice room at pretty much the top of the hill, and enjoyed it a lot. Thai kosher restaurant was also a good experience. The major drawback of the hotel is its location in terms of the beach holiday. The hotel's beach is probably the worst I've seen so far. Very small and crowded. Cannot go into the water without flip flops. To avoid this you can choose one of many other beaches closer to the center of town or dolphin reef. This saved our holiday, and if you don't mind taking a bus/cab to go to the beach every morning, I would definitely recoomend Orchid Resort."
- Travel date: Fri 11th of May 2007
Worst Hotel I have ever stayed in!
"I was appalled...officially the worst hotel i have ever stayed in. Why? Because the service has been truly terrible. I have stayed there a week so i know what i am taking about.
I would need an essay to write all that was wrong, but let me give you the top 5 reasons NOT to stay and the top 5 why you should stay, and then you can make your mind up.
Top 5 Reasons NOT to stay at this hotel:
1. Service is horrible - Staff is rude, you need to phone three times before they bring you what you want, they replace towels but do not put new ones until you ask
2. Breakfast is horrific: The selection is really really poor, as it is ither completely sweet food (which is not very nice) or it is salad and cheese
3.Staff are rude, unfriendly and unhelpful: It has got nothing to do with the fact that Israelis are direct, it has got to do with the fact that the staff treat you like dirt all the time, and never ever smile
4.Generally inefficient service: Try getting a drink by the pool and you will see the waitress (if you see her) go past you several times, without your order. The reason being is because although she has written it down, she always forgets. And they are all like that.
5. Unclean: Overall the hotel has given me and my partner the indication that it is not a very clean place, and I know from another guest that she has even found a pair of men's underwear underneath her mattress!!
BUT, when it comes to paying for stuff, they are happy for tourists (not locals) to pay for the room AND a certain amount upfront (in case you run away). Together with the fact that they keep on bugging you about how you do not have credit to charge stuff to the room. Even if they see you every day!
Top 5 reasons to stay:
1. Nice rooms and good estethics
2. Good location: away from the cluster of other hotels and near some of the attractions like the Dolphin Park and Acquarium
3. Nice view from rooms: You can see Jordan
4. NIce pool
5.Can enjoy privacy
And that is me struggling to find positives.
Happy to give a more detailed account if needed. Seriously consider this before you book! And there is no air-conditioning anywhere else but the room you are staying in (try having breakfast when you are sweating underneath the sun), which in 40+ degrees celcius is a serious consideration too!"
- Travel date: Thu 10th of May 2007
good location,average service
"We heard many good things about this hotel,I'll try to stay objective,so here are the pros and cons:
Pros: great location,away from the noise of the City Center and right across the Underwater Observatory.The rooms all have great view on the Read Sea and are large,bathrooms are nice.We stayed in a room with a galerry for kids.Great idea,but... the ladder to that gallery was very unsafe for our 2 year old. The restaurant is nice and big,and tables around the pool are available.
Cons: Service...The achilles heel of the Israeli tourism. Our room was never vacuumed during the first 3 days of stay,had to wait 8 hours for fresh towels,the waiters in the restaurant are in a huge rush and run (literally) around. The water in the pool was ice cold,sea was a lot warmer.Food was great,although the menu stayed the same during the 5 days we spend there.
For that price Orchid should do better."
- Travel date: Sat 5th of May 2007
Rooms are filthy.
"We booked two rooms in the hotel for a week between 15th and 22nd April 2007 (group of 4 - 26 to 30 yrs). We arrived at the hotel at midday to be told that our rooms would not be available for another 2 hours as they were being cleaned for us. So we got changed out of our travelling clothes in the luggage store room, and sat by the pool. Two hours later we asked for our room keys, at which point only one of the rooms was ready. Once inside the rooms, we were thouroghly disappointed as they did not resemble any of the on-line photos at all. We had asked for 2 twin rooms, but were given 2 rooms with 1 King-sixed bed in each, and a step-ladder up to 2 single matresses on the floor of the mezanine-style roof space, which did not seem to have been dusted in a long time! This was not the type of twin room we had in mind, as we were a group of 4 friends and we did not particularly want to share beds with one another! While unpacking, my friend pulled the bed-side table away from the wall to look for a plug only to find that the hotel had not pulled out furniture to clean behing it in a very long time. Under just one of the the bed-side tables was a bra from a previous guest, a babies dummy, 2 used cotton buds, and a polythene bag. Further inspection behind the remaning furniture showed that this lack of cleanliness was common to the whole room, and to the other room we had in the hotel.
The rooms themsleves were very dark due to a lack of powerful lightling, and dark fixtures and fittings. However, the bed we shared was comfortable enough, the bathroom was clean and modern, and the air conditioning efficient.
We were offered a free lunch in the hotel as an apology for the mess we had found the rooms in, although when they came to clean the room, all they did was to pick up the rubbish by hand, and did not hoover the room, and only offered us 3 free lunches despite there being 4 of us in the party!
On another occasion, we returned to our room after a day out to find that it had not been cleaned that day - the bathroom bin was emptied yet the old bin bag including its contents was left on the side next to the bathroom sink, and not disposed off, and new towels had not been provided despite yesterday's towels being taken away. The coffee cups had not been cleaned either, and the coffe and tea supplies had not been replenished. Furthermore, the bed sheets would not have been changed once during our stay if we had not requested this specifically. We were then asked to leave our room for an hour while a cleaner was sent up to clean the room for us, and the only apology we got for this was a half-bottle of their cheapest white white, which was undrinkable!
Breakfasts at the hotel were good and the lunchtime salads were generously sized, fresh portions. Service could be quite slow at times, although this seemed to get better as the hotel recognised our faces!
The pool was lovely though and some of the pool-side furniture was great (wicker sofas and chairs with white cushions), although the sun-beds themselves required updating as the plastic slats have become tired with age, and sag somewhat, providing little support, and are rather uncomfortable.
If you are planning to stay in this hotel, I would recommend that you ensure that you are in one of the refurbished rooms, and if you are not, then it may be worth looking elsewhere..."
- Travel date: Mon 23rd of April 2007